2014 Volkswagen Golf GTDEnlarge Photo
Europe has had fast Volkswagen Golf diesels for years--they've gained quite a following. The GTD is the diesel equivalent of the Volkswagen GTI, with performance a high priority. There's 180 horsepower and 280 pounds-feet of torque, manual or dual-clutch gearbox options, and a 0-62 mph time of only 7.5 seconds. At the same time, it delivers 50 mpg in European testing - so if it ever comes to the U.S. (and we hope it does), over 40 mpg in EPA combined testing isn't out of the question.
Citroen's C2 Hybrid Air--and its cousin from Peugeot, also due at the show--could be one of the most intriguing vehicles in years. It operates much like any other hybrid you'd care to mention, with power split between a gasoline engine and another power source. But in this case, that other power source uses compressed air, rather than batteries. Citroen says it's lighter, simpler, cheaper, and could be much more appropriate as a hybrid drivetrain in smaller, cheaper vehicles.
Not a great deal is known about Mitsubishi's Geneva concepts. What we do know is that the GR-HEV pickup concept will use a diesel-hybrid drivetrain with all-wheel drive and economy of around 41 mpg, and the CA-MiEV is an all-electric "suburban" electric car with a 186-mile range. We can expect to find out more when the covers are whisked off at the show.
Kia has seen the reaction to small crossovers like the Nissan Juke and decided to design its own--and the Provoke is the result. Like the Juke, its styling is an acquired taste, looking fine from the low-slung angle in one teaser image, but a little over-styled in another. But its green potential comes from its size--cars like this are the perfect example of downsizing, and smaller, more efficient engines are the perfect fit.
Swiss automaker Rinspeed appears every year in Geneva with something bizzare, and the MicroMAX is its latest offering. Were it not for the presence of wheels, it'd be barely recognizable as a car--it's more like a transport pod from an airport, or a mobile greenhouse. It seats six, all of whom sit upright, while the "car" comes with a coffeemaker and wi-fi--essentially, it's designed to make commuting more productive, while somebody else drives for you.