Luxury Automobiles

Top Supercars From The Geneva Auto Show

Motor shows around the world are slowly moving towards a display of electric and hybrid cars for the masses. Geneva, however, stands out still as a display of cars for the dreamers, the wonderers and the uber rich.

Companies such as Bugatti, Aston-Martin and Rolls Royce, amongst others, used the 2019 Geneva Motor Show to remind the world that there are still automobiles to caress and stimulate the senses.

Aston –Martin AM-RB 003

The legendary British marque is going from strength to strength in regards to their upper level vehicles. The Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro are the two most notable additions. At the Geneva Show, the AM-RB 033, a slimmer version of the bonkers Valkyrie twins, was showcased.

Missing the race oriented rear wing, the AM-RB 003, or potentially the “Valhalla”, is powered by a V6 engine and electric system with a guesstimated output of 1,000 horsepower and above. Importantly, the 003 eschews a traditional front engine/rear drive layout, and goes for a mid-engined positioning.

Although the sky-scraper style rear wing is gone, an integrated wing has a hidden surprise. Engineered in conjunction with NASA, the FlexFoil design allows changes to the way the air flows over the rear of the car without changing the angle of attack.

Sections of the wing can move instead, and will reduce turbulence, wind noise, and increase flow efficiency in around the carbon fiber chassis and bodywork.

Inside is a showcase of technology, function and form. 3D printing gives the 003 its center console, with lightweight composites also being used. This provides a reduced mass of up to 50 percent for areas such as the center console. There’s also a custom-made mounting point for a smartphone or small tablet that will integrate into the onboard computer and replace the entertainment system.

Expected release date is 2021.

Koenigsegg Jesko.

Not known for subtle designs, Koenigsegg almost achieved that with the unveiling of the Jesko. Unlike the AM-RB 003, the Jesko has an eye-catching rear wing that spans the full width of the rear. It’s mounted on a solid, pedestal like, rear window replacing affair that sits over a rear wheel steering system.

The name is that of the father of the founder of this supercar company.  Jesko von Koenigsberg was at the Geneva show to witness his four wheeled namesake being unveiled.

A newly designed and engineered 5.0L V8 is a flexible engine, delivering 1,280 horsepower on standard gasoline, but feed it E85 biofuel and that figure rises to 1,600 hp. Torque is rated as 1,106 lb-ft. With a rev point past 8,000rpm, the flat plane engine features a super lightweight crankshaft. Weighing just 12.5 kilograms, the single billet piece allows a lower reciprocating mass by rotating with conrods weighing just 540 grams each, including bolts.

Somehow a nine speed auto manages to harness that power, and is a technophile’s dream with a wet disc multi-clutch design that allows the automatic to smartly change gears in a non-sequential manner. Need sixth gear down from ninth? It’ll do so.

The body itself is of an engineer’s dream. Built from a sandwich of carbon fiber and aluminum, it has integrated fuel tanks, roll over bars, and using a composite material named Dyneema, is rated to a torsional rigidity of 65,000 Nm per degree. A new rear splitter and front wing add to the aero advantage that the Jesko has over other Koenigsegg vehicles.

125 versions of road and track focused machines are expected to be built at an estimated cost of USD $2.8 million per car.

McLaren Speedtail.

As much as Jaguar’s F-Type is the spiritual successor to its legendary E-Type, the McLaren Speedtail, the fourth in the McLaren Ultimate series, can be considered a successor to the original McLaren F1.

It starts with the three seat configuration. It continues with ground breaking design elements such as the rearward facing cameras that replace the mirrors, and fold into the bodywork to reduce drag when not required.

Carbon fiber features in the bodywork and McLaren announce that by having wheel covers, again to reduce drag. But it IS the body that stamp this as something unique. With a teardrop design that provides a literally unbroken line, both visually, and for air flow from front to rear, the Speedtail has an almost cab forward look.

In profile there are just two visible shutlines, further enhancing the aero look. Combined with a 1,036hp hybrid engine package and a dry weight of just 1,430kg, McLaren say it will reach 300 km/h or 186mph in just 12.8 seconds. Top speed? 250mph or 403 km/h. However, McLaren’s own website does not yet disclose full engine specifications.

The interior, as expected, is a work of art. The driver’s central position has the steering wheel bracketed by a pair of touchscreens, with a third screen directly ahead of the driver’s position. One screen will be for aircon and navigation, the other for media and entertainment.

A decluttered design for the seating area comes courtesy of an overhead console. Milled from aluminum, it houses the gear selection buttons, drive modes, and window switches.

106 Speedtails are to be built at a cost of USD$2.3 million and all are sold before production.

Pininfarina Battista.

Italian design powerhouse Pinifarina unveiled its bespoke hypercar at Geneva. It’s the company’s first in-house machine and it’s one beautiful debut car.

Partnering with electric vehicle company Rimac, the Battista, named after the founder of Pininfarina, packs in four electric motors, 1696 lb-ft, and a staggering 1874 horsepower. That’s good enough for a 0-62mph time of under two seconds, and a blistering 186mph or 300km/h time of just under 12 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 217mph.

A 120kWh battery pack provides a range of up to 280 miles between charges. The T-shaped package is set between the driver and passenger seats, with the head of the T situated underneath the rear seats. Drive from the four corners will feature torque-vectoring, and five drive modes to take advantage of those massive numbers in any driving condition. A kinetic recharge system will be attached to the 21-inch diameter wheels and Pirelli P-Zero rubber, with recovered energy sourced from six pot brakes front and rear.

The exterior bears a resemblance to Pininfarina’s main outlet, Ferrari. A sleek profile, a sine wave roofline, and slimline headlights with a lightbar joining the pair stamp it as a definably Italian design.

No more than 150 are currently scheduled to roll off the production line at a current estimated cost of two million Euros or just under USD$2.25 million.

Ferrari F8 Tributo.

The Prancing Horse brand stands out in this list with its F8 Tributo being the only non-electric or non-hybrid car, A petrol fed V8 of 3.9L, attached to a pair of turbos and a seven speed dual clutch auto, produces 720 horsepower and 568 lb-ft or 770Nm of torque. The Tributo is the replacement for the 488 GTB and Ferrari is yet to confirm the price, but it’s expected to be somewhat north of $340,000.

The car has been given a makeover inside and out, losing 40 kilograms, and if fitted with the lightweight options, can weigh as little as 1,330 kilograms or 2,932 pounds. This, combined with the extra horsepower the F8 has over the GTB, sees a 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds. 0-124mph or 200km/h in 7.38 seconds is its game, and that’s on the way to a mooted top speed of 211mph or 311km/h.

Some of this extra speed is courtesy to the aforementioned exterior changes, with a drag reduction of ten percent compared to the 488 GTB. To the eye it’s a familiar and sensuously styled machine, but it’s the subtle changes that tell a deeper story.

The nose is set lower and there are more air ducts built in, with the nose a more rounded rather than bluff design. The windscreen line comes forward, changing the flow of air over the top of the lower roofline of the aluminum spaceframe body. The rear has a reshaped valance, and there is a deep set duct to allow escaping air. A little bit of history is brought back with a quad tail light motif, as has a Lexan vented engine cover.

The inside has been given a lighter makeover, with the GTB’s two tone color scheme ditched in favor of a more monotone look.

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David Conole

Dave Conole is the former long-term circuit commentator for Sydney Motorsport Park, has worked trackside at the Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne and is self-employed as an automotive content producer.

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