Geneva Motor Show 2019 – Show Report
The Geneva motor show is where car makers throw a spotlight on their latest developments. Paul Barker picks out the big company car news
1. Alfa Romeo Tonale
Alfa Romeo has achieved a good degree of success with the Stelvio SUV, and is now turning its attention to a smaller sibling for the car, with this Tonale concept car previewing the model that will slot in below the Stelvio and go up against the likes of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. Alfa designers have looked at the way other brands have transformed concepts into production cars, in an attempt to avoid having to tone it down too much and risk disappointing those who like the show car.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? The car is claimed to be a plug-in hybrid, although no details about the powertrain, its efficiency or its performance were offered.
When will it be on the road? It’s expected in 2021.
ALFA SHOW STORIES
The brand also showed its 2019-model-year Giulietta lower medium model, complete with Euro6D engines and revised trim levels, plus a new Visconti Green colour choice.
2. Audi Q4 E-Tron concept
This will be Audi’s fifth full electric vehicle, behind the E-Tron, its E-Tron Sportback sibling, the Chinese market Q2L E-Tron and the E-Tron GT saloon. It’s a smallish SUV that sits below the E-Tron, which is about to launch.
Why is it interesting to company car operators?Audi is quoting a range of 270 miles, with 80% charging achievable in 30 minutes. The Q4 will also lead to a regular internal combustion-engined car, which could take the name Q3 Sportback.
When will it be on the road? It’s due to launch in the second half of next year.
AUDI SHOW STORIES
The brand showed its new range of plug-in hybrid models, with the Q5 coming first in late spring, A7 and A8 PHEVs following in late summer and the A6 due by the end of the year. Audi is also reinstating the A3 and Q7 plug-in hybrids that it sold prior to the brand’s problems around WLTP.
3. BMW PHEVs
BMW went a bit plug-in hybrid crazy in Geneva, with four new PHEVs, plus improvements to the range and emissions on its two existing ones. The BMW PHEV offering will expand to include the 330e (39g/km and 37-mile electric range), X3 (56g/km and 31 miles), X5 (49g/km and 50 miles) and 7-Series (from 48gkm and 36g/km), Meanwhile, new battery tech for the 530e drops it from 49g/km to 38g/km, and the 225xe goes down by 14g/km to get down to 43g/km.
Why are they interesting to company car operators? With the exception of the X3, all the PHEVs get under 50g/km, which is very good news from a taxation point of view.
When will they be on the road? The 7-Series comes in spring, and the rest in Q3, apart from the X3 due at the end of 2019.
BMW SHOW STORIES
The new X7 and the 7-series facelift were both displaying the huge front grille that characterises the two models at the top of the BMW line-up.
4. Citroen AMI One Concept
Certainly not a car that we’ll see in production any time soon, this is Citroen’s exercise in what the urban mobility future could look like. Designed to be driven without a licence, the electric two-seat Ami One Concept is aimed at urban car share operation.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? Though not a car we’ll see on the road, some of the ideas are interesting, such as the two door panels being the same size and shape, likewise the front and rear panels, making it easier to stock replacements.
When will it be on the road? Never, but its ideas could form part of urban mobility in the next decade.
CITROEN SHOW STORIES
The first full electric Citroen will come in 2020 with a replacement for the C4 Cactus, although there’s a good chance it will launch with a different name.
5. Cupra Formentor
Although this is technically still only a concept car, it will be the second model for the newly devolved Cupra brand that sits as a sporty sibling to Seat, rather than the sporty Seat that it was before. The Formentor has a 242hp plug-in hybrid powertrain, and is, in effect, a sporty coupe version of the Ateca.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? A 31-mile range and potential 38g/km emissions figure for a very rapid and aggressive-looking crossover is a good blend.
When will it be on the road? Production starts next year.
CUPRA SHOW STORIES
The Cupra range will extend to three models when the next-generation Seat Leon is launched, because a sporty Cupra spin-off will also appear. The Cupra Formentor is also likely to spawn a regular and less performance-orientated Seat Formentor model.
6. Fiat Concept Centoventi
The Centoventi celebrates Fiat’s 120th anniversary, and is seen as a possible pointer to the next-generation Panda city car. It can be specified with from one to five battery packs, each offering around 60 miles of range, while the show car has flexibility that includes swapping out the front seat for a child seat or dog cage. Fiat is using the car to investigate the possibility of extras, including sound system, dashboard, door panels and seat cushions, that customers can order online and fit themselves.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? The batteries slot under the floor, opening up the possibility of changing the range in-life.
When will it be on the road? Fiat remained tight-lipped.
FIAT’S OTHER SHOW STORIES
A new top model has been added to the lower-medium Tipo five-door line-up, with the Sport getting new bumpers, side skirts and a rear spoiler.
7. Honda e Prototype
The e Prototype is a development of the Urban EV concept car shown in 2017, and, according to brand insiders, is at least 80% of the way to the production car, although some concept car elements such as the illuminated badge, won’t make it to production. It’s rear-wheel drive.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? The production version, which will be revealed in the autumn, will be Honda’s first full electric car, and the firm is estimating a range of around 120 miles. Honda claims that it has already received 15,000 registered expressions of interest.
When will it be on the road? Order books will open in the summer, with first deliveries expected early next year.
HONDA SHOW STORIES
The brand used the show to say 100% of its vehicle sales will be electrified – including EV, plug-in, hybrid and mild hybrid tech – by 2025.
8. Jeep PHEVs
The Jeep brand took its first steps into the electric world by exhibiting plug-in hybrid Renegade and Compass models. The systems use a 1.3-litre petrol engine and a battery that can run in isolation for around 31 miles, and as well as improving efficiency, the system is claimed to help with off-road ability thanks to the greater torque provided by the electric motor.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? The PHEVs will get emissions for both models down below 50g/km according to Jeep, although specific figures have yet to be released.
When will it be on the road? Predictions are that the cars will come in the middle of 2020, although they are not yet confirmed for UK sale.
JEEP SHOW STORIES
Jeep showed the full line-up of its new ‘S’ range of cars, designed to enhance the “sporty, metropolitan appeal” of the SUVs, while reasserting their off-road qualities.
9. Kia Imagine
According to Kia, this concept doesn’t necessarily lead directly to any new model in particular, but it is instead a design study showing the next generation of the firm’s electric cars. It’s supposed to prove that electric cars can appeal emotionally as well as rationally.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? Kia has confirmed six more electrified cars by 2022, and around that point it should be launching a first dedicated electric car, rather than the current strategy of electric versions of its regular models.
When will it be on the road? Certainly not for several years, and possibly through several design iterations.
KIA SHOW STORIES
The new Soul EV, as it will be known in the UK, was also on display, and will come to the UK at the very end of this year. The manufacturer is still to decide which of the battery capacity alternatives it will bring in, or whether it will sell both.
10. Mazda CX-30
A new crossover to sit between the CX-3 and CX-5 SUVs, the CX-30 follows on from the new Mazda 3 in offering premium interior quality and classy design. Even though engines, emissions and specifications are still to be revealed, the new model will get Mazda’s latest Skyactiv-X engine technology.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? The crossover sector, dominated by the likes of the Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen T-Roc, is still growing in popularity, and this new model gives Mazda a core rival below the larger CX-5.
When will it be on the road? It should be available before the end of this year.
MAZDA SHOW STORIES
The other main story at the show was the well-received new 3, which is about to go on sale in the UK.
11. Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake
This is the fourth part of Mercedes’ small car line-up, following on from the Company Car Today CCT100 Car of the Year A-Class, the new B-Class and the four-door coupe CLA.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? Even though Mercedes has yet to confirm engines, apart from the range-topping 225hp CLA250 petrol, it’s logical to assume the CLA Shooting Brake will benefit from the same RDE2-compliant power that the new A- and B-Class models are already offered with.
When will it be on the road? First deliveries are scheduled for this autumn, with orders taken from June.
MERCEDES SHOW STORIES
The second car with Mercedes’ EQ electric brand was revealed at the show in the form of a concept car called EQV and based on the V-Class MPV, which itself was also at the show in facelifted form.
12. Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer
Named after the Swiss Ski resort, the Engelberg Tourer is a twin-motor four-wheel drive plug-in hybrid crossover concept car with a battery range of 43 miles. This also combines with a 2.4-litre petrol engine.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? It is an early signal of the new Outlander, the UK’s best-selling plug-in hybrid car, with the powertrain and underpinnings being very close to what will be under the new model.
When will it be on the road? Around two years from now, so at some point in 2021.
MITSUBISHI SHOW STORIES
The brand revealed a new domestic charge system that will be able to return power from car to grid, as well as charging the car using solar panels. Called Dendo Drive House, it is set to be offered through dealers from later this year.
13. Nissan IMQ concept
The IMQ concept car is a strong hint at the next-generation Qashqai, given that Nissan admits the car “points heavily towards future C-segment crossovers”. That’s in both design language and the e-Power hybrid powertrain, which is confirmed for Europe in 2022.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? With the Qashqai holding its position as one of the biggest-selling cars in the UK, a new direction for the model that established the crossover sector is big news.
When will it be on the road? The replacement for the Qashqai will be here in 2022.
NISSAN SHOW STORIES
The e-Power hybrid system will appear in several other models as well as the new Qashqai, with the brand predicting a five-fold increase in electrified sales by 2022, and that Nissan will be at twice the market average by the end of 2022.
14. Peugeot 208
This is the all-new version of the big-selling hatchback, and the main news is that it will come with petrol, diesel and electric powertrain options in the same bodystyle. Peugeot plans for customers to choose the car they want and then add the powertrain that suits them, rather than offer different electric models.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? The electric 208 will have a range of around 211 miles, while emissions figures, as yet unpublished, should drop for the conventional models too.
When will it be on the road? First deliveries will be at the very beginning of 2020, with the electric car following shortly behind.
PEUGEOT SHOW STORIES
The Peugeot stand also had a 400hp 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered concept car, capable of 30 miles on the battery and offering a 49g/km emissions figure, yet 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds. Peugeot’s boss said the firm intends to build it.
15. Polestar 2
As the name suggests, this is the second car from Volvo’s fledgling electric performance car brand. The 2 is a rival for the new Tesla Model 3, and the launch edition will cost a little more than £50,000, before a cheaper model will join the range at around the £35,000 mark.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? It’s a premium-brand electric vehicle with a range of more than 300 miles, although the brand says the car will only be available for order via online sales. It will though open a network of “Polestar Spaces” for viewing the car and offering test drives.
When will it be on the road? The 2 is due to arrive late this year.
POLESTAR SHOW STORIES
The show stand was a simple affair with just the two Polestar 2 models. The £128,000 Polestar 1 wasn’t anywhere to be seen.
16. Renault Clio
Traditionally Renault’s biggest selling model in the UK, the Clio has been overtaken in recent times by the Captur crossover. Nevertheless, this all-new model is only evolutionary on the outside, because styling was the chief buying decision for the current model. It is, however, vastly improved inside, as that’s where Renault’s customers said there was big room for improvement.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? A hybrid 1.6-litre petrol version will be launched next year, and Renault claims it has used its electric vehicle experience of the past decade to make the hybrid version drive more like an electric vehicle than an assisted petrol.
When will it be on the road? First Clio deliveries are scheduled for October.
RENAULT SHOW STORIES
The Clio range in the UK will be topped by a RS-Line model with deeper front bumper, unique alloy wheels and various interior upgrades.
17. Seat El-Born
This is Seat’s move into electric cars, with the production version of the El-Born, named after what’s described as one of Barcelona’s “most emblematic neighbourhoods”, set to be the second car in the VW Group to use the new electric vehicle platform.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? With a range of around 260 miles and 80% recharge in 47 minutes using 100kW DC supercharging, the El-Born will add to a range of cars that pushed Seat into the top 10 brands for true fleet sales in ’18.
When will it be on the road? Seat is looking at the second half of next year.
SEAT SHOW STORIES
The Spanish brand also showed a Renault Twizy-like electric quadricycle called Minimo – standing for minimum size, maximum mobility – featuring a battery swap to quickly restore the 62-mile range. Seat is looking at the vehicle forming part of autonomous ride-hailing developments.
18. Skoda Vision iV
This is a preview of the first electric Skoda, which will arrive next year. It has an electric motor for each axle to make it four-wheel drive, as well as introducing technology such as smartphones being integrated directly into the infotainment system and acting as a digital key to unlock the vehicle.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? Skoda is quoting a range of more than 300 miles and the potential to recharge to 80% in half an hour.
When will it be on the road? Skoda is quoting around mid-2020, with the production version revealed in less than 12 months.
SKODA SHOW STORIES
The small Kamiq SUV was shown, largely deploying mini-me styling from the larger Karoq and Kodiaq SUVs. It is due to go on sale in early Q4, around the same time as the facelifted Superb.
19. SsangYong Korando
The new Korando marks a big step forward for the Korean brand, with a sharper exterior look, improved interior design and quality, and claimed class-leading interior space, including a huge 551-litre boot. The Nissan Qashqai-sized crossover will launch with the choice of a new 163hp 1.5-litre petrol with 146g/km, and a revised 136hp 1.6-litre diesel engine with 115g/km.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? The Korando will make sense for user choosers thanks mainly to what should be an extremely competitive P11D price and decent CO2figures. On top of that, the brand is claiming its new car can compete on merit with anything in the crossover sector, while still offering better value for money.
When will it be on the road? The car is scheduled to go on sale in the middle of this year.
SSANGYONG SHOW STORIES
A fully electric version of the Korando will follow next year, the brand’s first EV in Europe.
20. Subaru e-Boxer engines
Subaru used the show to exhibit e-Boxer hybrid versions of the XV and Forester SUVs. The system uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine, mated to an electric motor and driving through a CVT automatic gearbox.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? The system is claimed to cut fuel consumption by 11%, and should bring the XV below the 150g/km mark for emissions. The Forester will be a few grammes higher.
When will it be on the road? First deliveries are expected in the autumn, with pricing and full information due at the end of this month.
SUBARU SHOW STORIES
The brand also had the Viziv concept car, which is a more luxurious off-roader. Subaru is considering offering a mix of working vehicles and those aimed at users unlikely to take their cars off-road.
21. Toyota Corolla Trek
The Corolla Trek is a similar move to Ford’s recently launched Focus Active – a lower-medium model with raised ride height and body cladding for a more rugged look. It is aimed at those who like SUV styling but not the cost and it’s only offered with the Touring Sports estate. The name comes as a result of a tie-up with the Trek bike company.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? Coming with the 1.8- or 2.0-litre hybrid powertrains and only in front-wheel drive form, the Trek model should offer some very good efficiency figures.
When will it be on the road? Sales begin in early 2020.
TOYOTA SHOW STORIES
The new Corolla will also get a sporty-looking range-topper early next year with the launch of the GR Sport model, featuring new grille, lower skirts, sills and a rear diffuser, as well as various interior improvements.
22. Volkswagen ID Buggy
The latest concept car from Volkswagen’s electric ID branding is the fifth and hopefully final one before we start seeing the production models. The ID Buggy isn’t likely to make it into production itself, but is supposed to show how the VW Group’s new EV platform could be used by third parties to produce bodies to sit over the EV tech.
Why is it interesting to company car operators? It’s another step on the road to VW’s EV strategy, and keeps the momentum up until the production cars appear.
When will it be on the road? The first VW electric car, the ID, will launch early next year.
VW SHOW STORIES
The revised VW Passat was also on the stand, ahead of the facelifted cars arriving in the UK around the September number plate change. The GTE plug-in hybrid model will return with an enhanced battery range, and the Golf GTE will also make a comeback at the same sort of time.