Under the magnificently bright lights at the Geneva Auto Show, Europe's supercar playground, sat a whole bunch of breathtaking machines. Superbly engineered and carrying some of the most prestigious insignia in the automotive world, the beauties revealed at the show will be enough to get any spunky teenager frothing at the mouth. Enjoy.
Ferrari 488 GTB
The 488 GTB is an exciting prospect because it happens to be the first mid-engined turbocharged V8 Ferrari in two decades. Channeling the past greats like the 288 GTO, the 488 GTB is essentially a 458 with more power, greater stability thanks to super smart electronics and F1 derived downforce trickery, and a wider stance. It looks wild, a flurry of scoops channeling air into the engine and onto the brakes, but it should be just as easy to drive and own for (admittedly rich) Ferrari enthusiasts as any entry level Ferrari.
Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce
Lamborghinis have a reputation for being ultra aggressive right off the showroom floor, so when the Italian madmen decide on making a warmed up version of the “basic” models, the world awaits with bated breath. The Superveloce is a race car for the road, with a stripped out interior (devoid of infotainment system, carpets, insulation) and plenty of carbon bits to reduce weight. It'll do 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and blow gaping holes in your eardrums while doing it. It is, admittedly, less extreme than the previous SVs like the Diablo and Murcielago, but it goes just as fast and the experience should be just as surreal. Price? Near about $400,000.
5.0-liter twinturbo V8 motor. 1500 horsepower and 2000 lb-ft of torque. 250 mph in only 20 seconds. Welcome to the new world standard for hyper-mega-supercars. The Veyron and Koenigsegg's own Agera R pales in comparison. The Regera is a million dollar-plus plug in hybrid which doesn't have a conventional gearbox, instead employing electric motors at all the wheels to get the power down, resulting in the astonishing acceleration figures quoted above. It looks like a mishmash, the front end looks like a flattened Jaguar F-type while the rear looks vaguely Jaguar XJ220-ish. Which is a very good thing. Only 80 will be made.
Audi R8 V10 Plus
Under the elegantly unassuming exterior of the 2017 R8 lies a 610 horsepower naturally aspirated 5.2 liter V10 engine. The new body is much lighter and stronger than before, with almost everything being touched upon and updated for the newer model. Audi is pulling a Porsche with the R8, by quietly updating and tucking/tweaking here and there, without changing the basic formula too much. Trying to fix something that isn't broken has never been the German way, and everyone knows Audi likes to play it safe.
Classics at the Geneva Auto Show
Geneva isn't all about hypercars, mind you. This year's show received a good amount of worthy classics like the Mk IV Ford GT, McLaren F1 longtail and more sharing show-case space with newer cars. Pure eye candy.
The Bugatti Veyron has reached the end of the line. It has been a bittersweet ten years of the magnificently engineered machine, with many complaining it doesn't live up to the beauty of Bugattis of years past, others obsessing over the numbers so much that they missed the whole point.
If Ettore Bugatti was alive, he would be proud. Yeah, it weighs a ton, it looks bloated and it isn't as focused as many would like it to be, but from a purely engineering point of view, the Veyron is exactly like Ettore's greatest creations. It took leaps and it didn't bother with the general consumer perceptions. Why would it give a damn, when so few could ever hope to own one?
The last one, poetically christened “La-Finale” is the 450th chassis to roll out of the Molshiem factory, and features a unique paint scheme, interior fittings and more. With so few made, its no doubt that the Veyron will compete for auction block space in ten or twenty years time.
Whatever the Veyron means to you, for us, it will join the list of the indescribably French things ever (even though its made by the Germans): Edith Piaf, Citroen DS, Zinedine Zidane, the Louvre. The Eiffel Tower is a bit too pointy to make the list.