The 2020 Geneva motor show has turned into the Geneva motor no-show, with organisers cancelling the event due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
That leaves a lot of car manufacturers with a lot of new cars and nobody to show them to. Or at least it would if it wasn’t for a handy little thing called the internet. Here then are some of our favourite cars to be revealed on what should have been the 2020 Geneva motor show press day.
AUDI A3 SPORTBACK
As with the previous generation, the new Audi A3 will share its underpinnings with the Volkswagen Golf, Seat Leon and Skoda Octavia – all of which have already been revealed, making the A3 the last of the bunch to arrive in showrooms.
As with the Golf, you can expect a new selection of mild hybrid drivetrains and an all-new, tech-heavy interior – though under the skin, the basic platform on which the car is based remains the same as the old model.
The hot S3 version will follow later this year, and is set to use a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with around 300bhp. This gives an indication as to the specification of the yet-to-be-revealed Volkswagen Golf R, which is likely to share the same engine.
BENTLEY MULLINER BACALAR
Bentley’s Mulliner special projects arm is building only 12 examples of the Bacalar, making it one of the world’s most exclusive cars. The Crewe company says that the two-seat roadster represents a return to bespoke coachbuilding for Bentley Mulliner.
We’d expected plenty of design cues from the EXP 100 GT concept car that Bentley revealed in July last year. To some extent we’ve got just that, with Bentley adding that some of the materials seen in the Bacalar were inspired by the concept, too. Needless to say, the interior is extravagantly opulent, and there’s plenty of power on tap – under the bonnet is a 650bhp version of Bentley’s W12 petrol engine.
Sleek styling should help the new Hyundai i20 to stand out from the crowd, but the most notable departure from the old model comes beneath the skin – the 1.0-litre turbo engine will now be offered with a 48V mild hybrid boost that’ll improve fuel efficiency by 3-4%.
Inside, meanwhile, there are new connectivity features, and you’ll also be able to specify a digital instrument cluster for the first time. Hyundai also claims it has boosted quality, and pushed the wheels out to the corners of the car in order to improve its handling.
There’s more than a hint of the Volvo XC90 about the new Kia Sorento, though that’s hardly a criticism as the result is an attractive large SUV that’s likely to be just as useful and practical as the old model.
Relatively little is known at this stage about the technical specification of the new car, but we do know that – surprise, surprise – there’ll be at least one hybrid version; Kia is also promising upgraded in-car technology, including upgraded driver assistance and entertainment systems.
Polestar’s latest concept electric car, the Precept, features an angular nose and the same light bar across the rear that we’ve already seen on the Polestar 1 and 2. It’s a striking piece of design, even more so when you realise it’s a four-door saloon and not a two-door coupe.
Inside, the Precept gets a minimalist dashboard that features a digital instrument cluster, and a large, portrait-oriented central touchscreen with an Android-powered infotainment system that senses when you’re looking at it or reaching out to touch it – designed to make it less distracting.
Its seats, meanwhile, are made from a recycled plastic mesh, while other interior components are made from woven flax fibres, which Polestar says reduce both vibrations and overall weight.
We’ve already seen pictures of the new Toyota Yaris, but the Geneva motor show was supposed to be the first time we’d get to see it in the metal. It’s a shame that we won’t, because this looks like a clever little car; it’s 5mm smaller than the old Yaris, but with a stretched wheelbase to improve interior space and stability.
There’s a new hybrid powertrain under the skin, which boasts a 15% more powerful combined output than the outgoing model’s, and Toyota says the new car’s platform has been engineered to make it more enjoyable to drive, with a lower centre of gravity and better balance between the front and rear of the car.
This Yaris will also spawn an SUV derivative for the first time. Expect it to feature the same hybrid drivetrain and similar styling.
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI & GTD
You can expect a considerable hubbub around any new Golf GTI, although in reality there are few surprises. It uses a similar 2.0-litre turbo engine as before – though this time with a boost in power to 240bhp or so – and front-wheel drive, with a choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearboxes.
The new GTI will also feature a new five-light chequered motif within its front bumper grille, which will take the place of front foglights; this will be shared with the new Golf GTD, which is also not being revealed at the Geneva motor show.
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