Geneva Motor Show 2012
03/02/2012 11:13 | By CJ Hubbard, contributor, MSN Cars

2012 Geneva Motor Show preview

Geneva Motor Show 2012 preview (© Magic Car Pics)

The 2012 Geneva Motor Show is fast approaching, so here's a manufacturer-by-manufacturer guide to some of the exciting debuts you can expect at this year's event. From supercars to superminis, hot hatches to odd-ball concepts, Geneva 2012 will have it all.

Although this list is as comprehensive as we can make it with some time still to go - doors open to the public on the 8th March 2012 - you can expect further details and more surprises as the show draws ever more near.

But don't despair - MSN Cars will update you with all the particulars as we hear them, and we'll be there on the 6th March during press day to bring you all the live reveal flavour from the show floor.

For the time being, however, this lot ought to whet your appetite....


Fiat's standalone performance brand will no doubt bring along a few special editions - the 695 Competizione, a kind of mini-GT3, was a 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show highlight - but rumours persist of a brand new coupé.

Could this finally be the year that sees it unveiled - perhaps based on the same platform as the Alfa Romeo 4C? Or will it just be more tuned up 500s and Puntos?

Abarth 695 Competizione, ABarth 500 Cabrio Italia

Alfa Romeo

Speaking of the Alfa 4C, this is sure to be a highlight of the Alfa Romeo stand again this year. Having debuted at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, there's a good chance it will appear this time in production ready form.

However, the attention of Alfa fans will also be directed at the long-awaited 159 replacement, predicted to be called the Giulia. Additional talk of an all-new Alfa Spider, a Jeep-based SUV and an even larger saloon mean the cars may finally outshine the traditionally delectable Alfa 'booth babes' this year.

New Alfa 4C

Aston Martin

A brand new platform is surely due from Aston Martin, but for Geneva 2012 attention will be firmly fixed on the production V12 Zagato. Previously shown in pre-production guise only, this Europe's first chance to see exactly what the 150 lucky customers will get for their £330,000 (plus tax).

Elsewhere on the stand look out for the anticipated Vantage Carbon Edition; following on from the DBS Carbon Edition and the previous 2011 V12 Vantage Carbon Black special this should feature special paint finishes and carbon trim.

Aston Martin V12 Zagato at Frankfurt Motor Show
First Drive Review: Aston Martin DBS Carbon Edition


Going on recent form we probably won't know where to look first on the Audi stand. Most significant 2012 unveiling will be the all-new A3, however - which previewed in concept form at Geneva 2011. Expect sharper lines inside and out, and loads of new technology.

Beyond this we'll be excited to see the 256hp A1 quattro, and since Audi usually springs a performance car surprise at Geneva look out for news of an all-new RS6 as well - probably sporting a 'downsized' twin-turbo V8 and around 600hp. Plus even more electric concepts.

Audi reveals new A3 interior
256hp Audi A1 quattro for 2012


Although it's already had its global debut at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show, the new V8 versions of the Bentley Continental GT coupé and GTC convertible are a hugely important step for the British luxury brand.

So expect a full and significant fanfare at Geneva this year, as the 507hp twin-turbo eight-banger joins the range below the existing 575hp W12. There's talk of revisions to the Mulsanne, too, but it may be a little soon for that to make an appearance.

Bentley Continental V8 2012 - full details
First Drive Review: Bentley Mulsanne (2010 onwards)


BMW's big debut at Geneva is the new 560hp twin-turbo M6. But the company is also expanding the reach of its M Division performance car branding - without sacrificing too much integrity - by introducing less powerful M-branded products in the spirit of the original M535i.

This includes M diesels for the first time, a natural progression but one that's already sparked controversy. It could be a lively press conference on the day. An X4 SUV coupé - smaller brother to the X6, which gets a facelift here - is also set to make an appearance, alongside the new four-door 6 Series Gran Coupé.

BMW M diesels: new for 2012with 318hp and three turbos!
New BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe


Having announced towards the end of last year that it will always aim to build the fastest production car in the world - now there's a comment that could come back to bite you, Mr Durheimer - don't be disheartened that we haven't seen anything truly new from Bugatti in a while.

The Veyron's production run has ended, but expect a few more final special editions - in the manner of the unique L'Or Blanc and 'yellow edition', for example - before it goes. There's always a chance the Galibier saloon will finally arrive here as well.

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport L'Or Blanc at Frankfurt 2011
£1.3m Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport yellow edition


Cadlliac debuted its new 3 Series fighter, the ATS at the Detroit show in January, but Geneva will be its first European public outing. It could be just the thing for if you want to be different, but we doubt it will be offered in right-hand drive so is unlikely to reach the UK.

2012 Cadillac ATS takes on BMW 3 Series


Having just launched (another) facelift on its C1 city car, Citroen is expected to debut a new DS1 at Geneva - a posher, premium version with styling influenced by the edgy DS3.

Speaking of that car, a DS3 convertible is also on the cards, though this may not appear until the 2012 Paris Motor Show later in the year. Expect Citroen to also bring wacky concepts - like Frankfurt's Tubik - and some eco experiments, too.

Citroen Tubik concept for Frankfurt 2011


Ferrari is officially keeping schtum over what it will be bringing to Geneva this year, but there's strong speculation that it's about time the 599 replacement made an appearance. Expect lots of aluminium and even more power than the 660hp FF.

Elsewhere on the stand you can expect news of further eco developments, beginning with the extension of the start-stop system that's already available on the California. Not that Ferrari is overlooking high performance - a 458 Scuderia and an Enzo succeeding hypercar are both in the pipeline.

First Drive Review: Ferrari FF (2011 onwards)
First Drive Review: Ferrari 458 Spider (2012 onwards)


Fiat's big star at Geneva will see its smallest model get a little more grown up - that's right, the Fiat 500 is set to spawn an MPV. Code-named 'Ellezero', we were expecting it be revealed at Detroit earlier this year, making it a certainty for Geneva instead.

Whether the Ellezero name will make it to production remains to be seen - 600 might make more sense - but the car is said to resemble a Panda with the 500's cute face and interior detailing. It's a new platform, though, which may also deliver a compact SUV/crossover. Look out for the next Panda 4x4, too.

First Drive Review: Fiat Panda (2012 onwards)


Ford will show the brand new Mondeo for the first time at Geneva 2012. Another 'world car' - like the latest Focus - this has already debuted in America in US-spec Fusion guise. It looks gorgeous, and we don't say that lightly about a rep-mobile.

Alongside this Aston Martin for everyone, Ford will also reveal the production version of the new Focus ST. Sporting at least 250hp and starring in the new Sweeney movie alongside Ray Winston, it's sure to be amongst the very best hot hatches when it finally goes on sale. The EcoSPort Fiesta SUV may also show.

New 2012 Ford Mondeo
New Ford Focus ST for The Sweeney
New Ford EcoSPort baby crossover revealed


For several years now 'Honda' and 'excitement' haven't exactly gone hand in hand (mad, hardcore MUGEN specials aside), but Geneva could well be the start of a revolution, as the Japanese carmaker unwraps its brand new NSX supercar.

This has already appeared with Acura branding in the USA, but the European car will receive visual changes - even if V6 hybrid powertrain remains the same. Other Honda highlights should include a Civic Type-R (in concept form at least), the Euro CR-V and possibly a Civic-based crossover to rival the Nissan Qashqai.

New Honda NSX unveiled at Detroit
First Drive Review: Honda Civic Type R MUGEN (2010)
Video Review: Honda CR-Z MUGEN


Although it's already been unveiled (at Frankfurt last year), the brand new i30 is set to be the key feature on the Hyundai stand. Of particular interest is likely to be the three-door version, which we haven't seen yet, as it promises sportier visuals.

It's about time Hyundai overhauled the i10 and the i20 as well - the latter in particular given the exceptional economy performance of the latest Kia Rio - so look out for those, too. And if none of that thrills you try the European version of the Veloster Turbo, set to give traditional hot hatches something to think about.

New Hyundai i30 to cost from £14,495
Detroit debut for Hyundai Veloster Turbo
First Drive Review: Hyundai Veloster (2012 onwards)


We don't know what it's called, and we don't entirely know what it looks like - but Infiniti has been teasing a new range-extender hybrid sports car concept since November, so we do know it will definitely have something exciting on the stand.

The details we've seen so far show sexy curves contrasted with taut crease lines, and we fully expect this to be Infiniti's greatest showstopper since the Essence concept that debuted at 2009. The new car uses a 1.2-litre petrol as a generator to drive electric motors, giving high performance with low emissions.

Infiniti teases 2012 eco sports concept
Infiniti teases 2012 hybrid concept


Jaguar is on the up, with new business-fleet pleasing XF diesels and a brace of ultra-exciting sportscars on the way. But exactly what will star at Geneva this year is so far unclear, beyond the latest production models such as the XF Sport and the XKR-S convertible.

However, the C-X75 supercar, being developed with the Williams F1 team, could well appear to show off its new, more conventional plug-in hybrid drivetrain (replacing the original concept's turbines), while the C-X16 is expected to be confirmed for production. Maybe there will be a concept 3 Series rival, too.

Jaguar C-X75 - the new Jaguar supercar
New Jaguar E-Type at Frankfurt - the Jaguar C-X16
Jaguar C-X16 design is production ready


Highly significant debut for Kia at Geneva 2011, as the Korean firm will show its brand new Cee'd hatchback. Based on the same platform as the new Hyundai i30, the second generation Cee'd will likely see Kia present an even greater threat to family mainstays such as the Ford Focus and the Vauxhall Astra.

Kia is usually also good for an exciting concept at Geneva. No details yet, but if we were betting the money would firmly be on a compact SUV/crossover, taking on the likes of Nissan's Juke.

All-new 2012 Kia Cee'd revealed


Italy's most flamboyant supercar maker always likes to make a splash at Geneva; in 2012 this could go in several ways. First option is a concept, continuing to explore a possible third model line - perhaps an SUV, following on from 2010's Estoque saloon.

Or, it could surprise us all and roll out a production ready Gallardo replacement. This is likely to be based loose on the Sesto Elemento concept from 2011, but Aventador production issues make this unlikely. Best shot is an Aventador Spyder. We'll see.

£290,000 Aventador for 22-year-old

Land Rover

Having already shown a pair of concept Defender replacements, Geneva could be the moment for Land Rover to reveal more about its plans to update the venerable off-roader, perhaps with something that panders more towards traditionalist.

We wouldn't rule out a hot Evoque, however, or a hybrid/electric concept, as the brand's biggest challenge remains reducing CO2 emissions and improving fuel economy. An all-new Range Rover can't be that far away, either.

First Drive Review: Range Rover Evoque (2011 onwards)
New Land Rover Defender Sport


Expect more fuss over the all-new GS at Geneva - the European show being the ideal venue to launch the much needed diesel version. With any luck we'll get a glimpse of Detroit's LF-LC concept, possibly painted a different colour.

Lexus GS450h at Frankfurt Motor Show
Lexus LF-LC supercar concept - full details


Lotus has been keeping its epic plans for celebrity-endorsed world domination in much better check at recent motor shows, so we're not expecting anything too crazy. But it would be nice to see how the proposed new model range is coming along.

First Drive Review: Lotus Evora IPS (2011 onwards)


Mansory is but one of a wealth of tuners that attend the Geneva motor show, but we've singled them out in particular since they always turn up with some of the more extreme tuner exhibits on hand. No specifics yet, but expect lashings of carbon fibre and inappropriate paint schemes. Yo.


Geneva is likely to bring a decision on the Kubang SUV concept, based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee and almost certainly headed for production. Beyond that a new Quattorporte and/or a Quinttorporte estate could make an appearance, but don't hold your breath.

First Drive Review: Maserati GranCabrio Sport (2011 onwards)


Mazda will be touting its clever eco-friendly SkyActiv tech, so expect changes to the engine line-up aboard the Mazda2 and the Mazda3. An all-new Mazda6 could also be lurking in the wings.

What we'd really like to see, however, is something a little more sporty. With Toyota rolling out the GT 86 and Honda unveiling a new NSX, where's the RX-8 replacement Mazda? And what about the mk4 MX-5?

First Drive Review: Mazda CX-5 prototype (2011)


Mercedes will be unwrapping the all-new A-Class at the 2012 Geneva motor show, promising much more conventional hatchback proportions but sharp lines and an eventual AMG version. It's so long to the clever 'sandwich' floor, though.

If you need to up your blood pressure after that, don't despair, Geneva will also be the first European debut of the all-new SL coupé-convertible. And then there's the rumour of an SLS Black Series - a hardcore supercar to take on the 458 Scuderia.

New 2012 Mercedes SL unveiled at Detroit
Mercedes Design: next gen 2012 SL


MINI has apparently canned plans to produce a smaller model in the mode of the Rocketman concept that impressed us at Geneva last year, so sadly it seems we'll be talking bigger cars if there's fresh blood at this year's show - another Paceman SUV coupé concept, perhaps, or even a compact MPV.

In terms of real products, the new face here will be the production MINI Roadster, which joins the Coupé amongst the more controversial members of the current line up. This is Europe's first chance to see it.

MINI reveals brand new car
First Drive Review: MINI Coupé (2011 onwards)
MINI Rocketman concept


Mitsubishi has confirmed it will show what's described as a 'next generation' vehicle at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. To this end it will preview a new styling direction and greater efficiency measures - reflecting the company's electric car know-how in particular. Looks double hard in this teaser image, too.

'Next gen' Mitsubishi in Geneva debut


Things seem to have gone rather quiet on the Pagani front since the firm unveiled the ultra high-tech Huayra supercar at Geneva 2011. But no doubt it will be making an appearance again this year - perhaps even in mooted Roadster form.

Secret new cars: Pagani Huayra Roadster


The new Peugeot 208 stands a good chance of being one of the stars of the 2012 Geneva show - this all new supermini looks great and is built light to maximise efficiency as well. Even the dashboard design is clearly thought through.

With any luck, Peugeot will also roll out a 208 GTI- in concept form at least - which should bring a bit of extra sparkle to the small hot hatch sector. The French firm is usually good for some crazy concepts, too, so we expect news of at least one of those soon.

New Peugeot 208 revealed


We're all still recovering from the surprise debut of the Porsche 918 Hybrid two years ago, so there's a nagging suspicion that the German sportscar maker will produce a last minute shocker. That said, even the stuff we do know about is exciting.

Namely, the third generation Porsche Boxster - which is lighter, more fuel efficient, fast and hopefully even more thrilling to drive (in spite of the switch to electrically assisted power steering). Surprises could include a new Cayman, the forthcoming Cajun compact SUV, and the facelifted Panamera.

New Porsche Boxster on sale April


News that Renault is culling a huge number of products from its UK market range doesn't mean the French manufacturer isn't pressing on with new ideas. In fact, it should prove to be amongst the most forward looking brands at the show when it unveils the new Zoe ZE.

The Renault Zoe ZE is a Clio-size all-electric hatchback, and represents the carmaker's best effort yet at bringing on a brave new 'Zero Emissions' (in motion) world. If we're lucky we may also see the new Clio at Geneva, but Renault might just hold that back for Paris later in the year.

Renault Zoe give OK by judge


11 months out of the year we basically never even know that Rinspeed exists. Yet every time the Geneva Motor Show comes around the Swiss-based automotive innovator always produces a way out concept. For 2012 it's the Dock+Go, a city car that can dock into an extra axle (!) for additional storage space.

Rinspeed UC Revealed


The British luxury brand usually rolls (err...) out something special for Geneva. But this year is unlikely to see anything as radical as the all-electric 102EX concept. Instead we're expecting a Phantom facelift - expect this to be subtle rather than shocking, however.

Rolls-Royce sets best-ever sales figure
Beckham's Rolls-Royce Phantom for sale at £260,000


A significant show for SEAT, as the Spanish brand is in the midst of mass revitalisation. Already confirmed is the facelifted Ibiza, adapted to the new design direction first seen on the Mii - however we're also expecting an all-new Toledo saloon, and perhaps an all-new Leon as well.

2012 SEAT Ibiza facelift announced
First Drive Review: SEAT Mii (2012 onwards)


Skoda has been teasing us with various new model concepts - most notably the VisionD, which is a saloon that could slot in below the Octavia - so we may well see an all-new model at the show. Only a facelift for the Superb is confirmed at this stage, though.

Skoda Vision D Concept


As the Smart For-Us concept at Detroit neatly demonstrated, Mercedes' city-car sub-brand is coming close to revealing its third-generation ForTwo model. We're not sure if we'll see the finished article at Geneva, but another concept might just clear up whether the new car will have its engine in the front instead of the back.

Smart For-Us concept pick-up at Detroit 2012


Only one thing will be drawing our attention on the Subaru stand - you guessed it, the new BRZ coupé. This will be the European public's first chance to see it in the production ready metal. Now, should we pick this or the Toyota version...

Subaru BRZ Concept revealed
Toyota GT 86 v Suabru BRZ - the videos


The Toyota GT 86 - twin to the Suabru BRZ - also makes its European production debut at Geneva, so enthusiasts will be able to make a direct comparison between the two. This won't actually be Toyota's main play, however.

Instead it will be focusing on hybrids. The Yaris Hybrid is already confirmed as a world debut, while the Prius+ people carrier and the ultra-efficient Plug-in Prius should also draw crowds. Expect some great concepts if recent form is anything to go on, too.

Toyota GT 86 sports car revealed
Toyota Yaris Hybrid for Geneva 2012
2012 Toyota NS4 Plug-in Hybrid Concept


Vauxhall has already confirmed a sharp pair of debuts: the Mokka compact SUV crossover and the Astra GTC VXR hot hatch. We fear the Mokka might get lost in the grind, but as Vauxhall's attempt to tackle the Nissan Juke it deserves more than a cursory glance.

The Astra GTC VXR, on the other hand, could just rip your eyeballs right out of their sockets, as its pumped up looks are packed with all the pent-up aggression befitting a 280hp front-wheel drive car. Will it leave the new Focus ST for dead?

2012 Vauxhall Mokka mini-4x4
New Vauxhall Astra VXR: 280hp hot hatch revealed


Could be hot hatches a-go-go on the VW stand, too, as both the production Polo R and the production Up! GT may put in an appearance. Moving more to the mainstream a Beetle convertible in on the cards, while an all-new Phaeton has been rumoured for a while.

Perhaps more radically, the XL1 eco concept is set to go into production next year, so if we're lucky we'll get a glimpse of what that will actually look like. Expect epic mpg, but will the price tag be epic to match?

New VW Up GT
Volkswagen XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle concept


Volvo's big Geneva debut will be a new, more practical variant of the C30 hatchback. Likely to be badged V40 this is set to offer five doors and greater luggage capacity - becoming, as the V name-plate suggests, a compact estate.

The production version of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid is likely to make a public appearance, while further Plug-in Hybrid concepts are assured - perhaps a diesel version of the XC60 that appeared at Detroit, for example.

First Drive Review: Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid
Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid Concept with 350hp

Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Get the Bing Weather App for Windows 8 (© Microsoft)
Scroll upScroll down

Latest Cars videos

MSN Cars poll

What should the speed limit be on Britain's motorways?

Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results

    2 %
    1,295 votes
    7 %
    3,801 votes
    22 %
    12,026 votes
    52 %
    28,963 votes
    17 %
    9,650 votes

Total Responses: 55,735
Not scientifically valid. Results are updated every minute.