Geneva, in the minds of the CDN team, has always been a show where concepts rose to the fore. Of course, this is an important show for production debuts historically too, but it’s always been about great concepts – particularly when we turn to the likes of Renault, BMW and of course, the Carozzeria. This year, concepts – new, truly impressive concepts – are notable by their absence. But there’s a wealth of new production cars here. Three in particular stand out.
First – and perhaps most surprisingly – is the Volvo V40. The consensus on this car from most, seems to be that – in photos – they didn’t like it much. Yet in the metal it feels well judged for its market. It’s perhaps flattered by the A-class, which slightly underwhelms. Most importantly, it feels premium but genuinely ‘Volvo’ in quality. We particularly like the gauge pack.
Next is the Peugeot 208. It’s a real sign of Peugeot on the up and we’d put money on it being a massive sales hit (which the brand really needs). Many people think that the exterior is somewhat busy, but it’s a great improvement over the last generation 207 (and other guppy-mouthed Peugeots). But the real innovation’s on the inside. Where Peugeot’s extensive user research and determination to do something not only new – but better – really shines through.
And completing the triumvirate is the new Porsche Boxster. Evolutionary? Sure. Conceptually new? Of course not. But a beautifully judged, refined piece of design that moves the game on further than other recent ‘new’ Porsches? Yes. This design endows the car with a distinction of its own. That fails to come across in pictures, but it’s well judged and side-by-side with the 911 doesn’t feel as similar as it might first appear. The interior does borrow much from the 911 though – and is therefore a massive step up in quality. Easy to walk past and dismiss as ‘just another evolutionary Porsche’, it’s worth lingering longer over this Boxster.
Posted by Joe Simpson