Switzerland prides itself on being neutral ground, and that’s something the auto industry appreciates, as well. That’s why the annual Geneva Motor Show has grown from a small, backwater event into the first big car show in Europe each year – indeed one of the most important in the world.
And this year will be no exception. With little more than two weeks to go before thousands of journalists and industry executives converge on the City by the Lake, the preliminary schedule for what is officially known Mondial de l’Automobile is already a crowded one.
As neutral ground, expect to see all of the major European makers staging big debuts – from the Opel GT Concept to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe to the Volkswagen Golf facelift. Imports like Hyundai, Kia and Toyota will have a strong presence, as well. There’ll be luxury makers – Bugatti debuting the new Chiron – as well as plenty of green machines.
Geneva has earned a reputation for the many niche and specialty makers who display their wares at the PALExpo convention center, as well as consulting firms such as Volkswagen-owned Giugiaro and Pininfarina, both design houses set to reveal new concepts this year. And there’s the ever-present Rinspeed, which has built a reputation for debuting unusual designs that explore new industry trends.
Here’s a marque-by-marque look at some of the major debuts we’re expecting at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show:
Alfa Romeo will provide more details on the new Giulia line beyond the range-topping Quadrifoglio model unveiled last year.
Aston Martin will debut the new DB11, the replacement for its long-lived DB9 sports coupe.
Audi is expected to show off the new Q2 mini-SUV, as well as a sporty version of its slightly larger ute, the 362 hp RS Q3.
BMW will also muscle up, focusing on its flagship 7-Series with both the Alpina B7 and the new M760Li xDrive, the closest it’s come to finally launching an M7.
Bugatti ended production of the decade-old Veyron last year and is finally ready to reveal its successor, the Chiron.
Citroen will focus on the van segment of the European market with its oddly named SpaceTourer Hyphen.
Ferrari is said to be readying a mid-cycle update – and a new name – for the wagon-like FF, which will now be known as the GTC4 Lusso.
Fiat will focus its attention on the European version of the new 124 Spider, the Mazda Miata-based roadster first shown at the LA Auto Show last November.
Ford hasn’t confirmed plans but speculation focuses on both an even more powerful subcompact, the Fiesta ST “Plus,” as well as some SUV news.
Honda will continue to expand its new Civic line-up with the Geneva debut of the hatchback version.
Hyundai is ready to take direct aim at Toyota’s ever-popular Prius with a dedicated green machine, and the Ioniq is expected to come in three green flavors: hybrid, plug-in and a pure battery-electric version.
Infiniti will stage the European debuts of its new Q60 coupe, as well as the QX30 Premium Active, a too-cool-to-categorize crossover.
Jaguar keeps upping the performance quotient of the F-Type sports car, and the SVR model will be the first version to deliver a top speed of over 200 mph.
Kia, Hyundai’s Korean sibling, debuted its own, dedicated Prius-fighter, the Niro, in Chicago this month and will bring it to Geneva. It may announce more details about the plug-in version to follow the initial hybrid.
Lamborghini will mark the 100th birthday of founder Ferruccio Lamborghini with the reveal of a limited-edition supercar expected to be called, appropriately enough, the Centenario.
Land Rover is pushing into rare territory with the Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet, one of the very few convertible SUVs ever introduced.
Lexus was a headliner in Detroit with the launch of its LC 500 coupe and it will be back in Geneva with the hybrid version, but the LC 500h is expected to push performance as much as fuel economy.
Maserati is finally set to reveal its first-ever SUV, the Levante, which blends a Ferrari-made powerplant and a platform derived from the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Mazda will stage the European reveal of the RX-Vision concept first seen in Tokyo – signaling a likely rebirth of the RX-7 rotary sports car.
Mercedes-Benz will expand the C-Class range with a new, soft-top convertible version of it C-Class.
Mitsubishi will preview two new concept vehicles said to show its new design direction: the ASX passenger car and L200 pickup.
Opel and British twin Vauxhall will debut the striking GT Concept. But it’s far from certain the sports car prototype will ever make it into production. An updated Mokka crossover is also planned.
Pagani apparently thinks there’s a market for an even faster version of the Huayra ultracar, so it’s heading to debut with Huayra BC.
Peugeot is set to reveal not only its Traveller shuttle bus/limo, but the Traveller i-Lab, a concept take that explores mobility options.
Porsche not only has an updated version of its little roadster, but a new 4-cylinder engine and a new name: the 718 Boxster.
Renault will weigh in with a companion to its familiar (to Europeans) Megane people-mover, the new Scenic.
Rinspeed took a tip from the artist once and again known as Prince. We’ll simply the name of its autonomous concept to Etos.
Seat will target the family CUV market with the Ateca.
Skoda delivers a seven-seat SUV concept it is calling the Vision S, with a production model likely to follow.
Ssanyong, the “other” Korean carmaker, has both the SIV-2 concept SUV and the stretched Tivoli XLV ute.
Subaru keeps offering hints of its future direction with the XV, and a new version of the concept is bound for Geneva.
Toyota is focusing on compact utility vehicles, offering up a facelifted version of the RAV-4, as well as what is reported to be a production version of the C-HR crossover concept (which was to be a Scion model in the U.S. before that brand was dropped).
Volkswagen will show updated versions of two key models, the small Tiguan ute and the global best-seller, the Golf.
Volvo will wrap things up – alphabetically speaking – with the debut of a third model sharing its new large-vehicle platform, the V90. The wagon also shares powertrains with the S90 sedan and XC90 ute.