The organisers of the 90th Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS), originally slated for March 3-15, 2020, were left with no choice but to cancel the event after the Swiss government banned all public activities that involve more than 1,000 people. The sweeping ban, which was sparked by the COVID-19 crisis, will not only deal a blow to the automotive industry but will also translate to economic losses in various sectors.
In effect, this cancellation also deprives several debuting concept and production cars their grand cotillion ball.
Is the public going to miss the heart-skipping reveals this year? Not in this age and technology! Virtual unveiling would be the next most logical thing to do, and it started happening online two days ago.
Here are the top 6 cars that you’re not going to see in the 2020 Geneva Motor Show but which you’re going to read about here.
All-New Production Cars Unwrapped
1. 2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA
To highlight the Italian automaker’s 110th year in the industry, it raises the curtain on its most power-packed production car – the Giulia GTA and GTAm limited editions – on 2nd March 2020. Punching 397 kW (533 bhp) from the Quadrifoglio’s uprated 2.9L V6 and shedding off 100kg from the weight of the standard model, it boasts of a power-to-weight ratio of 2.82 kg/PS.
More powerful than any beast from the stables of BMW M and Mercedes AMG, the GTA/GTAm can do a 0-100 km/h in 3.6s and will undoubtedly be the fastest sedan to root for at the Nürburgring. Alfa will produce only 500 units of these limited versions, which will come with a personalised experience package and a driving course from the Alfa Romeo Driving Academy.
2. Audi A3
The fourth-generation Audi A3 5-door sportback makes its debut with an overhauled, minimalist interior, ditching physical dials and controls in favour of touch functions and smart control systems. One reference point in the new A3’s exterior styling was the Lamborghini Countach - A3 echoes the same high shoulder lines, giving it a stronger character than the previous generation. It also shares the MQB II architecture with the Volkswagen Golf Mk 8. Deliveries will start by May 2020, with other body styles hitting the showrooms within the year, but Audi said it will skip the Cabriolet this time. Instead, the range will include a crossover-style high-riding Audi A3, which is set to take the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLA by the horns in 2021.
3. Bentley Mulliner Bacalar
What’s a grand ball for without its royal muse? Geneva was to be the host of this limited-edition luxury and exclusively-rare roadster, Bentley’s Bacalar, built in-house by the illustrious coachbuilder Mulliner. Inspired by the EXP GT 100 concept, this two-seat open-air luxury GT is the British carmaker’s most expensive and most exclusive car to date (driving price tags to the tune of £1.5 million) with only 12 units slated for production.
The cockpit of this exquisitely sculpted beauty will have 5,500-year-old riverwood, wool, and tweed treatments. Customers can further personalise their Bacalar from various paint options and exterior trims. Don’t fret if you didn’t beat it to the last twelfth reserved unit built because Bentley Mulliner promises to produce ultra-elite cars every two years.
You can search further for the online reveals of BAC Mono S, BMW 340d, Cupra (SEAT) Formentor, Fiat 500e, Hyundai i20, and the Rimac C_Two.
Coolest Concept Cars Previewing the Future
1. Polestar Precept
Polestar (Volvo and Geely-owned performance brand) unveils the Precept concept car, which previews a futuristic electric, 4-door performance sedan with LED headlamps and wraparound rear light. While Polestars 1 and 2 were both electric vehicles built under the guidance of Volvo, the Precept concept suggests Polestar's growing up to become its own brand, following styling directions that are independent of its parent.
Let’s have a closer look at this Polestar concept. Instead of side mirrors, the Precept has video cameras. For panels and seatbacks, it uses flax-based composites, and for seat upholstery, it repurposed PET bottles. Recycled cork vinyl were used as materials for the headrests, while reclaimed fishing nets were repurposed as carpets. How’s that for innovation and sustainability?
Back in 2017, Volvo already made it public that Polestar was set to rival high-performance EV brands like Tesla. Today, the Precept concept brings that statement back to mind, reminding us of Polestar’s directions.
2. Dacia Spring Electric
The Dacia (Renault’s Romanian subsidiary) Spring Electric concept car previewed its upcoming production car, which the company has lined up for 2021. With EVs flooding the market, what will make the Dacia EV stand out? Its competitive edge will be its affordability, promises Dacia. Drawing its DNA from the Renault City K-ZE, the Dacia EV will have the same high ground clearance and rugged SUV build. It will feature a distinct exterior look and have a 200-km (125-mile) range.
3. Renault Morphoz
Renault titillates the imagination with this Morphoz concept. This electric car can metamorphose (thus Morphoz) from a compact family car to a muscled grand tourer. Only in the movies, you say? Well, we should have seen its actual form in Geneva. Regardless, it’s the future (read: 2027) urban car as Renault envisions and works on.
Closer to reality, though, will be Renault’s electric crossover due next year, which is expected to feature some of the Morphoz’s styling elements.
Check out more exciting concepts, like the DS Aero Sport Lounge and BMW i4. You may also look for the new facelifted models, such as the Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai i30 and Mercedes E-Class, which have also joined the virtual party.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll come up with more in the next few days. It’s our way of saying that a deadly virus can prevent a historic venue from hosting one of the grandest events in the motor world, but it will not stop these show stoppers from doing their first public dance. You may bookmark Carpart.com.au for more automotive news and updates.