#Daily Round-Up - Press Day 1
Good evening everyone to wherever you are in the world, and welcome to Geneva where the first Press Day has just closed up. It’s been hectic, mad and fun to say the least, with some big releases as expected.
Time to delve into what went down today.
Today’s musical accompaniment is Forget Me Nots by Patrice Rushen
Before the day began, Albury announced three new body style’s for their Centurion executive saloon. The performance sedan is now available in wagon form, as a coupe and as a convertible. The latter two should certainly help to expand the range well into the luxury performance market, and might even challenge a few out-and-out GT cars.
9 am, sunrise over Lake Geneva and debut of the newest Grandea GT-R. Smartly presented with uncomplicated styling and a pair of sharp headlights, this high-end sports coupe will have 560+ hp under the bonnet when it gets released, courtesy of the company’s LZ4-ACE R i6 - we certainly approve of the engine name, which is rare. A 40/60 torque split means this thing will almost certainly grip and go like a rat on steroids, and given that the quoted 0-60 time is 2.9 seconds, we believe our statement has truth.
What is particularly pleasing to see is that as standard the GT-R will come with a 6 speed manual, which for a modern performance car is rare. Combine that with the carbon cermaic brakes we spied behind the rims and the aero-work they’ve done on the body, and we’re predicting this could be one of the most visceral driving experiences of the year.
Next on the order of the day was a trip to the DSD stand where a multitude of journalists were gathered for a presentation of the company’s quirky new Puissant concept. The company has a reputation for bold and innovative car design, and this is no exception; a hyper advanced hybird compact coupe, with dual side indicators, 285 hp to boot and an electric motor to deliver the power. This means that all the driving is done just by the motor - the engine doesn’t turn the wheels, resulting in fantastic fuel consumption.
Unusually for such a small car, carbon fibre wheels are being used, as well as active aero features and gorgeously plush interior. It truly stuns both inside and out. Sadly, we can’t expect it to make production, but we will be able to see the coupe for real later on in the show.
At last, following teaser after vague teaser, Raziel unveiled the Classe B just before lunchtime today. 9 years in development, the Classe B is going to become one of the most flexible platforms in motoring history, with an unprecedented number of trims - 4 body types with 9 separate styles, which it manages to achieve by keeping pretty everything underneath in the same position and simply swapping out chassis design and engines. Wow.
It’s a shame the looks of the thing don’t impress more - it does actually appear to have been styled like it came out all those 9 years ago. Still, the promise of AWD options and an electric-only model are exciting. We hope to get some test-drives in within the next few days.
Garou, who are from somewhere in the world, showed off the newest Ginmei today in a presentation this afternoon, making several jibes at Grandea whilst doing so. The smart, understated GT coupe is all wheel drive and will be avalible in two trims, one with a 306hp 3.8l V6 and a turbocharged option that delivers 599 hp to all four wheels. It didn’t quite move us in the same way as the GT-R, though the exceptionally low price of $52k is quite something indeed. How they achieved that is another question.
Having helped to popularise the trend of dark car teasers, Erin finally shed some light on their newest performance car, the Tauga SB. A shooting-brake version of last year’s Tauga X, the 417hp car is…
…hang on, I can’t really review my own car now can I?
Miller gave their main presentation of the show, revealing three new cars from their sub-brands. The fearsome looking Argonaught 282 impressed with its unashamedly abstract design and with its huge amount of power: 613hp, meaning it easily rivals the day’s other high-end performance releases. However, unlike the GGT-R and Ginmei, this is rear-wheel drive - trust America not to be sensible. If the noise we were honored with hearing at the presentation is anything to go by, this thing is going to be marvelous.
From MAC’s Emperor sub brand came the new K-100. Not exactly a looker, the 98 hp city car looks to impress more as a luxury hatchback more than anything else, a market that sees little competition, meaning that Emperor may have found a neat little niche. Following this, the new Emperor Emerald was unveiled, a lightweight mid-range sports car that certainly looks the part with its split-front grille and delicate chrome detailing. A massive 243hp comes from tis 1.6l turbo i4 making it very light and hopefully very fast.
JHW revalled an incredibly unusual car called the Project 6, penned as a test bed for their new I6-LS engine range, the LS standing for ‘Long Stroke’. The car itself was rather exciting, its slightly weird but glitzy styling leaving a good impression on us. The engine was also pleasing: while underpowered for a 2.9l turbo engine, the i6 smoothness covers the long stroke roughness very well and allows for exceptional efficiency with good usability.
While we’re not sure how wide the appeal will be, the fact that its coming to the Athena later this year is good to hear, given just how much customers value efficiency in this market. We’re keen to see how it compares to diesel rivals in terms of average MPG.
That’s going to do it for today’s round-up. Press Day 1 has been very exciting, with a three way battle of coupes developing here as well a number of great innovations on display here. It certainly bodes well for rest of the show.
I’m off to trawl round the bars of Geneva to find a slightly-sloshed Garou engineer to see if they’ll tell me how they’re managing to make the Ginmei for so little. Bye for now!
- Gavin Anderson