Geneva 2010 was a cracking show for actual cars that human people will soon be driving in the real world. So good in fact, that we’ve had to make a list just so you can take it all in. We’ve supplemented our shitty iPhone snaps with press pics to help you see too.
Yeah yeah, it’s just a small crossover… but look at it. The Juke is proper mental. Nissan have already proved their ability to judge what people want to buy when they released the Qashqai – it appealed to everyone from Focus to 4×4 to Mondeo buyers.
The Juke is going to slot under the Qashqai when it goes on sale in October at around £13k. And don’t forget that these days, that’s the price of a mid-spec Fiesta or Polo, so there’s every chance that the Juke could ‘do a Qashqai’ to the supermini market. Seeing as it’s being built in Sunderland by the good men of the North, hopefully it’ll do well.
Citroen DS3 Racing
All of Citroen’s new cars were actually bloody interesting – but amongst the fictional concepts, the DS3 Racing was the quiet star. When was the last time Citroen made a car that made you want to drive it? We can’t remember either.
Despite the fact they’ve been building up a cracking rally reputation for a good few years, Citroen have taken a while to cash in on it – which is what the DS3 Racing comes in, being tweaked by the same chaps that build Loeb’s company car. It’s got a 200bhp 1.6 Turbo, wider track, stiffened and lowered suspension and twiddled ECU to make it quick… probably quick enough to hit 60mph in less than 7 seconds.
It’ll go on sale in the summer, and Citroen man didn’t disagree when we suggested it would cost just shy of £20k. Citroen man also told us that because only 1,000 will be made, the DS3R might not be available with the level of customisation found on the standard car – if they’re all grey and orange with the wheels of the show car, that won’t be a bad thing. It’s not just the Audi A1 that’s going to bother the Mini Cooper S.
Aston Martin Cygnet
In a radical move of assertion, we asked a man at Aston Martin if they were actually going to build the Toyota iQ based luxury city car – the man said ‘we are intending to produce the Cygnet before the end of the year’. He also commented how the chassis of the iQ will remain 100% intact as the Toyota becomes an Aston, without even changes to bushes, dampers or spring rates. The Aston Martin Cygnet will drive exactly like a Toyota iQ. Gosh
Prices are speculative at the moment, but Aston Martin didn’t dismiss us when we said we’d heard they’d start at £30k – Aston man also said it was more than likely that the car would initially be sold to current customers, with the aim to put it on general sale.
The interior of the show car wasn’t anywhere near to production finish, but the architecture and style reflected how the final car will look – and, to be honest, wasn’t impressive. While the outside of the car at least has a nod towards an Aston face with token styling cues, the architecture of the iQ interior remains – which simply doesn’t feel like enough effort to justify the extra cost over the Toyota. Final judgement has to wait until we’ve all seen a final car, but we’re more worried than ever that the Cygnet could really tarnish Aston’s good name.
Swiss motoring journalists couldn’t get enough of the little Audi, which shows just how subtly mature the well resolved styling is. It looks even smarter and well proportioned in the flesh with a stocky stance and beautiful headlight jewellery. Bizarrely, we stood staring at the A1 for longer than we did the Pagani Cinque Roadster.
We’ve always had a worry that the A1’s smart exterior could be let down by a less impressive, built to a price interior – but if the show car’s anything to go by, that won’t be a problem. While some of the materials and buttons weren’t quite as intricately damped as those in a bigger, pricier Audi it still had more than enough quality and tactility to make the starting price of £13k seem like ruddy good value.
Options will be key though – the daytime running lights, swooping roof line and smart wheels all need paying extra for, or the A1 will look drab and be worth nothing come resale. Bloody hell, what sensible advice. Goes on sale this Autumn.
This could be the world’s biggest selling car when it goes on sale in the US, China and Europe next year. It’s fairly important. The styling of the outside was still raising eyebrows, with smart details like the triangular front grilles and funky fuel filler flap looking good, but perhaps one too many creases down the side and awkward rear lights. Shouldn’t every Focus ever have upright rear lights?
The interior is a much happier place – smart and premium looking, as well as being a lot more interesting than the current car. There were some rough edges on the pre-production show car, but the smart centre joystick and climate/radio layout already felt familiar and ergonomically sound. Nice leather dash top with bright yellow stitching all over too.
Perhaps more interestingly than the interior is the fact that Ford man told us that the next hot Focus, which won’t necessarily be called the RS, won’t come with a 5 cylinder engine as the current RS engine isn’t Euro V compliant so will be dropped. It was more than hinted that the top hot 2011 Focus would be running a 2.0 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine – perhaps a tuned version of the new car’s new Ecoboost motor. They’re already claiming that the new Focus is a sportier drive than any previous model, and that it’ll be even more of a revelation than the current Fiesta is. Which is good.