The annual Geneva Motor Show opens to the general public today. Here are some impressions from our arrival in Switzerland as the show closed to the press.
There’s a certain magic in the Swiss air today. As I step off the plane into a busy Arrivals lounge, the second of two press days at this year’s Geneva Motor Show is coming to an end. For a show now in its 87th iteration, Geneva remains one of most important dates on the automotive calendar and this is obvious immediately – dozens of journalists and industry figures cluster around the Palexpo, discussing the sights and sounds they witnessed inside. All advertising inside the airport feels zeroed in on one thing, and one thing alone: the cars, and even Lego are getting in on the act, captivating children with their forward-thinking ideas as parents shop.
To say that Geneva is a phenomenon is an understatement. It’s the sort of event which brings this reserved, sleepy city to life in a way that is hard to imitate anywhere else in the world. There’s a big game feel right now, less than 24 hours before Geneva 2017 is opened to the public, and a real sense that something big is about to happen, something that really matters.
And the bottom line is, this show does matter, perhaps more than any other because of its future-facing vision. It gives us an insight into where the automotive industry was, is and where it’s going in what is a true celebration of process. Electric and hybrid cars mark the world we’re moving into, whilst manufacturers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini continue to display extraordinary feats of engineering using conventional engines. It’s a place where the joy of speed and the importance of sustainability can be felt and appreciated together.
Tomorrow, I’ll be bringing you the latest from the public opening day as I tackle three of Geneva’s giant halls, featuring the new Huracan Performante from Lamborghini, the highly anticipated Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, and updates to the popular Subaru XV and Seat Ibiza. Volkswagen, who appear in Halle 2, debut my personal must-see vehicle in the Arteon Saloon, a car which is set to jump in above the trusty Passat to replace the now defunct CC.
I can’t wait to get started.
Words/Images: Ben Armstrong
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