The 85th Geneva International Motor Show is here, and for the next two weeks it will be home to the brightest new car launches, concepts and automotive technology that will help define the global automotive industry over the coming years. The refreshments are pretty good too.
Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003
Bespoke supercar maker and finance magnate James Glickenhaus kicked off his Geneva Motor Show in style with one of the hottest and most talked about cars of the show - the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003 ("SCG 003" standing for the third project).
Glickenhaus brought two cars to the show, the SCG 003C, the racecar variant with the ‘C’ standing for Competizione, and the SCG 003S, a road-going version. Both are modular supercars, where key components can be interchanged easily and quickly, mainly for racing purposes.
The cars have a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, three integrated wings and were inspired by LMP1/LMP2 prototype racecars. They are essentially Glickenhaus' idea of the perfect dual-purpose GT’s, where he adopted a “less is more” philosophy.
The 003C has a 3.5-litre V6 engine sourced from Honda that has been heavily modified with twin turbochargers by Autotechnica Motori.
The 003S has a twin-turbocharged V12 power plant that will provide an entirely different driving experience compared to the V6 race car. Power and performance numbers are yet to be released, but SCG promises a comparable power-to-weight ratio figure to that of the Koenigsegg One:1.
The days of professional competitors driving their cars to the track, competing and then driving them home in time for their dinner is long gone—but the philosophy remains strong with Glickenhaus and I see no reason why this is not possible for amateur drivers with the 003.
These drivers will need to be at the top of their piggybank game though, as the 003 starts at $2.6 million for the road car, with a $1 million premium for the track-only offering.
The track version of the SGC 003 is already confirmed to compete at this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race in May, but personally, I’m more excited about seeing the road cars on the streets of America towards the end of the year.
Ferrari 488 GTB
Ferrari’s turbo revolution — pun intended — is gaining momentum in some serious style with the arrival of the 488 GTB, the 458’s turbocharged successor.
Like most Ferrari’s before it, the 488 takes its name from the cubic capacity of each of its cylinders, and does so while managing a massive 661 bhp at 8,000 rpm from its heavily turbocharged 3.9-litre engine. Eight thousand rpms sounds like music to my ears.
The performance of the 488 GTB will be nothing short of incredible. 0-62 mph in just 3 seconds flat, with a top speed of 205 mph. These are numbers we’ve come to expect from $1 million-plus hypercars, but not a mid-range Ferrari.
To put it into perspective, the 488’s lap time around Fiorano is the same as it’s big bad V12 brother, the phenomenally quick F12. (how good will the next gen F12 be based on this??)
The 488 GTB doesn’t look too shabby either. The large, low rear end is dominated by an aerodynamic solution-diffuser that generates down force without generating drag.
If I was being ultra picky, I’m not a huge fan of the 488 GTB’s styled side vents, but I was told they’re a necessity due to the extra cooling needed for the car. I think the clever men at Modena could have put the extra vent on the inside and not outside. It would have made the car more “Ferrari” for me.
No question though, with these kinds of looks and all that performance under the bonnet, Ferrari has probably managed to convince anyone who was previously sitting on the fence between a 488 and Huracán to pop on over to their local Ferrari dealer and hand over their credit card. House and first born child too.
Geneva welcomes two brand new hypercars from the chaps at the Swedish automaker Koenigsegg.
The Regera, which means “to reign” – and from the sound of things it’s certainly set to do this — and the Agera RS. Both are complete game changers for not only Koenigsegg, but also the entire hypercar world as we know right now.
1,500 bhp. 1,475 lb-ft of torque. 0-186 mph in 12 seconds. 0-250 mph in under 20 seconds. Top speed of 255 mph. The numbers are completely and utterly bonkers!
The Regera has to be the world’s fastest accelerating luxury GT and is the first Koenigsegg product to feature Koenigsegg Direct Driver (KDD), which essentially means the car has no transmission. Hail the new era of hypercars. The automaker insists the batteries don't make the Regara a hybrid, even though the electric motors produce 700 bhp on their own, paired with a 9 kWh battery pack.
Whilst I’m still trying to get my head around this car - which 80 units will be built with a price tag of $1.89 million – you have to realize Koenisegg aren't finished there.
Koenisegg Agera RS
Welcome the Agera RS. Like it’s predecessors, the Agera RS joins the 918 Sypder as the only other hypercar you can remove the roof of and take it with you in the car. Handy if you live in the rainy UK as I do, but likewise, I spoke with one car collector from the U.S who insisted they would never buy a car without the option to bring the roof with you. It’s not just about the weather, but the fact sometimes you want to park, go for dinner and return without your car being the center of any unwanted, though expected, attention. An opinion I fully agree with.
Good news then indeed to my American friends that, although the Agera RS is configured similarly to the previous Agera models, it is in fact street legal in America, with the Agera RS paving the way with new “smart airbags” specifically for the U.S. market.
With every 918 Spyder being sold out, and an Aventador Roadster being just a little “too common”, the new Agera RS makes for a very attractive proposition to consider when ordering your next hypercar - as we all do, of course.
Like the Ragera, the RS is fast, too. Ridiculously, crazily, here-officer-just-take-me-to-jail-right-now fast. Then again, aren’t all Koenigsegg that way? In recent times, they have to be the most blisteringly quick cars in production. Even if it seems like it’s just in a straight line.
I like Koenigsegg a lot and have always been a fan of the passion behind the brand, but not necessarily the product—i.e. the cars. Like many other people, I have admired the tenacity and drive to perfection from Christian and his team, but the cars have never been on the same page as Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren or Pagani. Until now.
So that leaves me to say, Koenigsegg, you finally need to silence your critics and give your fans some real bragging rights by taking your new rockets around the ‘Ring and let us all know what these new mega cars are capable of.
Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce (SV)
The Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce (SV) translates to “Super Fast” in Italian. In typical Lamborghini tradition, the top-range SV will adhere to previous SV ethos - meaning it will be faster, lighter and even more wicked looking than the model it is based on.
New to the looks department include doors, rocker panels, massive, manually adjusted rear wing, modified side scoops and bumpers / fenders, all designed to modify its appearance to the extreme. Many of the new parts have been constructed out of carbon fibre, which has helped the car loose about 110 pounds.
According to the automaker, downforce has been increased without increasing drag. Call that a win for a car that will be kissing the 0-to-60 line in 3 seconds. That time will come thanks to a power increase to 740 horsepower from the 6.5-litre V12 mill. Torque pumps out at 509 lb-ft. Top speed should hover around 217 mph.
Inside, the Aventador Superveloce is the first Lamborghini to offer the company’s carbon-fibre-based fabric called “Carbon Skin.” It is found in the headliner and a few other inconspicuous places inside.
New also to the Aventador SV is magnetorheological shocks, variable-ratio steering and carbon-ceramic brake rotors. Wheels are forged matte-black offerings measuring 20 inches up front and 21 inches out back. Pirelli P Zero Corsa rubber wraps around the new shoes.
If you want your SV, sales begin this spring with price estimated somewhere around half a million dollars. Start couch diving for those pennies, folks.
McLaren P1 GTR
What would you do if you had $3.1 million sitting in the bank to spare? Buy yourself an island? How about a private jet? Swim in it? If you were sucking on the teat of McLaren you would most likely be throwing all that cold hard cash at the P1 GTR - the latest monster from the maniacal mathematical minds of McLaren.
Well, you do get more than just a car for that price. The P1 GTR also comes with its own pit crew and driver-training program that are available to each customer. You get a car and it comes with its own people. It’s like dating a celebrity who has a personal trainer. You get to enjoy the benefits of both.
It has a power output of 986 bhp, pumping from the twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 engine that’s paired with an electric motor. Eighty-three horsepower has been massaged for more output.
New aerodynamic bits increase downforce by 10 percent, while the fixed rear wing stands 3.9-inches higher than before - from the pedestrian and “normal” P1. McLaren has put the car on a serious diet and has stripped everything that makes it road legal like airbags, sound-deadening material and some interior bits to reduce weight by 110 pounds.
As the realm of hypercars reaches ever higher, I can't wait to see what the competition cooks up next.
Porsche Cayman GT4
I defy you to find me a prettier car than the Porsche Cayman GT4.
Smack bang in between the Cayman GTS and the 911 GT3, the Cayman GT4 is a mid-engine car that is equipped with a proper manual gearbox and a reworked version of the Carrera S’s 3.8-litre flat-six engine, though the GT4 raids the 911 GT3 parts bin pretty heavily.
The GT4 can do 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds, according to Porsche, and has a top speed of 183 mph. A PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission was considered for the car but Porsche thought otherwise (hallelujah some may say); however, I wouldn’t rule out a PDK version in the near future.
Optional equipment for the GT4 includes carbon-ceramic brakes and carbon-fibre seat shells. A sport steering wheel is standard fare. Other goods stolen from the 911 GT3 include the suspension, which consists almost entirely of GT3 bits.
Aerodynamically, the GT4 mimics the look of its bigger brother, with a large, gaping front bumper and audacious, though necessary, wing.
The Cayman GT4 only further closes the gap between the mid-engine Cayman and the rear-engine 911. I do feel sorry for those folks stuck with a PDK GT3, because there is nothing like rowing your own in a Porsche.
And finally... That’s all folks.
The 450th and final Bugatti Veyron to be produced is on display at Geneva supporting it’s fitting name ‘La Finale’.
The car that takes the shape of the Grand Sport Vitesse has already been pre-sold to a customer in the Middle East, who’ll be pleased to know his 1,183 bhp open-top roadster will be able to get him from 0-62 mph in just 2.5 seconds.
The 267.86 mph car is showcased next to the first ever Veyron ever built. The dichotomy between the two is a nice touch that tops and tails an illustrious decade of this formidable piece of engineering.
Bugatti’s President, Wolfgang Durheimer said, “So far no other carmaker has managed to successfully market a product that stands for unique top-class technical performance and pure luxury in a comparable price/volume range. An unprecedented chapter in automobile history has reached its climax.”
He’s right. The Veyron stands for so much more than just being outrageously fast. The Veyron has been this past decade’s poster child for future engineers everywhere. It was a car built from numbers that broke records.
However, in typical Bugatti style, the automaker is not resting on its laurels. With other manufactures hot on the automaker’s heels, the new Bugatti model, destined to break cover soon for the 2016 model year, will need to be at the top of its engineering game to stay ahead of its rivals.