It’s not just car manufacturers – big and small – who display their latest wares at the Geneva Motor Show. It’s also a showcase for the latest builds by Europe’s high-end tuning companies, coachbuilders and, indeed, the manufacturers’ own skunkworks.
Here we bring you a round-up of the best and worst tuners car on show at Geneva. Our opinion on which camp each one falls into are pretty clear, but let us know your thoughts.
Alpina B7 – Alpina’s go-faster limo features a 4.4 twin-turbo V8 making 600bhp and 590lb/ft, enough for a 0-62mph time of 4.0s and a top speed of 190mph. UK cars are RWD only, which is a good thing. Typical subtle bodykit/loud wheels combo and uber-luxe interior.
Abarth 124 Spider rally car – 300bhp 1.8 turbo motor, c.1200kg, sequential gearbox and RWD – what’s not to love? Integrated spotlights, roof vent and livery cribbed from 1971 original. Built to contest FIA R-GT class; could compete in the WRC in 2017.
ABT Audi RS6 1 of 12 – As the name suggests, just 12 of these nutty things will be built to mark ABT’s 120th anniversary. The 4.0 twin-turbo V8 has been tuned to 735bhp and 679lb/ft and the limiter removed for a top speed of 199mph. It wears many aero tweaks, all in bare carbonfibre, and 22in wheels. The interior has been retrimmed, too, with much ‘1/12’ and ‘120 years’ detailing. And you can still fit a wardrobe in the back.
Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limousine – One-off (for now) commission built by Mulliner. Measures a full metre longer than standard and features four aircraft-style rear seats. About as opulent as opulence gets.
Brabus C63 S – The Merc-AMG C63 S didn’t particularly need any more grunt, but Brabus has given it some, anyway. New bearings, ECU and bigger turbos boost the 4.0 V8 to 641bhp and 604lb/ft. 0-62mph takes 3.7s and top speed is 200mph. Best of all, you can have it as an estate.
Brabus Rocket 900 Coupe – Brabus has applied the Rocket 900 treatment to the Merc-AMG S65 Coupe. A bigger 6.3 V12 engine with two massive turbos produces 887bhp and 1,106lb/ft, which hurls the thing to a top speed of 217mph. Typically subtle Brabus styling and an interior customisable to the owner’s wildest dreams.
Castagna Fiat 500L Tiberio Taxi – A whole fleet of these beautifully made and detailed but staggeringly ugly things will soon be plying their trade on the Italian island of Capri.
FAB Design McLaren 650S – McLaren meets Batmobile in FAB’s Vayu GTR. No idea if the aero actually does anything, but a light massage of the 3.8 twin-turbo V8 motor has unleashed 672bhp.
FAB Design Mercedes-AMG GT S – There’s a hint of GT3 racer in FAB’s bodykitted AMG GT, dubbed Aerion. The engine’s had some attention too, now putting out 690bhp and 756lb/ft.
Hamann BMW X6 M50d – Hamann took its spanners to the X6’s triple-turbo diesel engine and freed up 530bhp and 612lb/ft. Impressive stuff, but the less said about the bodykit, the better.
Jaguar F-Type SVR – JLR SVO has stuffed 567bhp and 516lb/ft of 5.0 supercharged V8 under the F-Type’s bonnet. It’s lighter, more focused and more aerodynamic. Has AWD too, mercifully. Coupe does 0-62mph in 3.5s and tops out at 200mph. Which is a big number, but not quite as big as the price: £110,000 (Convertible is £115,485).
Kahn Vengence – Kahn Design’s reimagined Aston Martin DB9 takes influences from the marque’s cars of the 80s and 90s. We rather like this rear view but aren’t so sure about the toothy grille. Still, no questioning the craftsmanship. Only 5 will be built per year, no doubt at massive cost.
Larte Design Mercedes V-Class Black Crystal – Larte’s V-Class does wear a not very subtle bodykit, but the crux of the matter is the ultra-luxurious, gadget-laden interior. Larte describes it as a private jet for the road. We think it looks like the cheesiest, most unimaginative luxury flat in Mayfair.
Mansory 4XX Siracusa – This butchering of the Ferrari 488GTB negates everything we just said about Mansory. We think this is an attempt to make the 488 look like the FXX K trackday special, but all Mansory has actually done is make a very ugly 488. It’s fast though: 790bhp translates to 0-62mph in 2.9s and a top speed of 211mph.
Mansory Mercedes-AMG GT S – Mansory is our guiltiest pleasure. It’s cars are so OTT as to almost be self-parodies; you could certainly get away with driving one ironically. Anyway, it’s take on the AMG GT S is allegedly a full half-metre wider than standard, for better aero (no) and to accommodate massive wheels (9.5in wide front/10.5in wide rear). The engine has been boosted to 720bhp and top speed to 205mph. And what no Earth is going on with the burgundy detailing?
MTM Audi S8 Talledega R – Disregard the ridiculous wrap; we love this thing. It’s an Audi S8 for a start, which we’ve loved ever it starred in Ronin. But this S8 has 800bhp, does 0-124mph in 9.9s and tops out at 217mph. Which we think ties it with the Brabus Rocket S-Class for the title of ‘world’s fastest saloon’. We even like the pumped-up bodykit and 22in Bimoto wheels. We like the price, too: 222k euros (including donor car), less than half the cost of the Brabus.
MTM Volkswagen Amarok V8 TDi – We want to like this. The Amarok is one of the best mid-size pick-ups on the market and MTM has seen fit to chuck out the standard, puny 2.0 diesel in favour of a 4.2 V8 TDi, tuned to 410bhp and 685lb/ft. 0-62mph takes 6.0s, with a top speed of 149mph. With that performance and weapons-grade running gear, it can go toe-to-toe with the Ford Raptor. We can even live with the massive 200k euros price. But it’s called Passion Desert and we simply cannot get past that.
Touring Disco Volante Spider – Epically pretty drop top by one of the greatest Italian coachbuilders. Inspired by revolutionary 1952 Alfa Romeo concept and developed from 2012 Coupe. Based on Alfa 8C chassis and running gear, including 444bhp Maserati V8.
By Only Motors