As the global auto show season continues to chug along, action heads to Switzerland this week for the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. In its 89th year, the officially titled “Geneva International Motor Show” or GIMS, serves as a sort of neutral playground for automakers, as the tiny Alpine nation’s dreams of an auto industry went out with Monteverdi in 1984. Considered one of the world’s Top 5 auto shows, GIMS is a popular event for automakers to reveal new vehicles, technologies, concepts, and equipment. And this year is no exception—here’s a rundown of the highlights.
The 2019 Geneva Motor Show has 150 world and European debuts planned. To no one’s surprise, many of them are showcasing electric or autonomous technology meant to shape the future.
German (Electric) Engineering
Sharing a border with the Deutschland, it’s no surprise that many fine examples of German engineering will be well-represented, with the automakers who skipped out on Detroit saving some big reveals for Geneva.
Audi plans to debut facelifts for the TTS, TT RS Coupé, and TT RS Roadster, but its main showcase will be the fully electric Q4 e-tron compact SUV. The close-to-production concept is a preview of Audi’s new golden goose, set to hit showrooms sometime in late 2020 or early 2021. No word yet on what kind of technology is “under the hood” so to speak, but the 2019 Audi e-tron uses two electric motors mated to a 95 kWh battery, offering roughly 250 miles of range and 402 horsepower.
BMW is set to show off a refreshed 7 series, several new plug-in hybrids, and debut the new 2020 3 Series Touring. Sadly, the handsome sports wagon won’t be making its way to the U.S., as consumers can’t seem to get past their bad break-up with the station wagon of yesteryear. Fans were hoping for the reveal of the first BMW X3 M and X4 M midsize power SUVs, but it looks like Shanghai will be the venue for those.
Mercedes is coming in hot to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The German automaker is bringing a refreshed V-Class, sporting a new diesel option, and is showing off mid-cycle updates of the popular GLC and GLC Coupé as well as the new CLA Shooting Brake. Many are hoping the new 400-hp AMG A45 hot hatch will make its global debut at the show. And a preview model of an all-electric version of its Metris, called the Concept EQV, is generating quite a bit of buzz. Positioned as a premium competitor to the upcoming VW I.D. BUZZ, the EQV is intended for production. No word if it will cross the pond to the states.
As the 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S, aka the 992, landed amid much applause at the LA Auto Show, the 2019 Geneva Motor Show will see the 911 Cabriolet. Although already officially revealed, this will be the first auto show appearance. So those of us will significantly less money in the bank can get an up-close look at how the other half lives.
Remember the humdrum Passat that VW revealed in Detroit? Yea, well, Europe gets one too. Except theirs is way cooler with a sweet wagon option and partial autonomy because America is no longer allowed to have nice things. The automaker also plans to debut a 100% electric dune jumper, as an updated throwback to the vintage, stripped-down beach buggies of the 1960s.
Supercars and Hypercars
While auto shows traditionally throw the spotlight on wacky exotics, the 2019 Geneva Motor Show has some larger-than-life unveilings planned.
British-based Ginetta will launch its teased 600+hp supercar meant to rival Aston Martin, while Italian Pagani Automobili says it’s bringing “a big surprise“—although there’s no word yet on what that might be. Bugatti will, of course, be in attendance, bringing not only its 110th Birthday Chiron, but also a one-off €16 Million hypercar rumored to have been built for Dr. Ferdinand Piëch. And McLaren and Lamborghini plan to bring their new releases, the 720S Spider and Huracan Evo, on sale this spring.
Most interesting perhaps, are the electric resurrections on the supercar circuit. Founded in 1904, Spanish marque Hispano Suiza (defunct since 1968) is celebrating its revival with the launch of an all-new 100% electric supercar manufactured in Barcelona. Besides the teaser image, all we know is that the model will be called “Carmen,” in honor of the company founder’s granddaughter.
Italian design firm Pininfarina has relaunched as an electric car brand since being purchased by the Indian-owned Mahindra Group. It plans to reveal the Battista, an all-electric hypercar that promises 1900-hp, 300-mile range, and sub-2-second 0-60 time. Chinese electric-vehicle brand Arcfox will be at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show as well, unveiling an updated Arcfox-7 supercar.
Even More EVs
As ‘sustainable mobility’ becomes the name of the game, plenty of automakers are jumping on board. Citroën has teased two new EV urban concepts, one of which it will bring to Geneva. Spanish manufacturer, SEAT, is expected to bring an all-electric prototype. French Peugeot is planning a big world debut of its all-new 208 supermini, which will have a dedicated EV version. And famed luxury badge, Aston Martin, is reviving the Lagonda marque as an all-new EV SUV concept.
As Asian automakers absolutely dominated Detroit, they’re showing up big to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show as well. And they’ve got some serious technology in tow.
Honda plans to debut a new close-to-production, EV-prototype following the success of its Urban EV. Two teaser images of the adorable little people-mover have dropped, the most recent of the interior, which CNET calls “marvelous in its simplicity.” (We’re inclined to agree.)
The Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer Concept—an all-electric SUV concept—will also debut, as well as the reworked, production-ready Mitsubishi ASX (known in the U.S. as the Outlander Sport). Nissan promises a new concept, too—expect it to be electric. And Subaru has some hybrid tech set to debut.
IC-Technology Hasn’t Been Completely Left Out
Lexus will have European debuts for its LC Convertible and RC F Track Edition, but nothing brand new to the global stage. The same goes for Toyota, who will be bringing its Supra to the continent. Mazda should have something exciting to show though, as it’s been teasing an all-new compact SUV, sporting the new SkyActiv engine tech. The new model is expected to sit between the current CX-3 and CX-5. The MX-5 Miata Anniversary roadster will make its European debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, as will the new Mazda 3.
Kia is rumored to reveal a new EV concept, although no word on what exactly that will be. There are also rumors that its traditionally-powered XCeed crossover could be unveiled. However, its sister-brand Hyundai will not be attending the show, opting instead to pursue other PR avenues.
And they’re not the only ones.
Also noticeable for not being on the list are Ford, Jaguar/Land Rover, Vauxhall/Opel, and Volvo. Like Hyundai, Volvo is more interested in hosting its own unique launch events. The automaker made news back in the Fall when it showed up to LA with just a booth touting its subscription car services. It skipped the Detroit Auto Show altogether. And most recently, it avoided costly Super Bowl advertising by instead holding a digital test drive competition online where the winner took home a Care by Volvo subscription to the new S60.
However, Volvo’s performance company and brand, Polestar, will be in attendance at Geneva. The subsidiary plans to bring a new electric sedan poised to take on the Tesla Model 3 with a competitive price point.