Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Car News

PSA-Opel joint cars, Renault Alpine coupe and first Porsche wagon seek Swiss spotlight


Renault is hoping for a halo effect from the Alpine A110.

The first cars shared between PSA Group and General Motors’ Opel unit, the Citroen C-Aircross and Opel Crossland X, will be among debuts at this week’s Geneva auto show. Other premiers include Renault’s Alpine sports car, Range Rover’s Velar road-focused SUV and Porsche’s first station wagon.

Here are some key debuts:


Citroen will compete in the hot-selling subcompact SUV/crossover segment with the C3 Aircross, which shares its platform and production factory with the Opel Crossland X. The Geneva concept previews the production car that will replace the C3 Picasso small minivan. The concept takes design inspiration from the new C3, the automaker’s top-seller in Europe, with features such as split-level front lights and a version of the door-mounted airbumps first seen on the larger C4 Cactus. The C-Aircross will be built with the Crossland X in Opel’s plant in Zaragoza, Spain.

Citroen C-Aircross

DS Automobiles

PSA Group’s upscale brand, DS Automobiles, will unveil a new flagship, the DS 7 Crossback. PSA is emphasizing the SUV/crossover’s luxury features and options, including five different interior “ambiences,” and materials and details “inspired by haute couture.”  A DS spokesman said the DS 7 Crossback will compete against cars such as the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Range Rover Evoque. It shares its EMP2 platform with the Peugeot 3008 and upcoming Opel Grandland X.

DS 7 Crossback


Ferrari’s 812 Superfast will be the brand’s most powerful series production car to date. Its naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V12 engine makes 798 hp and pushes the car to a top speed of 340 kph (211 mph) with acceleration from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in 2.9 seconds. It’s the first Ferrari to have electric power steering, which uses an electric motor instead of hydraulic pressure help the driver fully exploit the potential of the car’s performance.

Ferrari 812 Superfast


The Fiesta is the automaker’s top-selling model in Europe and in the latest version the automaker has added advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping warning that are not yet common in subcompacts. The upscale equipment will help the Fiesta to meet demand for advanced technology from customers downsizing from larger models and distance the car from the new Ka Plus subcompact, which targets budget customers in Europe.


Honda’s latest Civic Type R, a high-performance version of its Civic hatchback, will be sold in the U.S. for the first time. The car will be powered by Honda’s latest 2.0-liter VTEC turbocharged engine with its performance upgraded from the current Civic Type R’s 306 hp, although Honda is not releasing horsepower details ahead of the car’s show debut. Production will start in the summer at Honda’s UK factory.


Hyundai is expected to unveil a Tucson fuel cell concept that’s more advanced than the current Tucson fuel cell model. The concept will also showcase design cues for the (delete brand) next conventionally powered Tucson variant. Hyundai will also debut the new i30 Tourer compact wagon, whose trunk capacity has grown to be among the biggest in the segment. The car also gets advanced active safety equipment already on the new i30 hatchback such as autonomous emergency braking, smart cruise control and driver attention alert.

Hyundai i30 Tourer


Infiniti will showcase its latest autonomous driving and steer-by-wire systems technologies in two cars. One will be a mid-cycle update of the Q50 sedan. The other, a sporty hybrid, is dubbed Project Black S and is based on the Q60 coupe. The Q50 will get the brand’s second-generation steer-by-wire system and will be the first Infiniti to package all of the company’s self-driving features under a new ProPilot Assist banner. ProPilot is the name Infiniti parent company Nissan gives to autonomous driving features.


Italdesign, Audi’s design and engineering subsidiary, will unveil a supercar priced at 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) plus taxes. The company’s new bespoke division, Italdesign Automobili, intends to build five examples of the two-seat carbon-fiber car.  Italdesign also will unveil a futuristic concept car whose upper body can be airlifted by a drone and flown above traffic congestion, sources said. Italdesign worked with Airbus on the project, sources said.


The new Kia Picanto has a longer wheelbase than the current car and offers about 25 percent more trunk space. It also and comes with an array of high-tech features including an optional 7-inch “floating” touchscreen. Kia is discontinuing the three-door version due to slowing demand. The Picanto competes against cars such as the Fiat Panda, Volkswagen Up, Hyundai i10 and Citroen C1

Land Rover

Land Rover will expand its Range Rover lineup with the Velar, a sporty SUV that will be a rival to the Porsche Macan. It will go on sale globally in July, giving Range Rover its first midsize SUV. The Velar will be positioned between the smaller Range Rover Evoque and the larger Range Rover Sport. Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralph Speth said the Velar is a “more car-like Range Rover,” but still with SUV capabilities.

Range Rover Velar


McLaren Automotive will replace the supercar that launched the British company’s on-road challenge to Ferrari nearly six years ago with a new, more powerful model. The new car to be revealed in Geneva replaces the midrange 650S, which evolved from the MP4-12C launched in 2011. The new two-seat coupe will form the heart of McLaren’s next Super Series range of cars, one up from the entry Sports Series but a long way from the million-dollar heights of the Ultimate Series.


Mitsubishi is reviving the Eclipse name for a new entry in the compact crossover segment. The new vehicle will be called the Eclipse Cross in a nod to the coupe that was sold until 2011. The Eclipse Cross will be shipped first to Europe in the autumn, and then rolled out in Japan, North America, Australia and other regions.


Mercedes-Benz will showcase an ultraluxury SUV and its first pickup. The Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet is a range-topping version of the G-class SUV that will likely cost at least 500,000 euros ($525,000). The model is the first off-roader from the Mercedes-Maybach subbrand. The Mercedes Concept X-Class previews the brand’s first pickup. The midsize pickup will share its architecture with the Nissan NP300/Frontier and Renault Alaskan with Mercedes’ styling cues such as a wide grille and swept-back headlights.

Mercedes also will show the latest E-class convertible, the fifth and final member of its new E-class family.


Opel will debut the Crossland X subcompact crossover and its latest Insignia midsize sedan and wagon. The Crossland X is the brand’s first collaboration with PSA. It will go sale in the summer to replace the similarly sized Meriva minivan, a nameplate that will be discontinued as demand for minivans shifts to crossovers and SUVs. The Crossland X will be sold alongside the more ruggedly styled Mokka subcompact SUV.

Opel is pushing its new Insignia midsize model upscale and it believes the car’s technology, ride comfort and coupelike design will help to stem the exodus of customers in Europe to premium rivals such as the BMW 3 series. To reflect its move upmarket, Opel is giving the sedan a new name, the Insignia Grand Sport. Opel says the car’s optional torque vectoring all-wheel-drive system that improves grip and handling is a segment first. The Insignia Grand Tourer wagon will also debut.

Opel Insignia Grand Sport


Peugeot will highlight its autonomous technology with a self-driving, shooting brake concept car called the Instinct. The Instinct showcases the brand’s ideas for how people will use self-driving cars and how the car will integrate the data that the user wants to share with it from their smartphone, smartwatch or home automation systems.


The Italian design house has two concepts lined up for Geneva: the Hybrid Kinetic H600 and Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo. The Fittipaldi EF7 is due to become the first production model for a new sports-car company fronted by Brazilian racecar driver Emerson Fittipaldi. His company, Fittipaldi Motors, plans a limited run of the two-seat, carbon-fiber supercar, which is powered by a V-8 normally aspirated engine making more than 600 hp. Pininfarina’s stand will also display the H600 concept that previews a potential Chinese rival to the Tesa Model S. The design house developed the H600 for Chinese start-up Hybrid Kinetic. Pininfarina described the car as an “eco-sustainable luxury sedan” but gave no details of its drivetrain ahead of its show debut.


Porsche aims to boost sales of its Panamera by offering a wagon version of the four-door sedan. The Panamera Sport Turismo will be the brand’s first ever wagon. It offers three seats in the rear of the car instead of two in the sedan. The lack of the additional seat had been hurting sedan sales in the U.S, dealers have complained. Technology unique to the wagon includes an adaptive rear spoiler that can change position to either reduce drag or increase downforce depending on speed.

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo


Renault will use the show to revive its Alpine sports car brand, hoping for a halo effect across its lineup. debuting a mid-engine coupe that will take on the Audi TT and Porsche 718 Cayman. The production model to be unveiled in Geneva will closely resemble the Alpine Vision concept revealed last year. It’s expected to be powered by a 300-hp 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Renault bought Alpine in 1973 but stopped building its sports cars in 1995.


The new Ibiza is the first Volkswagen Group car to use the automaker’s MQB A0 underpinnings for smaller cars. It has edgier styling than the previous-generation model with more sculpted surfaces. The Ibiza’s new platform has enabled Seat to improve the car’s driving dynamics, ride quality and driving comfort because torsional stiffness has been increased by 30 percent compared with the current model. The car will be sold as a five-door model only with the three-door variant dropped.


India’s Tata Motors, which owns Jaguar Land Rover, plans to add another upscale brand called TAMO. The automaker has said the brand’s first car will be launched in Geneva, without giving further details. The car will be a concept for a two-seat, mid-engine sports car, motoring press reports said.


Chinese startup Techrules will debut a supercar styled by Italian designers Giorgetto Giugiaro and his son Fabrizio. The car has an aircraft-inspired three-seat cockpit design. It’s the production version of the 1,030-hp GT96 concept unveiled in Geneva last year. The car will be powered by a hybrid powertrain that uses a micro-turbine to generate electricity to charge a battery pack. The battery powers the motors that drive the wheels. The car could run on any type of fossil or gas fuel.


Volkswagen brand’s new flagship, the Arteon, will be seen in public for the first time in Geneva. The four-door, coupelike model will sit above the Passat and will be aimed at car buyers looking for a midsize sedan with a sporty look. It will replace the Passat-based CC. VW is also expected to show the production version of its T-Roc concept of a coupelike compact SUV.


Volvo continues its product offensive under Chinese owners Zhejiang Geely Holding with the new XC60. The midsize SUV is expected to take styling cues from the larger XC90 and it will be based on a more compact version of Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture already used on the XC90 full-size SUV, as well as the S90 and V90 cars. The XC60 is also likely to have a plug-in powertrain. It will go on sale later this year as a rival to the BMW X3, Mercedes GLC and Audi Q5.

Luca Ciferri, Nick Gibbs, Christiaan Hetzner, Amy Wilson, Hans Greimel, Douglas A. Bolduc, Jack Walsworth, Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report

You can reach Paul McVeigh at


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