2011 Geneva Motor Show: The Luxury Sedans & SUVs
Every year the Geneva Motor Show features a staggering array of new luxury sedans, estate wagons, crossovers and sport-utility vehicles on display. And this year's show, still ongoing at the Geneva Palexpo, has proven no exception.
Among the production and concept debuts in these diverse categories were new vehicles from Audi, BMW Alpina, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Saab and Volvo, as well as the return of De Tomaso. Follow the jump to see what these European automakers had in store for us this year.
Typically offered in three- and five-door hatchback forms, Audi came to Geneva with a conceptual preview of the next-generation A3 in sedan form. The shapely four-door show car packs a turbocharged five-cylinder engine driving over 400 horsepower through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to all four carbon-fiber and aluminum wheels.
While rival BMW itself presented a new concept roadster (covered in the sports car section of our show coverage), Alpina – the aftermarket tuning house that benefits from close collaboration with the factory – took the occasion to unveil its new B5 BiTurbo Touring. Arriving ahead of BMW's own M5, the B5 packs a 507-horsepower, 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 and an eight-speed automatic transmission into a useful station wagon package that unfortunately won't be available in the United States.
Meanwhile the Italian design house Bertone presented their vision for a new compact Jaguar sedan in the form of the B99 concept. The four-door luxury hybrid is about the size of a BMW 3 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and was presented as both a luxury sedan and a racing car. If Jaguar opts to build it, the B99 could prove more successful than its own discontinued X-Type.
Jaguar's off-road counterpart Land Rover presented two new vehicles in Geneva: one prototype and one production vehicle. The Range_e is based on a Range Rover Sport but packs a plug-in hybrid diesel powertrain that could potentially make it to production. And the Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition made its debut, packed with the first-class accommodations you'd expect to find in a Rolls-Royce.
Speaking of which, Rolls-Royce also presented its prototype for an electric Phantom called the 102EX. A rolling test bed for a potential future production model, the Phantom Experimental Electric replaces the 6.75-liter V12 with a pair of electric motors that is still undergoing development.
Mercedes-Benz rolled into town with two new versions of its popular C-Class. On one hand came the public debut of the new C-Class Coupe, and on the other, the C63 AMG Estate wagon. Both are available for purchase.
In addition to the Black Edition models, Porsche unveiled the new Panamera S Hybrid in Geneva. The same four-door shape can now be had with a supercharged V6 coupled to a 47hp electric motor for a six-second sprint to sixty and a 34 mpg efficiency rating.
It wasn't all about the Germans in Geneva, however, as both Saab and Volvo came down from Sweden with new luxury wagons to offer. Saab's is called the 9-5 SportCombi and extends the 9-5 sedan's platform with a more versatile shape. Meawhile the Volvo V60 was unveiled in hybrid form, offering the first diesel plug-in hybrid drivetrain for environmentally-friendly adaptability.
Finally the long-dormant Italian marque De Tomaso was relaunched with the Deauville concept. Similar in form to the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, the Deauville was designed by Pininfarina and is slated to be the first model in De Tomaso's new range that's expected to include sports cars and hatchbacks in the near future.