Welcome to the 2016 edition of the Geneva Auto Show, where you think you’re coming to see new cars, but what you’re actually going to get is nothing more than new clothes disguising old stuff – some of which is actually based on good stuff, but still old.
Take the new Bugatti Chiron for example. It looks kinda new, only uglier than the car it replaces – the Veyron. It has a tweaked up version of the old cars motor, the same 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox as the old car, and not much else. Sure, wealthy supercar buyers must be queuing up to put their money down for this limited edition model – 500 units to be produced – but for their US$2.6-million they are getting a vehicle that is only slightly faster than the old model. The Chiron is not a breakthrough, and I think the Bugatti name deserves better than that.
Worse still is the Lamborghini Centenario – built to commemorate the 100th birth year of the company’s long departed creator, Ferrucio Lamborghini. Dear Ferrucio must be turning in his grave looking at this mess. It is nothing more than the current Aventador SV with 20 extra hp – for a total of 770 hp – clad in a body that has too many ducts and scoops and other irritating angular lines. If you want one of the 40 examples (20 coupes, 20 roadsters) the company will make, be ready to fork out five-times as much money to have one over an Aventador, roughly US$2.0-million. Guess the planet currently has 40 wealthy people dumb enough to support this disaster.
Walk over to the Pagani booth and you’ll see the Huayra BC. This thankfully is not pretending to be a new car, just a new trim of the current Huayra – albeit one with a big rear spoiler. This BC model has 60 hp more than the original Huayra, which puts it at 790 hp – impressive, but far short of what the current hypercars are playing with. I think I’d spend my US$2.5-million elsewhere.
Next up, McLaren – a company I really like, most of the time. Their latest 570 GT model has me puzzled. It is suppose to be the more practical car in their lineup, and hence has a trunk – only this trunk is in the middle of the car, access to it is not going to be easy, and the luggage seems to fall into the cabin! Not very practical at all. Come on McLaren, you guys and girls in Woking are smarter than this! I say, back to the drawing board.
More British style laziness can be found at the Bentley booth, where you’ll find the “new” Mulsanne. Unfortunately, it’s not that new. There is a new grille, revised lights, and not much else that I can see – they didn’t even give their Mulsanne Speed model any more power for heavens sake. There is a new Mulsanne Grand Limosine by their inhouse Mulliner division, which is longer and hence has two extra seats in the middle – perfect for the wedding transport business. Cool as it may be, its neither a new idea, or a new car.
There was a time, the words Grand Sport in front of the Corvette nameplate used to mean something – now it just seems to be a styling exercise! The 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport looks like the mighty Z06 model, but has only the standard cars 460 hp from its familiar 6.2L V8. Come on Corvette engineers, could you have not tweaked the motor to give it like 500 hp, so at least the Grand Sport could live up to its name? Lazy I tell ya, this is a lazy effort.
There are some other lazy efforts from Geneva this year, but I’ll end my ranting for now. Peace out!