The Geneva Auto Show may offer one of the smallest floor areas of the international auto show circuit, it’s all about density. And when it comes to supercars and tuners, there’s no place in the world where you will find more of the most outrageous creations per square meter than here at the Palexpo Convention Center.
Brands like Koenigssegg, Pagani and RUF would stand out of the crowd in any other auto show, but here in Switzerland, their exotic car offerings are almost too ordinary to be worth a second look. No wonder in order to be noticed, the Ferrari stand is larger than Lancia’s, RUF has a floor space almost as large as Porsche, and tuners are going through extremes to be noticed.
In that light, Mansory, famous for its ostentatious creations, usually considered “over-the-top” for western likes, keeps things relatively civilized this year. With a Rolls Royce Wraith in a two-tone chrome/petrol blue metallic paint and enormous 22” wheels, a Bentley Flying Spur in a two-tone chrome/brown metallic paint and a couple of “power domes” in the hood, and a Bugatti Veyron wrapped in carbon fibre, the exclamation “Oh my god, look at that!“ could still be heard many times (not a lie), but we’ve seen worse creations out of Brand, Germany. At least Mansory came up on top in the horsepower race, it’s Aventador Carbonado GT pumps out 1.600 horsepower thanks to a set of turbochargers on the 6,5-liter V12.
One stand further, at Carlsson, they have decided that the one thing the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class was missing was gold. Lots of gold. About a thousand gold leafs, worth 12.000 euros ($ 16.500), with which the special body kit and interior parts have been covered after 200 man-hours of work. What’s even more incredible, is that Carlsson claims to have already sold 10 of these out of a planned production of 25 units. 10 people worldwide are about to be stalked by golddiggers.
Meanwhile in Bottrop, Germany, the folks at Brabus have calculated that the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6 is less powerful than it is overwhelming and that 700 horsepower would do just fine. Does that seem relatively humble to you too? Well, it should, considering Brabus are more than happy to fit your S-Class or E-Class with a little less submissive 850 horsepower.
850 horsepower? The Danish folks at Zenvo eat that for breakfast. Their ST1 is equipped with a 6.8 liter V8 engine with a turbo AND a supercharger, pumping out more than 1.100 horsepower. But you already knew that, as you’ve seen the Top Gear episode where it first broke down a few times and eventually caught fire.
As even bad publicity still is publicity, the Top Gear appearance sure has put Zenvo on the map and must have woken up the not-very-sleepy-to-begin-with engineers at Sweden’s Koenigsegg, who have built the Agera-based One:1. Strange name? Well, it makes more sense if you consider it has a power-to-weight ratio of 1:1. How much exactly? 1.340 kilograms (2.954 pounds) and -logically- 1.340 horsepower from a twin-turbocharged 5-liter V8 engine. Koenigsegg expect it to smash records for 0-200 km/h (0-124 mph), 0-300 km/h (0-186 mph) and even 0-400 km/h (0-248 mph) acceleration sprints. The latter could be as fast as 20 seconds, or about as much as a Lada Niva takes to reach 100 km/h (62 mph).
Back down to earth now, with Germany’s Gumpert, creators of the Apollo, who have risen from the dead and now believe the world was in desperate need of a car named Explosion. The Gumpert Explosion looks to be based on the Audi TT, and offers a 2-liter four-cylinder engine with 420 horsepower. Great idea if you also think the new Audi TT looks too much like the previous one. Too bad you have to hand over no less than € 105.000 ($ 144.000) before Gumpert gives you the keys. That kind of money gets you a lot of other, better looking cars.
Did I just mention the words better looking? At a company called Nimrod, they think that some Italian supercars could use some refining in order to look better. You can even pick whether you want your way-too-ordinary 458 to look somewhat like Ferrari’s trackday special FXX or distantly like the new LaFerrari. But wait, it gets even worse, the Slovakian (are you surprised?) company is even willing to ruin your perfectly fine Aventador if you think Lamborgini has done a terrible job at making it stand out of the crowd and if you think it’s not expensive enough to begin with.
It’s a good thing the convention center is located right next to Geneva’s airport, because the first week of March, this is the place people with often more money than taste fly to when they want to spend their money on a new set of wheels.