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-Geneva-2016

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-ev3-2016

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-2016

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.