Geneva Motor Show brimming with star power

By Liz Dobson

The Huracan is seriously fast but I still saw the funny side at Geneva, Liz Dobson writes

Lamborghini's Gallardo replacement - the Huracan - at Geneva
Lamborghini's Gallardo replacement - the Huracan - at Geneva

Lamborghini Huracan
The Geneva International Motor Show's first major presentation of the day started with an earth, wind and well-not-quite fire theme. Lamborghini decided to introduce its new sports car with a James Bond-style video of our hero trying to outdrive a - you guessed it - hurricane. But the name of the 5.2-litre, V10 lightweight coupe is not an incorrect spelling of a powerful wind but instead is named after a bullfighter. The company has already had more than 1000 orders worldwide for the four-wheel drive car that I'm afraid, with its double V-shaped front headlights and rounded front bonnet, resembled one of the characters from the Angry Birds app.

Porsche

Actor and racing driver Patrick Dempsey with the new Porsche 911 RSR at Geneva
Actor and racing driver Patrick Dempsey with the new Porsche 911 RSR at Geneva

For Porsche it wasn't about the introduction of a new road car, instead the German company was all about the racetrack. For me, it was all about the drivers who were on stage at the presentation - Grey's Anatomy actor Patrick Dempsey, who will drive the new Porsche 911 RSR at Daytona, and Aussie Mark Webber, who has moved from Formula 1 to endurance racing in the Porsche 919 hybrid this season.

Lots of expectations for the racing season, blah, blah - but more importantly Dempsey touched my shoulder. Come on people, McDreamy!

Audi TT
Since its international debut in 1995, the Audi TT sports coupe has played an important part of the German brand, giving customers a striking and responsive vehicle. The third generation coupe is 50kg lighter than its predecessor and its matrix LED headlights and longer wheelbase, but shorter overhang, continues the stylish look of the car. Audi introduced the all-new TT, TTS (pictured) and the Audi TT quattro sport concept at the show.

Skoda VisionC

For once the motoring writer (pictured above) is actually ogling the car, not the pretty models demonstrating the cars - and it's no surprise. Skoda was the talk of the show for proving that it may be a smaller player for the Audi AG family but the Czech brand is leading the way when it comes to design. The VisionC is the "starting point and design milestone for our model offensive" the company's boss Winfried Vahland told the Geneva Motor Show. The five-door coupe has sharp lines, stunning elements, such as the front lights, and is a sure-fire hit for the company - though not in that shade of green.

Renault Twingo

New look Renault Twingo at Geneva
New look Renault Twingo at Geneva

Winner of "too cute" award at the show is the city compact Renault Twingo. This latest version of the runabout is based on the Renault 5 but is "a modern take on the city car" said the French brand's head of design, Laurens van den Acker. It was also an attention seeker at the show because it has its 898cc engine in the rear boot space, allowing more room inside the 3.59m long car as the "nose" of the car is very short. Its playful design, five-doors and fun colours will appeal to younger buyers. And as Renault is relaunching in New Zealand, the Twingo would certainly attract buyers to the French brand.

Ferrari California T

Ferrari California T at Geneva Motor Show 2014
Ferrari California T at Geneva Motor Show 2014

The winner of the car most sought after for "selfies" was Ferrari's new California T. The red (I know, shocker) sports car had journalists at the motor show queuing to have their photos taken in it, so Facebook had better prepare for an influx of photos from Geneva. It has a new turbo-charged V8 engine that hits 100km/h in 3.6 seconds and the look of it harks back to the iconic Ferrari models such as the 1984 GTO and 1987 F40. It's also a two-plus seater - though technically you'd have to be a really short motoring writer to fit in the back for your selfie, especially after witnessing a medium-sized American writer try out the back seat.

Rolls Royce Spirit Series 2

Rolls Royce Spirit glistens at Geneva
Rolls Royce Spirit glistens at Geneva

The "girl power" award at the show goes to a brand that you'd normally associate with being motor of choice for extremely rich older men - Rolls Royce. As the bespoke brand had the world premier of its Ghost Series II, it decided to follow up its claim that younger, wealthy businesspeople were buying the British-made cars. In the video presentation at the show, it had your "typical" buyer, an older man, being chauffeured along a desert road before - gasp, horror - it's overtaken by a Ghost II being driven by its owner, a young woman. Mr Rich Businessman's driver tries to overtake Ms Girl Power but she roars ahead. I'm hoping that Rolls Royce will let me try this at home.

- NZ Herald

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