What’s even sadder than the cynical deluge of hybrid supercars is that the only event from last week's Geneva Motor Show covered by the mainstream non-automotive press was Justin Timberlake introducing the Audi A1 at a press conference.
Granted, a free commuter paper is not exactly The New York Times, but it’s perhaps a reflection of the general public’s interest.
Our Mr. Petrány was in attendance at Audi’s press event on Tuesday afternoon and he described an awkward corporate scene, where Mr. Timberlake feigned great interest in receiving the first Audi A1, equipped with a 1.4-liter engine, after being introduced by 15 seconds of corporate rock performed by a band flown in from Sweden.
Perhaps it’s too much to ask from the general press to focus on anything other than a nano-bit of vapid celebrity news, but one cannot help but think of the Geneva Motor Show’s great history, spanning almost a century.
Has the automobile really fallen to such levels of social irrelevance that the only bit of interest at a supposedly grand motor show is a shabbily dressed man purchased for corporate money, sticking out like a sore thumb in his unlaced boots and his garish belt from the French-Italian chic of the local crowd.
Geneva is the canary in the coalmine of automotive trends. If there’s any indication of where the automobile is headed, Geneva points to a world of pointless hybrids and appliance-cars, sparsely decorated with a lone Lexus LF–A or an Audi RS5.
But maybe there’s hope.
A few pages behind Timberlake, a spread describing the history of the show featured a rather large print of a red Countach, introduced here in 1971 to hurl the world of supercars forever spaceward. At least one person on the 6:42 AM Lausanne-Geneva express was interested.
Not that being interested in a red or yellow wedge from outer space is a particularly great request from the human nervous system, but still, it's a start. We need our supercars like never before.
Photo Credit: Máté Petrány, Lamborghini, and the author