A glittering bumper crop of million-dollar babies will be shown at the 83rd International Motor Show in Geneva, where press previews begin on Tuesday.
While mass-market automakers like Fiat, Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen are struggling in Europe with bloated inventories, falling sales and red ink, many luxury brands are reporting record sales and profits. Hence, an unprecedented number of ultraexpensive new cars will be mixed among the 130 or so premieres at Geneva.
Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren will take the wraps off vehicles priced above $1 million. Lamborghini's limited-edition sports car may set a record for vehicular excess; the car is rumored to carry a price tag of more than $4 million.
Not far behind, in terms of stratospheric prices, will be new six-figure vehicles from Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin and a wide array of the boutique car builders, performance tuners and design houses that make the Geneva show an annual carnival of automotive excess.
Price, of course, does not necessarily correlate with significance. Here are some of the important, but not necessarily as expensive, debutantes that will make an appearance:
Alfa Romeo 4C This sports coupe, which the company has called "the compact supercar," will be built at a Maserati plant and lavished with Ferrari-derived technologies. Later this year, the 4C will spearhead Alfa's return to the United States market after an absence of nearly 20 years. By Geneva standards, the car is somewhat of a bargain, with a price expected in the mid-five-figure range.
Aston Martin Centenary Vanquish To celebrate 100 years in business, Aston is producing a limited run of 100 special editions of its Vanquish coupe, offering features previously available only in its $2 million-plus One-77 hypercar. Centenary versions are also planned for the Vantage, DB9 and Rapide.
Bentley Flying Spur To differentiate itself further from the Continental GT coupe, and move further upscale in presence and price, the Flying Spur sedan gets its own platform and styling treatment. Engineering advances will pump output from its W-12 engine up to 616 horsepower.
Chevrolet Corvette convertible Something of a surprise as a European debut -- especially so soon after the coupe was shown in Detroit in January -- the Stingray droptop will make its first appearance in Geneva. The car will appear at the New York auto show this month and reach showrooms by December.
Ferrari F150 Ferrari's new limited-edition successor to the Enzo supercar, code-named F150 (no relation to the Ford pickup), will be finally shown at Geneva after months of teasers. If you could buy one -- and you can't, because Sergio Marchionne, the Fiat Group's chief executive, says the car is already sold out -- you'd need around $1.3 million. Production of the 900-horsepower monster is expected to be limited to 499 cars, 100 more than the Enzo.
Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell This car began rolling off the assembly line last Tuesday in Ulsan, South Korea. Hyundai says that makes it the first automaker to offer a mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Annual production of this variant of the Tucson crossover isn't expected to hit 1,000 units until 2015.
McLaren P1 Not to be trumped by Ferrari in pricing, exclusivity or horsepower, McLaren will show the production version of its P1 supercar with 903 horsepower, a $1.15 million price and a production run of just 375.
Qoros 3M A Chinese-Israeli venture of Chery Automobile and the Israel Corporation holding company, this nascent marque hopes to begin selling cars in Europe this year. The Qoros 3 compact sedan will be shown in Geneva along with two concept cars, including a hybrid crossover.
Rolls-Royce Wraith A two-door version of the Ghost sedan with a sloping fastback roofline, this new coupe is expected to reach customers in the fourth quarter.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.