The motor industry might be feeling its way cautiously out of recession but the pace of new model launches hardly seems to have faltered. The 2010 Geneva show is packed with new metal, including the important Audi A1, new open-top cars from Renault, a new model line for Lexus and plenty more.
Here are the highlights of the new cars expected to make their world or European debuts in Geneva.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
Alfa's latest make-or-break small car brings back a model name first seen in the 1950s. The latest Giulietta is said to be based on an all-new platform, but carries over versions of petrol and diesel engines seen in other Alfas. Top model has 235bhp.
One of the key cars at Geneva in 2010 is the Audi A1, the Volkswagen group's new premium small hatch. It's designed to take on the Mini and Fiat 500 in the 'lifestyle' hatchback market but instead of retro styling it offers its own, typically-Audi, blend of quality manufacture and conservative style.
Audi's £60,000 RS5 is powered by a 450ps V8 with enough urge to propel it from 0-60mph in 4.6sec. It incorporates quattro four-wheel drive, of course, with a new 'crown gear' centre differential which normally splits torque 60/40 towards the rear, but can send up to 70% to the front or 85% to the rear.
Citroen DS3 Racing
The DS3 Racing is designed for the twin tasks of making the upcoming Citroen DS3 rally car legal and generating some positive publicity for the brand in the process. Just 1000 of these 200ps, turbocharged, 1.6-litre homologation specials will be built, beginning in the second half of 2010.
Ford C-MAX, revised Kuga and Mondeo
The new Ford Focus was unveiled at the Detroit show in January and will make its European debut in Geneva, where its big sister the C-MAX will be seen for the first time. It shares new low-CO2 EcoBoost turbo petrol engines and revised Duratorq turbodiesels engines with the Focus, and Ford will also be showing reworked Kuga and Mondeo models with the new motors.
Honda's CR-Z hybrid coupe will make its debut in European form at Geneva. Unlike the US-market car seen at the Detroit motor show in January, the European car has a pair of rear seats to turn it into a 2+2.
Nissan's premium brand Infiniti, already well-known in the USA but a newcomer to Europe, will show its M-line saloon in Geneva in high-performance M37S form (above), powered by a 320ps V6 engine.
Also making its debut at Geneva is a diesel version of Inifiniti's compact crossover, the EX30d. The 238ps V6 diesel is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Jaguar XKR Speed Pack and Black Pack
Jaguar will display two new options for the 510ps XKR performance coupe. The Speed Pack removes the electronic speed limiter which restricts the standard car to a top speed of 'only' 155mph, allowing it to run to its true maximum of 174mph. The Speed Pack also includes a new front splitter and larger rear spoiler to reduce high-speed lift, plus a re-tuned Active Centre Differential to improve high-speed stability. The Black Pack is only available on Speed Pack cars, and adds gloss black trim and wheels.
Longer, lower and wider than the car it replaces, the new Kia Sportage should offer more space and comfort than before. It makes its world debut in Geneva and will go on sale in the UK later in 2010.
New from Lexus is the CT 200h, the first full hybrid in the 'premium compact' (BMW 1-series) class. Lexus say it will offer higher levels of refinement, sophistication and attention to detail, without compromising style or driving pleasure.
The all-new Mazda5 has been designed to meet the needs of "European families with active lifestyles," says Mazda. It's claimed to have a particularly low drag coefficient, but also has fussy curved creases along its flanks which are supposed to reflect "Mazda’s ‘Nagare Flow’ design language". Maybe it looks better in the metal.
A revised Mazda6 makes its world debut at the Geneva show. It introduces a new Mazda family face with different headlamps and rear lights. There's also a range of revised engines and a new 2.0-litre DISI direct injection petrol unit.
Mazda MX-5 20th Anniversary Edition
Mazda celebrates the 20th anniversary of the MX-5 roadster with the launch of this special edition, which will be limited to a production run of just 2000 units. Special equipment includes a chrome trim for the grille, door handles and headlamps, and there are silver foglamp surrounds, special 17in wheels and 20th Anniversary logos.
The fourth MINI model line 'bridges the gap between the classic concept of the MINI and a modern Sports Activity Vehicle', according to BMW. After pictures were leaked BMW released information on the Countryman in January, but the Geneva show will be its official debut.
ASX is the European-spec version of the Japanese-market Mitsubishi RVR, which goes on sale this month. ASX, on sale from the spring, is a size smaller than the Outlander and seats five.
Nissan's new compact crossover, the Juke, premieres in Geneva. The styling has everyone talking but it's also interesting under the skin, with a torque vectoring four-wheel drive system and a new CVT automatic transmission.
Opel / Vauxhall Meriva
The new generation of Opel / Vauxhall's small MPV, the Meriva, takes its bow in Geneva, showing off its rear-hinged back doors and innovative 'FlexRail' interior storage.
Opel / Vauxhall Ampera
Ampera is an extended-range electric car, the European version of the Chevy Volt. It's due to go on sale in 2011.
The hotly anticipated RCZ will make its final show appearance before it goes on sale, in April. Top models will cost around £22,000 and have a 200bhp turbocharged petrol engine said to give the RCZ 0-60mph acceleration of 7.6 seconds.
Porsche's Cayenne SUV has been phenomenally successful. At Geneva a new generation machine is unveiled, with a choice of petrol (normally aspirated and turbcharged), diesel and hybrid powertrains. It goes on sale in the UK at the end of May.
Renault Megane CC
The sixth and final bodystyle for the latest generation Megane is this, the Megane CC – with a full-length glass roof which folds down in 21 seconds. Megane CC also sees the introduction of Renault's EDC dual-clutch transmission (see the Geneva Tech Highlights).
Renault's big news for Geneva is the world debut of the Wind, a tiny coupe-convertible with an electric roof which opens in just 12sec.
Suzuki Swift Plug-in Hybrid
Geneva will be the European debut for Suzuki's Swift Plug-in Hybrid. Designed for drivers who usually make short journeys it will drive up to 20km (13 miles) on electric power, then switches to its 660cc petrol engine for longer journeys.
Suzuki will also exhibit the flagship Kizashi saloon, which will go on sale in the Swiss market later this year, and a range of revised Grand Vitaras.
Toyota Auris HSD
Within 10 years Toyota aims to have a hybrid version of every model in its range, and this is the starting point: the Auris HSD (Hybrid Synergy Drive) brings Prius-proved hybrid technology to the C-sector Auris hatchback. Expect more HSD-badged Toyotas before long.
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
Toyota extends the capabilities of the Prius with this production-ready Plug-in Hybrid version, making its European debut in Geneva.
Volvo's all-new 'four-door coupe' S60 makes its international debut at Geneva. All models will feature a 'Dynamic' chassis spec which has faster steering together with stiffer springs and bushes than before. Also included is what Volvo call 'Corner Traction Control', a torque vectoring system which avoids wheelspin and directs torque to the outer wheel. The S60 also shows off a new 'Pedestrian Detection' system which uses radar to avoid collisions with pedestrians.