2018 Geneva Motor Show: Top 10 Cars for People Richer than Us
Switzerland is a neutral gathering place for the affluent people of the world. Perhaps they stopped by Davos in January for the World Economic Forum. In March, they can set the Gulfstream down at GVA to check in with their bankers and then see what delights are in store at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show.
Last week, we gave you the top ten mainstream cars of Geneva 2018. Here’s a look at the top cars for those of greater means. In rough terms, we mean those cars with a list price of $50,000 up through $1 million. Or more.
The 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT Coupe is based on the chassis of the E-Class wagon. Seriously; this four-door coupe not a variant of the bigger CLS. Power comes from a 630-hp V8 with cylinder deactivation or a 429-hp six. The driver can select Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Race and Individual modes. Sign of the apocalypse? This $110,000 (estimated) Benz has a Drift mode.
The eighth-generation midsize 2019 Audi A6 is on the same MLB chassis as the A8 and A7. Inside, the cockpit continues Audi leadership in taste and tech: a digital instrument panel, over and under center stack MMI touch screens, and more connectivity. Every car will be least a mild hybrid with a 48-volt system. US should get the A6 in the second half of 2018. Nicely equipped, it’s $50K-$60K.
The Jaguar I-Pace EV was the hit of the show, even if the details were already out. This is Europe’s most credible response to the Tesla Model S at a price $10K less ($74,495 base), done as a crossover not sedan, and by the British — not Germans, Jaguar happily notes. The 90-kWh battery pack delivers a range of 240 miles, and it charges to 80 percent in 40 minutes with a 100-kW DC public facilities charger.
The Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is Bentley’s first electrified vehicle. It is also the first vehicle ever with a Bentley by [French designer Philippe] Starck Power Dock, which uses “pressed eco-linen with bio-sourced thermosetting resin [and] a hot-pressure aluminum casting.” Expect 31 miles on battery before the V6 kicks in. Price: about $250K, plus charger. Does your garage look this good?
The Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo study is a circa 2021 600 hp crossover EV with a range of 300 miles (500 km) under the optimistic NEDC European tests; 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) comes up in 3.5 seconds. With an 800-volt battery pack, 80 percent recharge is possible in 15 minutes. “Multiple accelerations are possible in direct succession without loss of performance,” Porsche says. That is, unlike Tesla.
The BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe moves to a higher level (including price) than the 6 Series, competing against the Porsche Panamera sedan, Bentley Continental GT coupe, and Mercedes S-Class coupe. "The 8 Series will be the next model in the expansion of our luxury car offering and will raise the benchmark in the segment," CEO Harald Krueger said. There will also be a non-M coupe and convertible.
The Range Rover SV Coupe is for the landed gentry who found previous Land Rover offerings too practical and too common. Here, you get a two-door off-roader with white leather seats in front and blue in back (other choices are available). The supercharged V8 hits 60 mph in 6 seconds. Just 999 will be built via Land Rover’s SVO group, with a base price of $295,000.
Rolls-Royce introduced several bespoke cars such as the Gentleman’s Tourer (photo). More importantly, the 2018 Phantom VIII shown in Geneva is the first on the company’s high-strength aluminum chassis, dubbed the Architecture of Luxury. A glass panel spanning the dash allows the owner to mount behind it a small Picasso, or perhaps a commissioned work. Prices start around $450,000.
The Aston Martin Lagonda concept sedan will be a self-driving (Level 4) EV with a range of 400 miles when it goes into production in 2022. The design is for new money that find a Rolls or Bentley stodgy. The cabin is stretch-limo big. Materials include silk, cashmere, and wool. Lagonda was an early 20th century car company bought by Aston in 1947; now it becomes a premium step-up for Aston Martin.
The Rimac Concept Two electric car is, the Croatian company says, “a new breed of hypercar … as capable on track as it is crossing continents.” Rimac claims a blistering 1.85 seconds 0-60 mph, 1,914 hp, a 258 mph top speed, and Level 4 autonomy. Instead of a key, you unlock and start the car with facial recognition. The big, all-caps-interface center LCD includes racetrack maps. The price could top $1 million.
If you’ve got the plane fueled with no particular place to go, the Geneva auto show runs through March 18 at Palexpo. Without Frankfurt or Tokyo (not held even years), your remaining 2018 choices are New York in March-April, Shanghai in April, and Los Angeles in November-December.