The birth of a new car from the first rough sketches to its appearance in the dealer's showroom takes at least four years.
The birth of a new car from the first rough sketches to its appearance in the dealer's showroom takes at least four years. Once the basic design has been agreed there can be little going back. So today's engineers and designers are committing themselves to well into the nineteen-eighties. The general public were able to see what the motoring future held for them on Thursday (17 March) when the Geneva Motor Show opened.
SYNOPSIS: The 1977 Car of the Year is the Rover 3,5000. The new saloon is designed to replace the highly popular former three-and-a-half litre Rovers. The sporty TR-7 is another of British Leyland's hopes for the future.
In contrast to the power of the Leyland cars there is the small electric Pilcar. The Swiss-made car has been designed with energy conservation in mind. Pilcar drivers need not fear another oil crisis. They simply plug in and recharge the battery.
West Germany's attack on the high performance sports market is led by the Porsche 928.
French manufacturers, Renault, are adding yet another tailgated car to the saloon market with their five-door Renault 14. There are cars for all tastes at the Geneva Show but the prices of some will limit the number of prospective buyers. Many manufacturers are staking their futures on an economic recovery throughout the world and the return to popularity of the big and fast cars. Others are diversifying and presenting a range of cars.
But the one car that will probably have a market for some time to come, whatever the economic conditions, is the Rolls Royce.