• Geneva hosts the cream of Europe
  • Expect the expensive and exotic
  • Plus the occasional puzzler

What's unique about the 2014 Geneva Auto Show is that it's held in a country renowned for neutrality. Makers from around the world can exhibit here without that nagging feeling of not having a home advantage. However, the main languages in Switzerland are French, German and Italian, so cars from these countries tend to dominate.

New Cars From the Old World

BMW recently created a new line, separating 2-door versions (coupe and cabriolet) of the 3 Series and calling them the 4 Series. That leaves the 3 Series range to operate as the sedan line.

So what happens when BMW decides to make a 4-door 4 Series? The result is the upcoming 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, due on sale in the United States this summer, featuring a quartet of doors and a sloping coupelike roof.

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 4Matic Coupe makes its official debut as a production model, having graced previous show stands as a concept. Expected stateside in the fall, this introductory version has 449 horsepower and all-wheel drive.

A new generation of Audi TT is anticipated. It could be a crossover or possibly sportier and lighter than the current car.

California comes to Geneva in the shape of the 2014 Ferrari California T. This is meant to be Ferrari's cheaper runabout, costing around $200,000 and change. But that kind of money also buys a turbocharged 553-hp V8 with that spine-tingling Ferrari howl and revised, sportier suspension, plus a retractable hardtop. Yet the tweaked T is lighter and claimed to be more economical than earlier versions.

The British are arriving in force. Not only is there the 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Autobiography Dynamic with upgrades in the engine and cabin, but the maker of top-level racing cars also has an all-new street-going model. The McLaren 650S is a bona fide supercar, developing 641 hp from its twin-turbo mid-mounted engine, while driver and passenger access the car through Lamborghini-like scissor doors.

Geneva tends to favor the high-end and sporty vehicles, so the 2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport Coupe should feel right at home. A retuned suspension and cosmetic package feature among the upgrades of what is still a new model set to compete with the BMW 4 Series and its rivals.

New Concept Straddling the Old and New Worlds

It's practically tradition that Swiss tuners Rinspeed will show some mad concept. Over the years there have been submersible cars, cars that change shape according to the number of occupants and plastic sports cars powered by natural gas.

This year is a singular treatment of the Tesla Model S, taking that American-made all-electric vehicle and giving it a robot driver. Yes, the Rinspeed XchangE is an autonomous EV.

Not on Sale Here, but Maybe Soon

Volkswagen is showing a refreshed Scirocco compact coupe. There's been talk of bringing it over to the U.S., but so far nothing concrete. FIAT is also unveiling its new Panda Cross small crossover. If FIAT wants to sell more than just the 500 subcompact to American buyers, it might look to something like this.

These vehicles and many more will be introduced at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show on the press days of March 4 and 5. All the relevant news and info will be covered by AutoTrader.com.

What it means to you: There weren't many green cars at Detroit this year, and their profile looks to be low in Geneva, too, signaling more of an emphasis on fun.

author photo

Colin Ryan has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

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