In the bedazzled world of international motor shows, where manufacturers boast their latest mechanical creations like brightly plumaged show ponies, hyperbole flies high. Pomp and circumstance are writ large. But in Geneva, all that talk is backed up by swaggering walk. In the heart of Switzerland, builders from far and wide come to unveil the top vehicles in their arsenals: halo cars, flagship luxury superbarges, hybrid hypercars bristling with superhuman power. It is the Justice League of motor shows.
And the 2016 edition has been no different. In fact, it may be an all-time great, what with superlative automakers like Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and more all showing off vehicles that will headline Bonham’s auctions for decades to come. Beyond the Big Names, numerous niche automakers from distant lands also threw their carbon fibre-infused hats into the ring. Here in no particular order are the 10 hottest supercars from Geneva.
10. Zenvo TS1 and TSR
We were lucky enough to get behind the wheel of the 1,100-horsepower Zenvo ST1 years ago when the first one was shipped to our shores. While agility and refinement were in short supply, power and levels of WTF! were off the charts. The follow-up, or rather improvement, on the ST1 was unveiled under the TS1 moniker in Geneva. The sheetmetal on the latest Danish hypercar looks very similar to its predecessor, but the cabin gets a serious upgrade with new sport seats, steering wheel and materials. Output from the Corvette-sourced 6.8-litre, twin-turbo V8 stays the same; however: 1,104 horsepower and 1,050 pound-feet of torque. Still bonkers.
9. Lamborghini Centenario
Built to celebrate the 100th birthday of founder Ferruccio Lamborghini, the famed Italian supercar maker announces its latest limited edition showstopper: the Centenario. With a modified version of the Aventador’s burly, naturally aspirated V12 under the hood, the Centenario is the most powerful raging bull ever released from Sant’Agata. That’s 770-horsepower, 218-mph top speed, a 0-62 mph click of 2.8 seconds and a £1.4-million price tag (€1.75 million). Oh, and only 40 will be built – 20 coupés and 20 roadsters, all already sold out.
8. Aston Martin DB11
Talking about Aston Martin’s DB bloodline without mentioning James Bond’s beloved DB5 from Goldfinger is a crime – a crime so heinous it is punishable by having an automotive journalist crush your larynx with a pilfered bratwurst. And let’s face it: Aston Martin needs a hit. Badly. The struggling British automaker has a heritage second to none, but they need a serious infusion of cash to truly compete in the evermore-cutthroat world of supercars. So the introduction of the DB9’s follow-up, the DB11 certainly comes with a lot of expectation. This time, Aston engineers introduce an all-new 5.2- litre twin-turbocharged V-12 that generates 600 horsepower. Being an Aston Martin, emphasis is on GT touring over pure performance specs, which means its 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds (hardly torrid in the supercar realm) is offset with comforts like actual luggage space in the boot and space for child seats in the back. While there are a few unique visual elements, the DB11 is clearly the offspring of classic Aston Martin design language. The cabin, however, gets a big upgrade with a 12-inch LCD instrument cluster and 8-inch infotainment display, courtesy of a growing partnership with Mercedes-Benz. This modernisation was drastically needed to keep Aston relevant. Price is set to start at around £155k.
7. Bugatti Chiron
When you have a new model from Bugatti, you know it’s gonna be a big show. Finally the VW-owned Italian powerhouse unveils the hyper-anticipated follow-up to its landmark Veyron – the erstwhile fastest car on the planet – and needless to say it’s borderline asinine. Once again powered by a W16 engine with four turbochargers and almost a dozen radiators, the Chiron will generate an unearthly 1,500 horsepower and 1,600 nM of torque, all for a cool £1.85 million. Only 500 will be built, so get your checks ready
6. Abarth 124 Spider
The recently announced Fiat 124 Spider gets the Abarth treatment. Itself based on the superlative Mazda “Miata” MX-5 that we had an absolute blast with, the Fiat 124 Spider already boasts special bones. But now that it’s been tricked out by the engineers at Abarth, you know you’re going to have a serious roadster on your hands. The 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder gets a 10-hp upgrade to 170, and retains its torque output of 184 lb-ft. The Abarth 124 Spider also gets upgraded with Brembo brakes, a high-performance suspension (high double-wishbones up front with a five-link setup in the rear), “Abarth by Bilstein” dampers and a real mechanical limited slip differential. To get that mouthwatering Abarth sound, engineers bolted on a Record Monza exhaust. Pray to the Italian gods of speed that Fiat decides to import this open-air dream.
5. Jaguar F-Type SVR
Jag decided on Geneva to unveil the fastest car it has ever developed – the F-Type SVR. With a 200-mph top speed in coupe form, or 186 for the convertible, the SVR is the Big Cat we want to get our hands on. Its supercharged 5.0-litre V8 develops 575-horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, pushing the quickest F-Type ever from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Sure that may not compare to a £1.5-million hypercar, but only the Jag is available for £110k – or £115k for the droptop.
4. Arash AF10
Tiny British automaker Arash pulls the sheet on what claims to be the most powerful hypercar in Switzerland: the 2,080 horsepower AF10. Like the Porsche 918, Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1, the AF10 features a hybrid powertrain – in this case a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 contributing 900 horses, with four electric motors supplying the other 1,180 hp. While that is a ludicrous amount of power, performance results don’t match. The AF10 promises only a 201 mph top speed and 0-60 click of 2.8 seconds. That’s slower in both metrics than the above-mentioned Lamborghini Centenario, which has only 37% of the total power output. Maybe Arash engineers need to get back in the lab.
3. Rimac Concept_S
Croatian electric car maker Rimac’s Concept_S is basically the Bugatti of EVs. With 1,365 horsepower (1,018 kW) and 1,328 lb-ft of torque (1800 Nm), the Concept_S elevates Rimac’s first vehicle, the Concept_One, to the next level. This is mostly done via shaving 110 lbs (50 kg) from the beltline and adding all sorts of aero bits like a huge rear spoiler. With an electric motor attached to each wheel for true AWD takeoff, the Concept_S promises a 0-62 launch in just 2.5 seconds, and a 0-to-300 kph (about 186 mph) in a blazing 13.1 seconds. Imagine, nearly 200 mph in 13 seconds, all with zero emissions! Top speed is predicted to be 227 mph (365 kph).
2. Ferrari GTC4 Lusso
When Ferrari unveiled the FF – its first AWD vehicle – in 2011, purists had collective seizures. While still one of the most polarising cars in the Maranello stables, the FF is also the Ferrari driven most by its owners. The follow-up, the GTC4 Lusso, keeps the FF’s shooting brake design but adds rear-wheel-steering. It also updates the FF’s 6.3-litre V12 to generate 680 hp and 514 lb-ft. of torque – a decent bump from the FF’s 651-hp and 504 lb-ft. The GTC4 Lusso also promises a 208-mph top speed and a 0-62 mph time of 3.4 seconds, all while offering the stability of AWD and a backseat that adults can actually fit into.
What? You’re saying who needs a 3-wheeled, wood-framed, all EV sports car that only offers a 50-mile range? Then you haven’t seen Morgan’s EV3. Based on their petrol-powered three-wheeler, the EV3 has a 20kWh lithium battery that can move the 1,100-lb vehicle from 0-60 mph in just over eight seconds, on the way to a respectable 100-mph top speed. Its 64-horsepower motor can also be dialled into an Eco mode that offers 150 miles of range, but that hardly sounds like fun. Expect a price tag of around £35-40k.