The hits and misses of the 2013 Geneva Motor Show

Alex Lloyd

There is something about the Geneva International Auto Show that appeals to the 12 year old inside you. The most crazy, beautiful, ridiculous, and expensive cars appear in an attempt to dazzle the crowds and steal the limelight. This year was no exception.

Despite the hypercars stealing the headlines, they were not the only beauty amid the mist. Morgan had a timeline of treasures journeying from old to new, and Weismann showcased their wonderfully retro looking GTs and Roadsters.

The crazies were well represented, as ever, led by the Hamann Mystère, a chromed pink Range Rover sent to burn retinas and ensure hung-over journalists flee in despair, and the bizarrely interesting Italdesign Giugiaro Parcour – an incredibly fast off-roading, track-day munching, ice driving, luxury two-seater sports car.

Jaguar had on display a fantastic old XK120 that, in my eyes, was perhaps the most beautiful, timeless piece at the show, and Koenigsegg celebrated their 100th car by creating the gold-infused Agera S Hundra. We were teased, of course, with plenty of cars we can’t have, such as the Mercedes A45 AMG, and the halls were alive with glorious Euro-favored wagons – again, all of which we will never see.

The 2013 Geneva Auto Show truly had something for every taste, and, other than the aforementioned pink eyesore and the like, the big guns produced far more hits than misses. For me, the biggest disappointment was the Alfa Romeo 4C – the car that will be bringing the acclaimed brand back to the states. We’d seen the pictures heading into the show, but in person, it didn’t evoke the lust I had envisaged. The biggest problem is the ridiculous headlights that look like Orion’s Belt, where it appears the designer’s creative juices went stale. Plus, the price tag could reach as much as $75,000 in the U.S., which puts it right in line with the better-looking Jaguar F-Type.

Still, if that’s my biggest grievance, we can judge the show a success.

Without question, the biggest news was the unveiling of the ridiculously named LaFerrari. The pandemonium surrounding the reveal was chaotic, but when the sheet was removed, the chaos was justified. The Lamborghini Veneno, in some ways, provided more intrigue – as we had no idea it was even a thing until the night before the show. Plus, it looked ridiculous, over-styled, pretentious, and yet fantastic. If you were 12 years old, this is the car that would be on your bedroom wall.

The McLaren P1, however, is my star of the show. Sure, it’s been seen before but this is the first time the true production version was on display. To me, it epitomizes the hypercar: it’s sleek, modern, aggressive, sexy, and technologically mind-blowing. The design is busy, but less so than the Veneno. McLaren received criticism for the 12C being too clinical, and while it doesn’t exude the passion of LaFerrari, it does bridge the gap nicely. Their meticulous nature, mixed with an effort to let loose, delivers a hypercar that brought me to my knees. To be fair, a number of cars did, and that’s a testimony to the quality coming out of the automakers right now. Geneva fully lived up to its reputation.