The quirky side of the Geneva motor show


For some reason the Geneva show seems to attract lots of mad tuners and purveyors of fine bodykits - quite simply, they take a perfectly good car and add an extra dollop of crazy.

There were some fun little concepts to be found on the floor of the Palexpo and an intriguing new car from Morgan too.

Geneva Motor Show 2011

Geneva Motor Show 2011

Porsche is the one company that these tuners seem to take to with glee. Perhaps the styling has become bland enough to be seen as a blank canvas, or Porsche customers are simply more adventurous and willing to experiment.

The FAB (no relation to Thunderbirds) Design Panamera above looks like a wedding cake that has been dropped on the floor, but does feature an engine that has been tuned up to 700bhp. If you go fast enough, nobody will be able to see you through the blur.

Despite Porsche's best efforts to tone down the styling of the latest-generation Cayenne to stop its customers getting abuse at traffic junctions, the Harmann Guardian is determined to turn back time by fitting an offensively ugly valance to the helpless car.

Nobody quite knows where any of those air vents lead or what they do, but at least this performance package shouldn't weigh too much.

Does your Ferrari 458 Italia not quite scream 'look at me' enough? Mansory will sort that out with the armadillo package (not its real name), which is 100 percent guaranteed to get people pointing and staring.

The car at the top of the post is the Evoluzione Sbarro - a car produced by 25 students at the Espera Sbarro design school in the east of France, so we won't be too mean.

The Evoluzione does succeed in making the Lamborghini Aventador look decidedly humdrum with its basking shark front, but it's at the back that things get interesting.

Ignore the fact that there's a 1.8-litre Audi engine in there and you've got a heady mix of Lamborghini concept car-meets-Batmobile. We are actually quite intrigued by this one.

The Wiesmann Spyder concept car from the Netherlands apparently promises 'the very essence of driving enjoyment', and although the front end might look like an Irish rock formation you'd visit on a caravan holiday, there's no messing with a sub-1,000kg kerbweight and less than four seconds to 60 miles an hour.

You can't help but feel, however, that the lack of a windscreen might impact on the essence of driving enjoyment. Your correspondent was once hit in the shoulder by a bee whilst travelling on a scooter at 50mph and thought he was going to die.

More sedate fun can be had in the form of the Rinspeed Bambo, which looks like a children's ride at Chessington World of Adventures. A small EV that Rinspeed says is a 'grown-up golf cart', it has an impressive 65-mile range and can travel at up to 75mph. Terrible in Swindon, great on holiday in Mallorca.

Morgan used the Geneva motor show to unveil a new car - which isn't something they do very often - and it turned out to be a bit of a surprise. The retro-styled Threewheeler evokes memories of the Battle of Britain, and should certainly look the part, with its 100bhp Harley Davidson engine powering the rear-wheel-drive (literally) car to 60mph in 4.5 seconds.

In fact, Morgan says it wants to put the fun back in motoring with the Threewheeler.

Which it does principally by putting stickers of shark faces on the side. See? Motoring feels more fun already.

Geneva Motor Show 2011

Geneva Motor Show 2011

Want to see more from Geneva. Click on the video below for the girls