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Auto Show:  2012 Geneva Auto Show

2012 Geneva Motor Show Preview

author photo by Colin Ryan February 2012

Here's an interesting fact: Switzerland has been neutral since the year 1515. So the country doesn't spend much on its military, leaving it with plenty of resources to produce expensive watches, exquisite chocolate, cuckoo clocks and the most civilized car show in the world.

Every spring, just as the snow starts to melt from the Alps, Geneva plays host to this event. It just so happens that Switzerland has three official languages: French, German and Italian. No surprise, then, that automakers from the surrounding countries have a strong presence here.

And just like the aforementioned high-end products that appeal to those with numbered Swiss bank accounts, this show always has plenty of upscale metal (and/or carbon fiber) on display. For the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Ferrari is expected to unveil a successor to its 599 GTB Fiorano V12-engined grand tourer.

BMW will be displaying the M6, the sportiest iteration of its new-generation 6 Series. Audi's most driver-focused models have an RS badge - the company is showing off its RS 4 Avant, combining a wagon's practicality with phenomenal acceleration. Porsche is unveiling its newest version of the Boxster.

As well as the Prancing Horse, the Italian contingent is also represented by FIAT and its five-door, more spacious version of the 500 subcompact. Oh, plus a few Lamborghini, Maserati and Alfa Romeo machines.

French cars we don't have to worry about in the United States (although some might be of interest from a fanboy standpoint). Lotus intends to unveil an open-top version of either its Evora grand tourer, or possibly one its new portfolio of intriguing cars (which the company still hasn't got around to making yet). And there will be other vehicles that won't go on sale this side of the Atlantic, like the new Volvo V40 premium compact, the Ford B-Max mini-minivan and perhaps the Mini mini-van concept.

One aspect of motoring - in both the Old World and the New - is the ever-increasing pressure to reduce emissions and eke out fuel consumption. To that end, the BMW stand is exhibiting the ActiveHybrid 3, which (as its name suggests) is a hybrid version of the current 3 Series. There's also an Infiniti hybrid sports car concept and "an affordable city car" concept - the FT-Bh - from the godfather of the hybrid, Toyota.

Geneva's salon is not a particularly big space, but it does concentrate on quality - making it one of the top five most important car shows in the world. will be bringing all the news from the press days of the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, March 6 and 7.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Geneva Motor Show Preview - Autotrader