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Geneva show 2018: Weird and wonderful cars

2018-03-07 19:00

Image: Image: Lance Branquinho/Wheels24

Lance Branquinho

Geneva - Flying cars. Insanely expensive Minis. Dreadful Bugattis. This year’s Geneva auto show had it all. 

Don’t think a motor show is merely the automotive industry doing a trade conference. It’s fiercely competitive and national pride runs true at all the major shows: Detroit, Paris, Frankfurt. That’s why everyone loves the Geneva auto show, because it’s neutral. Literally. 

With most of Switzerland’s power sourced from renewable sources, this is one expo which doesn’t burn coal to keep the lights on and Wi-Fi humming. It’s also neutral because Switzerland does not have an indigenous car industry and therefore all manufacturers feel comfortable competing for attention at an event without patriotic bias. 

Geneva is an environment which encourages outlandish design, the city is where global watch design is headquartered and its automotive expo is always a happening of new ideas. We spotted some of the weirder and more wonderful cars on display at Geneva 2018:

Flying Cars: PAL-V Liberty

Image: Lance Branquinho/Wheels24

They have been the focus of fantasy for decades, this notion of flying cars  which elude us. For R8m Dutch engineering consultancy Pal-V promise that they can build you one and the three-wheeled flying vehicle on their display stand was very convincing.

Although it has overhead blades, which are unpowered, and its flying configuration is more like that of an autogyro, where a push-propeller powers it forward, whilst the freely rotating top blades create the wing surface for sustained lift. Rated for a top speed of 180kph and maximum operating ceiling of 1200m. Owners will require a valid pilots licence to operate the Liberty in its traffic defeating flying mode. 

Retro not value: David Brown Mini

Image: Lance Branquinho/Wheels24

Retromodding has become a huge industry over the last few years, championed by what Singer has accomplished with Porsche’s 911. British independent fabricator, David Brown, has taken the lead in reviving the British automotive icon that is Mini 1.0.

Exquisitely detailed, these true to original form modern Minis are immaculate recreations of the 1960s hatchbacks, with the benefit of touchscreen infotainment and other modern touches. They also command a rather modern price: R1.2m. For a 53kW Mini. 

Too Fast, Too Furious: Liberty Walk GT-R

Image: Lance Branquinho/Wheels24

In the world of ‘stance’ and ornate styling attitude, nobody is more celebrated by enthusiasts, and reviled by OEMs, than Japanese tuning house Liberty Walk. Its creations are radical and pay no mind to convention or tradition. At Geneva the most striking Liberty Walk car was something intrinsically Japanese, a GT-R with a lower stance, more wing and very peculiar rear wheel camber. 

Unapologetically Liberty Walk and strangely, one of the more palatable creations the Japanese enfant terrible of the car industry has built. 

Retro done right: Lamborghini Marzal

Image: Lance Branquinho/Wheels24

Where once the louvre was a feature of destiny on many passenger cars in the 1980s, it’s now completely absent. Anyone who remembers the credibility a louvred rear windscreen gave any Sierra when new, will reminisce poignantly about days long past.

And at Geneva, the car which made the louvre a design accessory of desire, was once again on display. Lamborghini’s Marzal was first seen at the Geneva show in 1967, where its space exploration influenced cabin (all reflective silver) wowed showgoers. But the influence it had on the industry, was its popularisation of the louvred rear windscreen. Five decades later, it looks cooler than ever. Inspiration for a louvre revival, perhaps? We hope so. 

Questionable tasteMansory Viviere Final Diamond Edition by Moti

Image: Lance Branquinho/Wheels24

Kourosh Mansory is an Iranian born tuner who has made a hugely successful business customising very expensive cars for people who have more money than taste. If you need to make your Rolls-Royce look a great deal less classy, Mansory will oblige.

If you need to make your Bugatti Veyron look awful, Mansory can do that too. Its absolute moment of infamy at this year’s Geneva show was this Bugatti, finished to look like something from the Formica kitchen top catalogue.  

Image: Lance Branquinho/Wheels24


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