Gems from Geneva
The annual Swiss auto extravaganza never disappoints when it comes to the super-fast, the super-luxurious and the well-intentioned wacky.
Alfa Romeo 4C
Vehicle type: Compact sport coupe
Base engine: 1.75-liter 4-cylinder, 240 hp
On sale: Late 2013
Base price: U.S. price not announced
What's cool: Relaunches Alfa Romeo in the U.S.
Bentley Flying Spur
Vehicle type: Luxury sedan
Seats: 4- and 5-seat configurations
Base engine: 6.0-liter, 616-hp twin-turbocharged W-12
On sale: First orders taken this week, deliveries in July
Base price: $200,500
What's cool: 10 square meters of wood paneling, an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, redesigned chrome grille and eye-shaped LED taillights.
Vehicle type: Coupe
Base engine: 6.3-liter V-12
On sale: Ferrari will make just 499 units from April through 2014; they are sold out.
Base price: About 1 million euros ($1.3 million), according to sources.
What's cool: Fastest, most powerful Ferrari ever, does 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds and produces 963 hp; the brand's first gasoline-electric model.
Type of vehicle: High-performance supercar
Base engine: Plug-in hybrid with 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 and electric motor combining to make 906 hp
On sale: Company says it goes into production in England later this year.
Base price: McLaren isn't saying, but the price has been reported at about $1.3 million.
What's cool: Extensive use of carbon fiber, jetlike cockpit, extreme aerodynamics, shrink-wrapped styling — this is a slightly civilized version of McLaren's Formula One race cars. But speed is limited to 217 mph because, hey, you don't want to go overboard.
Vehicle type: Fastback
Base engine: 6.6-liter V-12, 624 hp
On sale: October in the U.S.
Base price: U.S. price not set; 245,000 euros ($319,000) in Europe
What's cool: A satellite-aided transmission insures optimal shift patterns; for example, avoiding shifting in a curve.
Vehicle type: 1-seat, 3-wheel electric vehicle
Engine: Electric motor
What's cool: 2 front wheels operate independently to allow motorcycle-like lean-in on curves.
Will it be built? Not likely in the near term. This is another exploration of the future of individual mobility in congested megacities.
Show reaction: Crowds formed around the i-Road driving track, getting a kick out of seeing it lean into curves — it's basically an enclosed motorcycle.