So..Geneva always throws up something new in the way of trends and themes. This year was no exception, although the general consensus wasn’t as clear cut. Here’s some thoughts;
Matte colours turn mainstream; Once the preserve of high-end supercars matte paint was far more prevalent on the stands, and not just in the technical greys and silvers, blacks and whites of a few years ago. There might be paint-specific technology advances that are allowing matte finishes to be applies across the colour spectrum but there were a number of matte browns, khakis, and stone-colouring suggests the OEMs are thinking a little more outside the box.
Touch-screen complexity; some of the interfaces between man-and-machine are becoming far too complex. I’m no HMI specialist, but surely when changing the temperature of the air in the cabin requires navigating a menu several hierarchies deep..it’s time to take a step back and ask if this really makes life easier for the driver and passengers. The Lexus interface in particular was borderline DefCon5, to the extent that if I was in the market for the GS..it would make me look elsewhere.
Small Urban cars looking properly relevant; Years back there were always those odd companies making weird little city cars, mostly European, that looked poorly-made and had limited appeal. Situated in the smaller, less-populated halls, they always felt a little sad compared to their big-brothers; the mainstream manufacturers. Now though, bizarrely, it’s the larger less-agile car companies who are starting to look out of step. Companies making simple urban cars such as MIA suddenly look bang-on trend. While the more electric-savvy car companies such as Renault look strong with the Twizzy and Zoe.
Whether electric propulsion is the way forward, there’s no denying it’s caught the public imagination. And the car companies are investing heavily.. The net result being that if you’re not on the electric city-car bandwagon..you’re looking behind the times.
The power of China…ask Bentley. So.. Bentley’s SUV concept. Sources tell me Bentley rushed this car through development fearing that the new Range-Rover would be launched, stealing the Bentley’s limelight. As it turned out, it looked like Bentley rushed things a little too much, as a; the Range-Rover wasn’t shown, and b; the Bentley was almost universally panned for looking a little like..err..a bad copy of a Range-Rover. Ahh the irony.
Whatever, it looked pretty unresolved. Ridiculous turbine wheels add to the bizarre proportions, conspiring to make this car look like a bullying oil-tanker on wheels.
The interior, by contrast, was to these eyes at least, a successful melding of bespoke Bentley tailoring with cutting-edge electronic interfaces. A case of splendid isolation from the harsh realities of the hoi-poloi outside..
Unfortunately you’d still have to see the car at the end of the journey.
You can’t have it all.