Geneva just wouldn’t be Geneva without the billionaire’s toys; the one-offs and limited-edition cars that are so pervasive at the Swiss show and have been a mainstay for almost as long as the event’s 90-year tenure. Here are the ones that stood out this year.
Koenigsegg’s all-new Gemera, a four-passenger carbon fiber hybrid supercar, is a packaging dream. At 4975mm long it is not compact, but it does propose a novel mode of transport for the well heeled. Designed under the direction Sasha Selipanov, Koenigsegg’s new head of design, the Gemera’s exterior is a very fluid form that is as voluptuous as it is precise. Etienne Salome, one of Sasha’s former teammates at Bugatti (who now runs his own independent design consultancy), was responsible for the sumptuous interior design.
The powertrain is a marvel, too. Powered by a 600hp two-liter three-cylinder twin-turbocharged camless engine and three electric motors, combined output is 1700hp, which is delivered to the tarmac via an AWD system with four-wheel-steering. Only 300 examples of the Gemera will be built, but we’re seriously hoping the innovative powertrain will trickle down into other applications in the automotive sphere. Watch for the exclusive Form Trends design story soon.
The Bentley Mulliner Bacalar marks the return of coachbuilding for the British marque. The two-seat barchetta will be one of just 12 cars (all sold) built under the revived Mulliner moniker, which Bentley has owned since 1959. The Bacalar’s design was influenced by the EXP100 GT concept shown this past summer and features sustainable craftsmanship and ethically-sourced materials such as rice husk ash paint and 5,000-year-old Riverwood.
With the increasing popularity of one-off and bespoke collector’s edition luxury and supercars, Bentley’s right to be jumping on the bandwagon and leveraging the Mulliner asset. The company has said it will add three aspects to the Mulliner portfolio in the near future — Classic, Collections and Coachbuilt – each targeting a specific customer base.
Following the same theme, the Aston Martin V12 Speedster is a very limited-edition millionaire’s toy, though not quite as exclusive as the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar above. Buyers of this British-built, 12-cylinder, two-seater speedster will also be able to individually tailor their purchase to taste through Aston’s bespoke ‘Q by Aston Martin’ personalization program. Only 88 examples will be built.
“With the V12 Speedster we do go back a step and look into our past for inspiration,” says Aston Martin Lagonda design director Miles Nurnberger. “There’s a clear lineage from the 1959 Le Mans-winning DBR1 to our Centenary celebratory CC100 Speedster Concept in 2013. There is also a bit of 1953 DB3S in the mid-section, so it really is our latest incarnation of the Speedster concept. It’s also inspired by fighter jets as much as it is by our history, and it has been created to deliver an incredibly visceral experience, hence why it is a V12, rather than a V8.”
Given Aston’s recently well-publicized recent financial troubles, it makes sense for the company to emulate the success of other low-volume manufacturers (i.e. Ferrari) by building a limited-edition hardcore enthusiast model that is even more bespoke than the offerings in their current range. Let’s hope the company doesn’t run out of money before they’re able to really make a comeback with the higher volume DBX SUV.
Czinger is a new California-based carmaker and the 21C is its first car. The layout and the intent is interesting – it’s a powerful supercar that aims to deliver driving thrills – but the main theme of this design has actually been kicking around for the past five years, when company founder Kevin Czinger showed off the Blade prototype, which he devised through his primary company Divergent 3D.
The Blade also featured 3D printed elements, which served as the foundation for the 21C. The brilliance was not the product per se, but the manufacturing technology that significantly reduced time and tooling. And while the Blade featured the same layout, the design has been thoroughly refined for this production model. But when we say production we have to do so with a grain of salt: the 21C’s run is limited to just 80 cars.
Power and performance looks to be great – it’s got a 1:1 performance ratio, weighs in at 1200kg (dry) and can reach 62mph in 1.9 seconds thanks to its carbon construction and aero attributes. But its V8 engine, regardless of how technically advanced, is still a fuel-burning powerplant, notwithstanding the fact that it can run on Vulcanol. This is miles away from the now-defunct Pininfarina-designed Coda Automotive electric vehicle Kevin Czinger co-founded in 2009.