The great and the good of the world’s motor industry have gathered in Switzerland for the annual Geneva Motor Show.
There are plenty of new cars with serious towing potential and, as you’d expect, lots of electric vehicles. What’s exciting is that at least one of these EVs will be able to tow…
Here are our highlights from the Geneva Motor Show 2018.
Pride of place on the Jaguar stand goes to the new I-Pace, the company’s first all-electric car.
A rival for the Tesla Model X, the I-Pace costs from £63,495. Order books are open now if you fancy grabbing a place at the front of the queue, but customer deliveries won’t start until the summer.
The legal towing limit hasn’t been confirmed yet, but the kerbweight has – a chunky 2208kg, including 75kg for the driver.
That gives a huge 85% match figure of 1877kg, although it remains to be seen whether the legal maximum is above or below that weight.
If the solo performance figures are anything to go by, the I-Pace should have more than enough muscle to handle a heavy tourer.
Twin motors combine to give the four-wheel-drive Jaguar 395bhp and 513lb ft of torque – the claimed 0-60mph time is just 4.5 seconds.
The range is “up to 298 miles”, although it’s unclear what would be a realistic range while towing.
Recharging from 0-80% from a 50kW charger takes 85 minutes, although the roll out of 100kW charging points will reduce that to 40 minutes.
We’re already twisting arms to persuade Jaguar to put a towball on one of their press fleet for us to review later in the year – we’d like to see what tow car ability it has.
The current Honda CR-V is a common sight at campsites, so we’d expect there to be a lot of interest in the new CR-V among caravanners.
It won’t go on sale in the UK until the autumn, but when it does it will be offered with seven seats as well as five for the first time.
In terms of styling, the new car is an evolution of the current model, but beneath the rather conservative skin Honda promises the new CR-V “raises the bar in terms of interior quality, refinement and spaciousness”.
Traditionally, the SUV market has been dominated by diesel power, but if you need further proof of how times are changing Honda has announced a choice between petrol and petrol-electric hybrid powertrains, with no diesel option.
The most affordable version will be a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine. This is the model due to arrive before the end of the year.
In early 2019 it will be joined by a 2.0-litre petrol hybrid with twin-electric motors.
Technical details are thin on the ground, but Honda has confirmed that both powertrains will be front-wheel drive as standard, with the option of four-wheel drive.
Hyundai Santa Fe
The option of seven seats will make the CR-V a closer rival for the Hyundai Santa Fe. The fourth generation of Hyundai’s big SUV is on show in Geneva.
Diesel drivers can rest easy, as Hyundai hasn’t followed the same path as Honda in ditching diesel. Instead, there will be a choice of 2.0- and 2.2-litre diesels and two 2.4-litre petrol engines for European markets, although not all of those engines will necessarily come to the UK.
The more angular and aggressive styling brings the Santa Fe into line with the smaller Kona SUV in terms of design, while the car has grown by 7cm in length and 6.5cm in wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels). Hyundai says this translates into more passenger space inside.
Many high-tech safety features will be available, including a system which warns the driver of vehicles approaching from the rear while reversing, and technology which prevents passengers from opening their door if other vehicles are approaching.
There’s also a system which warns owners if there are still passengers in the rear seat when they leave the car, just in case you forget to drop off the kids at school and they’re still in the back when you reach the office.
The car will have a sophisticated 4×4 set-up which Hyundai calls HTRAC. It varies the torque distribution between the front and rear wheels depending on the mode selected by the driver and the surface conditions.
Expect to see the new Hyundai Santa Fe in showrooms towards the end of the year.
Peugeot is showing the new 508 at Geneva. Described by Peugeot as a ‘saloon/coupé five-door’, the 508 is similar in size to the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat, but with more rakish styling.
Inside, the car uses a variation on the i-Cockpit design, with a small steering wheel you look over rather than through to see the instruments.
There will be a broad choice of petrol and diesel engines available – expect deliveries from October.
A hybrid version is expected to arrive in 2019.
In recent years, Volvo has been winning awards for its SUVs like the XC40 and XC60, but the Swedish brand is traditionally best known for its estate cars.
The new V60 has to be one of the most handsome load-carriers in Volvo’s history, with elegant but sporty styling.
There are two petrol and two diesel versions, along with a pair of high-performance plug-in hybrids.
As you’d expect of a Volvo, the V60 is packed with safety kit including autonomous emergency braking.
Prices start from £31,810. We expect to have more technical details closer to the first customer deliveries in the summer.
The Honda CR-V will be offered with seven seats as well as five for the first time