Flashy New Cars at Geneva Auto Show Overshadowed by Rising Fuel Costs, Reports Edmunds.com
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — March 2, 2011 — Amid the flash and excess that's typically featured at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show, rising oil costs are thrusting fuel-efficient vehicles into the show's limelight, reports Edmunds' Auto Observer.com.
"Fuel economy never is far from the minds of most buyers of mainstream European vehicles," writes Editor-in-Chief Michelle Krebs on Edmunds' AutoObserver.com. "But with tension about global fuel supplies, the Geneva show's orientation toward size and fuel-efficiency will be all the more evident."
Among those leading the fuel-conscious charge in Geneva is Honda, which plans to unveil its EV Concept that hints at the styling direction for its upcoming battery-electric Fit EV, on sale next year in the United States and Japan. Honda will also show off a plug-in hybrid system that could be integrated into future midsize models.
Toyota plans to showcase the Prius +, a 7-passenger version of the Prius V, as well as the Yaris HSD, which promises to be the smallest Toyota yet to feature the Hybrid Synergy Drive. Volvo, meanwhile, will show off its V60 plug-in hybrid that expects to deliver the equivalent of 124 miles per gallon and as much as 30 miles on electrical power alone. And GM will introduce its European version of the Chevrolet Volt — the Opel Ampera — which is scheduled to hit showrooms across the Atlantic in 2012.
Even some luxury brands are demonstrating some modesty with fuel-efficient models. Porsche is unveiling the Panamera S hybrid, which fancies itself as "the most fuel-efficient Porsche of all time," while Rolls-Royce is introducing an electric Phantom concept car that claims to be "the world's first battery-electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment."
Still Plenty of Swiss Bliss
The Geneva Auto Show is usually best known for its display of slick, futuristic toys and concept vehicles, and this year's show still brings the goods. Edmunds' InsideLine.com offers a sneak peak at some of the best automotive eye candy featured this week in Switzerland, including:
- Ferrari FF — The Italian automaker breaks some stereotypes about sporty styling with best-in-class cargo capacity and comfortable seating for four, but maintains its Ferrari muscle with a V12 engine that pumps out 652 horsepower.
- Lamborghini Aventador — "Shown the night before the official start of the 2011 Geneva Auto Show, this V12 tried to steal the show before it even started," says Edmunds' InsideLine.com of the latest offering from the Italian powerhouse that carries a new engine rumored to be able to surpass its official top speed of 217 mph.
- Toyota FT-86 II Concept — The latest version of Toyota's upcoming rear-wheel-drive sports car is the Japanese automaker's "most interesting car in decades."
- Subaru RWD Sports Car — This car is a result of a joint venture with Toyota. Subaru confirmed that it will come to The U.S. as its first non-all-wheel-drive vehicle since the early 1990s. The as-yet-unnamed sports car expects to use the Porsche Cayman as its performance benchmark.
See more full coverage of the 2011 Geneva Auto Show on Edmunds' InsideLine.com at http://www.autoobserver.com/.
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Edmunds.com Inc. publishes Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site and hosts the most established automotive community online. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at www.edmunds.com, makes car pricing and other research tools available for car shoppers at dealerships and otherwise on the go. InsideLine.com is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. Its mobile site, accessible from any smartphone at www.insideline.com, features the wireless Web's highest quality car photos and videos. AutoObserver.com provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds.com Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit. Follow Edmunds.com on Twitter@edmunds and fan Edmunds.com on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/edmunds.