Performance Overload At Geneva

I am not much of a new car buff. In fact, up until a few hours ago I had not been to a new car show in years.

For the 87th Geneva International Motor Show, Toyota invited me along to check out the event in Switzerland, and then afterwards to get behind the wheel of something special. More on the drive later… As for the show itself, I didn’t really know what to expect, but when I told Dino and the rest of the Speedhunters gang what I was up to, they were excited for me to shoot something I rarely ever cover.

So with that in mind, I thought I’d share with you a few of the cars that stood out to me at day one of this annual automotive extravaganza.


There were rumors that RUF Automobile was going to release something groundbreaking at Geneva this year, but I was totally not ready for the 2017 CTR ‘Yellow Bird’.

If you know anything about the original RUF CTR Yellow Bird, you might understand why.


This is a built-from-the-ground-up, full carbon fiber monocoque street car powered by a twin-turbo 3.6-liter water-cooled engine in the rear, and it outputs 710hp and 649lb-ft of torque.


The Geneva show car is a prototype that is planned to go into production as early as next year, and just 30 examples (not including this one) will be built.

It’s the little things that make this car amazing. That vent on the quarter panel feeds the intercoolers, but there is even a hidden vent behind the rear windows that supplies the air intake with fresh outside air. Then there are the door handles, which retract while the car is in motion for that shaved look.


There are so many special pieces on this car including the headlights and the turn signals.


I’ve always loved the wheels that RUF cars came with and it was great to see their new take on the classic five-spoke.


Most of the interior is wrapped with lightweight Alcantara, and the carbon fiber seats are foldable of course.

The gauges are a throwback to a simpler time with no digital LCD screen in sight – just the way I like it. The speedo goes up to 230mph, and the new CTR needs it with a top speed in excess of 360km/h (223mph).


I love everything about this car, including the proper 6-speed manual transmission. It should be a blast to drive around town as well as on the track.

The suspension is really special too. Because the CTR was built from the ground up, it has double wishbone pushrod arrangements front and rear. There is just too much awesome in one car; even the body is made out of carbon fiber. Total weight? Just 2,640lb (1,200kg).


On top of the 220mph+ top end, RUF is claiming a 0-62mph (100km/h) time of under 3.5 seconds. This is what dreams are made of.


One of the more opinion-dividing cars of the show is the all-new Honda Civic Type R. In terms of the styling, I think you either love it or you hate it.

Personally, the aero-laden design is a bit too flashy for my taste, but it’s still the perfect car for that boy racer in all of us.


With 306hp and 295lb-ft of torque on tap from its turbocharged 2.0L VTEC four-cylinder engine, what’s not to like?

I find it amazing that a Honda Civic can now come standard with 20-inch wheels. That said, I don’t think you could fit anything smaller due to the massive Brembo brakes.

Another standout feature: it comes in manual transmission only, which is just fine by me.


I’m sure it will grow on me more, and I really can’t wait to get behind the wheel of this thing.


I know what you guys are thinking – it’s tough to relate to hypercars. Sometimes I feel the same way, as I would never own something like a Bugatti Chiron. But this car has a special place in my heart.


About a year ago, Bugatti and Michelin were doing some tire testing specifically for the Chiron due to its insane top speed, and I was lucky enough to watch some of the evaluation take place in a super-secret facility which has been used to test the Space Shuttle tires.

While it’s limited to 260mph (418km/h), it’s believed to be capable of 288mph (463km/h).


Just think about that for a moment. We are talking about a car that is pretty much capable of driving at such a rate of speed that they need to make sure the tires are totally up to task.

It’s just like how NASA needed to know that the tires they were using for the Space Shuttle would not destroy themselves due to the massive force and speed exerted on them when landing from space!

While most people may never even see this car in person, it makes me happy that at least someone is pushing the limits of automotive and tire technology. Plus, you can’t tell me this doesn’t look badass.


Another car I wanted to share with you was displayed at the ABT booth.


This is modest build, which mostly focuses on improving the stock Audi R8, is a real show-stopper at Geneva this year.


Aside from the ABT carbon fiber aero bits, the R8 was fitted with a set of ABT lightweight wheels.

And the ABT exhaust is good for an extra 20hp, bringing the total output up to 610hp.


Along with the exterior details and a refreshed interior, the handling has been enhanced too with ABT roll bars and height-adjustable suspension.


To wrap things, let’s wind back the clock. No matter where you live there always seems to be a car that is unobtainable, and this perfect condition Ford Escort RS Cosworth is just too cool.


I love that it’s as clean and stock as the day it left the showroom floor.


I’m thankful that Ford has kept one of these in such great shape, because I never had the pleasure of seeing one when they were on sale in Europe in the early ’90s. Poring over it at the show was a real treat.


I can only imagine what it’s like to rip around in one of these with 230hp on tap from the turbocharged 2.0-liter motor, but hopefully one day I’ll get to find out.

Well that’s it for now, but stay tuned for more from Geneva!

Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto



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Well, there's a lot of sweet rides at the Geneva Motor Show, and then there's also stuff like this:
I really hope that thing isn't the future of cars, because it has absolutely no steering wheel or pedals whatsoever.

On a side note, great photos as always, Larry!


I have to jump in here and defend "Sedric", because I was part of the team that produced this concept....
The Concept wasn't really aimed at the Speedhunters crowd tbh. Larry has done a fine job of bringing YOU, the Speedhunters fan the most relevant things from the Geneva Motor Show. The Concept is for anybody who would like to get around freely in the future - maybe Grandma, or the kids, maybe you lost your license "Hooning", or maybe you're just on the way home from the Pub and want to Karaoke on the way home (Yes, I am serious!).

Don't worry, there will still be fun things to drive around in for quite a while yet. I hope so too. I love cars! My current garage consists of a 240z (orange, like Larry's), a 4 speed Roadrunner and a Mk7 GTI


Great reply and so good that you read speedhunters!


Lets see some pics of your Z and the road runner!


please excuse the double post - I'm having some issues with the site!


Well, I'm no "Larry Chen", but here's a couple of pics I go from the Lausitzring website. I love Speedhunters - keep up the good work!


Your Z car is super clean. I love it!


Thanks! Its not as quick as yours - I got to keep it historical/legal in Berlin which is a little challenge...
Its getting a cammed L28 with triple Webers this month (pretty much the practical limit here).

I'm having issues with the posting of pics. Different computers (work/home) show me different things. What can you see? - did I post 4 pics of the Z and 1 of the Plymouth? Or is there just 1 pic of the Z? I'm pretty confused...

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

I gotta agree here. The future of automobiles won't be fully autonomous, but study designs like the Sedric are quite cool to see. Look at them as possibilities of the future, when autonomous motoring means cars can be a home on wheels where you are free to do things that aren't possible when you are driving a car.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Just one of those concept car studies that always dot motorshows like these. Maybe tech from them trickle down but looks, doubtful


Thanks for the reassurance, Dino. Let's hope that in the future cars stay mostly human-operated, just like they've always been.


Wow! That RUF looks absolutely amazing! (i'm sure the price tag will be amazing too)


a bit more than a Singer , 750.000€ excl. taxes

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

"Toyota invited me along to check out the event in Switzerland, and then afterwards to get behind the wheel of something special."

I have a strong suspicion it's the supercharged Yaris GRMN...


I am hoping it is the s-fr II concept. I am tired of Toyota spinning their wheels on that car


I am including a few pics of the Yaris GRMN in my next story.


that's a good guess!
I was thinking may be the Supra's little brother..


Wowwww Yellowbird!!

Thanks for showing us that video too, that is some awesomeeee driving. Rare to see that these days with all the electronic assists. Superb.

zachary mcmillian

I initially hated the Bugatti, but the more that I see of it and the more that I hear of it... it is starting to grow on me a little. Not too much, and it could grow on me all it wants, I will likely never be able to buy it, but it does look good.

zachary mcmillian

totally forgot, the yellow bird is insane. I would love to see one ever and be able to go around it and check it out.


The RUF is the stylistic polar opposite of the Civic Type R - it's clean and elegant where the Civic is jagged and awkward.


This shows how the Civic has been ruined. Honda should get its stuff together, because they are hideous now. Not only their roadcars are boring and ugly (or too boyracer-ish), but even their sports department is struggling.


I completely agree with you. Looking at the new civic type r and I feel that is has a very awkward ride height.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'll echo that too. It's almost painful to look at. They should go back to their clean and simple designs that defined red-badged Hondas


It only seems like 5 minutes ago they released the last Civic Type R.... That Ruf though, wow! Welcome back Yellow Bird!!


That CTR is awesome. Modern spin on a classic that fits perfectly in every way.


Lovely photos Larry. The Civic Type R is more my thing, but that RUF is amazing. The little details blow my mind, and that Yellow colour is incredible!


Great article, bro. I absolutely agree that while I can never dream of owning a hyper car, I think it is great that automakers are still pushing the boundaries of what a car can do. Also, I'm really jealous you got to see that Cosworth, hopefully we will see some more pictures of that.


Yeah, that thing was super cool. So clean. I can't imagine there are many of those left on the road.


tat yellow bird is amazing esp the interior...if only i have $$$......

Rich E Wavy Kariuki

The Civic, hmmmmm... 18 inch wheels with thicker rubber, delete the rear wing and drop it about 4cm would be a good start.

Anyways, that Yellowbird is tiiiiiight!


I'd rather prefer the Escort Cosworth over those supercars. Well maybe not the Yellowbird.


I absolutely LOVE the styling of that CTR 2017.
The modern bits blended beautifully without ruining the retro styled body lines.
If the 930 was born in 2017, this IS what it should look like.
The legend continues!


Great post, Larry. I'm also excited for the new RUF. I've put in countless (virtual) hours hooning the original Yellow Bird around various race tracks (in Gran Turismo). It certainly was a handfull. The New iteration with that much power should be even more of a handfull, considering 710hp was about max power on the yellowbird in GT6, IIRC.


I'm just happy enough that I got to sit in it. sigh.... one can only dream.


Whoa that Yellowbird!!! Now, let's get a RWB version of it, Blackbirdo version 2.0 :P


Btw that was a Wangan Midnight refernce for anyone who doesn't know Blackbird :)


Gotta love those LEDs

Dino Dalle Carbonare

That's one of the first thing I noticed, modern lights on an older car. I liked what they've done with them


When I saw this story on the home-page of the website, and saw what I thought was , a RUF CTR Yellowbird from 1987..I was puzzled. I was thinking..why is an old RUF from 1987, at one of the most important Auto shows in the world? But then..I scroll down through this article, and read that I was looking at a NEW RUF CTR, I was blown away. I'm not really impressed by many of the new cars at the show, to be honest. The 720S was leaked before the show..the Valkyrie (as we now know it) was shown before the show, and so were many of the other cars. But this car, this simply impressive.
RUF really did nail the "retro-modern" looks with this reboot of the CTR (Yellowbird) . Often times, manufacturers really swing-and-miss when it comes to rehashing old models/designs, like the Camaro and the Mustang (My personal opinion). But it's nice to see that RUF really stayed true to the design and performance of the Yellowbird, upon which this new CTR is based. I'm in total love with what they did with the styling of the many amazing details on it! And how about that interior? The interior is one of the best looking modern car interiors, in my opinion.. It's refreshing to see such a simplistic and clutter free interior on a new production car. Gotta love those gorgeous looking, pure analog gauges! And then, you have the carbon fiber body, carbon fiber monocoque, pushrod suspension, and..the 700 HP flat 6! I can only imagine what it would be like to try and tame that yellow beast..all with no drivers aids.


I'd actually like to see the Japanese big three give their take on the retro movement.


you're right when it comes to hit and miss with modern retro, the david brown speedback gt looks awkward


The civic is OTT in my eyes, I remember seeing someone photoshopping one a while back so it didn't have all the grilles and other bits, would you believe, it looked great!


I like that the Honda is a proper gearbox, but that electronic parking brake. Come on!

I was at the Goodwood Festival last year and there was a Chiron there. It was awesome not only seeing it, but seeing it run too. It rained all weekend so the car was a little muddy. It was so cool.


I hope that, as time moves along, people will realize that atrocities like the CTR here are not so much the fault of designers. It comes from a terrible marketing brief. Just imagine, if you were handed the new civic 4 door sedan, and some bloated, overpaid jerk in marketing says "Now make this look like a boy racer machine." Just like the Pontiac Aztek, where the designers were told to turn a minivan into an SUV…


That Escort is taxed and MOT'd too!
That RUF though, always loved the original as a kid

Alejandro Da Costa

RUF is poppin´ my Wangan cherry.


I believe that the Bugatti Chiron can go 288 mph. That would not be good enough to go 260 mph.