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Geneva Motor Show: The top models

Audi Q2

Audi is poised to take on the premium compact SUV sector with the latest addition to its Q-badged line-up, the Q2.

About 190mm shorter (4.19m) and 40mm narrower (1.79m) than its bigger brother the Q3, the newcomer will

go up against the likes of Mini’s Countryman and Mazda’s CX-3 when order books open in July, ahead of November deliveries.

In terms of space, the Q2 sits between its two key rivals with a boot capacity of 405 to 1,050 litres.

Distinguished by its ‘blade’ D-pillars, painted in a contrasting colour to the rest of the vehicle, the Q2 will feature newly-designed 17-inch alloy wheels, with the option of 19-inch.   

Technology from higher up the Audi range, including the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, active lane assist and the pre-sense collision avoidance system, are all included in the line-up.

Alongside a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine, Audi will offer 1.4- and 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engines and 1.6- and 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel units.

 

Fiat Tipo

Identical from the C-pillar forward, the hatchback and estate are set to take on Škoda’s Rapid when they arrive in UK showrooms in September, with prices to be announced nearer that time.

The Tipo is 4.37 metres long in hatchback form and offers 440 litres of boot space, while the estate adds 20mm and 110 litres of load capacity.

MultiJet II turbodiesel engines will be offered in 94bhp 1.3-litre and 118bhp two-litre formats, while 94bhp 1.4-litre and 118bhp 1.4 turbo petrol engines line up alongside a 1.6-litre e-TorQ engine producing 109bhp, combined exclusively with a six-speed, torque converter automatic gearbox.

The Tipo will be available in three trim levels, with air conditioning, remote central locking, rear electric windows (estate only), electric mirrors, six airbags, digital radio and Bluetooth connectivity among the standard equipment.

 

Volvo V90

The imposing V90 estate drew the crowds on Volvo’s stand. Displayed in petrol, diesel and T8 hybrid form, the V90 claims CO2 emissions as low as 47g/km.

Priced from £34,555 – some £2,000 more than the S90 saloon – the new V90 arrives in UK showrooms in October with the range-topping 401bhp (and 472lb-ft), plug-in hybrid following early next year.

Momentum and Inscription trim levels will be available from launch, mated to 187bhp D4 or 232bhp D5 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engines. The front-wheel-drive V90 D4 comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and offers combined fuel consumption of 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 119g/km.

The D5, meanwhile, incorporates Volvo’s PowerPulse technology to boost responsiveness, using compressed air to spool up the turbo at low revs. This results in a swift 7.2-second dash to 62mph.

Among the V90’s standard equipment is a powered tailgate, leather upholstery, LED headlights with active high beam, two-zone climate control, keyless engine starting and heated front seats. Volvo’s nine-inch touchscreen Sensus infotainment system is also standard, bringing with it sat-nav, voice-control and internet access.

 

Aston Martin DB11

Aston Martin DB11Visitors to the Geneva Motor Show seemed to strike up an immediate bond with the Aston Martin DB11.

The first all-new DB-badged Aston Martin since the launch of the DB9 13 years ago,

the supercar broke cover with the claim of being “the most powerful, most efficient and most dynamically gifted DB model in Aston Martin’s history”.

Priced from £154,900, the DB11 is expected to reach UK showrooms in Q4 of this year.

Powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12, designed in-house, the DB11 will accelerate to 62mph in 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 200mph courtesy of 600bhp and 516lb-ft of torque power output.

Sitting on a new bonded aluminium platform and with next-generation infotainment technology, the DB11 is the first in Aston Martin’s ‘Second Century’ plan.

Part of its innovative design incorporates innovative aerodynamic solutions – including the gill-like ‘Curlicue’, which releases high-pressure air from inside the wheel arch via a concealed vent within the redesigned side-strake.

At the rear, lift is reduced by Aston Martin’s AeroBlade, a virtual spoiler fed by air intakes located at the base of each C-pillar.

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said: “This is not only the most important car that Aston Martin has launched in recent history, but also in its 103-year existence. The DB11 rightfully places Aston Martin once again as a leading brand in the luxury automotive market.”

 

Maserati Levante

With the Levante, Maserati is aiming to exploit a premium SUV market already occupied by the Porsche Cayenne.

The Italian brand hopes to boost global sales to 49,000 next year – rising from about 32,000 in 2015 – by entering a burgeoning SUV market poised to receive the Jaguar F-Pace and Bentley Bentayga.

Much was made of the luxurious attributes of the Levante at the Swiss event, with an interior “created with the finest materials, most exquisite to the touch, from optional premium leather to Ermenegildo Zegna silk”.

But the Italian entry must also deliver on Maserati’s

sports-oriented values and is said to feature 50:50 weight distribution and the lowest centre of gravity in its class.

The Levante is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo petrol engine with 345bhp or 424bhp, or a 271bhp 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, each mated to Maserati’s Q4 intelligent all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic gearbox with integrated stop-start system.

The 424bhp Levante should reach 62mph in 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 164mph with 21.6mpg fuel consumption and 253g/km CO2 emissions.

The more frugal turbodiesel, meanwhile, claims to hit 62mph in 6.9 seconds, a 143mph top speed, 32.7mpg fuel economy and 189g/km CO2 emissions.

The Maserati is expected to cost from £54,000 when it arrives in UK showrooms in May.

 

Renault Scenic

Arriving in UK showrooms this coming winter, Renault’s new Scenic looks like it will make an impact on the MPV market.

Inspired by the R-Space concept of 2011, the new fourth-generation Scenic is the latest vehicle to receive the brand redesign co-ordinated by Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker.

Having grown 40mm in length (4,406mm), 20mm in width (1,865mm) and 13mm in height (1,653mm), the new Scenic claims best-in-class load capacity of 575 litres and additional cubby space of 65 litres in the cabin.

All Scenics feature a two-tone colour scheme and 20-inch alloy wheels as standard.

The Scenic is to be sold with a choice of six diesel engines and two petrols, with a Hybrid Assist version of the dci 110 engine arriving later.

The turbodiesel engines produce between 94bhp and 158bhp, with the

petrol units producing 113bhp and 128bhp, but no fuel efficiency figures have been released as yet.

Among the technological firsts for a Renault MPV are: lane-keeping assist and an active emergency braking system with pedestrian detection and tiredness detection.

A full colour head-up display, 8.7-inch R-Link 2 touchscreen infotainment systems and Bose surround sound are also among the highlights.

 

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet

Scheduled to arrive in UK showrooms this summer, the open-top C-Class broke cover at the Geneva Motor Show.

Featuring an automated soft-top that can open or close in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph, the latest convertible from the German brand is some 4mm taller than its coupé stablemate, yet offers an additional 12mm of rear headroom.

With prices for the C-Class Cabriolet yet to be confirmed, the line-up includes C 220d and C 250d turbodiesel variants, along with six petrol options, including the C 43 4Matic. Power varies from 168bhp to 328bhp, and the C 220d is the cleanest option, with claims of 62.8mpg and 116g/km CO2.

 

Ford Edge and Kuga Vignale

Continuing its efforts to give owners the option of moving into a more premium offering, Ford unveiled Kuga (right) and Edge Vignale (above) models at Geneva.

The new SUV models and an S-Max Vignale will join the existing Mondeo Vignale and will be sold from Ford UK’s 68-strong Ford Store franchised dealer network. Prices have yet to be confirmed.

Bespoke paint and wheel treatments, signature diamond-quilted leather trim, active noise control and a bespoke version of Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system are all part of the Vignale package.

Customers also benefit from hospitality experiences at events such as the Chelsea Flower Show and Cannes Film Festival thanks to an exclusive lifestyle service.

 

Honda Civic Hatchback Concept

Honda aims to deliver its sportiest ever Civic with a 10th-generation version set to enter the UK market early next year.

A sneak preview of how it will look was given in the form of the Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype, which made its public debut in Geneva.

Dimensions some 30mm wider, 20mm lower and 130mm longer than the current Civic hatchback are all part of a dynamic new appearance.

The new Civic – to be produced at Honda’s UK manufacturing hub in Swindon – will be the first Honda to feature the brand’s all-new one-litre and 1.5-litre Vtec Turbo petrol engines.

 

Kia Optima

Kia is aiming to expand the appeal of its Optima with the imminent arrival of a Sportswagon, sporty GT and efficient plug-in hybrid versions.

All three featured on a busy stand at the Geneva Motor Show, with the brand’s first D-segment tourer providing the practicality of a 553-litre boot, the 242bhp GT offering more performance and the plug-in hybrid targeting 37g/km CO2 emissions.

All are due to enter the UK market before the end of the year.

Paul Philpott, president and CEO of Kia Motors UK, told AM: “People have always appreciated the styling of the Optima and now we should have a range fit to appeal to a wide range of customers.”

 

Škoda VisionS

Officially billed as a concept vehicle, the VisionS offered a flavour of Škoda’s planned  big brother to the Yeti SUV to be unveiled later this year.

Škoda CEO Bernhard Maier said: “In terms of design, overall package and everyday practicality, the Škoda VisionS already provides an insight into our new SUV.”

Appearing with plug-in hybrid technology that will feature on future Škodas, the VisionS is 4.7m long and features three rows of seats and the brand’s new front-end design language.

The 222bhp part-electric drivetrain brings together a 154bhp 1.4 TSI petrol engine and 40kW electric motor to return a claimed 149mpg fuel efficiency and 45g/km CO2 emissions.

 

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