2017 has plenty of amazing new stuff in store, almost all present at the Geneva International Motor Show, 9-19 March, one of the most, if not the single most important European event dedicated to four wheels, following their presentation in Detroit, 8-22 January, at the USA’s major motor show.
ALPINE MAKES ITS COMEBACK
2017 marks the return of the celebrated French brand Alpine. After a long wait, the heir to the classic A110 is finally ready to make its debut. Once on the market it’ll be contending with the sporty Alfa Romeo 4C, very close in terms of size, weight, traction, power and price.
In actual fact, the specs of this compact sports car haven’t even been released yet, but rumour tends to confirm they won’t be far off those of the concept car presented two years ago: aluminium chassis for lightness and agility, 1.8 litre power plant coupled with a dual clutch transmission.
The new Alpine should be capable of putting out around 250-300 Bhp, with 0-100 kph acceleration in just 4.5 seconds.
ELEGANT COUPÉ AND FAMILY FORMAT PERFORMANCE FOR MERCEDES
• Mercedes-AMG E63 4Matic Estate
The new generation of the Mercedes top range E CLASS has a new entry: the Mercedes-AMG E63 4Matic Estate, the ultra-sports version of this exclusive executive station wagon. On the outside, the car shows all its extra muscle thanks to exclusive aerodynamic features like the wheel arches widened to 27 mm, new air intakes, carbon fibre engine cover detailing and sporty rear fender with integrated tail lights and chromed twin tail pipes.
The interior has the exclusive AMG black nappa leather upholstery, IWC analogue dashboard clock and Dinamica microfiber lined steering wheel, all set off by black carbon fibre trim. Like its saloon counterpart, the sports version mounts the powerful 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 (571 or 612 Bhp according to version, normal or S), all-wheel drive as standard and all the other tasty technological features of the saloon.
• Mercedes E Coupé
An all-new model, twelve centimetres longer (4.82 metres) and 74 mm wider than its predecessor for increased interior comfort. As expected, the coupe’s exterior lines echo the saloon and have gained a great deal more elegance and fluidity. The streamlined forms are perfectly in line with the latest Mercedes style, but while being exceptionally good-looking, this Coupé does appear a bit too similar to its sisters, the C Coupé and S Coupé. Inside, passengers will appreciate the increased legroom and the twin 12.3” display screens, one for the instruments and the other dedicated to the infotainment system with voice control for Wi-Fi, traffic and weather services.
The coupé also comes with the semi-autonomous “drive pilot” system that uses a stereo camera and sensors to help keep the E in lane up to a speed of 210 kph in absolutely safety, even with hands off the wheel, as well as a remote parking system that lets you park up with your smartphone. Engine options include petrol, Diesel and “hybrid”, not to mention the “nastier” AMG versions, all with the new nine-speed 9G-Tronic transmission.
BMW LAUNCHES THREE NEW ACES
The first is the new BMW Series 5 Touring, the estate version of the Bavarian flagship, the second the restyled BMW Series 4 range and the third the special version of the hybrid i8 coupé, the Protonic Frozen Black Edition.
• BMW Series 5 Touring
In the wake of the newly presented saloon version, the station wagon also gets a make-over, with significant innovations including a consistent weight loss (100 kg for the precision) and a few tweaks to the dimensions: 36 mm longer (4.94 metres), 8 mm wider (1.86 metres) and 10 mm taller (1.49 metres).
The new model comes in both petrol and Diesel versions, with four or six cylinders and power between 190 and 340 Bhp. The more powerful versions can also be fitted with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.
• BMW Series 4 : A restyle for the entire range
After selling no less than 400,000 units worldwide since its launch in 2013, this range from the Munich-based carmaker gets a complete update with a restyle involving the whole family: BMW Series 4, BMW Series 4 Gran Coupé, BMW Series 4 Convertible and BMW M4.
The innovations aren’t just cosmetic, but technical as well. In terms of handling, the suspension has been given an upgrade and is now stiffer, and a new sports option introduced, the M Sport. New colours have also been introduced for both bodywork and equipment packages, and the range has the same great choice of engines, both petrol and Diesel, with power ranging from 184 to 362 Bhp.
• BMW i8 Protonic Frozen Black Edition
This technological gem from the Bavarian Motor Works, which more than any other represents the future of automobiles, is now available in a new version that distinguishes itself for its special BMW Individual paint in the new Frozen Black variant and exclusive interiors.
ASTON MARTIN PRESENTS THE VANQUISH S VOLANTE
Following the recent debut of the Vanquish S Coupé, Aston Martin announces the arrival of its soft-top cousin, the Vanquish S Volante.
This body of this new convertible is almost entirely made of carbon fibre, a solution that significantly reduces its weight to achieve a far more efficient power-to weight ratio.
The Vanquish S Volante has a stiffer chassis and a much more aggressive look, given by its new front and rear fenders, rear spoiler, side skirts and new exhaust arrangement.
Under the hood, the convertible has the same powerful 5.9 litre V12 but with 600 Bhp a touch more powerful that the normal Vanquish (25 Bhp). The Touchtronic II automatic transmission has also been renewed.
STILL TOP SECRET: THE EF7 VISION GT
Among the concept cars making their debut this year there’ll be an exclusive prototype, product of an unparalleled collaboration between the renowned Italian design firm Pininfarina and the former world Formula 1 champion, Emerson Fittipaldi.
The project goes by the name of EF7 Vision Gran Tourismo, and could lead to a series of models destined to be produced by Fittipaldi Motors in collaboration with HWA.