Geneva’s a peaceful city, usually where countries meet up to share a bucket of fried chicken and talk about their differences. But there’s one time of year when it plays host to an all-out war: auto show season. In between Chicago and New York, Geneva is situated as the exotic and upscale car show. The New York show that follows it is a little more of the same, only with some consumer cars there to make the automakers look like they’re trying to appease the proletariat. So in honor of bling, the Benjamins, and ultrafast, ultra expensive cars that would look at home in any rapper’s garage, here’s what we covered this past week. We’ll promise to come back down to Earth after this post with more of our honest-to-goodness practical car news for normal Joes after this. But until then…
Monday, February 20
Okay, we lied a little. But please don’t tell on us. Here’s a sports car you might be able to afford. It’s the 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, which comes in two flavors: turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or screaming 348-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6. Our very own Matt Askari had the opportunity to take both models to the road and raceway, driving them in his First Drive review. Yeah, you may be able to afford them, but keep this in mind: The V-6 model has about as much power as a Corvette did less than a decade ago. Living richly doesn’t always mean being rich.
Tuesday, February 21
Lexus plans to raise its brow and turn the other cheek, with monocle intact, as other automakers go downmarket to capture the dollars of budget luxury buyers. Buick struck first with its compact Verano sedan. Acura will be following up with its Civic-based ILX, and Mercedes-Benz is coming out with its next-generation B-Class hatchback for U.S. consumption. But Lexus? “We’re well on our way to recovery,” says a confident Brian Smith, chief marketer for Lexus. You can imagine him saying this with a cup of Earl Grey tea in one hand and a copy of the Wall Street Journal in the other.
Wednesday, February 22
If a Bugatti Veyron will run you more than $1 million, a Veyron Grand Sport will run you around $2 million, and the 268-mph Bugatti Veyron Super Sport goes for around $3 million, how much will the newly announced open top Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse with 1200 horsepower cost? We somehow cackle with delirious intrigue to find out such an answer. The Vitesse is instilled with the same engine as the world-beating Super Sport, but now with the open air sensation of mega velocity rippling your skin in the wind. We kinda want to figure out the car payment on one so we can get an office-wide pool going for one.
Thursday, February 23
Silly SRT! Thinking you could keep the reborn Viper supercar under wraps until April’s New York Auto Show was optimistic at best and downright naive at worst. We’ve been following the 2013 SRT Viper saga unfold from the beginning; the automaker teasing eager enthusiasts and Viper loyalists with illustrations and teaser pictures for the last few weeks. But then something happened: Hot Wheels accidentally leaked a fuzzy picture of the car on its website for its next-year scale cars. Prototypes were also seen testing this week. So far, everything we’ve seen of the fuzzy pic matches real parts revealed on the car. At this rate, the $100,000+ American supercar will be fully unveiled with clarity well ahead of the New York Auto Show.
Friday, February 24
We’ve not had enough six-figure supercars on this list this week, so here’s one more. It’s called the Ferrari F620 GT, and it’s replacing the $327,000 Ferrari 599 Fiorano. So you can bet it’ll be more expensive. But it’ll also be much, much quicker, leaving many of your friends at the country club panting with desire after they find out your name is somewhere near the top of Ferrari’s order list. It’s going to have 740 horsepower for starters, as a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. While the pic we have from GTSpirit.com is a scale mockup of the car shown to socialites and well-to-dos, reports also suggest a driveable version was also at the event. It was supposed to be unveiled on Feb. 29, but it looks like that cat’s out of the bag, too. Tip to automakers: If you don’t want your cars seen before their official unveilings at auto shows and whatnot, quit showboating your cars to the outside world piece by piece. Smartphones have built-in cameras.
And on that note, ah yes, Jeeves, bring me my chariot! Yes, that economy car in the parking lot over there! Back to the real world.