Geneva 2016

It was hybrids, hatchbacks and hypercars all around at Geneva 2016, but Octane-flavoured gold was there too. Here’s our pick of the best…

Porsche 911R

Porsche 911R
Porsche made a few pre-RS lightweights in 1967, setting the tone for race-flavoured, less-is-more 911s for every generation since. Now there’s a new 911R, the most instantly covetable of all this year’s Geneva debutantes. This pared-down machine eschews the turbos now entrenched in the mainstream 911 range, instead using the GT3 RS’s normally aspirated, 4.0-litre, 493bhp flat-six mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It keeps the GT3’s rear-wheel steering but lacks that car’s aerodynamic aids, relying instead on the regular 911’s retractable rear spoiler. Wheels are narrower than the GT3’s and the whole car has weight-saving measures to suit the R badge. These include some carbonfibre outer panels and a magnesium roof. This could be the most enjoyable and involving 911 in years, but only 991 examples will be made.


Abarth 124 Spider
Some dub the Italian incarnation of the Mazda MX-5 the ‘Fiata’ but the Abarth version, with 170bhp turbo 1.4, looks the full-on sports car. Better yet is the 300bhp Abarth 124 Rally, a ready-built entrant for the FIA’s R-GT championship. Abarth’s stand featured an original 1970s 124 rally car too. 2017 Fiat 124 Spider.


Morgan EV3
Electric power comes to the re-make of one of Britain’s oldest design ideas, the three-wheeler Morgan. Its rear-mounted motor’s 75bhp allows a 100mph top speed or a claimed 150-mile range from the battery pack, though probably not both together. Sales start in the summer.

Super leggera Touring Disco Volante-2016

Super leggera Touring Disco Volante
Best-looking car of the show? This sharp-edged vision in blue is the reconstituted styling house Touring’s take on Alfa Romeo’s 1952 Disco Volante. We’ve already seen the coupe version of this Alfa 8C-based creation, but this spider better evokes the original – and we’ve driven it!

DS E-Tense-2016

DS E-Tense
A new brand needs new brand values, and the carbonfibre-bodied, electric-powered DS E-Tense gave a taste of what might be coming. A 3D-printed mesh front grille and dashboard top, steerable LED lights and hand-painted leather feature in what, we must remember, is absolutely not a Citroen.

Aston Martin DB11-2016

Aston Martin DB11
At last, Aston Martin edges away from its look of the past decade with new roof strakes and open-ended wing vents to signal an efficient twin-turbo V12. It’s still obviously an Aston Martin, but the future starts here. For full details of Aston’s new star, see the latest issue of Vantage magazine.


Bugatti Chiron
The world doesn’t need a 1479bhp, 261mph hypercar with an 8.0-litre W16 engine and four turbochargers, but the Bugatti Chiron will at least make Veyron owners feel inadequate. Five hundred examples will find affluent buyers at £1.9m each. What they will do with their new toys is uncertain.