Professional Driver Features


Geneva Motor Show 2017

Mark Bursa reports from Europe’s premier auto exhibition

PD web Geneva BMW 5 series touring

BMW 5-series Touring

With the new 5-series saloon on sale, BMW revealed the new Touring estate at Geneva. Orders are already being taken, with prices starting at £38,385 – £2,360 more than the entry-level 5-series saloon.

At 4,940mm long, the Touring is 36mm longer than the outgoing model, but the same length as the new saloon. Boot capacity is 10 litres bigger at 570 litres, but smaller than the Mercedes E-Class’s 640 litres.

All models have an electric tailgate, while the opening rear window is retained from the previous model. Diesel engine options include the 2.0-litre 520d Touring, which develops 187bhp, offers a claimed 65.6mpg economy and CO2 emissions of 114g/km. The six-cylinder 530d offers 261bhp and 56.4mpg, and this car is available with xDrive all-wheel drive.

PD web Geneva Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

The second-generation Panamera gains a second body style toward the end of the year when this stylish estate version, the Panamera Sport Turismo, goes into production.

Based on a 2012 concept car, the new body shape adds an estate boot accessing a 520-litre storage area, 25 litres more than on the standard Panamera.

The taller roof line means bigger door openings for rear seat passengers, and more headroom. An optional three-seat rear bench is available rather than two individual seats with central console, as found on the standard Panamera.

Engine options include a 4S Diesel model with 416bhp, priced £97,067 with combined fuel economy of 42.2mpg. A 456bhp petrol-electric plug-in hybrid model will cost £83,288 with a claimed 56g/km and 113mpg.

PD web Geneva Lexus LS500h

Lexus LS500h

The Lexus LS flagship range is undergoing a major makeover, this year, and at Geneva a hybrid LS500h version was launched, joining the V6 petrol LS500 shown in January at Detroit.

Gone are the V8 petrol powertrains, and the hybrid version is not a plug-in – instead it’s a variant on the Toyota hybrid system, mating a 295bhp 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and four-speed automatic gearbox to two electric motors that drive a CVT transmission. The CVT is designed to replicate a six-speed auto, so the car drives like it has a 10-speed box.

The LS is a lower and leaner car than the upright limousine it replaces. It’s longer than even the previous LS600hL at 5,235mm, and also lower at 1,450mm and wider at 1,900mm, including a wheelbase stretched to 3,125mm. It’ll go on sale toward the end of the year.

PD web Geneva Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60

Volvo’s second-generation XC60 mid-sized SUV was a Geneva star. Based on the same platform as the XC90, it’s a larger vehicle than the one it replaces. Cars will arrive in the UK in the summer, priced from £35,000.

The new XC60 is 62mm longer than the old XC60, and a 91mm longer wheelbase means there’s more rear legroom. It shares much of its interior with its larger sibling, including the same 8.0in touchscreen and 12.3in digital dash.

The range starts with the 187bhp D4 and 232bhp D5 diesels, which will make up the bulk of sales, but there will also be a T8 plug-in hybrid with 401bhp and an all-electric range of 35 miles.

PD web Geneva Vauxhall Insignia

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

With its takeover by PSA Group formally announced on the eve of the show, Vauxhall pressed ahead with the Geneva reveal of both Grand Sport saloon and Grand Tourer estate versions of the second-generation Insignia.

The Insignia Grand Sport is based on an all-new vehicle architecture. Its revised proportions result in a more spacious interior thanks to a wheelbase that has been stretched by 92mm.

The Grand Sport will arrive in showrooms in the summer, with the Grand Tourer following couple of months after the hatchback.

The entry-level diesel is a 1.6-litre turbo with 109bhp, priced from £18,485 and producing 105g/km CO2, while the range-topping diesel is a 2.0-litre turbo unit, priced from £21,715. There are seven trim levels, and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive is an option on some models.

PD web Geneva VW Arteon

VW Areteon

Volkswagen’s replacement for the CC four-door coupe has a new name – Arteon. The handsome Passat-based car is based on a 2015 concept car, but adds a new-look grille that will feature on many next-generation of VW designs.

At 4,862mm long, 1,871mm wide and 1,427mm tall, the Arteon is 60mm longer, 16mm wider and 10mm taller than the CC. And it uses the same 2,841mm wheelbase of the Skoda Superb, making 131mm longer than the CC and 51mm longer than the Passat, and offering a lot more rear legroom. It has a big 563-litre boot too, 33 litres larger than the CC.

Three diesels engine options use the same 2.0-litre engine, in 148bhp, 187bhp and 236bhp variants. The two smaller outputs come with a six-speed manual box, while the top option has a seven speed DSG auto. Prices will start at around £30,000.

PD web Geneva Skoda Rapid

Skoda Rapid

Skoda’s smallest four-door hatchback has received the new family “face” as seen on Sperb and Octavia, as well as some other styling tweaks and a new turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which is available with either 94bhp or 108bhp. In its lower state of tune, it can propel the Rapid from 0-62mph in 11.0sec with 101g/km of CO2 emissions and a claimed fuel economy of 64.2mpg.

PD web Geneva Hyundai i30 wagon

Hyundai i30 wagon

Hyundai’s smart new i30 Wagon made its debut at the show. And it’s one of the most spacious compact estates on the market with 602 litres of luggage space. Its sloping roof is almost Mercedes-like, and it gives the car, which is 245mm longer than the i30 hatch, a coupe-like profile. The diesel line-up consists of three versions of the same 1.6-litre unit that produce 94bhp, 108bhp or 131bhp.

PD web Geneva Kia Stinger

Kia Stinger

Kia’s new range-topping saloon is the Stinger, a four-door fastback saloon targeting German rivals such as the BMW 4- series and Audi A5 Sportback. It arrives in the UK toward the end of the year, and will come with a choice of 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engines, as well as a range-topping 3.3-litre V6 petrol. Prices are expected to range from £30,000 to £43,000.

PD web Geneva Audi Q8

Audi Q8

Audi’s new flagship SUV is expected to be launched toward the end of next year, as a challenger to Range Rover at the top of the SUV sector. Q8 is more than 5m long, but is 40mm lower than Q7.

At Geneva we got to see the car’s interior for the first time – and this will be broadly similar to the dashboard layout of the new A8, expected to be previewed in July. Q8 is a four-seater, pitched against long-wheelbase Range Rover models. Without a third row of seats, it has a 630-litre boot.

It has a plug-in hybrid e-tron powertrain, combining a 3.0-litre TFSI petrol engine with an electric motor via an eight-speed automatic gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive. The powertrain develops a combined 438bhp and 700Nm of torque. Audi claims 0-62mph takes 5.4sec and it emits 53g/km of CO2.

PD web Geneva DS7 Crossback

DS7 Crossback

PSA’s DS brand has taken a major step toward establishing its own identity with the launch of its first SUV, the DS7 Crossback.

Pitched as an Audi A5-sized car, but “at A3 prices”, it will be the first PSA model to get a petrol plug-in hybrid powertrain next year – PSA confirmed that the diesel hybrid powertrain used in old 3008 and 508 HYbrid4 models is now dead.

DS7 Crossback will get a 300hp all-wheel drive PHEV powertrain called E-Tense, combining a 200hp petrol engine with two electric motors, an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 13kWh battery pack. A choice of 130hp and 180hp BlueHDi diesel units (will also be available.

Styling, especially inside, has “haute couture” touches, including diamond-shaped detailing and distinctive pearl stitching, as well as two large 12in digital display panels.

PD web Geneva Range Rover Velar

Range Rover Velar

Taking its name from the original 1969 Range Rover prototype, the new Velar was undoubtedly one of the stars of the Geneva Show. Designed to fit between Evoque and Sport models in the growing Range Rover line-up, it shares a platform with both Jaguar F-Pace and Land Rover Discovery Sport.

The Velar will be priced from £44,830 and will go on sale this summer, aimed squarely at the Porsche Macan. Land Rover chief designer Gerry McGovern said Velar was “the most car-like Range Rover we’ve done so far”. Even so, there will be no two-wheel drive version.

Six engine options, each driving through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, include a 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium diesel unit putting out 178bhp and 237bhp, and a 296bhp V6 diesel.

PD web Geneva VW Tiguan Allspace

Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

Later this year, a stretched version of the Volkswagen Tiguan SUV hits the showrooms, based on the same platform as the Skoda Kodiaq and with seven seats.

Tiguan Allspace fits between stabndard Tiguan and larger Touareg 4x4 models. The Allspace version is 215mm longer than the standard Tiguan, and the wheelbase is 110mm longer which translates to 60mm extra rear legroom, wider rear doors and an extra 115 litres of boot space, taking the luggage volume in five-seat guise from 615 litres to 730 litres.

PD web Geneva VW ID Buzz

Volkswagen ID Buzz

Volkswagen has had a few abortive attempts at reviving the classic “Microbus” in recent years, and here’s the latest, the ID Buzz, which VW hopes will go one better than previous concepts and actually make production.

It could become a signature vehicle for taxi operators in the future. Volkswagen is believed to be planning to use it as the main vehicle for its own recently-announced Uber rival, MOIA, scheduled for launch in 2020.

ID Buzz is a battery-electric vehicle, and all-wheel drive, with a range of between 270 and 370 miles. It also incorporates wireless inductive charging, giving an 80% charge in 30 minutes.

ID Buzz takes its styling inspiration from the 1950s Type 2 Microbus, including two-tone paint and distinctive nose with large VW logo. It sits on an extended MEB modular electric platform, with a 3.3m wheelbase.

It has a flexible eight-seat cabin, with a lounge-style layout, multi-adjustable rear chairs and a driver’s seat that turns 180 degrees – or when the car is in autonomous mode.

PD web Geneva Jaguar iPace

Jaguar I-Pace

Jaguar revealed the final production version of its first-ever all-electric car at Geneva. The aluminium-bodied I-Pace is expected to go on sale next year, pitched against the likes of Tesla X and the forthcoming Audi Q6 e-tron electric vehicle.

I-Pace is powered by electric motors in each axle, giving almost 400bhp in total. It uses a single-speed epicyclic transmission, and the powertrain provides four-wheel drive, and immediate response - Jaguar’s claimed 0-62mph time for the car is 4.0sec.

The car’s maximum range on a fully charged battery is about 310 miles, and using a 50kW DC charging point, the battery can be recharged to 80% in 90 minutes. The I-Pace will be able to accept higher-capacity charging than 50kW DC when such charging points become available.

It’s shorter and lower than the F-Pace, but the wheelbase is longer at 2,990mm, compared with the F-Pace’s 2,874mm, so it’ll have more interior space – rear knee-room is 71mm. There’s a 530-litre boot and an extra 28 litres of space under the bonnet.

PD web Geneva Mercedes AMG GT Concept

Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

As with the original 2005 CLS, Mercedes-Benz sometimes reveals a concept car that becomes a production model with minimal change. This hybrid car, the Mercedes-AMG GT, is one of those models. It’ll effectively become the next-generation CLS, taking Mercedes head-to-head with the Porsche Panamera. The concept has a V8 engine and a claimed 800bhp output.

PD web Geneva Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe

Renault has upgraded it's Zoe electric car, giving it a claimed 250-mile electric range. While the Zoe is a little small for taxi use, the same battery technology is likely to be applied to Nissan’s Leaf EV in the future, making the car a lot more useable than at present, effectively doubling the range. 


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