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The weirder side to Geneva Motor Show

The Geneva Motor Show always had good form when it comes to the best supercar manufacturers trotting out their latest, greatest, fastest and lightest new models. But, venture a little further from some of the main halls and you'll soon come across some less well-known makers and designs. Here's a look at just a few.

Borgward Isabella Coupe

No, you haven't slipped through a wormhole to the 1957 Geneva Motor Show; this is the new Isabella Coupe from Borgward. Originally founded in 1929, Borgward was based in Bremen, Germany, but has been defunct since it went bankrupt in 1961.

The brand is now under the ownership of Chinese firm Fonton, which plans to relaunch the brand with a car that will use "state-of-the-art e-mobility systems." For now, all Borgward could show was that rather elegant old car, and the promise that we will see something new at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Italdesign Giugiaro Gea

Design house Giugiaro rolled out its vision for how driverless cars could look in the future. The rather grand saloon is powered electrically and still features all the usual controls for manual driving, but the cabin has been made to be as spacious as possible for when the car takes control. In such cases where it does, the front passenger seat conveniently converts into a bed. Externally it's the usual elegant lines we're used to seeing from Giugiaro, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, although the huge 60-spoke 26-inch alloy wheels might not give the smoothest of rides.

Khan Huntsman 6x6 Concept

Not man enough for a Mercedes-AMG 6x6? Khan, the company famed for fitting nasty-looking bodykits to Range Rovers, has been expanding its portfolio and here lies its latest creation. Called the Flying Huntsman 6x6, it is based on a Land Rover Defender that has had an additional axle bolted on, because let's face it; Defenders aren't great at travelling off-road, right?

Power comes from a 6.3-litre LS3 V8 from General Motors that produces 436hp. What it gains in axles it still lacks in doors, quite why they use the five-door Defender for this concept still boggles the mind. Perhaps it was just to underline to stupidity of this creation.

Magna Steyr Mila Plus

You might not know of Magna Steyr, but you will have certainly seen the Austrian engineering company's work on our roads. It's actually contracted to produce a number of vehicles for car manufacturers including the Mercedes-Benz G Wagon (since 1979), the MINI Countryman and MINI Paceman as well as the Peugeot RCZ. Previously it had also made the BMW X3, Chrysler 300C and Aston Martin Rapide.

The Mila Plus is a two-seater four-wheel drive hybrid sports car that is powered by a three-cylinder petrol engine and two electric motors. Maga Steyr claims it to have an electric-only driving range of up to 75 kilometres and is quick enough to reach 100km/h from rest in 4.9 seconds. Don't expect to see one on sale anytime soon though, as the concept is more of a demonstration to car manufacturers of the firm's expertise in aluminium and bonding. 

Tata Bolt Sport

Not heard of Tata before? They are an Indian car manufacturer that just happens to own a couple of more well-known brands, namely Jaguar and Land Rover. This year Tata had a sport hatchback called the Bolt Sport on display, which unlike some of its previous creations (Tata Nano anyone?) actually looked pretty good and well-finished. It has a 121hp 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a five-speed manual transmission. Its simple looks are up to standards that we're used to seeing from many of the European brands, although we're not expecting to see any on Irish roads too soon. Shame really.

Zenvo ST1

The Danish supercar manufacturer had the latest version of its ST1 on display in Geneva. Its not-so-subtle appearance is suited to its performance credentials of 1,104hp and 1,430Nm from its 6.8-litre turbocharged and supercharged V8. All of which is put to the road via either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed paddleshift transmission.

Friday Find 6th March 2015

With all the hoopla surrounding the launch of the new (and rather brilliant) Volvo XC90, spare a thought for the outgoing model, thirteen years on since it was launched, and still one of the most popular premium family seven seaters around. You could have picked a new one up for a hair under €50k last year, but for a proper bargain, how about this; a D5 automatic in SE spec for the price of a basic Skoda Fabia?

It's even a one-owner car and…

Volkswagen Group Night at the Geneva Motor Show

Even though every major motor show is now pre-empted by a Volkswagen Group Night, such is the breath of brands and models within that simply enormous portfolio that it still manages to generate a genuine buzz.

For the uninitiated, it is a fast-paced spectacle and vying for a prime viewing spot is akin to being thrown into the deepest of deep ends. It is literally dog eat dog, every automotive journalist for themselves, and with the limited Wi-Fi having a similar effect as being starved of oxygen, it's always fun.

Audi trips the light fantastic

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited into the inner sanctums of one of Audi's R&D laboratories in Ingolstadt. The premise was to look at some of the new lighting technology that Audi is working on, in particular its new laser headlight that will feature as an option on the new R8 sports car. The system is very similar to that featured in the limited-run R8 LMX - a model that was released essentially to beat the BMW i8 to the title of having the world's first series…