Geneva Motor Show gets underwayExciting launches planned despite the downturn

03 March 2009

Geneva Motor Show: Gran Turismo

BMW's Gran Turismo concept is among the new cars being shown in Geneva

Carmakers have been making their final preparations for the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, which opens to the press today.

This year's event, dubbed 'the last great international auto show' by some commentators, is set against a backdrop of plunging sales, factory closures and continuing economic uncertainty.

But because carmakers are increasingly desperate to attract buyers - and because so many ideas for new cars left the drawing board before the downturn really took hold - plenty of exciting models will still be launching at the show.

Geneva Motor Show highlights

highlights are likely to include Volkswagen's new Golf GTI - which we first saw as a concept car at the – and the first European outing of the new, third-generation Toyota Prius.

Elsewhere we’re expecting to see a five-door hatchback version of the 5 Series saloon, a concept BMW has dubbed ‘’, and the latest incarnation of the Mazda3 – a previous Which? Best Buy.

Which? motoring editor Richard Headland said: 'The major new cars appearing at Geneva will have been signed off for production before the current recession really took hold.

'However, the will attract serious scrutiny - will they be serious new launches that are responding to car buyers' changing demands or simply pipe dreams? It promises to be interesting...'

Full Geneva Motor Show coverage

You can find out more about the new cars being launched at this year’s show in our . On Tuesday and Wednesday we'll be bringing you live updates from the show, including the latest rumours, exclusive photos and videos from the show floor.

The is open to the public from 5-15 March 2009.


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