Geneva ’12: Key launches

Time 3:54 pm, March 6, 2012

CAR Dealer is covering the Geneva Motor Show both live and back at home ensuring you’ve got the news that matters to you.

What follows are the cars that could be heading to your showrooms in the next 12 months – and some exotica thrown in for good measure.

This post is being updated throughout the day



Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

How could we not start with the most powerful Ferrari ever made? Leaked pictures of Ferrari’s stunning 599 replacement broke roughly two weeks ago – and the Prancing Horse confirmed all with a batch of official photos last week.

With a 6.2-litre V12 under the bonnet that churns out a mesmerising 730bhp and 690Nm of torque, the F12 Berlinetta is the most powerful road-going Ferrari ever. It’ll crack 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds – and has already set a record lap time around Ferrari’s test track.

Expect a launch date the latter part of this year.


Hyundai i20 and Veloster Turbo

Hyundai has finally applied its ‘fluidic sculpture’ styling to the popular i20 – a car that has won many customers in the UK. But the styling is not just the only thing that has changed. Hyundai claims the i20’s new 1.1-litre diesel engine has the lowest CO2 emissions of ‘any other car with a conventional powertrain’, along with another impressive 1.4-litre diesel engine (you can read more here).

As Car Dealer revealed in July, Hyundai were considering producing a turbo version of their Veloster model – and the Geneva show has produced just such a car.

The Veloster Turbo is the first Hyundai to feature the company’s 1.6-litre GDI engine with a high-compression, ‘twin-scroll turbocharger’. In European specification, this new T-GDI unit generates 183bhp and 270 Nm of torque.

Fiat 500 L

We all knew the 500 wouldn’t be the last of Fiat’s retro phase – and the 500 L (L for large) proves that theory to a tee. It’s also part of Fiat’s aim to make various models suitable for certain types of customer.

Word has it, the 500 L replaces the old Multipla – which is quite fitting in a way as the 500 L shares more than a similarity with original 600 Mulitpla of the 1960s. That was a car that predated the MPV by 20-or-so years, and famously featured a ‘cab forward’ design – something the 500 L has tried to copy.

The 500 L is a fully-functioning five-seater and will be produced at Fiat’s factory in Kragujevac, Serbia. It hits Europe in the last quarter of 2012, with an engine range which will initially consist of two petrol engines (TwinAir and 1.4-litre) and a turbodiesel engine (1.3 MultiJet II).

Citroen DS4 Racing

Citroen is extending its DS line by handing over a DS4 to its Racing arm to create the DS4 Racing.

Like the DS3 Racing, the DS4 version features carbon fibre components including an air dffuser, front splitter and wheel arch extensions, and shares the firm’s 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine – but tuned to give up to 256bhp.

Citroen Racing’s engineers have modified the chassis and running gear – the former has been lowered by 35mm and the track widened by 55mm at the front, and 75mm at the rear.

The show’s concept car features textured-effect matt grey paint – whether we’ll be treated to the DS3R’s mad black and orange paint combination in the UK is yet to be seen.

Peugeot 208 GTi and XV concepts

Talk of the Peugeot stand is the 208 GTi concept. It’s a car that aims to bring back Peugeot’s glory GTi days with the iconic 205.

It features a number of exterior modifications befitting the GTi badge and a suitably sporty interior with many red GTi details, and has the RCZ Coupe’s 1.6-litre THP 200 engine under its bonnet.

Also on the Peugeot stand is the 208 XV concept. It’s the very opposite of the 208 GTi concept as it aims to show how a ‘luxurious’ 208 could look – as such it features special ‘Pulsion’ purple paint, an interior upholstered in leather, and dual-effect 18-inch alloys.


Volvo V40

Volvo is returning to a model name last used in 2003 for its new car – the V40. It’s designed to take on the likes of the Audi A3 (below), the new Mercedes A-Class (below) and BMW’s 1 Series, and the Swedish firm plans to sell 90,000 of them when production begins in May.

Volvo promises the new V40 will boast ‘class-leading driving dynamics’ while the engines on offer will range from a diesel version emitting 94g/km of CO2 to the turbocharged T5 petrol engine with 254bhp.

We’re inclined to agree this is one of Geneva’s crackers and firmly shows Volvo is taking the profitable ‘luxury hatchback’ sector seriously. More can be read here


Audi A3

This is Audi’s much-needed replacement to the old A3 and features a new look, improved technology and build-quality, and ‘more driver appeal’ – says the German firm.

At launch, the car will be available with three four-cylinder engines: 1.4-litre and 1.8-litre TFSI engines and a 2.0-litre TDI that have outputs of 120bhp, 178bhp  and 141bhp respectively.

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Compared with the previous model, they offer fuel economy improvements averaging 12 per cent.

Order books will open for the UK in the spring priced from approximately £19k, ahead of first deliveries in September. Read more here


Mercedes-Benz A-Class

‘A is for Attack’ says Mercedes. Whether that’s the case or not, we cannot comment. What we can say, however, is that like Volvo, Mercedes is taking the premium hatchback sector very seriously.
The new car is 18cm closer to the road and loses its distinctive MPV-like bodystyle and plumps for a more traditional hatchback look.

Perhaps the interior’s stand-out feature is the opportunity to fully integrate a smartphone into the dashboard’s operating and display system. A special app makes it possible to use the full functionality of an iPhone through the dashboard’s display screen.

Customers will be able to choose from three petrols and three diesels, and the new A-Class is expected to arrive later this year. Read more here

Ford B-MAX

‘The B-MAX combines an exciting, innovative design with features that only previously have been found in bigger cars,’ says Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.

One of those innovative design features are the B-MAX’s doors. The centre pillar between the front and rear doors is cleverly integrated into the doors, resulting in easier access to both front and rear compartments.

Ford’s innovative new 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, with its advanced combination of 123bhp power output and 58.9mpg efficiency, will be available on the B-MAX, as will Duratorq TDCi diesels. It goes on sale in the UK in September.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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