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Geneva Auto Show: The Coolest New Cars, Part 1

by Noah Kravitz | March 6, 2011March 6, 2011 9:32 am PDT

The 2011 Geneva Auto Show has come and go, and left in its wake a bunch of crazy new cars, even crazier concept cars, and a general sense that the economy has turned around enough to make ultra-high end exotic autos a segment worth pursuing again. That’s a good thing if you subscribe to the common wisdom that cool new tech starts out in flagship products and eventually trickles down to the $25,000 4-doors that line our public roads. Or if you have $500k to burn on a supercar.

No, I didn’t get to go to Geneva. But I did spend some time Thursday night with a cold beverage in one hand and a warm tablet in the other, browsing a ton of show coverage online. Motorola Xoom, if you’re asking – full review coming soon. Here’s what caught my eye from the Geneva show:

Note that since I’ve already written about the Ferrari FF and the Pagani Huayra I won’t rehash them here, though both were on display in Geneva.

Alfa Romeo 4C Concept

Photo via otoconcept.com

Alfa officially “came back” with the 8C supercar, but the kid-brother 4C may actually get new Alfas on the streets of America, particularly if the Italian carmaker can stick to the rumored $55k target price stateside. The 4C’s sexy profile, rear-wheel drive, and insanely low curb weight (production versions will weigh more than the concept’s 1780 or so pounds) will likely do more for the brand’s image than the recently launched, more affordable Giulietta hatchback.

2012 Aston Martin Virage

Photo via Autoblog.com

It’s not that the 2012 Virage is all that different from the rest of Aston Martin’s lineup. And it’s not like there was a gaping hole to be filled between the DB9 and the DBS. It’s just that the Virage is so gosh dang beautiful. Drool.

More at AstonMartin.com

Audi A3 Sedan Concept

Photo via speedlux.com

I really hope the debut of Audi’s A3 sedan doesn’t spell the death of the A3 hatchback here in the US. Even though the five-door A3 is too small for me to ever really consider buying if I decide to one day go the wagon route, and even though the five-door A3 is sort of silly-expensive when compared to its corporate sibling the VW Golf/GTI, I really like seeing A3 hatches on the streets of Oakland. And believe me, there are a ton of ’em out here. That said, the A3 sedan should really heat up the entry-level luxosport sedan space, especially if it slots in a decent chunk cheaper than the A4’s $33,000 base sticker price. Please, Audi, retain the new headlamp look when you put this thing into production. Somehow you’ve managed to take the all-but-played out “mascara” LED running lights and sexy them up with the slightly more sinister overall vibe of these lights.

BMW ActiveE

Photo via Automobilemag.com

My car geek friends almost all drive BMWs. That doesn’t mean much. But the fact that these guys are techies, many of whom review gear for a living, and they all sing the praises of the way their Bimmers drive does mean something. So while the BMW ActiveE looks just like a regular 1-series, isn’t that much different from the concept shown last year, and it’s nearly as crazy exotic as the Vision ConnectedDrive concept also shown this past week, it’s worth mentioning because it’s an electric BMW and 1,000 of ’em are actually being produced starting this year. Look for the North American debut of the car in New York next month.

Read Part Two: Lamborghini Aventador, Nissan Esflow Concept, Rolls-Royce 102EX Concept, Saab PhoeniX Concept, Volkswagen Bulli

In the meantime, you make the call: What was the coolest car shown off at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show?


Noah Kravitz

Noah Kravitz mourned the day that Star Castle was replaced in the pizza parlour he frequented as a kid. The sadness ended when he saw an older kid...

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