March 5, 2014
Luxury automakers jostled for the spotlight during the opening days of the Geneva Motor Shows with a host of releases that will likely set the tone for the year.
Rolls-Royce unveiled a new Ghost series, Jaguar refreshed plans for a mid-sized sports sedan and Maserati boasted a founder-inspired concept car that propels its centenary celebrations. The lengthy motor show also provided automakers with an occasion to showcase new technologies, particularly on the mobile integration and wireless fronts.
"One of the most subtle but distinctive updates on the Ghost Series II is the new LED headlights which feature unbroken daytime running lights framing a new, more dynamic shape," said Kristina Marchitto, head of corporate communications at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars North America, New York.
"This along with the re-sculpted bumpers creates a stronger stance and a sense of extra width and height to the car, giving it a contemporary aesthetic," she said.
"A new surprise-and-delight feature is the optional monogrammed stainless-steel fuel-filler cap which enhances the car’s tactile and visual appeal."
Roll-Royce's Ghost model has consistently performed as the brand's most popular $200,000-plus vehicle. The new series modernizes the Ghost's technological capacity.
Drivers can now enjoy on-board WiFi, Satellite Aided Transmission that adapts the car to its surroundings, improved navigation and audio systems and enhanced interfaces.
Enhanced interior of Ghost Series II
The Ghost also received aesthetic modifications such as a redesigned front and resculpted LED lights.
Rolls-Royce Ghost II series
Maserati expanded its centenary celebrations with a concept car inspired by the most prominent of the Maserati brothers, Alfieri, whose engineering prowess set the foundation for the brand's future designs.
Maserati's Alfieri concept car interior
The accompanying microsite explores the vehicle's background, gallery images, extra content and consolidates the brand's social streams.
The microsite will be continually updated with special content such as in-depth articles and videos.
Maserati Alfieri concept car - Geneva Auto Show 2014
Ferrari also created a highly-detailed microsite for its California T model.
Ferrari California T
A name was granted to Jaguar's upcoming sports sedan: the Jaguar XE. The new sedan will hit the U.S. market in 2016 and will be the brand's first product that features the advanced aluminum architecture that was showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
The XE will also be the first to include a hybrid petrol and diesel engine.
Brand history was also draped over McLaren's exhibit, as the brand unveiled its new 650S Spider.
The McLaren 650S Spider
Bentley placed its latest Continental GT Speed coupe and Flying Spur V8 luxury sedan in the middle of the commotion as well.
Bentley GT Speed coupe
Bugatti unveiled the fourth model in its Legendes de Bugatti series that honors the founder’s brother, Rembrandt Bugatti.
Mr. Bugatti’s sculpting earned him praise in the 20th century and led him to design Bugatti’s dancing elephant logo. The high price tags and ultra- exclusive production lines have attracted the notice of collectors so far, since all nine cars from the three previous lines have been sold for around $3 million each (see story).
Lamborghini extended its Ad Personam program to the recently launched Huracan model.
The Ad Personam program allows consumers to personalize the majority of a Huracan’s details, making the $250,000 price tag seem less daunting. As the replacement for the brand’s aging Gallardo model, the Huracan model will likely be snapped up by ardent Lamborghini collectors (see story).
Ultimately, brands at the show attempted to stay close to the fast-moving trends in both the auto scene and the commercial world at large.
"Ghost Series II is the ultimate combination of contemporary luxury and technology available today for the successful entrepreneur on the move," Ms. Marchitto said. "It is an oasis of calm in a busy, connected world."
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York