Spring Fever in Geneva


The first big car fair of the year in Europe. The Motor Show in Geneva. Spring is just around the corner, and Mercedes-Benz and a few other suppliers are providing the feelings to match.

A magnet at the Motor Show. It’s the car everyone wants to see, the C-Class Cabriolet from Mercedes-Benz. After all, we have never seen this before, a topless version of the C-Class. The first impression: the new cabriolet appears fresh and sporty. And rather luxurious to boot. Especially the soft top. It is derived from the S-Class Cabriolet. Up to a speed of 50 km/h it can be opened and closed in less than 20 seconds. There is also lots of safety on board as standard. ATTENTION ASSIST and COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS. If the driver does not react to acute risks of collisions the system can brake autonomously. The C-Class Cabriolet clearly benefits from the modular strategy. More efficient development and production is possible through the modulizing of components both with the C-Class Saloon and the E- and S-Class. The show visitors in Geneva can’t decide what they should look at first: the C-Class Cabriolet or the new E-Class. The latter is celebrating its first official appearance in Europe following the world premiere in Detroit in January.

Journalists trying out the seats.

Also on display for the first time in Europe is the self-driving car from the Swiss pioneer Frank Rinderknecht. The world already knows his Rinspeed Etos from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas at the start of January. On board is engineering that even allows you to look “round the corner”. At least this is how the supplier Harman puts it. For the redeveloped connected car system Harman has collaborated with the semiconductor manufacturer NXP. The steering wheel in the Rinspeed Etos comes from ZF TRW. It is retractable. Within a few seconds it disappears into the dashboard.

Harman: connected car technology you can "look round the corner" with.

Together with its client W Motors the supplier Magna is presenting the Lykan Hypersport car. This is not a world premiere either, the car was seen back in 2013 at the Dubai Motor Show and in the movie “The Fast and Furious 7”. There are only seven Hypersport models, price lists are not available. Apparently the whole caper is costing 3 million euros.

One of seven of the Lykan Hypersport models built by Magna.

Which other automotive suppliers are also causing spring fever in Geneva? The tire manufacturers. And what a show they are putting on! For anyone who thinks the wheel cannot be reinvented is taught a lesson at Goodyear’s stand. This is where the eagle-360 innovation is being presented. Still a tire, still in black rubber, but now round like a ball instead of circular.

The wheel reinvented? Goodyear and the ball tire.

The eagle-360 is a concept tire in the shape of a ball. The aim is mainly to make autonomous driving more convenient. As even 360-degree rotations are possible, the tire makes lateral parking easier. There is no wheel suspension in the conventional sense. The tire is linked to the body via magnetic levitation. But up until now this has only worked in simulation. So a few springs will pass before production maturity.

Mar 14, 2016
Rasmus Muttscheller