Geneva Motor Show Unveils Hot New Cars, Auto Trends

Global automakers are rolling out more electric vehicles at the Geneva International Motor Show as they try to challenge Tesla and get ahead of a disruptive shift in transportation toward lower-emission and autonomous vehicles.

For the European carmakers, the mood at the event could be unsettled by U.S. President Donald Trump's threat this weekend to slap tariffs on the region's manufacturers in a potential trade war.

And the three big German manufacturers -- Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW -- will grasp the opportunity to highlight their high-tech creations amid their continued trouble with diesel technology, such as the legal attempts to ban diesel in German cities and the scandal over exposing monkeys to exhaust in lab tests.

The carmakers will show off their wares during press days Monday evening through Wednesday; the show opens to the public Thursday and runs through March 18.

Here are the top themes.

Electric and Autonomous

The biggest trend in autos is the race to make new technologies affordable and functional.

Some of the vehicles on show -- such as Volkswagen's autonomous and battery-driven I.D. Vizzion -- will be concepts not yet ready for production. Others will have vehicles that are ready to go on sale in coming months, such as Jaguar Land Rover with the Jaguar I-Pace, a battery-driven SUV advertising 310 miles (498 kilometers) of range and rapid-charging capability.

Mercedes-Benz will have an addition to its EQ electric brand. Hyundai will show its Kona Electric, with either a 300-kilometer (186-mile) or 470-kilometer (292-mile) range. Luxury carmakers like BMW and Jaguar are eager to grab back some of the sales of high-end vehicles taken by Tesla with its electric Model S high-performance sedan and Model X SUV.

When it comes to technological change there will be more than vehicles to talk about. The German automakers and Ford are working to build a network of...

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