Geneva motor show 2014 news round-up

  • News from Europe's 'spring motor show'
  • Team of reporters on the ground in Geneva
  • News on Renault, Toyota, Ford and Jaguar
The Geneva motor show is Europe's 'spring show' and this year's event had a wide range of new models - concentrating, interestingly, on production cars more than fanciful concepts.

Our team of reporters was on the ground in Geneva's huge halls, getting a close look at the new cars and grilling company execs and product chiefs on the detail.

Editor John McIlroy described the show as 'focusing on product, not promises' and actually struggled to keep his 'stars of the show' round-up down to a top 10.

It was a great show for small cars, with Toyota, Citroen and Peugeot all launching their new versions of the same small vehicle (Aygo, C1 and 108 respectively). Toyota sources are confident, though, that their edition will offer more scope for personalisation than the French brands' cars.

Renault had a busy show, thanks to the launch of its new Twingo city car. The new model is designed for electrification, but it looks like the firm will hold off on a Twingo EV for at least the next 12 months.
The firm's electric vehicles boss also revealed that Renault will have at least the technical possibility to offer owners of cars like the Zoe and Twizy an upgrade on their battery technology, if there's enough demand.
One of the Twingo's main selling points is its tiny turning circle. However, it's closely related to the next generation of Smart ForTwo - and that company's boss is promising that their car will trump all rivals on urban manoeuvrability when it turns up later this year.

Citroen was another busy brand at Geneva, with the C1 city car sharing stand space with the radical C4 Cactus family hatch. The firm's product boss revealed that the Cactus has been set up to deliver the sort of ride quality that made Citroen famous.
 
Mazda drew widespread praise for its Hazumi concept car, which is said to be a close preview of the next Mazda 2. The firm is already working on a small SUV version of the new supermini. It's likely to be called CX-3 and the firm is making big claims already.
 
The Japanese company's design boss also revealed that it is planning to use more natural materials, including wood and leather, in its car cabins.
 
One of the biggest stories of Geneva concerned a car that wasn't even there: the new Jaguar XE saloon, which will make its public debut later this year and then give the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class a fresh rival to worry about.
 
Ford brought the new Focus to Geneva - and senior execs revealed that the firm is planning to introduce a hot diesel edition of the car, badged ST-TD.
 
Vauxhall's European president, Karl-Thomas Neumann, was in Geneva to explain how the company's new tie-up with Peugeot-Citroen will affect forthcoming models. It looks like the next Meriva and Zafira will share parts with their French cousins.
 
Before then, Vauxhall will have to introduce a new version of its Corsa. The company's vice-president of design believes that a much cleaner, simpler cabin and fascia will prove a selling point for the car.
 
Vauxhall is also working on a low-cost city car to take on the Skoda Citigo and Hyundai i10. It'll turn up next year and prices should start at less than £7000.
 
There was some good news for Alfa Romeo fans, courtesy of the firm's chief executive Sergio Marchionne,. He revealed the next generation of Alfas is on the way, due before the end of 2015 and are both rear-wheel drive and light.
 
Skoda didn't show a new production model but it pointed to how future cars could look with its dramatic Vision C concept. The big four-door could yet make it into showrooms itself, too.
 
Ssangyong had a dramatic SUV concept at the show. Senior execs also revealed that the Korean manufacturer is working on a smaller production version that will be a rival for the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur.
 
Mitsubishi has been enjoying improved sales in the UK, after introducing more aggressive pricing on models like the ASX. The improved exchange rate with Japan also looks likely to bring the Lancer model back to British dealers.
 
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