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BBC Autos

Previewing the 2014 Geneva motor show

  • A moveable feast

    Whether at Detroit, Delhi, Chicago or Toronto, the 2014 motor show season has served up its share of delectable designs. Call it all a prelude, however, to the Geneva motor show, the industry’s traditional platform for flexing its most outré styling instincts. Geneva is where tiny hypercar companies trot out their latest unobtanium, boutique design consultancies drum up commissions and major carmakers try to prove they’re not lumbering leviathans, but rather hotbeds of imagination. Herewith, a catalogue of some of the metal making its way to Geneva, where press previews take place on 3 and 4 March. (Photo: Koenigsegg)

  • Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430

    Why it’s important: In a strict sense, it’s not. A V8 Vantage S further optimised for track use, available with an array of custom adornments, will appeal to the marque’s fervent fans and a few contrarian outliers – one and the same buyer, really. (Photo: Aston Martin)

  • Audi S1 and S1 Sportback

    Why it’s important: A bona fide giant-killer, Audi’s tiny S1 packs a 2-litre, 228-horsepower turbocharged engine, matched to a standard six-speed manual transmission and, naturally, Quattro all-wheel-drive. The company claims the three-door S1 will run from zero to 62mph in 5.8 seconds; the five-door S1 Sportback (pictured) will make the trip in 5.9 seconds. Top speed for both is an electronically limited 155mph. (Photo: Audi, via Newspress)

  • Audi TT

    Why it’s important: Audi’s official renderings suggest a third-generation TT that, in terms of style, is not far removed from the current car. And that’s no bad thing. That said, expect the coupe (and, later, roadster) to be lighter, nimbler and quicker than the current car, thanks to an entirely new platform and aluminium-intensive underpinnings. (Photo: Audi of America)

  • BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

    Why it’s important: The new 2 Series Active Tourer is the first front-wheel-drive car in BMW's long history, and it will not be the last. Aimed squarely at Mercedes' successful B-Class people-mover, Munich's MPV places a transversely mounted engine beneath a short, steeply sloped hood. And though the purists may decry front-wheel drive in a BMW, the 2 Series Active Tourer should not be written off. It shares its high-strength steel platform with the very nimble third-generation Mini hatchback, after all. (Photo: BMW Group, via Newspress)

  • BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

    Why it’s important: Setting aside the dissonance of a four-door Bimmer wearing a "4" – given the brand’s recent and expensive rebranding effort, whereby even numbers are reserved for two-door models – the new 4 Series Gran Coupe may well be the most beautifully proportioned car in the BMW line. (Photo: BMW Group)

  • Citroën C4 Cactus Aventure concept

    Why it’s important: With paint barely dry on the production version of Citroën's innovative C4 Cactus concept, the French automaker reveals the Aventure, a styling exercise intended to demonstrate the clever crossover's potential as a serious off-roader. The concept features more ground clearance and knobby BFGoodrich tires within flared wheel arches. Up top, there's a colour-coordinated storage box with integrated driving lights and a 360-degree array of GoPro cameras to capture the action. (Photo: PSA Peugeot-Citroën)

  • Ferrari California T

    Why it’s important: The revised hard-top convertible bears the first series-production turbocharged engine from Ferrari since the vaunted F40 supercar of the late 1980s, and it’s a screamer: a twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 producing 553 horsepower and 557 pound-feet of torque. (Photo: Ferrari North America)

  • Fiat Panda Cross

    Why it’s important: This mini-mudder is set to join the somewhat subtler Panda 4x4 in (ex-US) Fiat showrooms this fall. Beyond its action-hero looks, bigger tires and boosted ride height, the Panda Cross features an on-demand all-wheel-drive system with Land Rover-style selectable assistance modes, along with Hill Descent Control. (Photo: Fiat Group)

  • Honda Civic Type R Concept

    Why it’s important: Japanese- and European-market Civics have always worn more radical clothing than their North American equivalents, and this lightly veiled concept is no exception, with a massive fixed wing and gaping ductwork. Subtlety, thy name is not Type R. (Photo: Honda Motor)

  • Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge

    Why it’s important: Though this high-performance version of the Q50 luxury sport sedan was shown at the 2014 Detroit auto show, Geneva will be the coming-out party for its powertrain. Infiniti has staked much on its nascent Eau Rouge line – the name referencing a notoriously difficult corner at the Spa-Francorchamps Formula 1 circuit in Belgium – which it expects to go toe to toe with the established AMG (Mercedes-Benz) M (BMW) and RS (Audi) performance lines. (Photo: Infiniti)

  • Koenigsegg One:1

    Why it’s important: The Swedish carmaker's followup to the fearsome Agera hypercar arrives with a very impressive promise: a 1,340kg curb weight and 1,340hp to move it. That's right: one horsepower per kilogram, hence the name. It's a ratio that promises world-beating (or, more to the point, Bugatti-beating) performance. (Photo: Koenigsegg)

  • Lamborghini Huracán

    Why it’s important: The latest raging bull from Sant’Agata must fill the long shadow cast by its predecessor, the Gallardo – Lamborghini’s most popular model in its 50-year history, with 14,000 units sold. (Photo: Automobili Lamborghini)

  • Range Rover Evoque Autobiography Dynamic

    Why it’s important: Following the lead of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, Land Rover's stylish Evoque now offers the Autobiography treatment, complete with fine embroidered hides and a plethora of top-drawer amenities and shiny bits. But the Evoque Autobiography Dynamic augments show and go in equal measure. Horsepower from the its 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine is up by 41, to an impressive 281. (Photo: Jaguar Land Rover)

  • Lexus NX

    Why it’s important: A flamboyantly styled performance crossover may be the last thing expected from Toyota’s luxury subsidiary, but such a vehicle could very well woo target customers of the new Porsche Macan, which looks little different from its bigger sibling, the Cayenne. (Photo of LF-NX Concept: Toyota Motor Sales)

  • McLaren 650S

    Why it’s important: The 650S bridges the performance gap – and likely, the price gap as well – between the $250,000 12C and unobtainable P1 hypercar, lifting styling and technology from both models in the process. Pricing and availability are expected to be announced at McLaren’s Geneva press conference. (Photo: McLaren Automotive)

  • Mercedes-Benz V-Class

    Why it’s important: If ever there was a van that had the means to change the popular perception of vans (dowdy, austere, utilitarian), it is Mercedes' new V-Class. Unveiled back in January, this VIP-hauler makes its public debut in Geneva before rolling into European showrooms shortly thereafter. Unlike the straitlaced Viano it replaces, the V-Class is closely attuned to Mercedes' passenger cars in terms of style, material quality and amenities. It is grand enough, in fact, that Mercedes is reportedly considering a version of the V-Class for the luxury-mad US market. (Photo: Daimler)

  • Opel/Vauxhall Adam Rocks

    Why it’s important: The production version of last year’s concept car of the same name, this rugged alter-ego of Opel/Vauxhall’s cheeky mini-hatch is the first car to make use of General Motors’ turbocharged 1-litre three-cylinder gasoline engine. Though it may be tempting to snicker at the notion of an urban runabout with off-road ambitions, don't. While it is doubtless true that GM’s little Rocks won’t be doing any actual rock-hopping, the car's bigger wheels and tires, and its 15mm ride-height boost, should tame the potholes, washboard surfaces and tram tracks of its native environment. (Photo: GM Europe, via Newspress)

  • Qoros 3 Hatchback

    Why it’s important: Having received a five-star crash rating in the Euro-NCAP battery of tests, the Qoros 3 Sedan has demonstrated this Chinese carmaker’s worthiness of a broader market. Sedan and Hatchback are expected on European soil by 2015. (Photo: Qoros Automotive)

  • Renault Twingo

    Why it’s important: While BMW goes front-wheel drive with the 2 Series Active Tourer, Renault goes rear-wheel drive with the new Twingo supermini. The diminutive five-passenger, four-door hatchback comes to market with most of the style of last year's wicked Twin'Run concept intact. The urban runabout, which places the engine behind the rear seats, uses an entirely new platform that will underpin the next Smart ForTwo and ForFour models. Performance versions of the Twingo — likely topped by a Gordini-badged model — are forthcoming. (Photo: Renault)

  • Rinspeed XchangE concept

    Why it’s important: Based on the Tesla Model S, the latest flight of fancy from Swiss tuner Rinspeed is the sort of autonomous car that adorned the covers of Popular Science magazine in the 1950s. The interior of the XchangE is radically reconfigurable, allowing occupants to slide the steering wheel out of the way, stretch out, kick back and even sit facing backwards — letting the car do the driving. (Photo: Rinspeed)

  • Volkswagen Scirocco

    Why it’s important: Just in time for the Scirocco's 40th birthday, Volkswagen gives the current iteration of its well-loved coupe a much-needed freshening. Beneath the subtly revised exterior, the Scirocco receives more upscale interior fitments and a range of upgraded four-cylinder engines, including, in the top-drawer R model, a turbocharged 2-litre gasoline unit producing a very ample 276 horsepower. (Photo: Volkswagen Group)