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After packing a lot of camera and ski equipment, I finally departed Seattle for Switzerland on Sunday.

The trip started interesting. Delta had to replace their regularly scheduled plane that received a bird strike with a 60 seat smaller Airbus A330. In order to fit the fully booked flight, they offered a $1000 travel voucher to volunteers to take a later flight. I was very tempted to take them up on the offer, but since there was no flight that would still have arrived on Monday in Zurich, I decided for the sake of my Planet-9 Geneva mission to fly on my assigned flight ;).

Rebooking 60 people and moving their checked luggage lead to enough of a delay in arriving in Amsterdam, that I crossed the airport (and normally long custom line) in record time. While I made it to Zurich on my scheduled flight, my checked bag of course did not. It did arrive in the evening though, and besides the Planet-9 shirt and a tripod, all the other equipment was in hand luggage anyway. A lesson for all travelers: never check the gear you need in the first three days of your trip ;).

Once I arrived in Zurich, I bought myself a Swiss SIM card and a Swiss Rail Travel Pass Flex which gives you free public transportation and museums entries on a certain amount of days. Note that as a European resident, an Interrail pass may be cheaper, but it looks like US residents cannot get that pass. Alternatively, you can also get a monthly half-price pass for 120CHF, that gives you 50% off rail travel and some percentage off local transit as well.

Watching the Volkswagen unveiling online

Since I did contact Porsche North America too late, I did not get a pass to the traditional Volkswagen group unveiling event the evening before the Geneva Autosalon opens its doors for the press. And the Autosalon press office only provided me with a 2nd day press pass, so I will miss the official press unveilings today as well. However, not all is lost!

Fortunately Volkswagen provided a live webcast of the Volkswagen group event that you can still watch here.

The VW group definitively has a few very cool sports cars for Geneva: From the new Audi R8 super sportscar over the insane Lamborghini Aventador SV to the awesome new Cayman GT4. And orange and yellow colors ruled :).

The GT4 was used to open the interesting part of the presentation at 4:25:

The Audi R8 unfortunately lost its distinctive side blades, will make up to 610bhp, revs to 8200rpm and will feature a fully digital instrument cluster, similar to the previously released Audi TT.

The Aventador SV features 750hp from its naturally aspirated V12 with new aerodynamics and new light weight construction to get 2kg/hp.

Some other tidbits of the VW group presentation were: Seat sold more Leon than Ibiza last year and showed a CUV concept. Bugatti announced but did not show a successor of the Veyron, Audi presented the electric plugin hybrid Prolog Avant with 147MPG (1.6l/100km) and a 0-62 time of 5.1s. Bentley announced yet another Continental GT, and a new sleek baby Bentley EXP10 Speed 6 concept that could hint at a Mercedes GT S competitor and be sportier (and thus also indicating that they want to continue to do sports cars in the VW group?). The bread and butter brands Skoda and VW also presented their new models including a new Sport Coupe concept GTE that shows the new VW design language. The Passat also won the car of the year in Europe 2015 (3rd time in 6 years after the Polo and Golf).

The Porsche Press Event today

And now we are all waiting for the GT4 and beastly GT3RS reveals at the Porsche timeslot during the Press day. You can watch the video at 11:30am Geneva time here and here.

While I only got the press pass for tomorrow, Frank our other Planet-9 correspondent got lucky and will be reporting live from the press day today. In addition, you can join our live discussion on Planet-9 as well.

Update: The press show was short. Too short for many I see ;). One good tidbit (besides that some positions at Porsche get a GT3 company car!), is that the GT4 Cup car (actual race car) will come out later this year.

What to expect tomorrow

While I did not get a press pass for today, I am having an appointment with David Burkhalter the manager of Product Communications Porsche Cars North America at around 10am Geneva time, where I will be asking questions and tape it. I hope I get to live broadcast it (and some other footage of the show throughout the day) at

To keep the automotive juices flowing, I add some links to new GT4 and GT3RS videos that got released today:

And finally, it seems like the GT3RS may have a manual transmission option in this video:

(and no, it will only come with a PDK, the video editing kept some GT4 footage).​

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