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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Geneva Auto Showzen, Pt.1

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On: Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 12:46PM | By: John Welch


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Geneva Auto Showzen, Pt.1

Willya stop it with the Hybrids already?! The auto industry has been pumping out Hybrid vehicle after Hybrid vehicle for the past few months, and it is making Canada and me sick to our stomachs. These things aren't viable, we all know that; none of them will be on the road by 2018, so willya just effing quit it already? Has anyone heard of the Nissan Leaf? Or Fisker Karma? Or the Honda FCX?

While I am absolutely sick of Hybrids, and the Geneva Auto Show was absolutely rife with them, there were some interesting concepts displayed in the halls of the Geneva Palexpo. Audi debuted an A1 Hybrid, whose gas-o-propulsions arrive via a single-rotor Wankel. Interesting.

So, there were some hits and some misses. You may not agree, but this is what I think are the most significant Belles and Duds of the 2010 Geneva Motor Show . . .

The Good: Sports cars with Hybrid slants and push-to-pass . . . Ferrari and Porsche have introduced versions of their flagship models that feature electron-umph in one fashion or another. At first these vehicles offended all of my finer sensibilities: a Hybrid Tahoe is one thing, but a Hybrid 599?! Really?!

After much contemplation and deliberation, and actually reading a few articles about these cars instead of condemning from my golden throne of ignorance, I "saw the light", as it were. CART's use of 'push-to-pass' was the coolest thing ever. To have a 911 with a Williams-developed KERS system would be jaw-droppingly fantastic. You would be the Prince of the Prick-Parade, your YouTube content would swell with thirty second snippets of your friend's Supra nudging ahead, and then eating your flashing hazards as you fly past on the winged heels of your magical kinetic warp drive thruster pump. I mean, "push-to-pass" button.

Ferrari first. The 599 Fiorano GTB is just plain rad. Front/Mid-engined, a V12 mind you, and an F1-derived 7spd flappy paddle gear swapper combine to make auto-erotic (sic) magic. Perfect weight distribution, peerless styling, the car is a beaut. But it's thirsty, as are all Ferraris. And, it is a little noisy when trying to flee the scene of the hit that helped you acquire your Ferrari in the first place. So, let's slap an electric motor into the case of that 7spd dynamo, equip it with the ability to start silently, and then we can murder industrialists and rival mob bosses all day, managing to avoid detection and complete all wackings on one tank of gas. Thanks, Ferrari! Call me a Queen, but I like the color too.

Porsche introduced a litany of new concepts, some production ready. The show-stopper was the 918, but the far more relevant 911 GT3 Hybrid got my attention. This is my Duetche-phile wet dream come to life. A razor-sharp 911 GT3, plus the innovative rotating-clutch KERS system that Williams developed last year. After a short charging-period, you have a button that unleashes 100 extra horse pressures from the back end of your tear-shaped hun-missle. 6 to 8 seconds of it, to be regenerated by the next set of corners. Bliss, I tell you, bliss. To be campaigned in its own one-make spec series at first; the 'Shopper hopes this brute finds its way into FIA Le Mans-style competition. Homologation might be a severe pain in the ass, but imagine what crazy ingenuity Porsche's rivals would have to come up with to counter such an obvious advantage!! This may spark a new era in technological development for racing, or, more likely, just keep me up at night praying that there is a winner buried within the tear-soaked lottery tickets in my lap. Oh, to replace nights alone in the corner, sobbing and over-grooming my nails, with nights on Highway 60, mercilessly pestering vegetable trucks, and stretching the GT3's KERS-motivated legs. Stark contrast, I think.


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