The Geneva motor show is one of the biggest events in the automotive calendar. True, there are multiple other motor shows throughout the year, but because Geneva is neutral territory, all the car makers take it seriously – and many of the cars on display will be heading to UK showrooms.
This year, the big focus is on SUVs and electric cars, or in some cases a combination of the two. In fact, there are two all-new electric SUVs at the show: the Audi E-tron and Jaguar I-Pace. Other new models heading to Geneva include an all-new Mercedes A-Class family hatch, Lexus’ take on the Jaguar E-Paceand Seat’s hot version of the Ateca.Over the next few pages we’ve got all the star cars you need to know about.
Audi’s crucial rival to the BMW 5 Series is back, and this time it’s packing the same self-driving technology as the larger A8.
That semi-autonomous software allows the A6 to accelerate, brake, steer and even change lanes by itself in certain situations, but the technology still has to be made legal to use by the government.
While the car’s exterior styling is relatively mild, inside there are bigger changes. The new A6 borrows the A8’s tri-screen setup, ditching conventional dials in favour of a 12.3in digital instrument cluster, plus two 8.6in screens for infotainment and climate controls.
The A6’s engines will all be mild hybrids to start with, but there’s talk of a plug-in hybrid version and even a performance-oriented RS6 coming soon.
Audi’s first electric SUV will cost around £60,000 when it goes on sale later this year. Envisioned as a rival to Tesla’s Model X and the upcoming Jaguar I-Pace, the E-tron was originally shown in concept form in 2016.
Power for the E-tron comes from three electric motors, with two driving the rear wheels and one supplying power to the front. The car’s claimed range is 311 miles.
Audi is targetting performance, too, with the original E-tron quattro concept car able to cover the 0-62mph sprint in an impressive 4.5 seconds.
Bentley Bentayga PHEV
We’re big fans of Bentley’s Bentayga – in fact, we think it’s the best luxury SUV you can buy if your budget extends to beyond £100,000.
While you can already buy the Bentayga with powerful W12 petrol and V8 diesel engines, Bentley is adding an electrified version of the car to its range in Geneva. The Bentayga plug-in hybrid is expected to feature a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine mated to an electric motor, which together will produce more than 410bhp.
Of more benefit to potential buyers, though, will be the ability to drive on electric power alone for short distances – although Bentley hasn’t revealed how far this will be.
The Bentayga will be the first plug-in hybrid to come from the luxury marque, but Bentley bosses have already confirmed that all of the brand’s models will gain plug-in hybrid variants in the future.
With the new BMW X3 now on sale, attentions have turned to its coupé-like sibling, the X4.
BMW’s rival for the Mercedes GLC Coupé is stronger and lighter than the car it replaces, with engines borrowed directly from the X3. Inside, there’s the latest version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, as well as different trim items depending on whether you go for an xLine, M Sport or M Sport X model.
Interestingly, BMW officials have hinted than an all-electric X4 could also be made, but don’t expect that to arrive until later in the car’s life.
Citroën Berlingo Multispace
Citroën’s van-based MPV will reach the UK this winter, and will be sold in both standard and extended-wheelbase forms. Buyers will be able to choose from two 1.2-litre petrol engines as well as four 1.5-litre diesels.
Inside, there’s more space for people and luggage than the old car, as well as a wider range of driver assistance systems. Despite that, though, the car’s price is expected to remain low, at around £17,500.
The Berlingo Multispace is part of a three-way joint venture project with Vauxhall and Peugeot, so while Citroën is showcasing its own efforts, its partner brands are showcasing the Combo Life and Rifter MPVs respectively.
Ford’s cheapest model is getting a refresh and a new addition, the Ka+ Active. With a raised ride height, roof rails and tougher-looking bumpers, the Active is designed to appeal to buyers who want the go-anywhere looks of an off-roader, without the associated running costs.
Other versions of the Ka+ have also been updated with a new front grille, standard front fog lights and new daylight running lights. A new 1.2-litre petrol engine with 10% more torque at low revs features in both 69bhp and 89bhp forms.
Ford’s large SUV competes with rivals including the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, and this facelifted version is due to go on sale in the UK in 2019.
The latest Edge is already on sale in the US, and receives mild styling tweaks including more aggressive headlights and a larger grille. Engines will be carried over from the current Edge, meaning our preferred option is likely to remain the 2.0-litre TDCi 210 diesel.
Among the upgrades offered on the Edge is a new evasive steering system which helps the car to steer around potential obstacles. There’s also adaptive cruise control and post-collision braking available for the first time.
Honda Urban EV
This stylish electric city car has been shown previously, but Honda has now confirmed that it will go on sale in Europe in 2019 with only minimal styling changes.
No technical information has been revealed, but Honda UK boss Dave Hodgetts has admitted that it will not be a cheap car, despite its small size.
This new version of Honda’s Ford Kuga and Toyota RAV4 rival will go on sale in the autumn, and is being offered in seven-seat form for the first time.
As well as its refreshed exterior, the new CR-V features a 7.0in digital instrument cluster and a separate 7.0in infotainment screen. Without specifying how much more luggage you can get into its boot, Honda has said the boot space is wider, deeper and has a longer loading area than its predecessor.
Engine options include a new hybrid, which combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine with two electric motors, and a 1.5-litre petrol. No diesels have been announced so far. Both engine options can be specified with four-wheel drive.
Hyundai Kona Electric
We’ve found plenty to like about Hyundai’s small SUV, but in Geneva the company is showing an electric version of the Kona – and it’s expected to go on sale in the UK this summer.
Two different battery sizes will be offered, with the most expensive option giving you a range of up to 292 miles from its 201bhp electric motor. That’s farther than both the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf.
The entry-level version of the Kona EV has a 133bhp electric motor, but can still travel 186 miles. Charging to 80% of capacity takes 54 minutes using a fast charger, or just shy of 10 hours for the larger battery when using a household charger.
Other new features include a 7.0in digital instrument cluster, a head-up display which puts the most relevant information directly in front of drivers, and a 332-litre boot – which is less than the regular Kona but should still offer enough storage space for most buyers.
Being one of the few all-electric small SUVs on sale will also broaden the Kona’s appeal.
Hyundai Santa Fe
The new Hyundai Santa Fe has a more aggressive, angular design than the current car, and will take on large SUV rivals including the Kia Sorento and Peugeot 5008.
Among the new features of the Santa Fe is a system which warns the driver if there’s someone in the rear seats when they leave the car, as well as automatic emergency braking.
No technical details have been revealed yet, but in the current Santa Fe the sole engine option is a 2.2-litre diesel.
Jaguar’s first all-electric car will be a family SUV, and it should cost from around £50,000 when sales begin this summer.
There’s been a lot of hype around this car – What Car? readers voted it as the most anticipated new car of 2018 at our most recent Car of the Year Awards – and Jaguar says it’s already taken more than 350 deposits, despite the car’s final design not yet being shown.
Power comes from two electric motors – one on either axle, giving the car four-wheel drive – with a claimed range of more than 310 miles on a single charge. Inside, we’re expecting to see the same dual-screen infotainment setup which is already in use in the Range Rover Velar.
Kia’s Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra rival was previewed by the Proceed concept car last year, but that models’ looks have been toned down significantly for production. The new Ceed is lower and wider than the car it replaces, and features new standard LED lights at the front and rear.
A new free-standing infotainment screen features inside, while there’s also a larger boot. Engines include a new 1.4-litre petrol and a single 1.6-litre diesel.
Kia’s Ford Mondeo rival gets a new 134bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine as part of this mid-life facelift, plus the option of a new 178bhp 1.6-litre petrol.
Other features include a drive mode selector – which lets users switch between eco, comfort, sport and smart modes – configurable ambient lighting, a new steering wheel and more personalisation options.
Kia’s sporty Optima GT Line and GT models additional get new alloy wheel designs, dual exhausts and LED fog lights.
New safety equipment includes a driver attention monitor, plus a new surround-view camera system. The facelifted Optima is due to go on sale in the UK in the autumn.
Lagonda Vision Concept
Aston Martin is planning to turn its Lagonda sub-brand into a high-tech electric alternative to Bentleyand Rolls-Royce.
It will do this with the help of an as yet unnamed technology company based in Silicon Valley, with rumours suggesting this could be Apple.
At least two production models will apparently be available to buy by 2021, with the Lagonda Vision Concept on display in Geneva showcasing Aston Martin’s current thinking.
Lexus first showcased its ambition to build a new small SUV with the UX concept car back in 2016, but in Geneva the production version of this Jaguar E-Pace rival (above) is getting its public debut.
No mechanical details have been revealed so far, but given Lexus’ experience with hybrids, we’d expect the production-ready UX to feature an electrified powertrain.
The next generation of Mercedes’ family hatchback will go on sale in June, with a price tag of around £24,000.
Billed as the most technically advanced and luxurious A-Class ever, Mercedes’ BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 rival features a plush new interior featuring the same widescreen infotainment system which is already offered in the E and S-Class.
There’s also more rear legroom and a larger boot inside, while buyers are able to choose from a new generation of petrol and diesel engines.
UK buyers can choose from SE, Sport and AMG Line models, with the latter expected to account for almost half of all sales.
Mercedes-AMG GT four-door
This four-door version of the Mercedes-AMG GT sports car is due to go on sale in the UK in September, acting as a rival to the Porsche Panamera.
As well as a range of powerful petrol and diesel engines, buyers will also be able to choose from a range of electrified models – badged under Mercedes’ new EQ sub-brand. A range-topping GT R version could have more than 800bhp available from its V8 engine.
The third Mercedes model in Geneva is a lightly facelifted version of the C-Class.
The BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 rival receives re-worked front and rear bumpers designed to give it a more assertive look, as well as new turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines. A number of hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants are planned, too.
Inside, we’re expecting to see a larger infotainment screen, plus the option of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring for the first time.
Peugeot’s new Ford Mondeo rival features bold styling inspired by the 3008 and 5008 SUVs. A range of petrol and diesel engines will be offered, with the mid-range 1.5-litre diesel likely to be the biggest seller in the UK. A plug-in hybrid version is also on the cards, although that won’t go on sale until 2019 at the earliest.
Inside, there’s Peugeot’s now-familiar i-Cockpit design, which we’ve praised before in the 3008. Prices are due to start at around £26,000.
Geneva marks the first time we’re seeing the Polestar 1 in the metal. This is Polestar’s first solo car, with the company now having been split from Volvo.
The Polestar 1 is a four-seat grand coupé which is powered by a pair of electric motors. Together, those motors produce 215bhp, but they’re also supported by a 2.0-litre petrol engine, giving the car a combined output of 592bhp. Polestar says the 1 can travel for up to 93 miles on electric power alone.
Inside, the Polestar 1 is almost identical to the S90 and V90. It will be sold on a subscription basis to customers, but if it were to be sold outright would carry a price tag of around £116,000.
Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo
Porsche has used the 2018 Geneva show to reveal a fully electric estate which will apprently go on sale ‘very soon’.
Called the Mission E Cross Turismo, it’s based on next year’s Mission E four-door coupé, which will be Porsche’s first electric car, and is said to mirror that car’s range of 310 miles.
The E Cross Turismo can also accelerate from 0-62mph in 3.5sec and has a top speed of 155mph.
On the outside it features SUV styling cues, while the concept also has a drone in the boot so you can scout any terrain you’re planning to explore.
Range Rover SV Coupé
Land Rover is celebrating its 70th birthday with a new two-door version of the Range Rover, of which only 999 examples will be made.
Previewed as far back as 2004 with the two-door Range Stormer concept car, the new coupé will be built by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division.
Power comes from the same 557bhp 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine that’s offered in the Range Rover Sport SVAutobiography, while the price is an eye-watering £240,000.
The Renault Zoe is one of our favourite electric cars, but the introduction of performance-oriented electric hatchbacks such as BMW’s i3s has shown there’s an appetite for faster models too.
The Zoe R110, which will replace the current R90 in Renault’s range, comes with a 107bhp electric motor. It will be offered in both Dynamic Nav and Signature Nav trims (missing out the entry-level Expression) and is expected to be the most expensive Zoe offered. It will, though, still be eligable for the government’s £4500 electric vehicle grant.
Seat Cupra Ateca
We’re big fans of the Seat Ateca and those buyers seeking hot hatchback levels of performance will find plenty to like about this Cupra version, which comes with 296bhp from its 2.0-litre petrol engine. It also gets four-wheel drive as standard. A seven-speed automatic gearbox is standard, with no plans for a manual version.
Other changes include lowered suspension and standard adaptive dampers. The Ateca Cupra can cover the 0-62mph sprint in 5.4 seconds. No prices have been revealed yet, but expect it to cost substantially more than the standard Ateca.
Interestingly, Seat recently confirmed that it was splitting off Cupra into its own performance sub-brand, much as Mercedes-Benz has done with its Mercedes-AMG models. Therefore, the Ateca Cupra doesn’t carry a Seat badge at all.
The Fabia is one of our favourite small cars, but with the latest car having been on sale since 2014 it’s time for an upgrade.
Among the facelifted Fabia’s highlights are mild tweaks to its front and rear bumpers, new LED headlights and more personalisation options. There are also changes to the Fabia’s engine line-up, which will consist solely of 1.0-litre petrols.
Skoda is promising new clever features in this updated car, with an ice scraper now integrated into the fuel filler cap, and USB ports offered for rear passengers. There’s also a portable torch in the boot. New safety systems include rear cross traffic alert and a blind spot monitor.
The updated Fabia will be in showrooms in the second half of this year.
Skoda Vision X
The Skoda Yeti was killed off last year to be replaced by the altogether posher Karoq, which leaves a hole in Skoda’s SUV line-up for a smaller model. The Vision X concept previews just such a car, and it’s based on the same underpinnings as the Seat Arona and Volkswagen T-Roc.
Some elements of the concept’s interior are likely to make production, such as its touchscreen infotainment system, but the Vision X’s four-seat interior is likely to be replaced by a conventional five-seat arrangement for production.
A range of turbocharged petrol engines should form the backbone of the Vision X’s engine line-up, but the concept showcases a new Compressed Natural Gas powertrain which features a 1.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors, which can be used to offer four-wheel drive when needed. Skoda says the Vision X can reach 62mph in 9.3 seconds and emits 89g/km of CO2.
Look closely at the all-electric e-SIV concept car and you’ll see Ssangyong’s answer to the Nissan Qashqai, the Korando.
The Korando is due to be replaced soon, and the e-SIV shows how the SUV will look when it enters production before 2020. Power comes from a 185bhp electric motor, giving a claimed driving range of 279 miles.
Inside, we’re expecting to see a new infotainment system, likely incorporating voice and gesture controls.
Toyota’s funky city car has been updated for 2018, and will go on sale in the summer as a rival to the Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto. Its 1.0-litre petrol engine now produces more power, at 71bhp, meaning it’s slightly quicker to 62mph.
There are also small improvements to fuel economy, which is now a claimed 72.4mpg. At the same time, the car’s CO2 emissions have fallen to 95g/km. Toyota says it has also tweaked the Aygo’s steering and suspension settings to make it feel more agile and enjoyable to drive on UK roads.
New interior trim and personalisation options have been promised, including a wider choice of interior and exterior colours and new alloy wheel designs.
This new Auris is a crucial car for Toyota, and will do battle with family cars such as the Skoda Octaviaand Volkswagen Golf.
The only conventional engine is a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol with 114bhp. But there are also two hybrid options: one using the 121bhp 1.8-litre powertrain currently found in the C-HR and Prius, and another with a new 178bhp 2.0-litre engine.
The new Auris will be built at Toyota’s Burnaston factory in Derbyshire.
Look past the fact that this is a racing car concept, and you’ll see Toyota’s intentions to bring back its iconic Supra badge for a new sports car.
The new Supra is being co-developed alongside the upcoming BMW Z4, which is also due to go on sale later this year. Interestingly, the Supra will be sold under Toyota’s Gazoo performance sub-brand, in the same way that Mercedes sells its hottest models under Mercedes-AMG.
Although the final details have yet to be confirmed, we’re expecting the Supra to feature a turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol engine developing around 340bhp. An eight-speed automatic gearbox will send power to the rear wheels.
Volkswagen ID Vizzion
The Vizzion is the latest model to come from VW’s range of futuristic ‘ID’ concept cars. We’ve seen how Volkswagen sees the future of the hatchback, SUV and even the van, but this is the first time we’ve seen the brand’s vision of a futuristic saloon.
As we’ve come to expect, the concept is both electric and autonomous. Its electric motors produce 29bhp and offer a claimed driving range of 413 miles.
Inside there are no driver controls, just four seats and a ‘host’ infotainment system controlled by voice and gestures.
Volvo is on something of a roll at the moment, and we’ve just named its XC40 family SUV as our Car of the Year for 2018. Now the brand has finished renewing its SUV range, though, attentions turn to the ageing V60 estate.
The executive estate sports a similar design to Volvo’s S90 and V90 models, and will be offered with the usual range of petrol and diesel engines as well as a plug-in hybrid. The V60’s trim levels will mirror other Volvo models, too, with Momentum cars acting as the entry-level choice.
As with other Volvo models, safety is a big priority on the V60 – the XC60 SUV is currently the safest car ever tested by Euro NCAP.