The 10 Hottest Cars from the 2017 Geneva Motor Show

From Ferrari to Ford, Our Picks Run the Gamut

by Nigel Howard

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Lonely Planet describes the Swiss city of Geneva as, “Sleek, slick and cosmopolitan.” Hosting organizations from the Red Cross and the UNHCR to Caterpillar, DuPont and Oracle, it’s a dream posting for anyone climbing the corporate ladder. Only the auto industry is absent. The Swiss do however have a reputation for neutrality, so perhaps that’s what makes it the favorite meeting place for the world’s auto industry elite.

Every auto show is a glittering occasion, even the relatively low key ones like Chicago and Atlanta, but Geneva is different. This is the event every journalist and exec tries to get to. It sees more models, (and – sexist joke alert – more cars,) more concepts and more debuts than any other show. Here’s a look, in no particular order, at ten of the hottest cars from the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

$96,200 Learn More

The four-door Panamera shocked Porsche purists when it debuted but it’s sold well. Now Porsche are adding to the range what is essentially a very fast and beautifully-built wagon. To many eyes the longer roofline and tailgate result in better proportions than the original Panamera, and with 48 cubic feet, (rear seats down,) it’s more practical too. Engine outputs range from a sensible 330 hp to the 550 hp of the Turbo.

Engine: 3.0-liter V6 Turbo, 2.9-liter V6 Biturbo, 4.0-liter V8 Biturbo, V6 Biturbo E-hybrid
Transmission: 8-speed PDK
Power: 330-hp, 440-hp, 550-hp, 462-hp
Torque: 405 ft-lbs, 567 ft-lbs

Bentley EXP12 Speed 6e

N/A Learn More

This gorgeous, electrically-powered two seat convertible, (basically, just a roadster,) features a beautiful interior trimmed in ox blood-red leather. Sadly, it’s just a concept.

Base Price: N/A
Engine: Electric Powertrain
Range: 200 miles

Honda Civic Type R

Mid-$30,000s Learn More

Known and revered in Europe, the Civic Type R is finally coming to the US. Under the hood a 2 liter makes 306 hp, which should deliver a pretty wild ride. You can tell your S.O., “It’s just a hatchback,” but the aggressive styling may give the game away.

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Power: 306-hp
Torque: 295 ft-lbs

Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante

$315,775 Learn More

Like a thoroughbred racehorse, this car is elegant, graceful, and very, very quick. It rides on black, 20” rims, features garnishes of carbon-fiber, and under the hood there’s a 6 liter V12. Capable of producing 580 hp and 465 lb-ft, unlike the high horsepower motors of some competitors, this one is naturally aspirated. That should guarantee some intoxicating engine notes! If you’re interested, the price is just north of $300k.

Engine: 6.0-liter V12
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Power: 595-hp
Torque: 465 ft-lbs

Mercedes AMG E63 S Wagon

$105,000 Learn More

Looking innocuous to those not “in-the-know,” this stealth car delivers wicked performance. Powered by a 4 liter twin-turbo V8, it hits 60 in 3.4 seconds and accelerates hard all the way up to an electronically limited 180 mph. If you need to blast down the autobahn with kids in the back seats and a Labrador behind, this is the car for you. Not sure how you’d exploit its abilities here in the US, but hey, a man can dream!

Engine: 4.0-liter biturbo V8
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Power: 603-hp
Torque: 627 ft-lbs

Ferrari 812 Superfast

$330,000 Learn More

The name might sound juvenile but this car is strictly adults-only. Lingerie model-gorgeous, curvaceous bodywork barely covers the so-sweet 6.5 liter V12. Making 789 hp and 530 lb-ft, this promises stunning performance, (and a 0-60 time under three seconds provides the evidence,) but a Ferrari is never just about going fast. This car, like every Ferrari, is a statement of the owner’s wealth, and more importantly, taste. The exquisitely-detailed cockpit is a tactile and visual delight. The car carries a super-big price tag in the region of $330,000.

Engine: 6.5-liter V12
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Power: 789-hp
Torque: 530 ft-lbs

Ford Fiesta ST

TBA Learn More

Didn’t expect to see a sub-compact hatchback from the Blue Oval on this list, did you? Here’s how it earns it’s place: a turbocharged 1.5 liter with just 3 cylinders makes 197 hp and 214 lb-ft. It comes with a six-speed manual, (“real” men change gears themselves,) and hits 60 in 6.7 seconds. Okay, the 812 Superfast leaves it for dead, but based on how the last Fiesta ST handled, it should be an absolute blast to drive. Best of all, you can actually afford it, (providing Ford brings it to the US – no word on that yet.)

Engine: 1.5-liter 3-cylinder
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Power: 197-hp
Torque: 214 ft-lbs

Range Rover Velar

$49,900 Learn More

Aimed at those who find the Evoque SUV a bit too compact and the Range Rover Sport somewhat too chunky, this upscale “Goldilocks” SUV is for those seeking some British style. Sleekly-rounded with floating-roof styling, (meaning black pillars barely visible against the glass,) it’s as smooth as 007 in a tuxedo. As with most other Jaguar LandRover products, power comes from either a 2 liter turbo, a 3 liter supercharged V6 or a 2 liter diesel. (Hard to see that last one selling well in the US!)

Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel, 3.0-liter supercharged V6
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Power: 247-hp, 180-hp, 380-hp
Torque: 269 ft-lbs, 317 ft-lbs, 332 ft-lbs

McLaren 720S

TBA Learn More

Yet another Brit, this supercar replaces the stunning 650S, and with a 4 liter, twin-turbo V8 it promises to be even better. Constructed almost entirely from carbon-fiber, this hews – somewhat – to Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s mantra of “Simplify, and add lightness” by tipping the scales at under 3,000 pounds. 710 hp and 586 lb-ft from those eight cylinders means buyers should expect to develop much stronger neck muscles.

Engine: Twin-turbo 4.0 V8
Transmission: Seve-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power: 710-hp
Torque: 568 ft-lbs

Pagani Huayra Roadster

$2,410,000 Learn More

The trouble with owning this incredible hyper-car is that you’ll be forever trying to pronounce its name without sounding like you’re throwing up. Instead, just stand back and let the crowds admire its Batmobile-like swooping bodywork, the high-mounted quad exhaust pipes and the glittering interior. If they ask, fire up the 6 liter V12 without saying a word and give them a sense of what 764 hp sounds like. The good news is, the price is said to be $2.4 million and the 100 unit production run is sold out, so pronouncing Huayra is a problem you probably won’t have to suffer.

Engine: 6.0-liter V12
Transmission: Seven-speed automated manual
Power: 764-hp
Torque: 738 ft-lbs

“Hottest” is of course highly subjective, and attempting to pick 10 stunners from the Geneva auto show is like choosing the 10 best Superbowl-winning teams. Arguments will ensue. (A few of the rides that just missed our Top 10 include the Brabus 550 Adventure, Mercedes-AMG GT Concept, and Lamborghini Huracan Performante.) What this list reveals though is that the very rich don’t have a monopoly on great cars. Even those of us of modest means could imagine one day owning an ST or a Type R. As for the Paganis, Ferraris and Astons, well they’re probably forever out of reach.

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