VW gala provides more fluff than stuff

Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.Douglas A. Bolduc is managing editor at Automotive News Europe.
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Volkswagen Group's Monday night pre-Geneva auto show event provided a lot of sizzle but not a lot of steak.

Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, but the company didn't roll out any models aimed at the average person.

The evening's production stars included the 255,000-euro Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, the 106,185-euro Porsche Panamera Hybrid S and the limited-edition 640-hp Bentley Supersports Ice Speed Record convertible. Bentley didn't give a price but one of the the most powerful car Bentley has ever made won't be cheap.

At least those three brands had something to tangible to show. Audi touted its work to create a connected car while Seat and Skoda showed models that reveal each brand's new design language.

After a lot of smoke, mirrors, loud music and people dancing in leotards, the audience finally got to see a model that might evolve into something for everyone: the Bulli concept. The six-seat electrically driven van is a new interpretation of the classic VW Microbus, which Germans called the Bulli.

It's unclear whether the Microbus now on display in Geneva will become a production model. If it keeps its electric powertrain, it will become much less attainable.

The VW Group's party surely wasn't an indication that it is forgetting the masses. It just showed that if you're going to host a two-hour auto variety show it sure does help to have a nice collection of dream cars.

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