Geneva Motor Show: our picks
Top Gear’s expert panel pick their three favourite cars from the biggest motor show… in the world
Posted: 11 Mar 2013
Rowan Horncastle, Online Content Producer (Follow Rowan on Twitter)
It seems my Geneva Motor Show should've been sponsored by DAZ. My three show stars are all whiter than white. Yes, La Red One (I'm still getting used to its silly name), and the lucid lemon-yellow McLaren P1 have got us all excited for the next chapter in the book of motoring. But they're a bit too obvious, imperceptible to the everyman, and, most importantly, not white enough.
That's why I was drawn to the Toyota FT-86 Open concept (above): real-world wantage with the roof off. For all that we hark on about the GT86's cheap thrills and driving capabilities, it's never been a looker. But the "off with its head!" treatment somehow has made it look a bit more classy and desirable. The scalping has only been done on a conceptual basis, but Toyota is considering it, and that consideration is a GOOD idea. Think about it: the same 200bhp 2.0-litre flat-four ‘boxer' engine from Subaru up front, a quick six-speed in the middle, and skinny, slippy Prius tyres looking to loose traction at the back. As Stig can testify, the wind in your hair feeling is accentuated when you're going sideways - so please make it Toyota.
Next up was the new Porsche 991 GT3. A general rule of thumb is that if a £100,000 go-faster Porsche 911 is left relatively out of the limelight then it's been a pretty good show, and it's fair to say the poor Porsche was a bit overshadowed by fantastical exotica of the Veneno, P1 and Son of Enzo. But this is a car to get properly excited about. For the first time it uses the 911's wider body, it's got a new 468bhp, 324lb ft 3.8-litre, direct-injection flat six, can hit 60mph in 3.5sec, uses all four wheels to steer, and most controversial, is only available with a PDK gearbox. But there's a cool feature where you can de-clutch like a manual by simultaneously pulling both gear paddles, which sounds excellent fun.
Finally, I wanted to pick VW's awesome eco streamliner - the XL1 - as my final car. But the one on the stand was red, not white. So I've stumped for the white van of the future: VW's E-Co-Motion Concept. It looks like a cross-fertilisation experiment between a French Bulldog and a Stormtrooper's helmet where, during the allogamy process, wheels and a modular underfloor drive unit comprising of a battery, motor and gearbox were sprouted. It's aimed at the white van man who recycles his egg McMuffin wrapper, as it's purely electric. We all know those VDub tuning lot like playing around with VAG vans, and this one looks like an awesome canvas to play with. It's way off reality. But it's white. And this year, it seems, that's all that matters to me.