What is hot at the otherwise lukewarm Geneva Motor Show



It has been a tepid show at the annual motoring extravaganza in Geneva this year. Arguably the showpiece event in Europe, it is one of the keenly awaited events.

For one, it is somewhat neutral in nature. Switzerland does not have an automobile industry of its own but is nestled within a bustling hub.

The Germans on one side–Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, the French on the other–Renault, Peugeot and CItroen, the Italians–Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Fiat, the scandinavians–Volvo, and the Brits–Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini.

It does not give an edge to anybody unlike similar events in Frankfurt, Paris or Milan.

Which is also a reason why it is never missed by inter-continental rivals–Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Ford, General Motors, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Lexus or even our very own Tata.

And you can always be assured of a wide assortment of production as well as concept cars that tell you where you are and where you would be in times to come.

It is a little different this time though. The European automotive industry that held up well after the 2008 economic turmoil is now battling a crisis considered to be the worst in decades.

And that has had an impact on the overall mood, enthusiasm and products on display in such events.

Barring a Ferrari here and a Lamborghini there (trust the Italians to always come good), there are only a handful of models that deserve a must see. Here are a few of them.

LaFerrari

A Ferrari is a Ferrari is a Ferrari. Replete with the blazing red, prancing horse and “you can’t miss me” looks. Okie, they did miss out on the FF a few years back but they can’t be expected to go wrong everytime.

The one that comes to Geneva is special anyway. For a start, it is the first hybrid car that Ferrari has produced. Who would have thought that was possible?

And yet, it is humongously powerful. It has a 6.2 litre V12 engine that belts out 790 bhp power and revs to a superlative 9250 rpm. The electric motor has an output of 160 bhp giving the car an overall power of 950 bhp.

The total torque available is over 900Nm. The sad part….only 499 of these would be made and almost all of them are already accounted for. Slowdown?? What slowdown?

Lamborghini Veneno

Outrageous to some, outlandish to most and even downright ridiculous to some others.

But it is a Lamborghini, and the adjectives sit easy on it. Poisonous to the core (poison is the name in Spanish), it is all chiselled sharp beauty….err…whatever. It is difficult to fall in love for it in one go. But Lambo is never in a hurry.

Even when it can scoot off at over 350 kph. The power?? 750 horsepower. The price? $4.6 million (Rs 25 crore plus). And only three people on this planet will ever get that. Yup…Lambo says…499 for Ferrari…just 3 for me.

Rolls Royce Wraith

Basically a GT coupe version of its Ghost sedan, Rolls takes a direct swipe at arch rival Bentley’s line up of Flying Spurs.

At service is a 12 cylinder 624 horsepower engine that enables this heavy metal machine to sprint to 100kph in just 4.4 seconds. It will still cost you a bomb…Rs 1.65 crore.

But there is no limit to how much they can produce. So you will perhaps see a few of these in India.

Skoda Octavia

The fact that the Octavia nameplate returns to India and replaces the Laura is reason for celebration enough.

I dont know how many people grimaced at the name (Laura) after buying it in India and how many more customers Skoda lost due to the same reason.

It was always in production globally and is not a big draw here but as a vehicle that still commands tremendous brand equity in India, the return of one of the first European sedans to hit the streets here is good news.

Volvo V40 cross country

Volvo’s big bet to crack the Indian market, and it comes barely 4 months after its global debut. As a competitor to the BMW X1 and Mercedes B class, the V40 looks better and in a class of its own–both from the inside and outside.

Dimensionally perfect and with a capable powertrain under the hood, the only thing that can go against it is the pricing. Volvo still does not have a factory in India and the cross country will be a fully imported unit as well, attracting a much heftier duty. That does not take anything away from a car that looks delightful and promising.

Volkswagen XL1

The car that can run for 134 kilometers for just one litre of fuel, easily the most fuel efficient car in the world. And it is not a concept alone but a production prototype.

The XL1 is VW’s futuristic hybrid car that has a 803cc parallel twin cylinder turbodiesel engine mated to a 60 cell 230 volt lithium ion pack.

The engine makes 47 bhp, the same as the old Alto, the motor another 27bhp and together the car is run by 68 horses. The same as the Hyundai i10. But, it is no slouch as many hybrids are.

It has a top speed of 160 kph and does zero to 100 in 12.2 seconds. It is reason enough for the crowds to flock here and make a beeline for this vehicle.

The price is not known yet but we know only 250 of these would be made to begin with. In other words, XL1 is on the other extreme end of a LaFerrari.

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  • Anonymous

    There is nothing in Zia’s article to disagree about EXCEPT the last two paragraphs.
    JEWISH PEOPLE ARE NOT JUST ADHERENTS OF JEWISH RELIGION , THEY ARE A RACE, WHO INHABITED THE LAND OF BIBLICAL ISRAEL.
    Buddhist all over the world are ADHERENTS, just like ZIA IS A LOW CASTE HINDU WHO LEFT THE FOLD BECAUSE OF BRAMHINICAL OPPRESSION, HE IS NOT FROM MECCA.
    America is doing to paraphrase Jyoti basu’s famous lines HISTORICAL BLUNDER.
    Just like napalm , and Agent Orange could not avert america’s humiliation in VIETNAM , just WAR ON TERROR on its own will lead to economic haemorrhage and AMERICA TAKEN OVER BY CHINA, the choice is americas, and americans to make

    [Reply]

  • Anonymous

    He amply made it clear there is no likelihood of resumption of talk in the near future .

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    engrich Reply:

    palestanian say that stop land grabbing then talk peace.in oslo they talked 11 years and break everything which was agreed.

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  • Anita

    The truth will prevail. Israel has unfortunately behaved with the Palestinians like the Nazi’s did with the Jews even though the Palestinians were not responsible for the Holocaust.

    And to those idiots even trying to justify Israel’s atrocties, stop sucking up to them. Are you Indian first or Israeli first? If you can’t stand for Indian intersts and an independant foreign policy, LEAVE INDIA and GO LIVE IN ISRAEL . We don’t need people like you!

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    Anonymous Reply:

    May I ask are you Indian first or Palestinian first?

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    RajX Reply:

    Your heart beats for the Arabs but I am sure that Kashmiri Hindus are oppressors. Can’t blame you. You have been arabized.

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  • Anonymous

    Why can’t Syria, Saudi Arabia etc. give a part of their land and create Palestine?

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  • RajX

    What’s Palestine got to do with Zia huq? Looks like the Arabs set the political agenda and expect Muslims around the world to follow that agenda. On top of that agenda is being anti Israeli/ anti Jewish. Zia is just following that agenda. You won’t read articles from him about Chinese oppression in Tibet even though tibetians are culturally closer to Indian culture than Palestinian Arabs.

    When you strip away all the facades, what’s left is that all this palestian talk from people Like Zia boils down to religious affinity misused by the Arab agenda network to almost act like a cult. This is just plain disgusting and actually dangerous to rest of the society to be honest.

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  • RajX

    By the way, why would israleis or any other country for that matter recognize a group of people who don’t recognize their right to exist? I was listening to a BBC program on this topic and not one palestian and other Muslims who are talking for palestians gave a straight answer to the question from the host if Israel has a right to exist as a state. On the other hand, all Israelis and Jews on that program unreservedly accepted the right for palestians to exist as a state. The Palestinians are former Egyptians and jordanians. Maybe Israel should give west bank to Jordan and gaza to Egypt and let’s see how these two countries treat these “Palestinians”.

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    engrich Reply:

    Maybe Israel should give west bank to Jordan and gaza to Egypt and let’s see how these two countries treat these “Palestinians”.

    palestine is historical identity while jordan is 100 years old,came into existence through imperialist bandar baat(monkey trading).

    arabs are ready to recognize provided isreal return back to 1945 terrotery and stop the bussines of land grabbing.how they are opposing the formation of palestine state reveals their true intentions.

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    RajX Reply:

    The Israelis will never give up Jerusalem. That’s very clear and I am sure you understand that too. The Palestinians can make a deal and bring peace and progress to their community or they can unwisely fight for something they can never hope to get against a significantly stronger power like Israel. The bottom line is there is no clean solution to most problems. Land belongs to people who are strong enough to hold on to it. There are communities all around the world who live in lands which don’t belong to them making the original inhabitants of the land powerless. If people all over the world ask for a clean solution to their problems, there will be blood everywhere.

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  • RajX

    So what you are implicitly saying is that the plight of tibetians or hindu kashmiris does not enter the perspective of this Indian who happens to be a Muslim even though these two situations affect india more directly? Why not? Are Muslims programmed to rally only to causes promoted by fellow Arab Muslims? Is Zia an high commissioner of Islam and he is temporarily residing in India? Your statement raises a lot of questions about your mindset.

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  • Jai Khosla

    The Jewish-Muslim conflict started in 7th century Arabia when the founder of Islam, Muhammad, massacred thousands of Jews and then expelled those who would not convert to Islam. Muhammad’s modus operandi was to attack the unarmed Jewish males of the rich Jewish plantations, kill the males, steal the land and other property and sell the widows and orphans into slavery. Of course any young female child that excited his libido landed in Muhammad’s bed.

    Jews were half the population of Arabia and therefore are the rightful owners of half of Arabia. Muslims should first return half of Arabia that Muhammad stole from the Jews. then we can talk about Israel.

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    engrich Reply:

    ignorant jahil khosla,,
    u are liar and propagandist.jews are not arabs they are originally egyptian few of them came to arabia during moses period.at present most of the jewsin isreal are ashknazis who have no history or dna link with palestine.this is absolute rubbish and wrong to say that jews were mascared wqhen islam came.
    they were doing usuar(interest)bussines in that area,enslaving the people and sucking the blood from the veins of local inhibants.
    when prophet mohammed stopped usuary bussines they migrated to venice.

    all other point which u mentioned are nothing but bullshit as crores of jews were living in muslim countries becfore isreal came into existence.

    arab jews are tretaed like shudras in isreal.now they remember their good old days with muslim and christian palestanian.

    dont forget that hazrat omar brought back the jew to jerusalam.christian expelled them.

    like bhaand u only do propaganda bussines without any truth.

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  • engrich

    palestanians wants peace but isreal has to withdraw 1945 terrotery.uno gave them 45%of palestine they are occupying 90%.they are land grabbers and terrorist.ashknazi have no historical calim on this land they should go back to their country of origin.

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  • engrich

    because they were awarded 45%of palestine by uno.now they they have 90%of palestine through land grabbing.they should vacate that land.livein peace.

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  • engrich

    guest bibi is biggest crook.they are nogotiating from last 40 years without any result.negotiaton means to take time to grab more and land from west bank.bibi is a cheater.

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    RajX Reply:

    Well…allhamdulillah bibi is not a suicide bomber nor does he promote suicide bombing restaurants in gaza or west bank nor does he say that he will drive the Palestinians into the sea.

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  • engrich

    rights of kashmiri pundits is recognized by kashmiris.now in india being brhmns they are treated well and are settled nicely.they will not go back to kashmir.they have joined the gang of brhmns who are fkng india.

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  • engrich

    ur comment shows ur lack of knowledge.muslims consider jesus and moses as their prophet and respect them.even now there are 2crores christians living in arab world.
    in palestine muslims and christians are jointly fighting isreali occupation.christian crusaders killed millions of jews not muslims.

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    RajX Reply:

    Islamist jihads killed millions of Hindus and other nonmuslims. They probably killed some of ur forefathers too.

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    engrich Reply:

    when ,can u name where where.can u show anything written by any brhmn of that time who wrote anything bad about moghul emporers.including tulsidas.

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    engrich Reply:

    india was ruled by muslims indians were ruled by brhmns it is they who were fkng indians.sucked every drop of blood from the veins of indians.

    RajX Reply:

    Read babarnama written by babar himself. He boosts about how many kufirs he killed. Some of those kufirs are probably your ancestors. You should not blindly support foreign invaders like the Mughals just because you have the same religion as them. That’s the kind of attitude which brings suspicion on some Muslims as people remember that and the formation of Pakistan by Muslims which are considered as treachery.

  • engrich

    abc force is way to solve any problem.isreal is under of europen ashknaazi jews.jews of other origing are not ready to accept their hegemony hence lot of demostrations and protests are going on there.ashknaazi treat local semitic jews as brhmns treated local indians,shudras.
    now they have seprated even their schools.

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  • engrich

    snil ghaza and west were occupied in 1967 by israelis.but they did had enough jews to rehablitate there.so soviet union was destroyed.jews were taken to isreal.most of them returned are on the way of returning.cannot bear the atmosphere of religious aparthied state.syria has 4500 jews .some of them migrated to isreal,but returned almost immediately.pledging never to go there.

    last jew from iraaq told in lecture to jewish boys that FOR JEWS IRAQ WAS THE GARDEN OF EDEN.U CAN LISTEN HIS LECTURE ON u-tube.

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  • engrich

    bibi is cheater his only aim to hold terroteries.HIS ORIGINAL NAME IS ATTALAH ABDULRAHEEM NOUL.he is from sudan master in nuban language.he was hiding himself among muslims with muslim name.like indian jews(brhmns)are hiding among indians.fooling us

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    RajX Reply:

    Indian Jews are Brahmins?? Hahahah.. You are a funny guy. You almost sound like tajender.

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  • RajX

    I think ur leaders understand that. Good for you. We, alas, have weak kneed girly men for leaders. They have still not got the guys who planned the Mumbai attacks even though they know who they are and where they are living. Pathetic.

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  • engrich

    sometime they throw projectile to bring their case to world attention.in response they naplam sulphur and depleter uranium bombs.

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  • engrich

    yes i deny.jews of european origin has no right over palestine.
    semitic jews opposed them as vehemently as muslims or christians.
    when jews were descending in palestine,almost every semitic jew gave memorendum to general balfour opposing their arrival.
    this memorundum is available in archive.

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  • engrich

    u are right but ashknazi jews are not from palestine.they have european dna origin is khazr.they have nothing to do with semitic jews of palestine.they are mostly atheist.i doubt if they are jews.once their king ordered them to choose from one of the revealed religion,they have choosen judaism to avoid conflict from western christians and eastern muslim.but i think they are still pagan.call themselves jew to have control of palestine.

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  • Anonymous

    Mohammadanism has produced 1.2 billion morons like Zia…One day whole of muslim world will be called MORONISTAN.

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  • zindagi zindagi

    I have a sincere theory for the disproportionate sense of victim hood felt by muslims the world over and this relates to the origin of Islam from a psychological perspective.

    The mainstream Islamic opinion believes that the fledgling Muslim community in Mecca was under constant attack from the pagans and Muslims had to fight for their survival. It then resulted in Prophet Muhammed raising a army and defeating the pagans.

    What if that fledgling Muslim community in Mecca felt the same victim hood and injustice which Muslims feel now? What if it’s the pagans who were peaceful and Prophet Muhammed due to his convictions or (illusions according to modern psychology) drove the fledgling community into an unnecessary confrontation with the pagans. Abraham after all is a mythological figure to all modern science. And Ka’aba was a communal place of worship at that time to the pagans. So, Prophet Muhammed was the aggressor in the violent takeover of the Ka’aba to the pagan community .

    The islamists and muslims in general are channelling the same sense of disproportionate and invalid victimhood which Prophet Muhammed and the fledgling community of early muslims were channelling in the hostile takeover of the Ka’aba.

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  • Raj

    Humblyurs4ever or whatever, Are you ashamed of putting your real name which definitely is Javed, Mohammed, Yasin etc.
    So you guys always get furious on hearing the truth since it is always bitter. Any country would hardly make any progress if you are given equal rights or special benefits, The true example is India vs Israel.

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  • Arun

    I just wonder how can anyone say that Tejpal guilty until proven. Privacy should apply to both, accuser and the accused, as both has equal chances of getting maligned for life without their fault if the other party is at fault.

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    Swamy G Reply:

    For one thing, however mute and inconsequential it was, he was indeed punished by his organization and he himself wrote a email and agreed for “atonement” of being away for six months (“tejpal leave”). Second, plenty of circumstantial evidence that has been reported in the newspaper. Third his highly conspicuous silence and his deputy Ms Chaudhary’s stances that keep shifting every hour and yet in each incriminates Mr Tejpal.

    There you go!

    - SwamyG

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    chinu Reply:

    teju IS guilty according to his first letter. but you are right, in a few cases the alleged perpetrator may be the victim.one has to live with it considering the times we live in-when a very large number of women are being molested and raped.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/swamyg.swamyg.3 Swamy G

    “The first victim of any sexual assault case in India is not the perpetrator …” – victim? What nonsense that sentence – how can you expect the perpetrator to be the victim? Anywhere in the world, is that reasonable? What exactly is the point here – did you want the perpetrator to be the “victim”? Did you mean to say “the first person to get punished in any sexual assault case in India …”? I guess even at newspapers, the blogs are not proof-read.
    - SwamyG

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