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Geneva Motor Show 2007 Trends and Overview

Wed, 28 Mar 2007 00:00:00 -0700

Geneva is always one of the best shows to visit - it's easy to get to from the airport or city centre, it's more compact than the other major auto shows, it's well attended by car designers and there are a lot of new designs to enjoy. This year there were at least 14 significant new production debuts, a similar number of concept cars and, for a change, the weather was more spring like than winter...

The core reaction from the designers we spoke to at the show was that there were no really very exceptional new cars at the show - the Hyundai HED-4 Qarmaq concept, Mazda Hakaze concept and Maserati GranTurismo being the possible exceptions. The Hyundai was probably the car most highly rated by designers - for its innovative use of glazing and colour, but also for its unexpectedly well resolved form and high quality construction. But Geneva 2007 will not be remembered for its show cars. The European debut of Jaguar's Detroit show concept the CX-F got very little attention, Renault's Clio Grand Tour and Koleos (from Paris) were the most conservative concept cars the brand has ever shown, Toyota and Honda's European studios underwhelmed with their offerings, and Saab displayed the Aero X for the second year running.

The most talked about new production car was the Audi A5, which is both a new design direction for Audi and arguably not such a new direction - particularly for a brand that used to be universally regarded as at the cutting edge of European car design. But relative to most other new production designs the new Audi's conservatism seemed less acute: the Volvo S80, Nissan X-Trail, Renault Twingo, Citroen C-Crosser / Peugeot 4007 (nee Mitsubishi Outlander), Toyota Auris, Smart ForTwo and Hyundai i30 were all exceptionally conservative new production designs debuting at the show. The Mercedes C-Class, Fiat Bravo, Ford Mondeo, and Skoda Fabia were far from radical but clearly had moved on successfully from their predecessors despite the conservative packages the designs were based on, whilst the Mazda 2 and Maserati GranTurismo were both refreshingly new.

But if the mainstream car designs were generally conservative this year, the low volume producers were not. Two new track day cars: the KTM X-Bow by Kiska and Lotus 2-Eleven. Two large four seat GTs: the 5.3 meter Bentley Brooklands and the 5.5 meter Russo Baltique Impression designed by Zviad Tsikolia. Two new Zagato designs: the Spyker C12 Zagato and the first Diatto for over seventy years. Other extreme new production designs included the revised Tramontana, the Artega GT by Henrik Fisker, and the intimidating Rolls Royce based Mansory Conquistador in matt black. The radical translucent Rinspeed eXasis concept, IED beON concept and Stola Phalcon concept were also refreshingly different.


By CDN Team