Geneva Motor Show

Geneva 2017 | Lamborghini Huracán Performante

It’s bright orange, it’s got a huge rear wing, and it’s a Lamborghini. Of course we were going to feature the new Huracán Performante on EngageSportMode.

2017 Lamborghini Huracán Performante

The Performante is hardly a well-kept secret, as disguised test versions have been spotted out in the wild for months. We’ve also already seen the video of Lamborghini setting a new Nürburgring Nordschleife production car lap record of 6 minutes 52.01 seconds. Yet despite not being a surprise, it’s still a deeply impressive machine, and offers up more than the typical “less weight, more power” supercar special edition formula.

2017 Lamborghini Huracán Performante

 

For a start, Lamborghini has made use of Forged Composite technology, which sounds a little like a cross between regular carbon fibre and glass fibre construction. In short, it has allowed Lamborghini to craft bumpers, and other complex shapes, from a lightweight, but strong, material. The result is a saving of some 40kg, with the 4WD Performante clocking up a family hatchback-rivalling 1,382kg weight on the scales.

2017 Lamborghini Huracán Performante

The 5.2-litre V10 engine has also been updated, with output now 631hp at 8,000rpm. That’s an increase of 29hp over the regular Huracán, whilst torque has also increased from 413lb-ft to 442lb-ft. Proving that the effects of Dieselgate don’t quite appear to have reached Sant’Agata, CO2 emissions have increased to 302g/km – although we doubt that will be a major concern for any customers. Likewise the official combined fuel economy of 20.6mpg. Lamborghini is also keen to stress that the manifold cover is now bronze, in a knowing nod to previous special edition models. Exhaust noises are also said to be made even more aggressive, with a revised higher position.

2017 Lamborghini Huracán Performante

So far, so standard supercar upgrades. However, where the Performante does move things on is with the use of active aerodynamics system. Which actually sounds far better in Italian: Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA). Working on both the front spoiler, and vents in the rear engine cover, the ALA system can with between low drag and high downforce, or even allow aero vectoring. The latter shapes air flowing across the rear spoiler, and pushes the inside wheel harder into the ground to increase traction when cornering at high speed. Clearly this is more than just Lamborghini bolting on the biggest set of wings and spoiler they could find.

2017 Lamborghini Huracán Performante

Suspension settings have been stiffened by 10% over the regular Huracán, with optional magnetically adjustable dampers also available. The steering has also been recalibrated for better response and feel, although we wonder just how much you can fine tune a supercar. Braking is via carbon ceramic discs, with six-pot calipers at the front and four-pots gripping the rear. Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres are fitted to the 20″ wheels as standard, with optional track-orientated Pirelli Trofeo R rubber also on offer. (more…)

Ned Jasper | 2017 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

Ned Jasper is back, and he’s got the latest on the latest addition to the Porsche model range. It’s not rear-engined, but there’s certainly a lot going on out back!

2017 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

I’m told that good things come to those who wait. So, considering the Panamera Sport Turismo is the first Porsche estate car to leave Stuttgart since the company was founded back in 1931. It better be good! Thankfully, the first impressions are good. Very very good. The front half of the Sport Turismo is near enough identical to a ‘normal’ Panamera. That means handsome looks and road presence akin to that of a supercar.

2017 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

But it’s what happens around the back that matters. Gone is the standard Panamera’s slopping 911-esque roof line. In its place, is in my eyes, the best looking car rear end not just of the year, but of the last decade. The Porsche design language remains clear, with hints of 911 and Macan showing face. However, the combination of the squatted rear, combined with the giant muscular haunches, is just so spot on.

2017 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

The interior of the Sport Turismo remains near identical to that of the standard Panamera. That means svelte materials, contemporary shapes and angles, plus there’s a colour scheme almost as rich as the kind of person who can afford to buy one. Who knew brown could look so good, eh? Move towards the rear and you’ll begin to notice the differences. Or should I say, the difference! With the Sport Turismo being an estate after all, it was only right of Porsche to fit a proper rear bench. It seats three, and is capable of folding flat in 40:20:40 sections. Practical.

Despite the rather large exterior changes, the boot space isn’t too dissimilar to that of the standard Panamera, with the ST boasting just 25 litres extra space. That’s about the same size as a medium suitcase. The total room available is 520 litres or 1,390 with the rear seats folded down – Panamera van, anyone?! (more…)

Geneva 2016 – Porsche 911 R

Turbocharging, dual-clutch gearboxes; is nothing sacred in Zuffenhausen anymore? Porsche appears to have heard those collective complaints, and picked Geneva as the place to launch the enthusiast-pleasing 911 R. Ned Jasper gives you the details.

2016 Porsche 911 RFancy a GT3 RS with less shouty bits and a manual gearbox? Step this way; it’s the 911 R. When Porsche announced there wasn’t going to be a manual GT3 RS, the purists among us got quite annoyed. Then when they changed the majority of their range to forced induction, this did little more than exacerbate things. Now Porsche has come to its senses, and created a car that is focused purely on driving enjoyment, rather than the optimum amount of aero or emissions.

2016 Porsche 911 RExternally the 911 R is very much the same as the GT3 RS, albeit, without the gigantic rear wing. In its place, you’ll find a ‘normal’ retractable spoiler. More importantly, there’s a distinctive pair of red stripes. Whilst the omission of the wing and the supplement of stripes may not be to everyone’s tastes, it remains a firmly good-looking car.

2016 Porsche 911 RDespite the GT3 RS’s stripped out race-prepped cabin, the R actually weighs in at a substantial 50 kg less. That’s thanks to the carbon-fibre construction and plastic windows. Like with all lightweight, battle-hardened Porsches, you’ll also find a chasm where the radio and A/C should be (although they are an option) and, of course, ribbon door handles. Every little helps, I suppose.

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Geneva 2016 – New 261 mph Bugatti Chiron

The Bugatti Veyron was hugely impressive when it came to big numbers, but with its replacement the French brand has gone even further in the pursuit of insane figures. Say hello to the mind-bendingly fast Bugatti Chiron.

2016 Bugatti ChironLet’s get the raw numbers out-of-the-way first because, as dramatic as the Chiron may be to look at, let’s not kid about what’s important here:

  • €2.4 million (£1.87 million) starting price
  • A quad-turbo 8.0-litre W16 engine
  • 1,500 PS (1,479 bhp)
  • 1,600 NM of torque (1,180 lb-ft)
  • 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in less than 2.5 seconds
  • Top speed of 420 km/h (261 mph)

Possibly the scariest part about the last figure is that it’s qualified with the additional words “limited for road travel” in the press release. Which suggests that a) the Chiron is capable of more than that, and b) asks what financial ridiculousness is required for the unlimited level of performance?! Bugatti is also clearly gunning for an outright production car speed record with the Chiron, and will no doubt tweak things when needed to maintain that ultimate status.

Despite the huge starting price, Bugatti has already taken orders for a third of the 500-strong production run. Styling was quite clearly foretold by the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo concept, as was the extensive use of carbon fibre. Bugatti promises that the new carbon monocoque and adaptable chassis will make the Chiron as agile as it is stupidly fast. A knowing nod to the fact the Veyron was hardly regarded as being nimble, perhaps. However, in 2016 the bigger question is of course as to whether it’ll have a drift mode… (more…)

New – McLaren 570GT joins Sports Series

After an emphasis on outright performance, McLaren turns to the idea of luxury and refinement with the latest addition to the Sports Series of cars.

2016 McLaren 570GTJoining the 570S and 540C Coupe, the third model in the entry-level Sports Series makes a number of detailed changes to increase everyday usability. Whilst the concept of a 562 bhp supercar being practical and easy to use might seem an oxymoron, rivals like the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 Turbo proves demand exists in the marketplace.

2016 McLaren 570GTThe 570GT isn’t just an exercise in fitting softer suspension or extra sound deadening, although both of those changes are included in the transformation. There are far more substantial changes, such as the redesigned rear windscreen that replaces the flying buttresses of the 570S with a side opening rear hatch. So, technically, the 570GT is an extremely hot hatchback… (more…)

Opinion – Does the world need the Maserati Levante?

Is nothing sacred from the unstoppable rise of the SUV? Now after a century of producing grand tourers and saloons, not even Maserati is immune from the lure of the Sports Utility Vehicle.

2016 Maserati LevanteAlthough not due to make an official debut until the Geneva Motor Show next week, Maserati released a limited number of photos showing off the forthcoming Levante. Depending on your personal view of SUVs, the styling could range from challenging to dramatic, whilst incorporating a number of design features that seem inspired by the Porsche Cayenne and even the Nissan Qashqai. Calling it pretty would be brave move.

2016 Maserati LevanteCast your mind back to 2002, and remember the launch of the original Porsche Cayenne. Recall the shock and outrage that Porsche – so long the producer of stylish, if anodyne sports cars – could make something so in-your-face. Purists bemoaned the death of the Porsche brand, that nobody would buy one, and the company would collapse in shame. (more…)

New – Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Ferrari’s FF has tried hard to be the practical V12 supercar. But now there’s a revised version with even more power. Let Ned Jasper give you all the details, including that new name.

2016 Ferrari GTC4LussoThis is the Ferrari GTC4Lusso (great name by the way, but we’ll get to that later), and it’s Ferrari’s latest attempt to try and market their cars at people with a family. Or indeed the kind of chap who likes to go on long cross-continent road trips with their mates, carrying all of their belongings, and traveling at speed. As to whether this exceptionally wealthy family man, or continent-crossing playboy, actually exists is another matter. But don’t let that put you off.

2016 Ferrari GTC4LussoOn paper the GTC4Lusso appears to be a relatively sane car. It’s dripping with technology, has four large and no doubt comfortable seats, boasts a usable boot, and is pumped full of safety features. There’s ample air bags, all wheel drive, and even a new four-wheel steer system (previously seen in the F12 tdf). This however is not a ‘sane’ car; it’s a Ferrari. That means that at this beast heart lies that same 6.3 V12 only this time it’s pumping out a whopping 681 bhp. That’s 30 more than the old FF could muster. Not only that, the reworked engine now gives a chunk more torque as well; 514 lb-ft to be exact. All of which means that this prancing horse can now gallop from 0-62 mph in 3.4 seconds (0.3 quicker than the FF), and it’ll keep on accelerating to 208MPH. This is a “family” car, remember.

At first glance, the GTC4Lusso seems to look almost identical to the car it replaces. Look a little deeper, however, and you’ll find that in actual fact almost every panel on the new car is different. Most noticeable of these alterations are the sexy little wing vents (similar to the gills of a shark), and the new more pronounced rear haunches. The latter allows the GTC4Lusso to sink a little further into the pavement, whilst also gain a more menacing road presence. The new bonnet and front grilles which, especially in grey, make the car look a lot more agile and bring strong connotations of the immense power which is lurking underneath. Finally, the rear. In my eyes – I’ve no doubt you’ll agree – the back of this car looks absolutely stunning. The whole car is already the automotive equivalent of a stunning Italian supermodel, but the rear end, now that’s the standout feature for me. The mixture of sharp razor-edged creases, and smooth free-flowing curves, make it an absolute feast for any like-minded petrol head. (more…)

Friday Photo – Geneva 2015 | Orange is the new … blue?

Earlier in the week, the doors opened at the PalExpo centre for the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. EngageSportMode spent a hugely enjoyable day helping the guys at Motoring Research with their live blog on Tuesday. If you haven’t seen the live blog already, go grab a Toblerone and experience it now. Then come back and see why we spotted a new emerging trend on Tuesday: that everything was orange. 

2015 Geneva Porsche 911 GT3 RSObviously, EngageSportMode wouldn’t want to take credit for manufacturers deciding that orange is the colour to be seen in this season. It’s clearly just a coincidence. No, we’ll just be smug about it and present you with a gallery of the cars on display at Geneva that were carrot-coloured. Art-geek point: on the colour wheel, orange is opposite blue – which was, of course, the colour of everything at Geneva last year. Anyway, here are the pics:

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There you go. Unequivocal proof that orange is the colour for this season. Just note that EngageSportMode takes no liability for horrendous depreciation if you order anything in a satsuma-esque shade. It’s your call!

We’ve had an amazing week with Geneva, and we’ll be bringing more in-depth details of the big show stars soon.

Geneva 2015 is here with the new Honda Civic Type R!

After weeks of anticipation, the 2015 Geneva Motor Show is finally here!

2015 Honda Civic Type R Production 000

In fact the show hasn’t even officially started, and there’s already been excitement with the new Honda Civic Type R being shown off in actual production trim! It looks pretty much as the concept predicted although, sadly, the massive rear spoiler has been toned down:

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More importantly, we know it’s packing 306 bhp and 295 lb-ft of torque deliver by the new 2.0 litre VTEC Turbo engine! 0-62 mph in 5.7 seconds, and a top speed of 167 mph. Impressive for a family hatchback

We’ll bring you more news from Geneva as the week progresses. However, tomorrow EngageSportMode will be live blogging for the good people at Motoring Research! As their team of expert journalists roam the Geneva show floor, yours truly will be bringing updates and comment in a live stream. Be sure to check out the action right here tomorrow morning —> Motoring Research 2015 Geneva Live Blog

Be sure to head along and follow all the action on Motoring Research, with a very busy day of new launches and announcements in store.

Friday Photo – The Geneva 2015 ‘known knowns’ Gallery

A few years ago, Donald Rumsfeld made an infamous speech talking about things we know, and don’t know about. Ahead of the Geneva Motor Show next week, we’ve got a gallery covering the new cars we already know will be there. That’s mainly because the manufacturers have already spoilt the surprise by showing them to us. 

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of activity from automakers across the world, as they’ve revealed and announced all-new cars to be shown off at the Swiss show. Here’s a few of the ones we’ve already seen:

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Naturally, these are just a few of the highlights – there’ll be much more to see.  Of course, there’s also another category of cars – the ‘known unknowns’ – which includes ones we know will most probably be there, but don’t know the full details on. Like the Honda Civic Type R and the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS ; although so much information on the latter has been leaked, it might as well be a ‘known known’ now. But there are others, such as the expected Lamborghini Aventador SV and a mystery Bentley concept car. (more…)