What to watch for at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show
By Darren Quick
February 20, 2012
With the 82nd Geneva Motor Show just weeks away, the world's automakers are gearing up to display their wares. As usual, many companies have already teased us with previews of what they'll have on display, including new small cars from the likes of Peugeot, Skoda and GM, plus concepts from Rinspeed, Nissan, Bertone, Ssanyong and Mini. With the number of teasers multiplying by the minute, it's time for a quick round up of some of the other notable vehicles headed for the floor of the Geneva Palexpo convention center.
Amongst a lineup of 13 models Mitsubishi will have on display in Geneva will be the all-new Outlander, which will be making its global debut. In addition to gasoline and diesel engine versions, Mitsubishi will also be adding a plug-in hybrid Outlander model to its lineup in the 2012 fiscal year. Whether the EV-base model will make it to Geneva this year remains to be seen. However, Mitsubishi will be flashing its eco-friendly feathers with its MiEV House display that provides a view of a near future "EV lifestyle" in which an electric vehicle's battery serves as an electric power source for the home.
Chevrolet will also be debuting a new vehicle in Geneva in the form of its Cruze station wagon. The station wagon joins the Cruze sedan and hatchback as the third variant in the line-up, but despite the Cruze Chevrolet's most popular car, the station wagon won't be hitting showrooms in North America.
A new 1.4-liter turbo gasoline, 1.7-liter diesel and an improved 2.0-liter diesel engine will be available in addition to the current 1.6-liter and 1.8-liter gasoline engines on all Cruze models. Other updates being introduced on all Cruze models include a remodeled front fascia, modified head-lam interiors and fog lamps, new wheel styles and refinements to the center console.
Although it debuted at 2012 NAIAS in Detroit, Cadillac's all-new ATS compact sedan will make its European premiere in Geneva. Scheduled to go on sale in Europe this northern autumn, Cadillac says the ATS is its most agile and lightweight car to date. It is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine rated at 201 kW (273 hp) and boasts a "near perfect" 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. Cadillac is hoping the vehicle can challenge the dominant position held by European car makers in the premium compact segment.
Italy will be represented in Geneva by, among others, Maserati, which will premiere its new GranTurismo Sport. Designed to replace the GranTurismo S, the GranTurismo Sport boasts a revised 4.7-liter V8 engine producing 460 hp, a new front bumper designed to optimize the front air flows for engine and brake cooling, new DRL LED headlights, new taillights, and an interior trim with redesigned front and rear seats and a new steering wheel. The standard model will come with a six-speed automatic gearbox, while a six-speed sequential manual transaxle will be available as an option.
The 2012 Geneva Motor Show will also mark the debut of a new version of the Ferrari California. Already in production, the new Ferrari California gets a reduction on weight of 30 kg (66 lb) thanks to new aluminum fabrication techniques and construction technologies. The car also receives a 30 hp increase in power output with the vehicle's GDI V8 now delivering 490 hp with a maximum torque of 505 Nm at 5,000 rpm thanks to new exhaust manifolds and engine mapping.
The enhancements see the new California cutting its 0 - 100 km/h (62 mph) time to 3.8 seconds. Ferrari will also offer an optional Handling Speciale package that includes suspension set-up modifications to minimize body roll and Magnetorheological dampers controlled by a 50 percent faster ECU for more responsive driver inputs. There's also a new steering wheel box that provides a 10 percent quicker steering ratio.
But the greatest expectation surrounding Ferrari involves the unveiling of the replacement for the 599. Codenamed "F152," the new flagship is rumored to be dubbed the "F620." It will feature an aluminum frame and carbon fiber body panels to reduce weight and boast and the same 6.3-liter V12 engine found in the Ferrari FF to produce an anticipated 700 hp. However, we'll have to wait until the show for more details and some much anticipated pics of the new car.
Thankfully the wait won't be long with the 2012 Geneva Motor Show kicking off on March 8 and running until March 18. Stay tuned for our coverage of these and many more vehicles from the show once it gets underway.
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