Despite some major manufacturers not attending, there's still plenty to get excited about
Despite some major manufacturers not attending, there's still plenty to get excited about
On February 28, the organizers of the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show said the event has been cancelled due to the coronavirus, which was detected in Switzerland for the first time earlier this week. The announcement came a couple of hours after the Swiss government announced a ban on all public and private events with more than 1,000 attendees until at least March 15. The motor show organizers say the event cannot be postponed, and so will not take place at all in 2020.
Exhibitors whose show stands were almost complete ahead of the weekend were only told Friday morning, three days before the doors were due to open, and will now have to dismantle their booths and head home.
Interviews and press briefings have been delayed until at least next week in most cases, with some manufacturers opting to delay the launch of new vehicles by a couple of weeks or more. Many of the vehicles highlighted below will launch and go on sale as normal, but without the fanfare of the Geneva show, which was due to mark its 90th instalment next week.
Regarded for decades as the highlight of the automotive calendar, the Geneva International Motor Show takes place in Switzerland next week, opening its doors to the press on March 3.
The 2020 show is set to feature more electric and hybrid cars than ever before, ranging from tiny city runabouts like the Fiat 500e, to multi-million-dollar plug-in hypercars like the 3D-printed Czinger 21C.
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Despite there still being plenty to get excited about, several major manufacturers have opted not to attend the 2020 show. These include Jaguar, Land Rover, Citroen, Peugeot, Lamborghini and Vauxhall.
To be clear, no manufacturer has pulled out due to fears over coronavirus, which was the reason for the eventual cancellation of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, due to have taken place just a week before the motor show. Instead, car manufacturers are increasingly opting to host their own launch events instead of sharing the headlines with everyone else.
But with almost everyone else in attendance, Geneva remains the car show of 2020, and it will be packed to the rafters with new and exciting plug-in cars, along with visions of the autonomous, 5G-connected future.
As always, manufacturers tend to show off their new vehicles ahead of Geneva itself, so here's what we know so far. We'll update this article as more details come to light between now and March 3.
Chinese EV firm Aiways will bring three cars to GenevaAiways
Chinese electric car startup Aiways will have three new cars on its stand at Geneva. The first of these will be an SUV called the U5. With 295 miles of range, this will likely act as a cut-price alternative to more premium electric SUVs from the likes of Audi and Mercedes.
The second car on the Aiways stand couldn't be more different. Called the Gumpert Nathalie, this will be the world's first methanol-electric hypercar, with the promise of almost 800 horsepower, a 0-60mph time of 2.5 seconds, and a top speed of 190mph.
Lastly, Aiways will reveal a new electric concept car called the U6ion, but nothing else is known about this for now.
Apex has teased an electric hypercar called the AP-0Apex
Following on from the AP-1, the new AP-0 is a British electric supercar intended to take on the Lotus Evija. Apex says the car will weigh just 1,200kg - an extraordinary claim given the weight of electric car batteries - and, as has quickly become the norm, the car will have a sub-three-second 0-60mph time.
Street legal but intended mostly for track use, the AP-0 is expected to be a zero-emissions alternative to the likes of the Ariel Atom and KTM X-Bow. All we have so far is a teaser image, above, released by Apex ahead of the car's big reveal on March 3.
BMW Concept i4
Teaser image of the upcoming i4 electric conceptBMW
BMW announced just days ahead of Geneva that it will use the show to reveal a new electric concept called the i4. This car will likely be a mid-size sedan aimed squarely at the Tesla Model 3 Performance, thanks to the BMW having 523 horsepower, and boasting what the company describes as a "dynamic, clean and elegant" design.
The car will be powered by an 80kWh battery pack, have a 0-60mph time of around four seconds, and a range of up to 373 miles, It will also have a maximum charge rate of 150kW, but isn't expected to arrive in dealerships until 2021.
The 21C is designed and 3D-printed in Los Angeles, CaliforniaCzinger
Los Angeles startup Czinger (pronounced with a silent 'c') is bringing its freshly revealed 21C to Geneva. This is a hybrid hypercar which pairs a compact, twin-turbocharged V8 engine with a brace of electric motors. Performance will be outrageous, with a total power output of just over 1,200 horsepower, a weight of just 1,233kg, and a Tesla Roadster-equalling 0-60mph time of 1.9 seconds.
Even more impressive is the Czinger's claimed 0-186mph (300km/h) time of 15 seconds, and the 268mph top speed. What also makes the Czinger stand out is how much of its body and chassis is 3D printed. This so-called additive manufacturing technique could have a drastic effect on how cars are made in the future, as it saves weight and reduces waste.
The car puts its driver in the middle, with a passenger seat directly behind them, fighter jet-style. Prices after personalization will be the far side of $2 million.
A new version of the 2017 500e, pictured, is expected at GenevaFiat
At the other end of the automotive spectrum, Fiat will show off a new electric version of its chic 500 city car. The company used to sell a 500e exclusively in California, but now it has plans to sell the new model more widely. We don't know anything else about the car just yet, but it will likely compete against fellow retro-inspired EVs from Honda and Mini.
Mercedes-AMG GT 73
Although not yet confirmed for a Geneva debut, Mercedes is soon expected to reveal the AMG GT 73, a luxury four-door sedan with an 800 horsepower hybrid V8. Despite the monstrous power output, the car is expected to have at least some green credentials, thanks to the hybrid system and an electric-only range of around 30 miles.
Mercedes CLA and GLA plug-in hybrids
Also on the Mercedes stand will be a pair of plug-in hybrids under its CLA compact saloon and GLA crossover product lines. Compact 1.3-liter engines will be mated to a 101-horsepower hybrid system to produce 215 horsepower and around 35 miles of electric-only range.
The Polestar Precept electric concept carPolestar
Polestar is owned by Geely, the Chinese company which also controls Volvo and Lotus. Seen as a relative of Volvo, Polestar will use Geneva to reveal a new concept car called the Precept. Expected to be powered by the same dual-motor electric drivetrain as the upcoming Polestar 2, the Precept will be a look at the company's future design language.
Polestar has teased some details of the Precept, including an interface with eye-tracking technology, the same Google-powered operating system as the Polestar 2 production car, seat fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles, and body panels made from 'ampliTex', a new material made from woven flax fibers.
The Morphoz is a modular concept car from RenaultRenault
Renault will use the Geneva show to reveal a new concept called the Morphoz. Described as a 'modular vehicle', we know very little about it for now, but it will almost certainly be electric, and some of its styling should eventually filter down to commercially-available Renault cars.
The new electric Renault Twingo ZERenault
Also on the Renault stand we expect to see a new electric version of the French company's compact Twingo city car. Sharing a platform with the Smart EQ ForFour, the new electric Twingo will likely use the same 80-horsepower motor and 17.6kWh battery pack as the Smart. The range is a claimed 143 miles using the WLTP test cycle.
A production version of the Rimac C_Two will get its debut in GenevaRimac
Yet another electric hypercar heading to Geneva is the C_Two by Rimac. We saw this car in prototype form in 2018 and 2019, but for the 2020 show Croatian company Rimac says it will reveal the production-ready version, and announce its new name.
Rampant acceleration and a 250mph-plus top speed are certainties, and so too will be a circa $2 million asking price. What we're most interested in is Rimac's claims that the car will offer Level Four autonomous driving, and use it to help teach owners how to improve their lap times at the race track.
Skoda Octavia vRS hybrid
Back to normality once again, and we have a new hybrid version of Skoda's Octavia vRS sedan and wagon. We're expecting to see a compact 1.4-liter engine work with a motor and battery pack to create around 250 horsepower. There's no word yet on what the car's all-electric range might be.
Skoda Vision iV
Skoda's stand will also feature a production-ready version of the company's Vision iV electric concept. A motor on each axle should see power output of around 300 horsepower, and Skoda says the 83kWh battery pack of the concept is good for 310 miles of range. We hope those figures remain in place for the production-ready version debuting in Geneva.
Toyota Yaris 2020 hybrid
Finally, Toyota is expected to use the Geneva show to announce a new version of its Yaris hatchback, with a hybrid option for the first time. Nothing else is known about this car for now.
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