Luxury cars shine at the Geneva Motor Show

(7 Mar 2017) LEAD-IN: Fast and luxurious are the buzz words at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show – and if it’s also hybrid then all the better. STORYLINE: Once a year the Swiss city of Geneva is transformed into a luxury car hotspot. The Geneva Motor Show, now in its 87th edition, is the world’s premier car show for luxury brands. Ferrari is showing its latest creation, the 812 Superfast sports car with a 6.5 litre, 12-cylinder engine that can reach a tops speed of 340 kilometres per hour (210 mph). The mid-engined sports car puts 789bhp through its rear-wheel drive system and will reach 100 kmph (60 mph) in 2.9 seconds. Ferrari has not announced a price and when the car will be available. But judging by other Ferrari models it is likely to be in the range of USD 250 000 – 300 000 dollars. British car manufacturer Aston Martin is showing off a new hyper car, the Aston Martin Valkyrie. The Valkyrie – formerly known under the working title of AM-RB 001 – is the result of a partnership between AstonMartin and the Red Bull F1 team. The Valkyrie also features the technical input from high-performance engine tuners Cosworth, who have created a 6.5 litre V12 motor and hybrid system. But don’t rush in to your local Aston Martin dealer with your credit card just yet, the Valkyrie is a concept at this stage. A production car that will be based on the Valkyrie shown at Geneva will be available around 2019. But Aston Martin has high hopes for the car: “Its mandate – you can decide whether we meet it – but its mandate is to be the car that defines this decade,” says Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin. It wouldn’t be a Geneva car show without a new creation from luxury car brand Bentley. The Volkswagen owned brand is showing the Bentley EXP 12 electric car concept. Building on a previous electric concept, first shown two years ago at Geneva, the convertible EXP 12 Speed 6e boasts a more powerful electric motor with a greater range. It will take several years before a production car based on the EXP 12 hits the market, but Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer is confident that there will be an interest from Bentley’s core customers. “Well, our Bentley customers have in average eight cars,” he says. “They are achievers in life. They really made it up to the very top. And I think they are also open to drive a luxurious electric vehicle.” Lamborghini is showing its latest high-performance, ultra luxury creation. The Lamborghini Huracan has a powerful V10 engine, with the new ALA active aerodynamic system. The car has 640 HP and a theoretical top speed of 320 kmh (201 mph), managing an impressive 0-100 kmh (0-60 mph) in 2.9 seconds. The price, not too bad for a Lamborghini. It could be yours for around USD 270 000 dollars depending on where it needs to be delivered and what kind of extras you want to add. Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali says that there is no lack of customers for high-performance luxury cars. Rather it is a matter of managing the market and not overproducing. “The situation in the market is incredibly positive,” he says. “We have the problem, if I may say, that we need to control the market. So in this segment we don’t want to go over the volume approach. We want to make sure that our cars have the value that they have now.” But there is luxury and there is luxury. Swedish car maker Koenigsegg likes to take the term luxury a few steps further than most other car makers. At Geneva the company is showing off a production ready Regera. First shown as a concept in 2015, this is one of two Regeras that have been fully completed and are ready for the road. The car comes with three electric motors and a 5.0L twin-turbo V8 engine. Luxury car maker Rolls-Royce is showing of a car from its Ghost line. You can license this story through AP Archive: Find out more about AP Archive:

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