Geneva Auto Show 2016 production model premieres, part 1: Abarth – Kia


  • Abarth 124 Spider

This is the tuned version of the Fiat 124 Spider, which in its turn is based on the fourth generation Mazda MX-5. That means a long hood, low seating position and short but stubby rear end. And of course rear wheel drive and a short-shifting manual gearbox. The Abarth looks more militant than the Fiat thanks to its black hood and trunk lid, but the powerboost of just 10 hp to 170 hp isn’t very impressive and the chassis can handle more power for sure. I hope they’re coming up with more impressive hardware in the future, for example the 300 hp 1,8 liter they’ve mounted in the rally-spec Abarth hard-top. That unit has been mounted further back in the engine bay for better weight distribution. But that’s not all: it looks so stunning you’d wonder why they don’t use a transparent hood to show their jewelry to the world.

  • Alfa Romeo Giulia

We’ve finally seen the mainstream versions of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, after having been teased with the Giulia QV for over six months now, and honestly I hate to say this, but I’m slightly disappointed with them. The Giulia looks absolutely stunning and very aggressive with the QV body kit, and the white one on display wasn’t too bad, but the blue and grey ones just look didn’t do it for me. The lame wheel designs didn’t help and neither did the uninspiring colors. I really hope this is Alfa’s attempt at following Audi’s strategy of making the basic car look so lame that anyone with even one drop of petrolhead-blood in his body is forced to spend extra on  the optional sports package (or S-line for Audi) with body kit and a nice set of wheels to make the car look the way it’s supposed to look.

The Giulia will be available in Europe with three 2,2 liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engines, the 150 hp and 180 hp versions are rear-wheel drive only and the option of manual or automatic gearbox. The 210 hp diesel will only have four-wheel drive and an automatic. The 2 liter four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine will also come in three versions all with standard automatic gearbox. The entry-level version has 200 hp with rear-wheel drive, the 250 hp version has four-wheel drive and the 280 hp version surprisingly comes standard with RWD, but optional AWD. The next step up is the QV with 510 hp, as we already know.

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Poll: what were your top 5 production cars in Geneva 2016?

Following articles on our Top 5 production cars, as well as Top 5 production car disappointments, now we’d like to hear what you thought the stars of the show were!

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Geneva 2016: Top 5 production car disappointments

#5 Ssangyong Tivoli XLV

Ssangyong Tivoli XLV

Why is it here? Because it marks a returns to form for Ssangyong as the maker of the ugliest cars on earth. The regular Tivoli may not be a great looker, but at least it’s a decently-proportioned small crossover. And proportions is exactly what this overstretched, under-wheeled monstrosity gets so horribly wrong.

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Geneva 2016: Top 5 production cars

#5 Porsche 911 R

Porsche 911 R

Why is it here? Two reasons: manual gearbox, and natural aspiration. At a time when most other supercar manufacturers are releasing cars powered by turbocharged engines that do with two pedals only, citing emissions and efficiency, Porsche is alone in still offering drivers what they really crave: three pedals and a stick that the driver has to row with speed and precision to extract the best from a wailing, high-rev NA engine. Long may this combo live!

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Geneva Auto Show 2016 Preview

Geneva-Auto-Show-2016-Bugatti_ChironWe’ll be covering the Geneva Auto Show press days on Tuesday March 1 and Wednesday March 2. Make sure you follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with all the news and all the pictures, as we’ll upload them there as it happens. Of course you’ll find detailed reports right here on our site within the next few days.

Here’s a list of all the premieres, facelifts and concept cars:

  • Alfa Romeo Giulia (non-QV)
  • Aston Martin DB11
  • Audi S4 Avant
  • Audi Q2
  • Audi RS Q3 Performance
  • BMW M760Li
  • Bugatti Chiron
  • Citroën Spacetourer, Peugeot Traveller, Toyota Proace
  • Ferrari GTC4Lusso

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Poll: your Top 5 disappointments from Detroit

After Kriss’ list of his Top 5 disappointments from the North American International Auto Show (Detroit 2016 to you and me), now it’s time for you to tell us – what do you think were the Top 5 disappointments?

Also, if you haven’t yet voted, let us know what were your Top 5 cars.… Continue Reading …

Detroit 2016: the Disappointments

1.    Honda Ridgeline

Echoing Bart’s article, I really can’t imagine what Honda was thinking when it designed the new Ridgeline. It looks like a pick-up version of the Pilot SUV, a yummy-mummy favorite, but surely the target audience is on the exact end of the spectrum?


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Poll: your Top 5 cars from Detroit

After Kriss’ list of his Top 5 cars from the North American International Auto Show (Detroit 2016 to you and me), now it’s time for you to tell us – what do you think were the Top 5 cars that made their debut at the auto show?… Continue Reading …

Detroit 2016: Top 5

1.  Chrysler Pacifica

A huge return to form for Chrysler, not only in terms of styling but in terms of innovation: it’s the world’s first plug-in minivan. Looks good enough to lure some people away from their family SUVs.

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Lincoln Continental: missed opportunity

Unlike Lexus, which changed only a few minor details when turning the LF-LC concept car into the LC500 production vehicle, Lincoln has watered down the cool and sexy Continental Concept from the New York Auto Show last year. That doesn’t mean the production version is ugly or dull, it’s still one of the best looking Lincolns of the last decade, but I can’t help feeling a bit let down by the final design. Maybe it just looks better in dark colors and the white of the press images doesn’t really help it, but you’d think the marketing folks would figure that out themselves, wouldn’t you?


Take for example the rear fenders: the Continental Concept had pronounced shoulders, giving it a bit of a rear-wheel drive look. The flared fenders have been flattened and straightened out in the production version, which makes the Continental looks less energetic and less powerful. It also seems like the C-pillar flows into the rear quarter more smoothly in the concept than in the final version.… Continue Reading …