Geneva Bites – What’s happening to Toyota?

Until recently, Toyota made the sort of cars which wouldn’t say boo to a goose, to use that strange, but expressive phrase. All that seems to be about to change.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The Mirai and latest Prius look as if they would cross a busy road themselves if there was a goose-booing opportunity on the other side, and the C-HR crossover which debuted at Geneva keeps up the trend. In the current manner, it’s tamed down a bit from the C-HR concept shown last year at Frankfurt. However it still tends towards the egregious. I’ve been inured to this since the shock of the Nissan Puke, and I think the Toyota hangs together rather better. Continue reading “Geneva Bites – What’s happening to Toyota?”

Geneva Bites – Citroën: Back in the Wacky Races

Citroën has a mountain to climb. Is quirkiness the answer?

Citroen A (2)
Less interesting than an out of town retail park  Image:autovia-media

Unless you are won over by the C4 Cactus, or still dreaming the MPV dream while the world turns to SUVs, you will find the current Citroën collection dreary and dispiriting. Old cars, odd cars, Mitsubishi ‘captives’. So what’s the solution, apart from More Airbumps, as promised by CEO Linda Jackson? Continue reading “Geneva Bites – Citroën: Back in the Wacky Races”

Geneva Oddities: Citroen Space Tourer Hyphen

While browsing around the pickings and leavings of the 2016 Geneva Motor Show I found this. It’s the Space Tourer from Citroen.

2016 Citroen Space Tourer Hyphen: source
2016 Citroen Space Tourer Hyphen: source

Autocar, Car and Car & Driver forgot to mention it, as far as I know. But Autoblog gave it some space – we salute you. It’s quite a refreshing combination of shapes and graphic design. They ought to put it into production. It’s huge fun. Continue reading “Geneva Oddities: Citroen Space Tourer Hyphen”

Geneva Bites – Where’s Me Jumper?

Our roving reporter gets his coat. 

Image:autovia.com
Image:autovia.com

2016 wasn’t a classic Geneva, but a good social occasion. The big surprise this year was how well dressed everyone was. Everybody looked like they were somebody important, fashion victims abounded. Previously the norm was casual to the point of being unkempt, particularly those with ‘design’ or ‘styling’ in their job titles. I think there was a secret plot to Continue reading “Geneva Bites – Where’s Me Jumper?”

Geneva Bites – Japanese Concepts: The Ugly

Only one contender here, the Honda Civic “Concept”.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Plot lost.  Massively.  No quantity of NSXs will make up for this. Those responsible should be put on a diet of dog meat for a year.

Geneva Bites – Japanese Concepts: The Bad

Roving reporter, Robertas Parazitas continues his trawl through the fleshpots of Geneva. Two concepts in particular captured his ire.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mazda RX-Vision:  A woefully silly car from a manufacturer which is getting so much right.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lexus LF-FC:  A certain appealing lairiness, but they need to try harder.

Geneva Bites – Japanese Concepts: The Good

Roving reporter Robertas Parazitas sifts Japanese conceptual wheat from chaff at Geneva.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Japanese car makers treated us to a veritable host of concept cars. Some were production cars in all but detail, others are pointers to the more distant, but credible future, which probably still includes doorhandles and window frames, and possibly, just possibly sub-20″ diameter wheels.

In the best pre-Boring Boring CAR tradition, I’ve divided them into the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Continue reading “Geneva Bites – Japanese Concepts: The Good”

Theme: Suspension – Not Quite De Dion

I spotted this on the Suzuki stand at Geneva. It’s the rear axle of the Vitara, the Hungarian-built Poor Girl’s Evoque.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


At first I thought that it was a De Dion axle, on closer examination it turns out to be a torsion beam with driven rear wheels. Possibly other manufacturers have done this before, but it’s the first I’ve encountered. I’d have expected to find a live axle, or a multi-link or double wishbone fully independent system. Continue reading “Theme: Suspension – Not Quite De Dion”

Geneva Bites -The Abarth Garage

Lancia don’t live here any more…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


I stood in the north west corner of Palexpo’s Hall 5 which has been the traditional home of Lancia for many years, and my fears were confirmed. Turin’s second most successful carmaker had left the building – hold on, wasn’t that Alvis? Did I walk through the empty house, tears in my eyes? Not really. Continue reading “Geneva Bites -The Abarth Garage”

Geneva Bites – Morgan EV3

As Britain’s four grandest car manufacturers prepared their four wheel drive SUVs, Morgan defied the new conformity, and introduced a one wheel drive vehicle in late 2011.

Morgan (9)
image: autovia-media

The three wheeler has vastly exceeded sales expectations with over 2000 sold to date. Morgan may well prefer that we didn’t know just how well their three wheeler is doing by comparison with the rest of the range. 2013 and 2014 three wheeler sales were well over double the combined numbers for the four wheeled offerings, and over its four full years of production it has accounted for 55% of Morgan production. Continue reading “Geneva Bites – Morgan EV3”

Geneva 2016 Posted Missing – Lancia

Obituaries are probably premature, but has Lancia’s traditional Geneva presence been bulldozed in the Giulia frenzy?

Lancia IAA Photo autovia-media
2016 Lancia Ypsilon at Geneva

Lancia was not on the Geneva exhibitors list, but I fully expected a few Ypsilons to show their fresh new face on a small, but rather stylish, stand in some enclave of Sergio’s Palexpo empire. It happened at Frankfurt, but not in Geneva – the traditional Lancia space was occupied by Abarth instead, with a rather jolly display of 124 Spiders and a 695 Biposto. Continue reading “Geneva 2016 Posted Missing – Lancia”

Almost live from Geneva 2016: More Superleggera Touring

Our roving reporter, Robertas Parazitas, has been out with his Hasselblad to capture some of the vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thus we have these exclusive images of the Superleggera Touring Alfa Romeo. Yes, it’s still very fine looking. Alfa Romeo’s own designers are having a very hard time expressing how a modern Alfa Romeo should look. To judge by this, Superleggera Touring have their finger on it. The car is actually deeply retro and yet isn’t at all. This is a first rate synthesis of old and new.

Geneva Bites – Audi Q2

Roving reporter, Robertas Parazitas gives the new Q2 a visual once-over. He’s moderately impressed. 

Audi Q2 Image autovia-media (4)
2017 Audi Q2 at the 2016 Geneva Motor show.

There was a time when I hoped that the premium German carmakers’ foray into SUVs would pass by like a bad dream, but with their sales of products categorised as crossovers sitting at over 50% of production, and sometimes more, we have to accept the current orthodoxy, and take an interest. The Q2 is intriguing on several counts. It’s scarcely smaller than the Q3, but cheaper and lighter. Up front there’s a bit of a rethink of Audi’s “big face”, but it’s still strong on Autobahn presence. Continue reading “Geneva Bites – Audi Q2”

It Exists

As a blog with a bit of design focus, it’s always a pleasure to show something that’s interesting and good….

2016 Touring Superleggera Alfa Romeo 8C
2016 Touring Superleggera Alfa Romeo 8C

…and not complain about it. First, I was unaware that Touring Superleggera were still in business. I was not paying attention. With a badge as evocative as theirs I’d be falling over myself to find an excuse to put it on a production car if I was a major manufacturer. Second, this car is lovely in its own right and is vastly better than the car it’s based on. The squared-off wheel arches are nicely handled and I like the flat top to the front arch. Bonus points accrue for that colour blue they chose. Continue reading “It Exists”

2017 Ford Ka+

There’s a gap in Ford’s range which the Ka Plus is going to fill. We hoped it wouldn’t happen but it did.

2017 Ford Ka Plus: AutoExpress.com
2017 Ford Ka Plus: AutoExpress.com

The Ka Plus is promised to be more than a low-price five-door car, filling a gap in the constellation of price points connecting the Ka to the Fiesta. According to reports the Ka Plus is built on the Fiesta platform which makes the car really a Fiesta Minus, doesn’t it? The design for the Ka Plus originated in 2013, aimed at conservative buyers in developing countries.

The Ford explanation is that the Fiesta is going to be replaced in 2017 and in so doing will Continue reading “2017 Ford Ka+”

Live (Almost) From Geneva : Day 2

Roving correspondent Robertas Parazitas, continues his reporting from the 86th Geneva International Motor Show.

Jaguar E-Type at 1961 Geneva Salon
Jaguar E-Type at 1961 Geneva Salon – image : aronline.co.uk

Tuesday 01 March 2016

Heavy round of press conferences – Seat and BMW were at 7:45AM. Brutal.

An over-run on the Fiat block has pushed the timetable back a good half hour. Sergio was ebullient. Hair a bit tidier, but the pullover didn’t look as if it had been washed since his last shift on the refuse collection. Continue reading “Live (Almost) From Geneva : Day 2”