Every year, the Geneva Motor Show is the big one for most of the world’s premium manufacturers. Located in the heart of Europe, it’s as close as the Old World gets to respond to the Detroit Auto Show. And seeing how Europe has Mercedes, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Koenigsegg, and Porsche among its ranks and we don’t, the getting’s usually pretty good over there.
This year’s show is no departure, with new offerings from Ferrari, Pagani, and Bentley, trying to grab as much attention as they can from the many other dream machines on the floor. But as eye-popping as the offerings usually are at Geneva, a good number of these cars never make it to our shores. Luckily, this year feels a little different.
2018 Range Rover Velar at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show | Range Rover
For the first time in a while, it looks like a number of this year’s big guns will be coming stateside. From outrageous track cars and dream machines to everyday hatches and crossovers, these cars will likely be a major part of our changing automotive landscape sooner rather than later. So forgive us if we skipped some concepts and hypercars; these 12 are ones that are coming are way, and aren’t likely to disappoint.
1. Ford Fiesta ST
It’s no secret that we love the Fiesta ST around here. Can you blame us? For five years now, the subcompact has offered world-class handling for around $20K. At Geneva, Ford has officially unveiled the all-new 2018 model, and it looks damn good. But the most important development is this: The next-generation Fiesta is losing a cylinder, dropping down to a turbocharged 1.5 liter inline-three. Luckily, it will still crank out the same 197 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque as the current car, while returning better gas mileage.
2. Volkswagen Arteon
The Volkswagen CC proved that the brand could do design and luxury almost as well as corporate cousin Audi. But while the CC never sold in the numbers VW had hoped, it’s going to try again with the all-new Arteon. We’re glad it did; with a gorgeous design inside and out, this luxury “four-door coupe” (sorry, that’s still an oxymoron to us) could do wonders in helping the embattled brand rebuild its image.
3. Porsche 911 GT3
Finally, Porsche is giving the people what they want. On top of the latest GT3 coming with Porsche’s turbocharged 4.0 liter, 500 horsepower, 339 pound-feet of torque flat-six is routed to the wheels via — wait for it — an available six-speed manual transmission. For fans of the brand who were lamenting the end of days for the row-your-own 911, it looks like the classic powertrain is getting a stay of execution in Porsche’s latest track-ready sports car.
4. RUF CTR
If you’re more of a Porsche purist, then you’re going to love the RUF CTR. Inspired by the 1987 “Yellowbird” CTR that wowed the automotive press 30 years ago and was immortalized in a number of racing games since, this retro supercar actually has very little Porsche DNA. While the original car was a modified 911 Carrera 2, the modern CTR is has a body and frame that’s all RUF. The only thing coming from Stuttgart is it’s 3.6 liter twin-turbo flat-six. With 700 horsepower and 649 pound-feet of torque on tap, RUF’s latest Yellowbird will top out at 225 miles per hour.
Just 30 copies will be made at first, at a cost of nearly $800,000 apiece. But here’s the good news: Since RUF is recognized as a standalone automaker by the feds, you should be able to legally register one in the U.S.
5. Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
It’s been a big show for Porsche. On top of the row-your-own GT3, and the loving tribute that is the RUF CTR, we’ve also seen the launch of the Panamera Sport Turismo, which is the roundabout way of calling it the Panamera Wagon. Yes, Porsche is officially building a station wagon version of its beautifully redesigned sedan. And believe it or not, it will hit U.S. showrooms this fall, starting at $97,250. What a time to be alive.
6. McLaren 720S
McLaren is starting its next chapter with the aggressive, all-new, and in our opinion beautiful, 720S. Powered by a mid-mounted 720 horsepower, twin-turbo V8, the 720S is the first car to feature McLaren’s all-new Monocage II carbon fiber tub, and introduces an all-new styling language for the brand. With so many rapid-fire developments from the British supercar builder lately, it’s easy to forget that it’s only been six years since they returned to building road cars.
7. Honda Civic Type-R
After years of will-they-or-won’t-they, then concepts and teasers, the production Honda Civic Type-R is finally here. The first true Honda performance car since the S2000 roadster, this hot hatch sends a whoppng 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. And after spending years getting fine-tuned around the Nürburgring, there isn’t any doubt that this will be one world class performer. Look for prices to start in the mid-$30K range when it arrives later this year — if you can find one at your local dealership, that is.
8. Audi RS5
If we could ding Audi for anything during the past few years, it’s that its once tasteful and restrained styling had gotten a little boring. But we can’t say that about the latest RS 5. The new car is down on horsepower and cylinders — the previous RS 5 was powered by a 450 horsepower, 4.2 liter V8, and this one has a 444 horse V6. But it’s also mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission, and cranks out 443 pound-feet of torque, a huge improvement over the old car’s 317. This means better driving dynamics and more oomph from Audi’s latest performance coupe.
9. Renault Alpine A110
After showing concept versions for close to two years, Renault’s sports car is finally here in production trim. Inspired by the A110 of the ’60s and ’70s (one of the most successful rally cars of all time), the A110 will be mid-engined and likely be powered by a turbocharged inline-four. While the French coupe isn’t likely to be sold in the U.S., it’s viability as an Alfa Romeo 4C, Porsche Cayman/Boxster, Audi TT RS fighter could make a strong case for French cars to return to the U.S. eventually. After all, Renault’s partner Nissan has one of the strongest dealership networks in the country. Just sayin’…
10. Aston Martin Valkyrie
It may have missed the Porsche 918/McLaren P1/LaFerrari party by a few years, but Aston Martin is diving into the hypercar game in a big way with the Valkyrie. Offering Le Mans Prototype-class levels of visceral performance, the Valkyrie will be available in both street legal and track only versions. Don’t expect Aston to build many of either, and we doubt the price tag will be below seven figures.
11. Range Rover Velar
Slotting in between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport, the Velar (a name first used on the 1969 Range Rover prototype) looks to fill the void for Range Rover’s more luxury-oriented customers. While we’re certain that the new SUV will live up to its off-roading roots, a panoramic sunroof and a wide range of trims and engines (ranging from an inline four to a V6) mean that most of these good-looking crossovers will likely stick to the pavement in more affluent parts of town.
12. Volvo XC60
Volvo has brought its gorgeous styling language to the midsize XC60, and unsurprisingly, the results are spectacular. Looking like a miniature XC90 with even better proportions, we’d be shocked if the new crossover doesn’t strengthen Volvo’s current comeback. The one to get will be the hybrid T8, with its 400 horsepower powerplant.