Each year, the Geneva Motor Show serves as one of the world's hot beds for high-tech cars and concepts. Global manufacturers, world-famous design houses, students and hopeful start-ups reveal their latest efforts here. We've gathered some of the biggest, most interesting showings from this year's show into one bulging gallery ripe for your viewing pleasure. Step inside a world of freshly buffed carbon, crazy experimental body styling, extreme supercars pushed to further extremes, and brands you may have never heard of and may never hear from again.
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The menacing, 1,104-hp Zenvo ST1 first reared its angry head in 2008, slowly working its way into the hands of two owners. It's a bit curious, therefore, that the Danish automaker only got around to a European production debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
We guess when you make a car as ferocious and unique as the ST1, people tend to overlook such things to focus on the 2.69 second 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time and 233 mph (375 km/h) – electronically limited – top speed. Those come by way of a 6.8-liter V8 engine that's fed by both turbo and supercharger systems. The company has fine-tuned the interior with quilted Alcantara and bespoke, high-grade aluminum. For those days you're forced to putter around town, the car has a low-power mode for piloting it "more or less like a normal car."
Lazareth Wazuma GT
Somewhere between a roadster and a motorcycle, the all-new Lazareth Watama GT finds a niche all its own. With its narrow rear track and split, two-person cockpit, the design is highly reminiscent of the EX1 from fellow French firm Peugeot.
Lazareth chooses a 375-hp 4.0-liter supercharged V8 and five-speed transmission in favor of an electric powertrain. We're not sure if the 2,172-lb (985-kg) GT is more or less extreme than the Ferrari-powered Wazuma V8 quad. We'll just have to put them both on our "must drive" wish list.
Espera Sbarro Flèche Rouge
We remember a few things from our school days, but none of them are as crazy-cool as the Flèche Rouge. A project out of France's Espera Sbarro school, the "red arrow" took 30 students 47 days to build. The result looks like something Batman would drive if he wanted to come out of the shadows around Gotham's criminal underbelly to make a splash at a fundraising gala.
A six-speed manual gearbox controls output to the rear wheels from the 156 hp (116 kW) PSA engine. In spite of all its tucks, folds and layers, the fiberglass-over-tubular steel design weighs an even ton.
Italdesign Giugiaro Clipper
Italdesign Giugiaro's 2014 Geneva concept doesn't quite make the heart palpitate like last year's Parcour concept, but it's definitely a more practical 4WD. The six-person MPV is based on the Volkswagen Group's MQB modular platform and experiments in the same lab as the Tesla Model X.
It takes things even further than the Model X, carving out the B pillar completely and using gullwings to make the rear seating easier to access. Up front, traditional doors are done away with in favor of butterfly doors. With both sets of doors open, it looks as easy to load into as a freight elevator.
Other points of interest include a dual 110-kW motor electric powertrain with a listed 335-mile (540-km) range, a two-screen driver information system with 3D holographic projection effect, and an in-car app environment for sharing, gaming and chatting among occupants.
Magna Steyr MILA Blue
Austrian manufacturer Magna Steyr is always good for an interesting Geneva concept, including past efforts like the MILA Coupic. The seventh and latest member of the MILA concept family, the Blue is a product of ultra-lightweight design.
The company explains that the car weighs in some 660 lb (300 kg) lighter than a normal A-segment car. It uses a variety of materials and methods to meet that impressive mark, including aluminum, magnesium and composite materials, component downsizing, and component integration and elimination. For instance, interior plastic trim is left off by using attractive, laminable top surfacing on underlying structural components.
A small compressed natural gas hybrid drive puffs at a rate of less than 49g CO2/km and includes an electric motor for slow-speed driving.
Hovering in the shadows of more visible convertible debuts like the Ferrari California T, the Ermini Seiottosei brought what is surely a peppy Italian ride all its own. In fact, the all-new barchetta recalls a time when small hand crafters like Ermini emerged from the shadows, challenging (and sometimes beating) racing forces like Ferrari and Mercedes.
The simple, throwback styling and interior are built more to inspire the driver than impress onlookers, as is the 320-hp 2.0-liter Renault turbo four-cylinder. With the Seiottosei's diminutive size, race-inspired engineering and 1,512-lb (686-kg) hand-hammered aluminum and carbon fiber build, the small engine will still get the blood pumping with a sub-3.5-second 0-62 mph time and 168 mph (270 km/h) limited top speed. We're not sure about that flat deck in the rear, but the flowy, cherry-cheeked face and its big, clean "E" is a thing of retro beauty.
2014 Morgan Plus 4
Another retro debut at this year's Geneva show, the all-new Morgan Plus 4 is now powered by an upgraded 2.0-liter Ford engine, bumping performance and eco-friendliness up a notch. In fact, Morgan calls it the most powerful production Plus 4 ever (though it doesn't give a specific power figure). The 2014 model also includes a revised interior with new instrumentation.
Rolls Royce Ghost Series II
Bentley wasn't the only ultra-premium marque to flash some updated hardware in Geneva. Rolls Royce offered a modest update to its 2009-launched Ghost. The "Series II" version's biggest departure is in the reshaped headlamps framed by daytime running lamps.
The new eyes are complemented by subtle re-sculpting and accenting around the hood and bumpers. Drive feature updates include available suspension enhancements and satellite-aided transmission technology. Rolls offers a new 21-in forged wheel option, along with expanded customization choices under its Bespoke program.
Q by Aston Martin V12 Vantage S
In addition to two specially dressed models previewed before the show, Aston Martin brought a V12 Vantage S dripping with treatment from its Q customization program. A track-inspired orange trim pops boldly against the "Stratus White" body paint. Inside, orange stripes adorn the True Teal leather seats, creating a vibrantly colorful cabin that provides further contrast with the simple white exterior.
The latest full-scale styling model from Turin's Istituto Europeo di Design, the PassoCorto was developed in conjunction with Hyundai's Design Center Europe. The design pays the usual lip service to "ultralight carbon fiber monocoque construction," but what's really interesting about it is its styling.
The body is filled with nooks, crannies and protrusions, and IED explains that the wheel arches emulate crab claws, wrapping around the hood and cab. A roof-mounted camera provides both rear-view and drive filming.
Spend a little time in our Geneva 2014 gallery, which includes more photos of the aforementioned vehicles, along with numerous other concepts, tuned sports cars, race cars and more.View gallery - 130 images