In terms of scale and spectacle, motor shows are the Super Bowls of the car world. Spread throughout the year, they're a chance for the world's car makers to show us what's coming over the next 12 months.
The the biggest show of the year takes place in Geneva, Switzerland, with a direct focus on European manufacturers. This is their stage to show potential buyers what they have to look forward to, as well as showcasing new ideas, concept cars and business strategies.
Among the new cars expected in Geneva are Land Rover's new SUV-coupé, the Range Rover Velar, the next-generation version of our favourite hot hatchback, the Ford Fiesta ST and the the BMW 5 Series Touring, the estate version of our 2017 Car of the Year – and much, much more.
Over the next few pages, we'll tell you everything you need to know about these star cars. Keep an eye on this page over the coming days, too, as we'll be updating this preview in the run up to the show, which starts on 8 March.
Geneva motor show 2017 - 18 star cars
The A120 is the first car to come from Renault's reborn Alpine sports car brand. Alpine made a range of low-volume sports cars between 1955 and 1995, when production ended. Renault plans to bring the brand back with the A120, which is expected to be powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine with around 250bhp. Deposits are already being taken for the new car, which will be priced from about £47,000. Its direct rivals include one of our favourite sports cars, the Porsche Cayman.
BMW 4 Series facelift
BMW is taking the fight to the Audi A5 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé with this revitalised 4 Series. Updates to the car's interior and exterior styling are very light, but the big news is that the car's iDrive infotainment and sat-nav system has been overhauled to make its appearance similar to that of the larger BMW 5 Series, our 2017 Car of the Year. The facelifted 4 Series will go on sale in April, costing from £32,525, making it more expensive than both of its main rivals.
It's a safe bet that this latest 5 Series Touring is going to be good - it is, after all, based on our current Car of the Year. This 5 Series estate is longer, taller and wider than its predecessor, and has a bigger boot, giving plenty of space for your luggage. There's also more space inside for people, and the interior has an upmarket air. Four engines will be offered from launch, but the pick for most buyers is likely to be the same 520d which we recommend in the saloon. The 5 Series Touring will cost from £38,385.
See more of the BMW 5 Series saloon in our video below.
Look just under the surface of Citroën's C-Aircross concept car and you'll see the next C3 Picasso MPV. Like Citroën's C4 Cactus and C3 hatchback, the next C3 Picasso will receive chunky styling including the French brand's plastic Airbump door protectors. The C-Aircross's interior is more of a dive into the future, and includes a large head-up display instead of traditional instrument dials. When the new C3 Picasso goes on sale towards the end of this year, we expect it to cost from around £17,500.
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