The 83rd edition of the Geneva 2013 motor show concludes this weekend after offering the world another well-polished glimpse of our automotive future.
As usual the headlines were hogged by the hypercar makers and their spectacular creations. These show-stopping land-rockets are cars for superheroes or at least the super-wealthy ones. There have been some eye-wateringly expensive cars on display that will only have very limited production or ultra-exclusivity. Much less of much more. That might be one way to put it.
Even words like ‘ultra’ and ‘hyper’ no longer seem to convey enough of the madness or the exclusivity on offer in this tiny attention-seeking sector. The Swedish manufacturer Koennigsegg for example has now built 100 of its stellar performance cars. Their 100th car is an Agera S and is on display at Geneva. To mark the occasion Koennigsegg have adorned its carbon fiber body panels with 24-carat gold leaf and called it Agura S Hundra. Hundra being Swedish for one hundred. It took something like 4000 hours to hand build this one-off celebration and it has already been sold for $2million.
Speaking of special editions, the 220mph Lamborghini Veneno is impossible to miss. An unearthly looking car built to celebrate the mark’s 50th Birthday. Only 4 will be made, Lamborghini will keep one for itself – fair enough I suppose – and the other 3 cost £3 million. Each. And they have all been sold.
However, if you still need to drive to 60mph in less than 3 seconds, and you don’t mind only being ‘super-exclusive’ then you might have noticed Ferrari’s successor to the perfectly labelled ‘Enzo’. It is the more oddly titled ‘LaFerrari’. 499 of these stunning machines will be for sale but Ferrari say that written orders already far exceed that number. The cost of each is a rounded but seemingly irrelevant £1million. Not to be outdone, Mclaren have introduced their P1 which will also launch its occupants to 60mph in under 3 seconds and will easily top 200mph. This time only 375 will be built with a price tag that is perhaps more reasonable but still inconvenient at £866,000. Surely the most interesting feature of these 2 cars is that they both incorporate electric power. The P1 even allows the car to be driven for a few miles without using the twin turbo V8 at all. In this guise, it’s only a nod to hybrid power of course but it’s a welcome one and an unmistakeable sign of what’s to come from.
Back to the reality of mass-production cars for a moment. Of the hundred or so new models featured at the show, each manufacturer has sole electric or hybrid in range or in development. The Geneva Motor Show has enjoyed its ‘greenest’ atmosphere yet. The automotive industry clearly recognises not only what is desirable but what is essential.
Many of these cars and more will be on display when London’s famous business district of Canary Wharf is once again transformed to host Motorexpo later this year. The show runs from 10th-16th June and is free for all to visit. No tickets are needed, just arrive and enjoy!
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