An A-Z of the 2015 Geneva Motor Show (sort of)

Image of Honda NSX at Geneva 2015
A Honda NSX, yesterday
"Think I’ll struggle with Q? Then you’ve not heard of Qoros, a Chinese company that keep promising to come to the UK"
  • | by Phil Huff

Toblerone really is quite nice – a chocolatey mix of honey and almond nougat that brings forth images of Switzerland.

I’d love to somehow segue from there into how Geneva is hosting their 85th international motor show this week, but Switzerland is famous for chocolate, cowbells, cuckoo clocks and skiing. And definitely not cars.

Yet it’s here that in March every year we get the covers pulled off concept and production cars, seeing the vehicles which will be gracing our showrooms in a few months for the first time.

So, here’s a quick round-up for you from 'A', all the way to 'Z'. Or, in this case, 'V'.

A-B

Image of Audi R8 at Geneva 2015

Audi’s new R8 was there, but you’d miss it if you weren’t careful, such is the similarity to the old model. It'll undoubtedly be a better car, but some sense of adventure in design might not go amiss.

Aston Martin’s DB10 is coming along at some point and we’ve all seen pictures of it, but it was absent from the show thanks to James Bond’s lawyers. Apparently you can’t show Bond’s car before a Bond film has been released.

Meanwhile, BMW showcased the 2 Series Gran Tourer. With seven seats and a BMW badge it’ll sell like hot cakes, but it’s not exactly what you’d call ‘exciting’.

C-D

Image of DS 5 at Geneva 2015

Citroen had the DS brand to launch, but no new cars. Instead a facelifted DS 5 had to suffice. Specialist engineering firm EDAG (who?) turned up with a 3D-printed sports car that was glued together and used materials that are lighter than paper.

I know one journalist was responsible for gluing some door materials together, so it might be wise to avoid that.

F

Image of Ford GT at Geneva 2015

Ford brought all its fast cars along, including the glorious GT for its European debut.

The Focus RS was also shown to the public for the first time, while the Mustang got yet another airing. It’ll launch one day, we’re promised.

H-I

Image of Honda NSX at Geneva 2015

Honda’s rather bland selection of cars was lifted by the revealing of both the iconic NSX and the foot-to-the-floor hooligan-magnet Civic Type R – there haven’t been as many wings bolted onto a car since 1988.

Its compatriot Infiniti showed off the new QX30 concept, a compact SUV that looks an awful lot like a Lexus NX.

J-K

Jaguar couldn’t show the C-X75 (again, thanks to Bond lawyers) but updated the F-Type with four-wheel drive (which works better than you might expect) and a manual gearbox (which doesn’t).

Image of Kia Sportspace at Geneva 2015

Kia’s fortunes are turning and the next-generation Optima, revealed as a concept estate car, should continue keeping the company happy.

L

Image of Range Rover Evoque at Geneva 2015

Land Rover updated the Evoque with new engines and trim, leaving a stylish and now frugal premium SUV, while Lexus presented the LF-SC city car concept. It’s funkier than the funkiest thing you can think of, but it won’t actually be making it.

M

Image of Mercedes G Wagen at Genva 2015

Mazda will be making everything it revealed, with facelifted CX-5 and 6 joining the new 2, MX-5 and CX-3, but nothing was quite as over the top as the Mercedes G-Class 4x42, above. Step ladder not included, although one could fit inside the Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman, a luxury car so extravagant it needs two parking spaces.

N

Image of Nissan Sway at Geneva

Nissan had the Sway taking centre stage, a concept car which hints at the future of the cutesy Micra.

O-P

Image of Opel Karl at Geneva 2015

Opel had Karl on stage. No, not the founder, but a new city car that will be known here as the Vauxhall Viva – no, not the old and unloved car from the 1970s.

In fact, the Viva looks like it’ll be a great-value option when it arrives here later in the year.

Q

Image of Qoros Qoros 3

Think I’ll struggle with Q? Then you’ve not heard of Qoros, a Chinese company that keep promising to come to the UK. The company’s 3 model passed Euro NCAP tests with flying colours last year, and this year it showed off the 3 City SUV, effectively a slightly jacked-up version of the existing car.

Still no dates as to when they’ll get here though.

R

Image of Renault Kadjar

Renault dusted down Nissan’s Qashqai (they’re partners, so it’s all ok), put a new body shell on it and introduced the Kadjar (above), arguably the silliest name of the year.

S

Image of SsanYong Tivoli

Ssangyong has a silly company name, but its new Tivoli looks interesting. Yet another compact SUV, the Tivoli undercuts even the likes of Suzuki's Vitara while managing to feel pretty high quality. A dark horse for 2015, then.

Elsewhere, Skoda’s Superb is a brave choice of name, but it’s gone down well over the years and the new one looks, well, yes, ‘superb’.

T

Image of Toyota Mirai at Geneva 2015

The hydrogen-powered Mirai dominated Toyota’s stand.

This is a family car that runs on electricity generated by a hydrogen fuel cell, with a range of 300 miles or so and the ability to refuel in just three minutes. Assuming you can find a hydrogen station, of course.

V

Image of Volkswagen Passat at Geneva 2015

Volkswagen shared the news that its Passat has won the European Car of the Year award, but most space was given to the Alltrack variant, a new and rugged version that will cope with minor off-road terrain. The plug-in hybrid version was also centre stage, making it a bit of a Passat love-in.

V

Image of Volvo XC90 at Geneva 2015

Right at the end of the motoring alphabet is Volvo, which fittingly brought along the best car at the show. Not necessarily the fastest, cheapest, most luxurious or frugal, just the best overall. That’s the new XC90, a large SUV that combines space, style and quality like nothing before it.