Geneva Motor Show 2013 Preview

It's that time of the year again, and this year the Geneva Motor Show doesn't look like it's going to dissappoint. Does it ever?

We'll be there to bring you the top reveals from the 5th March, but with at least two hypercar reveals, a number of best-sellers reinvented and new concepts from the recently invigorated Asian car makers, this is what to expect this year.

Volkswagen e-Co-Motion Concept

800 kilos of payload but zero emissions - that's the crux of VW's latest electric 'endeavour'. Volkswagen believe that electric light commercial vehicles could play "a crucial role in meeting the growing transport needs of the world's megacities", and whilst trains or hybrid-powered trucks could deliver goods to city outskirts, these electric vans could then pick up the baton.

Whilst there are no details on a potential drivetrain for this concept, VW tout high manoeuvrability, good visibility and easy ingress and egress.

Audi A3 e-tron Plug-in Hybrid

Audi's efficient plug-in hybrid is part of a VW Group eco-offensive that will make Toyota more than a little worried. The A3 e-tron generates a total of 204bhp from its 1.4-litre TFSI engine and 75kW electric motor. Emissions on the combined cycle equate to 35g/km carbon dioxide, whilst fuel consumption is just 1.5 litre per 100km. In electric mode, range is 30 miles with a top speed of 80mph.

The A3 aims to provide a realistic glimpse of the future of mobility "as Audi is planning it", but there is no mention of pricing or even a production run.

Volkswagen XL1

Perhaps the most exciting arrival at this year's show is the 1-litre XL1 plug-in hybrid, which has been 10 years in the making. The XL1 is capable of 261mpg from a drivetrain consisting of a 2-cylinder TDI engine generating just under 50bhp and an electric motor. The lowest drag coefficient ever attained by a production car helps too. Like the Audi e-tron, the XL1 can manage 30 mile in pure-EV mode, but when the engine kicks in range extends to 300 miles.

Initial production numbers are touted to be around 50, with a BMW i8-rivaling price tag, although as yet nothing is set in stone.

Toyota i-Road

The Renault Twizy has been a slightly unexpected success, not only in terms of sales but also in brand awareness. Now they're all gettting in on the act. Honda revelaed their interpretation of a small, agile city car last year and for the Geneva Motor Show Toyota will reveal the i-Road. Likely to have an electric drivetrain and tandem seating position, the i-Road features a narrow windscreen and overall tear-drop profile.

SSangyong SIV-1 Concept

Ssanyong are starting to develop a more sophisticated design philosophy with the SIV-1 (Smart Interface Vehicle) Concept. The crossover utility vehicle adopts the same independent four-seat layout as cars like the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide with a pair of bucket seats in both the front and back.

Whilst the SIV-1 features new design cues such as the defined haunches and rising bone line, it’s a clear evolution of the e-XIV Concept that debuted at last year’s Paris Motor Show.

Citroën Technospace Concept

This MPV concept must be about as stylish as people-carriers get. Taut surfaces and sharp detailing set the Technospace concept far apart from Citroën’s previous production Picassos, and carbon dioxide emissions of 98g/km represent impressive efficiency for such a big car. This is, in part, due to PSA’s new Efficient Modular Platform that “features efficient architecture and minimise weight”.

Mitsubishi Concept GR-HEV Truck

Following the first-of-its-kind Outlander Plug-in hybrid, Mitsubishi's aim to have 20% of their product lineup powered by electricity by 2020 is getting steadily closer, and Geneva will see two more electric vehicle concepts including the GR-HEV truck. Using their "Dual Design" strategy, the truck will be powered by a clean diesel mated to electric motors, the upshot being a practical, rugged 4WD than emits less than 149g/km carbon dioxide.

Rinspeed microMAX

Geneva is Rinspeed’s home show, and the mad-hatters of the automotive world rarely drop the ball in terms of eccentricity. The idea behind the car is to merge personal and public transportation in “particularly clever fashion”, and short distance car sharing is the theme. Equivalent in size to a MINI, the microMAX seats a driver and three passengers in a “homely lounge character”.  A coffee-maker, refrigerator and unlimited connectivity make this all-electric vehicle an even more desirable proposition.

Alfa Romeo 4C

Not exactly green, but the recipe is encouraging nonetheless. Taking a leaf out of the Subaru BRZ's book, Alfa's new beauty is a lightweight two-seater powered by a small capacity 1.7-litre turbocharged engine. Exact technical details are scarce, but overall weight is tipped sneak under 1,000kg, which would give the 4C a power-to-weight ratio far superior to the Subaru. The 4C is underpinned by a carbon fibre chassis, which goes a long way to keeping the weight down and with production beginning in the summer, is this the car we've all be waiting for?

McLaren P1

In traditional fashion we’re been teased with concepts and a disguised test mule for months, but the supercar circus will end in Geneva when the production version of McLaren’s hybrid rocket is unveiled. Underneath Paul Howse's instectoid design sits a twin-turbo V8 aided by a KERS hybrid boost system that shares technology with the company’s F1 team. With an entirely carbon fibre body, weight is anticipated to be no more than 1200kg.

Ferrari F150

The second instalment of this year’s supercar circus is the long-awaited Enzo successor. Like the P1, the F150 will be almost entirely carbon fibre built and also features a hybrid KERS system. The F150 has a third more cylinders than the P1, however, and closely resembles the F458 Italia in its dimensions.

Vauxhall Adam ROCKS

The Adam may have only just gone on sale, but that hasn’t stopped Vauxhall from developing a more muscular urban mini-crossover variant. Wider, taller, and generally tougher, it shares the original car’s massive potential for customisation and comes with a cabriolet roof.

Inspired by parkour athletes, the ROCKS “is just one possible answer to the question of how new development paths for this unique car could be forged,” according to Malcom Ward, Vauxhall’s Lead Design Director.

Suzuki Crossover

Another car graduating from concept to production is Suzuki’s S-Cross Concept from Paris Motor Show six months ago. Technical details are sparse, but the car will use a 4WD drivetrain offering “outstanding versatility”. In Suzuki tradition it will no doubt be well engineered, what remains to be seen is whether the design matches the mechanics.

Honda Civic Wagon Concept

This is the only rendering we have of Honda’s estate concept, which strong hints at the design direction of the final production car. The Wagon will be British built and shares the hatchback's extended rear light graphic.

Kia Concept

Kia are going from strength to strength and will unveil another ambitious concept at Geneva. With a “mischievous, yet friendly” grille and heavily contoured front valance, the concept is a departure from Kia’s recent, more supple designs, but if Schreyer and his colleagues want to mix it up, that’s fine with us.

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