There's always something a little bit special about the annual Geneva Motor Show. As well as being the first major European motor show of the year, it's relatively compact and most manufacturers, big or small, seem to bring their A-game along. Naturally, there's a smattering of supercars, but some of the more normal stuff has just as much appeal. Here's a rundown of my top ten cars from the show, in no particular order.
1. Aston Martin Valkyrie
Granted, we already knew quite a bit about this car before the show. In fact, it was just the name that was the main announcement in Geneva, but it did give us the opportunity to have a proper close-up look at this incredible vehicle. The fact that the finished product is unlikely to deviate very far from this show car warrants serious respect for Aston Martin. Yes, it has produced stripped back road-legal versions of its cars before, but this is on another level to virtually any other hypercar made today. Thanks to the wizardry of the aero team that includes a certain Mr Adrian Newey, every inch of this is as elegant as it is functional. With a driving position that is like something from a full-on LMP1 car and a V12 Cosworth engine, the Valkyrie has the potential to rewrite what we thought cars were capable of.
2. McLaren 720S
It's quite impressive to see just how successful McLaren has become given its relative infancy. The 720S was mobbed by people during the entire show, and if that hadn't quite been enough of a show-stealer, McLaren then went and pulled the covers off a special MSO version that made the spectacular looking sports car even more desirable. It seems the company can do no wrong, and given how impressive the likes of the McLaren 675LT was, the 720S looks very promising indeed.
3. Ford Fiesta ST
The outgoing generation Fiesta ST remains one of our all-time favourite driving cars, especially the Fiesta ST200 edition. Ford's new Fiesta range will once more be graced with an ST version, except this time it gets a turbocharged three-cylinder engine. Its evolutionary styling has a bit of influence from the larger Focus RS, but isn't quite as extreme. Word from Ford is that we won't see a Fiesta RS, but who can be disappointed when the ST looks this good?
4. Italdesign Zerouno
The cynic in me would say that this is just a re-bodied Audi R8 V10 plus, but there's something cool about the Zerouno and not just because it has the Italian tricolore down the middle of it. No, it doesn't look particularly aerodynamic, and actually, it doesn't even look sexy, but the fact that only a handful will be made, with the Italdesign name attached, is enough to at least grant it unicorn status.
5. Porsche 911 GT3
Not matter what it does these days, Porsche seems to have a licence to print money. Reintroducing a manual gearbox to its new 911 GT3 has earned it at least another 12 months of good will. We do wonder how buyers of the manual-only 911 R might feel about it, though.
6. Honda Civic Type R
It doesn't seem like that long ago since the last Civic Type R was launched, but now we have a new model based on the tenth-generation Civic. The numbers look promising, with a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine producing 320hp and 400Nm of torque. If the engineers can make this one ride a little more softly on the road, then it should be a cracking car.
7. Pagani Huayra Roadster
The new Huayra Roadster is hands down the best looking car to roll out of the Pagani factory gates to date. A lot of cars can be made to look more glamorous when the roof comes off, but this thing is incredible. It may be a cliché, but the Pagani looks like it's doing one hundred miles per hour just parked on the motor show stand. When you get up close to it the level of detail, in particular in the carbon weave and how all of the panels match up, is astonishing. One of the few supercars that look genuinely worth every single cent.
8. Opel Insignia Grand Sport
The Insignia Grand Sport's public debut wasn't exactly the reason why Opel was one of the hot topics of conversation in Geneva. Mergers aside, this is one very good looking car, and even though its segment of the market appears to be diminishing in size, it's refreshing to see Opel make a real effort in shaping how this car looks. We'll be driving it soon, so keep an eye out for our review.
9. Alpine A110
How good is it to see a name like Alpine making a return and doing so on a car that genuinely looks promising? There are obvious styling nods to the past in this coupe, but it manages to avoid falling into the retro-look trap. Far from being a supercar in the traditional sense, its 1,080kg weight combines with a 252hp 1.8-litre engine to promise us a very fun car to drive.
10. Airbus Pop.Up
Not usually a name we expect to be talking about at a motor show, but Airbus turned up with a new transport concept called Pop.Up. It may be a fanciful concept for now, but the thought of a car that can be disconnected from its wheels and picked up by what is effectively an oversized drone is cool in our books.