2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Geneva International Motor Show was canceled this year, just days before the Swiss event was supposed to host over 100 world premieres. This unusual move was done in reaction to the growing threat from SARS-CoV-2, a type of coronavirus.

"We regret this situation, but the health of all participants is our and our exhibitors' top priority," said Maurice Turrettini, chairman of the Geneva International Motor Show Foundation Board, in a statement. "This is a case of force majeure, and a tremendous loss for the manufacturers who have invested massively in their presence in Geneva."

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But thanks to the internet, the major automakers have been revealing their new production and concept cars online. Part of the excitement with the Geneva Motor Show is its tradition of displaying several boutique brands showcasing esoteric, premium models that are the things automotive dreams are made of. But beyond the glitz and glamor, there are models destined for the U.S. market and some that preview things to come.

Below we present highlights of models U.S. shoppers will want to be aware of, and we will expand the coverage as new virtual unveilings occur. 

BMW Concept i4

BMW Concept i4

BMW has unveiled the Concept i4, giving the best look so far at the forthcoming four-door electric car that goes into production in 2021. The German-built i4 also promises sports-car performance, with 530 horsepower and 0-to-60 mph acceleration in under 4 seconds. BMW says it has an 80-kWh battery and achieves an EPA-estimated 270 mile range.  


Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain

The E-Class sedan and wagon are updated for the 2021 model year, with a freshened exterior and next-generation advanced safety features. The cabin is updated with two 12.3-inch displays that are the basis for the latest version of the MBUX infotainment system we’ve already seen on newer Mercedes models. It includes natural language recognition, and there's an optional augmented display for navigation that overlays guidance on the center screen showing the coming environment on the route, including street signs and the like. The familiar body styles are joined by a new version in the fall, a raised wagon dubbed All-Terrain. This gives the E-Class a competitor to the Audi AllRoad, with a similar approach as the Subaru Outback.  


2022 Volkswagen GTI

2022 Volkswagen GTI

Enthusiasts should be thrilled that the eighth-generation Volkswagen GTI will come with a manual transmission and the classic plaid cloth seats—as well as a variety of improvements befitting an all-new model. The GTI retains the same classic hatchback body style, and it's available only with four doors. The car is distinguished from the regular Golf (which is unlikely to be offered in the U.S.) by its standard LED headlights and taillights, along with optional fog lights in an “X” pattern. VW has so far released specifications only for the European GTI. The car will continue to use a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and will make 241 horsepower in Europe. The engine will likely be the same in the U.S. but with different specifications. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission will be optional, as is the case now. European models will be available with a suspension that can adjust between softer and stiffer settings; it remains to be seen if that will be available in the U.S. The interior features what VW calls the Innovision Cockpit, which is comprised of a 10.25-inch digital cockpit for the gauges and driver-centric data, and the 10-inch infotainment system. But that pushes the center dash vents too low for optimal air distribution. The new GTI will go on sale in the U.S. in the second half of 2021, as a 2022 model. 


Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen announced the production name for its all-electric SUV that will go on sale later this year: ID.4. It was originally introduced as the ID. CROZZ concept. This all-new model will launch with rear-wheel drive; the arrival date for all-wheel-drive versions hasn't been announced. Volkswagen claims that the SUV will have a range “up to 500 kilometers, depending on the drive package.” (That works out to roughly 310 miles.) The SUV’s interior features a “fully digital cockpit” operated using touch surfaces and voice control. The ID.4 will be built in the U.S. at Volkswagen’s assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.