Geneva Motor Show opens its doors

The 81st Geneva Motor Show has opened, offering both green technology for drivers worried about spiking fuel prices and gas guzzlers for those with money to burn.

This content was published on March 3, 2011 minutes and agencies

Among the stars of the show are Volkswagen’s Bulli, a contemporary take on the old minibus much loved by hippies in the 1970s, and Hyundai’s i40 D-class luxury station wagon.

Despite the spectre of sharply higher oil prices, the super sports car segment has plenty to show as well. Lamborghini is rolling out the sixth generation of its V12 engines, which get just 21 kilometres to the gallon, and Ferrari shows off the FF, a V12 billed as the company’s most powerful four-seater ever.

Visiting the show on Thursday, Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey however urged people to think about energy efficiency. "The protection of our world has become a bigger consideration when buying a car. Figures show that more potential buyers are opting for hybrid or diesel vehicles," she said. 

Between now and March 13 some 700,000 people are expected to pour through the doors of the huge Palexpo exhibition halls to ogle the new must-have cars, which include 170 world and European premieres.

Around 40 per cent of visitors travel from outside Switzerland, with many from neighbouring Germany, France and Italy.

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