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2016 Geneva Auto Show Preview

The 2016 Geneva Auto Show is the car world’s first major European event of the year. As we all know, Europe is where most of the really expensive and exotic stuff comes from — with an emphasis on expensive, exotic and really. So from the land of the numbered bank accounts comes a show where the truly wealthy will be moved sufficiently to take an interest. But stick around, we have an intriguing Honda Civic for you too.

Big Numbers

Say bonjour to the Bugatti Chiron, the replacement for the Veyron supercar. Top speed is said to be 288 mph. Yes, 288 — and there will be no change from $2.5 million. Bugatti says 100 buyers have already raised their hands.

Not to be outdone, the crazy-powerful (details are still sparse) Lamborghini Centenario is also starring in Switzerland. Only 40 will be made, with a price of around $2.45 million each. Every single one is already ordered. Don’t ask about color, it comes in bare carbon fiber, which is also the inspiration behind one of two supercars McLaren is bringing to Geneva.

Both cars are from McLaren Special Operations (MSO): One is a version of the P1 finished with a blue-tinted lacquer over a carbon fiber body and the other is the 675LT Spider. Although this car is making its public debut, the whole production run of 500 units has already sold out.

Perhaps we’ll have to make do with the new Aston Martin DB11 powered by a V12 engine or the Bentley Flying Spur V8 S, boosting the regular Flying Spur V8 to create a 190-mph luxury sedan.

The Ferrari GTC4 Lusso is an update of the Ferrari FF tourer with all-wheel drive and 4-wheel steering, which is just as well since the 680-hp V12 means a top speed of 208 mph.

Capable of 200 mph, the 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR is the fastest production car the company has ever made. Power comes from a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 developing 575 hp. Americans will hear its roar in coupe and convertible versions this summer.

In case you were thinking the Maserati Levante luxury SUV would merely be a posh version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee now that both marques come under the same corporate umbrella, think again. Maserati says this is a completely separate entity, although at least two engine choices will be sourced from Ferrari — hardly a bad thing.

Over at the BMW stand will be the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive — the first-ever M version of a 7 Series. Building on what is already an excellent large sedan, this all-wheel-drive beast has a twin-turbo V12 making a mighty 600 hp. Imagine something this big sprinting from standstill to 60 mph in under 4 seconds.

Staying Classy but Accessible

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet is an open-top version of the company’s best-selling car. Unlike the folding hardtop of the comparable BMW 4 Series, this one has a fabric roof and is due on sale this year.

Lexus is coming with a hybrid version of the LC 500, a new large coupe unveiled at Detroit this year. Logically named the Lexus LC 500h, it substitutes the regular version’s V8 for a 3.5-liter V6 and an electric motor for a total output of 354 hp.

Geneva also sees the official unveiling of the sleek 2018 Volvo V90 wagon. It comes with an array of semi-autonomous and cutting-edge safety features, and there should be a plug-in hybrid version, too. Volvo plans to sell it in the United States even though wagons are usually as popular here as mice in a cheese shop.

Reality Is Still a Nice Place to Be

Once a concept, the Toyota C-HR subcompact crossover debuts as a production vehicle. Apparently it’s heading west as a 2017 model, probably with a hybrid version available from day one. There was talk of it being a Scion, but that brand is being phased out.

Europeans have enjoyed hatchback versions of the Honda Civic for years. Now there’s a new generation set to debut in Geneva and Americans should care because Honda has promised to send the new hatchback over to this side of the Atlantic — and there might even be a super-sporty Type-R version.

As always, more news and surprises are sure to arise. Press days for the 2016 Geneva Auto Show are March 1 and 2, and Autotrader will cover all the highlights.

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Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan specializes in writing about new cars. But he has also covered trucks, vans, 3-wheelers, even the occasional motorbike. That’s the kind of thing that happens while contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Popular Mechanics, Variety, Mazda and Lexus customer magazines, as well as many enthusiast sites and publications. He was also a staff writer at BBC Top... Read More about Colin Ryan

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