Geneva Auto show 2011 -- PART 1

Geneva Auto Show 2011.

So the 81st Geneva Auto show was being held in Geneva (Switzerland) from march 3rd to march 13th 2011. I was lucky enough to get a laissez-passer for the press days. All the hotels being already full more than a month before the event, I decided I'd only stay one day, March 1st, the first official press day. So I went by train from Paris, and after a 3h-voyage and a few problems with the TGV, I arrived quite late at the Palexpo for the auto show, at 11AM (while knowing it officially closed at 6PM). There, I met with car spotters Shmee150 and Marchettino to hang around a little bit, but mostly to do what we love most = seeing supercars and making videos to share with you guys [CLICK HERE to see my full playlist of videos from the event]. But this time, I'm going to talk more about the cars themselves and what I thought of them. And all of this in different parts!

PART 1 // Ferrari and Lamborghini [you're reading it]

Ferrari and Lamborghini

Without surprise, I will begin this Geneva Auto Show 2011 resumé with the two legendary italian brands. Of course, needless to say both the prancing horse and the raging bull had a stand worth of the name. Ferrari's was much bigger and had 5 cars, whereas Lamborghini's only had 3, yet seemed to be much more sophisticated in design. These two brands have been the reference in automotive industry when it comes to sports cars. And this year, they didn't disappoint us: both had new cars to unveal to the world.

To be blatantly honest with you, I will start with the one that impressed me less. Getting in the Ferrari stand wasn't an easy deal apparently: people were waiting in front of the entrance and behind the glass barriers, because they apparently only allowed a few people near the cars for a given moment. But luckily enough, I just passed through without a problem and entered Ferrari world. First of all was a light blue Ferrari California with white interior and its top down, as well as a red Ferrari 599 HGTE in the back. Not bad, but I didn't want to waste my battery on it considering all the beauties and new cars I hadn't seen yet. 
There also was a magnificent yellow Ferrari 458 Italia with a black roof. Now why does it look so amazing? Here's the answer: because the paint is actually Ferrari's newest little addition, the "tri-layer" paint (tristato), giving it a nacred look that gives a whole different feeling to the car. To put it simply, it looks much more appealing to the human eye. Might I add that this little combo (paintjob + black roof) is becoming very popular among clients all over the world. Mostly with the 458 italia and 599 GTB Fiorano, and more recently with the 599 GTO. No wonder they displayed one at the auto show! 

But the masterpiece of the show was Ferrari's newest model, the FF.
The Ferrari FF (Ferrari Four) is the first Ferrari with a four-wheel drive, which isn't considered to be a 2+2 but a real 4-seater. Ferrari presented two models, a red one and a grey one (interesting choice of colors). There also was a white one at the Pininfarina stand (by far, the most beautiful of them all).

First of all, its looks. Although the concept was a hard task, in my opinion the FF is a success: the lines of the car are very coherent and agressive, although its back looks like a Porsche Panamera (which I'm not the biggest fan of). Good thing the front is definitely agressive, borrowing the 458 italia's head-lights (although some say this is a bad choice from the designers, I personnally like it). The interior is kind of cool, leather and carbon fiber (is it really necessary?). Gotta love the "FF" sign on the passenger's dash board. 

For having been inside in the driver's seat (but I didn't sit in the back), I definitely think this is a car that was built for family rides but didn't lose its agressivity in the making. Why a family ride? There is more space in the back than in a regular 2+2, much more space (at least for a regular-sized man, the story doesn't say about tall and large clients...). Same goes for the trunk space: Ferrari made it very clear that there was enough space in the trunk to put lots of bags.

The FF is supposed to be the replacement of the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, which didn't have the success they hoped for (very few were sold). As for myself, I wasn't THAT impressed with this new "family-themed" model. After seeing the Porsche Panamera's success, it has come to my understanding that nowadays people are looking for larger "family cars" especially in China's huge market. Nevertheless, I believe the soul of Ferrari lies in the unique connection between the driver and his prancing horse. It is a solitary passion between the man and the machine, unleashing the horses as the adrenaline goes up. But that's just me. I was so in a rush and not surprised by this Ferrari compared to all the rest that I didn't even take many pictures! The pressure of missing the other stuff... 

Aaah finally. One of the most pleasant surprise of this Geneva Auto Show 2011. The official unvealing of Lamborghini's newest model, the Lamborghini LP700-4, dubbed "Aventador" (as usual, the name was taken from a very brave bull back in the 60s or something like that). And yes, that means this raging bull packs 700 horse power. I was very happy to finally see the heir of the Murcielago so I could make up my own mind about it, and I really wasn't disappointed considering Lamborghini saw the things in big. Not one, not two but THREE new Lamborghinis Aventador were there. The firm from Sant'Agatha brought a bianco canopus one, a grey one and a magnificent orange one that looked marvellous under the lights of the Palexpo.

My first impression was that this car was a copycat of the Reventon. But after further analysis and just admiring the car under every angle, I came to realize it was much more than that. First things first: we can't deny the Aventador is HEAVILY based on the very exclusive Lamborghini Reventon, and borrows heavily from its lines (some say it's a Gallardo that has been "reventonized"). Sure, the "fighter jet" look and lines is directly inspired by Reventon, but the global impression on the Lamborghini Aventador is different. This car is much more agressive and bulky than its predecessor, which seems lighter and definitely stealthier. Surprisingly much wider too. To resume, the Aventador looks like a Reventon on steroids: heavier, stronger and by all means, more powerful. The doors are quite interesting: they're scissor doors (Lamborghini's signature for some years now, although the Gallardo is the most notorious model to brake the trend), but open to the exterior at a certain angle, giving the owner extra space to get in (and especially get out) of the car.

Very powerful indeed. The new engine delivers 700 horse power to this beast, making it the fastest Lamborghini in history after the LP670-4 SV. The interior is heavily inspired by fighter jets too = the "engine start" button is hidden under a red security device that ressembles those of missile -launchers, as if to say "are you sure you want to start this beast up?". The dash board is very futuristic, and the interior is lovely as usual. I've always thought Lamborghini made the BEST interiors in the supercar world. On a "bad note", I wasn't particularily impressed with the rims, but then again, those can easily be changed nowadays.

To finish up PART 1 of my Geneva Auto Show article, I will say that this Lamborghini Aventador was one of the most beautiful cars out there, and is sure to give a (needed) boost to Automobili Lamborghini in the upcoming years. Only 4000 will be made, and for a price tag starting at 250000€, you will have to wait 12 months to get one = indeed, already 700 orders were made. The first models are meant to be delivered mid-2011. This promises to be good.

The Aventador is already part of Lamborghini's history, in my opinion !

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