Pretty New Wheelz from the Geneva Auto Show

The 2011 Geneva Auto show, which ended yesterday, bucked the somber economy and showcased some beautiful new steel (and other materials) from some of the world’s most storied marques. There were 706 vehicles. Two hundred were white, 133 were silver. Blue, gray, black, brown, and orange were also popular. I’d like to highlight five of the sexiest autos from companies around the world that look to make 2011 a great year for the car enthusiast. Great, I hope for a good year before the Mayan calendar runs out and the world implodes in ’12.

Alfa Romeo 4C          

If you watch Top Gear, you know about Alfa Romeo, even though Fiat’s performance subsidiary hasn’t sold cars in the U.S. for several decades. That’s going to change now that the Italians own Chrysler and its array of struggling dealerships, who (hopefully) want to sell the Kansans some Fiats and Alfas and Lancias. The delectable new 4C is probably headed our way, praise the Lord. No idea how much it’s going to cost, but just look at that thing. I have to say, I even like the color. Click the picture for more info and photos.

Toyota FT-86

The Toyota FT-86 is coming, and the name is easily the worst thing about it…Let’s look at these stats.

2800 lbs., 180 horsepower. Low-slung, with an all-new, front-mounted 2.0L Boxer engine driving the rear wheels. Only 24,000 greenbacks. That’s about 24 times what I can afford for a car, but still–five years down the line, there will be an affordable, reliable performance car for people on a budget! It’s always delayed gratification for those of us with thin wallets.

Toyota made some good performance cars in the nineties, then moved towards boring beige econoboxes for the better part of a decade. Maybe the FT-86 is a sign of better things to come.

Mini Rocketman concept


Unlike the other cars here, this diminutive space-age capsule is not quite ready for the road, although there’s a rumor that it’s actually headed towards production. I’m glad. Mini, a BMW subsidiary, has been trying to sell customers bigger versions of its new Mini with limited success. I’m glad they’re trying something that resembles, at least in size, the original Mini beloved by so many. This is designed, as many cars are nowadays, for sustainable urban use: it’s a little, fuel-sipping, carbon-fiber little commuter for someone too exciting to drive a Smart car. See this well-produced video for further explanation of the Rocketman’s manifesto.

Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

It’s been almost a decade since Lamborghini, reorganized and reenergized by its new owners, the VW Group, introduced what was arguably the first hypercar: the Murcielago. The name means, figuratively, “bat out of hell,” and that’s almost exactly what it was. The bat was painted a fluorescent yellow, and its insides were scooped out to make room for two terrified humans and a massive V12 behind them, trying to break through its firewall and murder them. Now, enter the Aventador. 700 horsepower silicon-aluminum V12, o-60 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds. It will probably make a blistering top speed of 217 mph, and cost 379,000 dollars. That’s a relative bargain, at only $1746.54 for each mile per hour. Oh, and they’re only making 4000 of them and this year’s portion is sold out already. Order fast, thou deep-pocketed, and click over to lamborghini.com quite soonish, ye fat-walleted.

Nuuuumber 5. Big number 5. Well, to be honest, it was hard to choose. There is a new Ferrari (wagon!!), a new 235-horsepower Pagani with this interior, a couple sweet new Astons, and loads of other ridiculously awesome wheelz. But this concept, designed by French students, kind of takes the cake. It’s the friggin’ Batmobile, ladies and gentlemen! So how can I not love the Sbarro Evoluzione?

Check out the back, it looks like it’s going to kill you. Some Lambos look like that from the front, but I can’t think of many things, either in nature or car design, where the posterior looks deadly. Some snakes maybe?

Well that’s it for Man Against World’s short pictorial coverage of the Geneva Auto Show. I’m headed to the Minneapolis Auto Show tomorrow, if all goes well. I might see the FT-86 and the Rocketman, we’ll see.

P.S. Spring Break rocks.

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