The 90th edition of the Geneva Motor Show sadly became the Geneva No Show after the impeding threat of coronavirus dampened plans to hold the event and the Swiss government cancelled all gatherings larger than 1000 people. While it’s better to be safe than sorry – the epidemic is still not contained and there are increasing numbers of cases being reported as well as deaths – it was going to be another year of important debuts. Here are the top 4 new production car debuts we witnessed from afar.
The Citroen Ami concept shown at last year’s Geneva show was very impressive, so it’s really great to see Citroen putting it into production. A shame that a lot of the more premium elements of the concept have been watered down — lamps are expensive, so it’s understandable. Putting the Ami on this list is a stretch though because Citroen did not actually plan to attend the Geneva show this year. Instead, the Ami was launched at a private event in Paris days before the actual opening of the Geneva show. [FULL ARTICLE HERE]
Sometimes you don’t need to change everything. The new 500 is case in point. Fiat’s little darling has been a massively successful car since its re-introduction back in 2007. That was 13 years ago, but it’s still doing relatively well in terms of sales regardless. This refreshed third generation is actually an all-new car, based on a dedicated electric platform – the first from FCA. The new design retains the now-iconic theme of the 2007 remake but gives it a more contemporary, modern identity, particularly visible in the lamps and IP design.
To mark the arrival of the new car, three ‘One-Off’ models developed with Giorgio Armani, Bvlgari and Kartell — featuring natural, recycled and regenerated materials — were created and will be auctioned off. Proceeds from the sale will go to environmental organizations. Above are some sketches by exterior designers Niccolò Bonanni, Dario Pellegrino and Lorenzo Battisti, and interior designers Michele Longo, Nicola Bartolucci, Edoardo Lelli, and Francesco Morosi.
Cupra, the new performance arm of VW Group’s Seat brand, first revealed the Formentor concept at the 2019 edition of the Geneva motor show. At the time, Seat design boss Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos told us how the concept was 90 percent complete, and he wasn’t lying. The production model was meant to launch at this year’s Geneva show is remarkably close to the concept. The exterior and interior designs (derived from the Seat Leon) are very contemporary, employing very on-trend copper-colored accents. Though the Seat brand is known for its emotional sportiness, Cupra can now extend its reach towards the premium-electric class. This is particularly crucial for emerging markets such as China, where the seat brand is not well-known and new products are seen as cutting edge. [FULL ARTICLE HERE]
Audi is continuing to push forward with its technology influenced design language, this time applying it to the fourth generation A3. Formally called the A3 Sportback, the new five-door model is marginally different than its predecessor, gaining just 30mm in overall width the cabin. It’s new cars like this that really make me wish I had been able to see the launch in person. It’s really difficult to be able to judge the surface changes and design subtleties from doctored photos or Photoshop-rendered images. From the front three-quarter, the bodyside looks like it could have come off an A-Class. Perhaps that’s not fair, but I don’t know. Hopefully, I’ll have the opportunity to see it soon. [FULL ARTICLE HERE]
Overall, the new flagship DS9 is non-descript. Based on the Peugeot 508, the premium offshoot has added a few elements of chrome decorum and bespoke lamps to breathe some semblance of DS identity, and there is some cool detailing such as the rear indictors in the D-pillars, which pay homage to the original DS. Perhaps the DS9 is one of those designs that you really need to see in person and sit in to appreciate. Perhaps I’m just becoming jaded in my old age. The design team’s sketches are beautiful though.
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