The Geneva International Motor Show is always worth a visit. The journey to Switzerland and the tension around all the scoops on the show is just great. This year, Mercedes-Benz and AMG specialist ASV in Veghel, the Netherlands, lent us a beautiful Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4matic for your journey to Switzerland. It gave us the opportunity to drive to Switzerland in all ease and visit cities like Montreux and Gstaad. After the show we headed back to Germany and visited Motorworld Böblingen. Just like the previous years we’ve put together a travel report for you.
The distance from the Netherlands to Geneva is around 900 kilometers. For such a distance it’s important to drive a good car. If there’s one comfortable brand it’s Mercedes-Benz. ASV Veghel gave us a full-option GLA with the more sporty AMG package. This gives the crossover a more sporty look and consists sports seats in the interior. The design of the GLA needs some time to get used to. Thanks to the look roof line and the short back the GLA looks quite compact while on the inside the interior focuses on a sporty and comfortable atmosphere. The GLA might be an entry-level model at Mercedes-Benz, the car looks and feels premium, just like we’re used to from the Germans.
During our three days in Geneva we stayed in Annecy where a beautiful photo at night was taken at the lake in Annecy by one of our photographers. Next to the show we went spotting Geneva because that’s something you just need to do when you’re in Geneva. In Geneva it was all about the motor show but this also means that a lot of exclusive cars show up in the city center. During our visit to Geneva we spotted several exclusive cars. Geneva is a beautiful city for a walk. The stately buildings, the beautiful lake and the many expensive cars result in some beautiful photos. As icing on the cake a LaFerrari showed up in front of the PalExpo on the first day of the motor show..
On Wednesday we leave Geneva behind us and start our trip to Gstaad. When you’re driving to Gstaad you will pass the city Montreux, a city at the foot of the Alps. Montreux is a completely different city compared with Geneva. In the city center you will find beautiful passages and authentic buildings which show you the real Switzerland. We’re looking for a beautiful photo location for our GLA and end up at a country road. The location is just breathtaking. On the mountains we can see the snowline, the lake looks just mysterious and the low clouds complete the photo. Thanks to the Hill Ascent function we can easily descent to the highway and continue our trip to Gstaad.
People are always talking about the Swiss banking secrets, the expensive watches and the chic and expensive hotels but you will really explore Switzerland when you visit villages like Gstaad. From Montreux you will head into the Alps and follow a mountain road to the beautiful Swiss village. Just before Gstaad we paid a visit to the official Bugatti dealership Piechler where we took a closer look to the collection. We get into a conversation with the owner of the dealership and he takes us upstairs to a beautiful and diverse collection. Right behind the door we see a Porsche 962C which is used in the 1993 Le Mans 24 hours race. The car still has the grease from that race on its body. This is just one of the many special cars. We also see three original copies of the Porsche 911 2.7 RS, a Porsche 959 which is owned by the same owner as the Porsche 962C. Mister Piechler maintains the cars for the owners who only use them during summer. With a lot of passion he tells us about how special Gstaad actually is. In gigantic chalets which are holiday houses for the very rich in Switzerland you will find the most expensive cars in the world in private collections that will never see daylight. He told us there’s a Ferrar 250 GTO somewhere in Gstaad and a Ferrari 250 California Spyder was spotted a few years ago, this is a Ferrari that’s worth over ten million euros nowadays. In the showroom he stores an enormous amount of documentation of the history of the cars in Gstaad. Old newspapers, books, photos, everything is conserved by mister Piechler. The showroom is a typical example of Gstaad, sequestered and discrete. The first floor isn’t visible from the street except for the Veyron Super Sport which can be seen from down there. People in Gstaad don’t show off but the presence of brands like Hublot, Cartier, Bugatti and many other expensive brands immediately show us that there’s a lot of money in Gstaad. Everything in Gstaad is traditional and people visit Gstaad to relax, enjoy the great food, shop and the best hotels in Switzerland. During winter, the surroundings of Gstaad are incredibly beautiful as you can see on the photos.
From Gstaad we head to Stuttgart for a good night of sleep. After a few hours of driving in Switzerland it’s finally time to floor the pedal of the 211 hp strong four-cylinder GLA in Germany. The GLA 250 is the most powerful version if you forget about the AMG version which produces 360 hp. The 211 hp are more than enough for this model which is still pretty fast. The top speed is just over 230 kph and that’s a great performance for this crossover. Especially surprising is how comfortable this car is at high speeds. The car is very quiet at higher speeds. The GLA has a seven speed automatic gearbox which works fluently. You can also shift gears with the paddles behind the steering wheel but it’s way more comfortable to let the gearbox do the work for you. Theoretically the GLA should be able to consume 1 liter of gasoline on 15 kilometers but in real life we didn’t reach this while we were driving over 2.000 kilometers through the mountains and on the highway in just a few days. The direct handling makes the GLA a great car for the German Autobahn. Over the last few years Mercedes is working on a new mix between comfort and dynamics. During our days with the GLA the car really surprised us in a positive way. The GLA is a bit weird but Mercedes can be proud on this model. Back in the days Mercedes’ were boring cars but they aren’t anymore. The GLA 250 is a great mix of sporty aspirations, a catchy design and a real quality product from ‘Das Haus’.
Our last day is all about our visit to VOS Performance and Motorworld Böblingen. You’ve already read a report about our visit to VOS Performance. Motorworld Böblingen is a place you must visit as a car fanatic. This museum and showroom is something you should see in your life. Owners can put away their car during winter while you will also find some dealerships in Motorworld. There’s a part with a lot of classic Mercedes models and a part with a lot of supercars. Especially the Lamborghini dealership was crazy because a lot of models were parked outside. It shows us why Lamborghini keeps on increasing their sales. Those who visit Motorworld should combine this with a night at the V8 hotel. This is a small but great hotel for petrolheads. Every room has an automotive theme. On our way to VOS Performance we also made a quick stop at the Mercedes-Benz museum for a few photos.
We already worked together with ASV Veghel before. In 2012 we made a unique report of the brand Maybach. This Mercedes-Benz and AMG specialist houses the biggest and most diverse models from the German car manufacturer. Special thanks to ASV Veghel .
Photography by Ansho Bijlmakers & Karsten Groeneweg