Gumpert Tornante – Maybe the upcoming Gumpert Tornante won’t have quite the Clarkson-face-melting speed that its Apollo brand mate can offer, but it’ll be plenty fast, nonetheless. Expect massive power from the mid-mounted 4.2-liter V-8, and speed that shouldn’t shame the Gumpert name, too. What’s more Tornante is supposed to be a bit more accommodating for the fleshly frames of the Clarksonesque, too, with a refined cabin and a more forgiving ride.
2012 Kia Rio – In previous generations Kia’s Rio inspired the editors at Car magazine in the UK to write the headline, “Her Name Is Rio, And She’s Crap.” (Not a lie, we promise.) But the times, they keep a changing, and these days the Kia lineup is amazingly stylish and solid to drive. So we have high hopes that this all-new, cute-as-a-bug’s-ear Rio will take the fight to the small car field like never before. New Rio will likely hit the US market after its Euro launch, and we might even get a look at Kia’s intriguing new 1.2-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine.
BMW Vision ConnectedDrive – Yes, that glass-bedecked roadster body is awfully pretty—it’ll look great spending the rest of its post-Geneva show life in the BMW museum—but don’t get too excited, this concept is kind of a tease. The Vision ConnectedDrive will be all about showcasing BMW’s upcoming advanced driver assistance, mobility, networking systems, not really about previewing the future of convertibles. Sad to say. After all, what fun is stupid old roadster driving when compared with, “making the vehicle and integral part of a networked world,” right?
Renault Captur – How do you say “Juke” in French? (That’s a trick question, Juke isn’t a real word.) Renault is taking a conceptual spin on the Nissan Juke ethos, bringing this wagon-wheeled Captur concept to its Geneva show stand. The concept will come correct with Renault’s Energy dCi bi-turbocharged diesel, which makes 160 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque in this tune, and a DCT gearbox.
2012 Lancia Thema – We loved the Fiat 500 and have every hope that the Italian runabout can be successful her in the US. Consider us skeptical that the Chrysler 300 can make a similarly successful transition to life in the Lancia world. Perhaps one more Eminem commercial is needed?
De Tomaso SLC Concept – A Pantera she ain’t, but the resurrection of the De Tomaso nameplate is still pretty interesting news, even if the car doing the resurrecting looks a bit like a blown-up Volvo. Still we’re told that there’s a 524-horsepower V-8 under that hood, and some pretty swanky interior design, too. Expect more info after the car’s presentation in Geneva, as well as some news about the real Pantera successor.
Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 – 700-horsepower V-12 engine. 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds, top speed of around 217. $350,000+ to buy. It hasn’t even been official shown yet, and it’s already sold out. Lamborghini PR is already getting sick of us asking to be invited to drive it. This is the car that will make the Geneva show worth the price of admission this year.
Nissan Esflow – That’s more like it. Nissan Leaf EV ethos in a rear-drive sports car package that looks pretty wicked. The Esflow concept has more range than the leaf (150 miles we're told), and its two electric motors, one for each wheel, give the car the accelerative power to hit 60 mph in under 5 seconds. This concept isn’t bound for production kids, which is both sad and sadly predictable.
2012 Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition – Because, if you’re going to do a Range Rover, do you really want to do it half-ass? The Ultimate Rangie has special twenty-inch alloy wheels and is, of course, powered by the company’s beastly 5.0-liter supercharged V-8. It also boasts such niceties as four bucket seats, aluminum tray tables, a drinks color in back, and a pair of iPads that dock in the front seatbacks. Sure beats watching SpongeBob again, eh kids?