Geneva Motor Show 2013: Shocks and surprises guaranteed at car show with an international feel

Geneva is renowned for its left field exhibits, whether they are amphibious cars that could drive on the famous lake near the exhibition halls, or electric cars that seem to have been made by one man in a shed.

Held every year, Geneva is the motor show car executives like the most, perhaps because they can slope off to the ski chalets after the media day shenanigans. But you can guarantee shocks and surprises.

Switzerland hasn’t got a car industry; making money from money is far easier and cleaner, and that seems to make people more relaxed as the French or Germans cannot dominate proceedings.

Geneva is renowned for its left field exhibits, whether they are amphibious cars that could drive on the famous lake near the exhibition halls, or electric cars that seem to have been made by one man in a shed.

This year the curious will head for the Qoros stand to size up the company’s first production model, the GQ3 compact saloon and two concept cars.

Qoros is a new international brand formed by Chery Automobile, China's largest independent car manufacturer, and Israel Corporation, a global industry holding company.   

The GQ3 shows Germanic styling influences and a coupé-like shape. Though working with companies like Bosch, Continental, Magna Steyr and Microsoft, there are not any details yet of engines.

"Modular vehicle platform technology allows us to create new vehicle concepts quickly," says Vice Chairman of Qoros Auto, Volker Steinwascher.

<p>The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will make its world premiere at Geneva (Russell Bray).</p>

"The Qoros GQ3 is the first of many models that will be based on this platform."

Top of the supercar, or should it be 'hypercar' food chain will be Ferrari’s much anticipated replacement for the Enzo, codenamed F150.

It won’t get that name, because it’s also the name of Ford’s best-selling pick-up truck in the US.

A V12 engine isn’t enough these days, so the new Ferrari will have an electrical kinetic energy recovery system to boost performance and bragging rights.

With an expected 850bhp available and fat wallets in close attendance it’s not surprising that McLaren, in an attempt to avoid being upstaged, will also show the latest development of its P1 hyper model too.

Geneva is well-known in the motoring industry for its left-field exhibits

Bentley is expected to reveal its latest thinking for a luxury off-roader – and it could even use a diesel engine – while Rolls-Royce will take the wraps off its new Wraith which on the basis of teaser pictures will, thankfully, be more elegant than current offerings.

Back in the real world Geneva will be the first chance to see a completely new kind of BMW 3-Series, the Gran Turismo, which seeks to provide more interior space and load area volume with a sporty, coupé silhouette.

Expect the handling abilities of the current saloon, blended with the carrying abilities of the estate Touring models.

At launch there will be three petrol engines and two diesel engines, with a choice of either six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearboxes. Prices start at £28,830.

Renault says its first urban crossover, the Clio-based Captur, combines the best of three worlds, mixing the styling and driving position of a sports utility vehicle (SUV) with the driving fun of a compact hatchback and the cabin space of a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

Standard equipment includes hands-free entry, hill start assist and rear parking sensors.

Also available will be the new Renault R-Link touch screen multimedia tablet, plus six loudspeakers, Bluetooth connectivity, audio-streaming and Arkamys hi-fi.

The 2013 Geneva Motor Show kicks off on March 7

Confirmed for the show is a convertible version of Chevrolet’s new Corvette Stingray.

Likely power is a 6.2-litre V8 with around 450bhp and a seven-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox.

As a fan of the ‘Vette, it’s irritating there are no plans for official UK imports or right-hand drive.

Concept cars are often flights of fantasy with wheels that couldn’t move in the wheel arches and engines or exhaust systems that don’t work.

Citroen’s Technospace is an exception, and gives a clear indication of what the new C4 Picasso will look like. A 99g/km version will excuse it UK road tax at current limits.

The real car is due to be unveiled late April and go on sale in the UK around May.

<p>Chevrolet have confirmed that the 2014 Chevy Corvette Convertible will make its debut at Geneva next month (Russell …

The 2013 Geneva Motor Show is open to the public from March 7-17.  Adult admission is 16 Swiss Francs (about £11). Show organisers claim that among the 900 vehicles on display, more than 100 are new models.

Last year the show attracted 702,014 visitors, down 33,000 on 2011. 

The record attendance was 747,700 in 2005. It’s a good figure but more human delights of Paris help push its show to 1.2 million.

"Switzerland is one of the few countries without a national motor industry," said exhibition manager Tanja Walther.

"For this reason, the Geneva Motor Show has more of an international character than the four large shows of the manufacturing countries (Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Detroit) which attempt above all to display their national products to the best possible advantage."

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