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The Petrolhead Corner

What to Expect from the Geneva Motor Show 2020?

The Petrolhead Corner goes modern cars today (but no less exciting)

| By Brice Goulard | 5 min read |

Today, the Petrolhead Corner goes modern… While we have a slight tendency to talk classic cars and vintage motorsport in this weekly car-related column (we can’t help ourselves), today we’ll look at what the (near) future has got for us in terms of cars. Indeed, in a couple of weeks from now will be the Geneva Motor Show 2020, the starting point of the season for car manufacturers, and certainly the most exclusive of all car shows, packed with coachbuilders and small, independent designers – and of course, most of the usual suspects too. So, today The Petrolhead Corner has a look at what to expect from this 2020 Edition of the Geneva Motor Show.

The Geneva Motor Show is an annual auto show held in March in the Swiss city of Geneva. The show is hosted at the Palexpo – a very familiar place for us, at MONOCHROME, since it’s also where the SIHH (now Watches & Wonders) takes place. Existing since 1905, it is one of the major international car shows, as it somehow sets up the trend for the year to come. What makes Geneva’s fair special is the fact that it is packed with independent designers and ultra-exclusive supercars – it is a favourite of Italian coachbuilders and sports car manufacturers. The 2020 edition will be opened to the public from the March 5 to March 15… and since it’s in Geneva, it’s also a good occasion for a bit of watch spotting and shopping in the city centre (just saying…)

But let’s focus on what the Geneva Motor Show 2020 has to show us this year.

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A guide to all the novelties at GIMS 2020

The first good news is that the current situation with the Coronavirus hasn’t dodged the industry trend of automakers dropping out of big shows. Still, the car industry is facing the same situation as the watch industry, with multiple absentees. Think Ford, Jaguar-Land Rover group, Lamborghini or PSA Group. Nevertheless, the list of manufacturers present is pretty impressive, including of course the big names such as VW Group, BMW, Porsche, Ferrari or the Japanese brands, but also some of the most desirable brands, such as Bugatti, Pagani or Koenigsegg designers like ItalDesign and Pininfarina.

So, if you want to have an overview of most the cars that are already known to be presented there, as well as maps and practical details about Geneva Motor Show 2020, you can take a look at Carscoops (always ahead of the launches) and here.

The New 2020 VW Golf GTI – The King of Hot Hatches

Yes, I hear the comments… Certainly, the modern GTIs have not much in common with the original concept of 1975, a small, inexpensive, super-light but also pretty fast hatchback car. The “new” GTIs are larger, heavier, far more comfortable and made to be used on a daily basis. Even icons have to keep up with the times. Nevertheless, one of the important news of GIMS 2020 will be the introduction of a new VW Golf GTI. Why is that important? Simple answer: the GTI is the benchmark for hot hatchbacks (to name it the “Chris Harris way”). You can find tons of alternatives on the market, but in the end, the GTI remains the car to beat.

For 2020, VW relies on the rather conservative base of the newly-presented 8th generation of the Golf – and conservative is quite an understatement… Not yet presented (some photos have leaked, though) but already teased by the brand itself, it seems that the 2020 GTI will make quite an impression. Expected to have around 250hp, I honestly wouldn’t say no to it becoming my new daily-driver… We’ll know more in a couple of weeks, but you can already check some facts here, at

The utterly impressive Pagani Huayra Tribute to Imola

Ok, we change category here, with a beast designed for the track, barely homologated (I mean, how such a car can even be street-legal) and with a price that I better keep quiet… But still, this new creation of Horacio Pagani can’t leave anyone cold. Love it or hate it, but what a machine. This Pagani Huayra version, limited to just 5 examples, is a tribute to Imola, one of Italy’s most famous racetracks (sadly known to be Senna’s last home). Indeed, the car was developed across more than 16,000km on this demanding and fast track.

This model is to the Huayra what the R was to the Zonda… But on the contrary of the Zonda R, which once was the fastest car on the Green Hell, but not allowed to step foot on the road, the Imola is road-legal. Seeing the extravagant and gigantic aero-trickeries all around, certainly don’t expect it to be the perfect car to pick up your kids at school. But at least, once having played with its 827hp V12 engine manufactured by AMG on your local track, you can even come back home by the road. These Italians have a very pleasant definition of practicality.

You can read all about the Pagani Huayra Tribute to Imola, here at Petrolicious. PS. the price is USD 5,400,000…

Bentley’s modern vision of coachbuilding

Before WWII and excluding mass-produced cars such as the Ford Model T, it wasn’t uncommon for luxury cars to have a custom-made bodywork, according to the final customer’s requirements. Car manufacturers were providing a rolling chassis on top of which so-called coachbuilders were adapting bespoke coachbuilt bodies – hence why, for instance, there are so many variations around the Bugatti Type 57.

For 2020, and about to be presented at the Geneva Motor Show, Bentley is about to revive the concept, providing its Mulliner division with technical bases, on top of which will be created ultra-exclusive, overly designed bodies – with, as you can guess, almost infinite customization options. The car will be named Bacalar and takes last year’s EXP GT 100 concept as a styling influence. Don’t expect something discreet or conservative. But if it has most of 2019 concept car’s looks, what a car it will be! Bentley says the hand-built model represents “the future of coachbuilding”, making use of a range of sustainable and ethically sourced materials throughout its construction and featuring a “beautiful yet dramatic design”.

Some details about the upcoming coachbuilt Bentley Bacalar here, at

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