Three Outstanding Geneva Motor Show Introductions

Lotus Cars Exige roadster

Media days are over, but the show must go on: the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, that is. Models introduced there don’t always have a huge impact on the domestic market, as the New York International Auto Show later this month focuses on the U.S. The Geneva show seems more geared to letting car fans around the world drool over barely aspirational cars.

Here are a few that caught our attention from the show.

Bugatti Chiron

Bugatti ChironOkay, we might as well start with the top dog. The Bugatti Chiron is the most powerful production car in the world with a jaw-dropping 1,500 horsepower. That’s a 25 percent jump from the Veyron it replaces.

It’s powered by a whopping 8-liter W16 engine. It has four turbochargers Bugatti describes as double powered that deliver 1,180 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm and maintain that torque through 6,000 rpm.

Props to Bugatti for this description of all that torque: “The result is unbelievable acceleration which only comes to an end in the twilight zone somewhere beyond the 248 mph mark.”

Lotus Lineup

Lotus Evora Sport 410The fastest ever lineup of Lotus production cars was introduced in Geneva. All four models — Exige Sport 350 Roadster, Evora Sport 410 (pictured), Elise Cup 250, and 3-Eleven — can get from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds or less.

The boost isn’t coming only from more power. Over the last 12 months, Lotus has been working on reducing overall mass so its cars can go faster in a straight line and hug the curves better. All come standard with lots of carbon fiber.

Color us most intrigued by the Elise Cup 250. Like its siblings, it too has shed weight. Its horsepower has been bumped to 243, and it has a top speed of 154 mph. Sure, the other Lotuses are faster, but this one seems like it would just be the most fun to drive.

Corvette Grand Sport

Chevrolet-Grand-Sport-1The Geneva Show also celebrated the world premiere of the all-new Corvette Grand Sport. Wait, an American icon was debuted in Europe? On the surface that doesn’t sound right.

Well, that doesn’t mean the Corvette doesn’t sell in Europe, especially one as special as the Grand Sport, which truly has some racing DNA in its heritage. Thanks to a lightweight architecture, an aerodynamics package drawn from track experience, sticky Michelin tires, and a naturally aspirated engine, it has an estimated 1.05g in cornering capability.

Chevrolet said its engineers adapted the chassis tuning, upgraded cooling systems, and performance technologies of the Corvette Z06 to give the new Grand Sport capability commensurate with its racing-derived history.

The LT1 V8 engine is rated at 466 horsepower. The Brembo brake system uses 14-inch rotors and 6-piston calipers in front and 13.4 inch rotors and 4-piston calipers in the rear. It also comes standard with magnetic ride control, specific stabilizer bars and unique springs, and an electronic limited-slip differential.

Sensing a theme here at the show? There’s a lot of emphasis on handling and not just brute power. After all, save for on the Autobahn, it’s better to have great handling in Europe.

-Keith Griffin

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