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2017 Geneva Auto Show: 6 Speedy Picks for Under $60,000

Looking for a fun car or SUV in which to shuttle your family? Check out these six performance-oriented models that are coming to America.

Normally, the annual Geneva Motor Show showcases vehicles that won’t come to the U.S., along with ridiculously priced supercars that might get your adrenalin pumping but that you’ll never see on public roads let alone in your own driveway.

Naturally, this trend continued in 2017, but automakers also rolled out six new America-bound, performance-oriented models with at least four doors, a back seat big enough for kids, and a price tag under $60,000.

Intrigued? Check out what’s headed for the States starting in a matter of weeks, listed in alphabetical order.

2018 Ford Fiesta ST

2018 Ford Fiesta ST in Liquid Blue paint
The 2018 Ford Fiesta ST is the epitome of a modern pocket rocket: Small, quick, and likely to prove deliriously fun.

A redesigned Ford Fiesta is coming for 2018, and as revealed in Geneva, the racy Fiesta ST will return. It’s shown in 3-door format above, but will have an extra set of doors in the U.S. market.

Look for a turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine (that’s not a typo) making 180 horsepower, a manual gearbox, and Normal, Sport, and Track driving modes. Acceleration to 60 mph takes a reported 6.7 seconds, but, like any tiny but quick car, the Fiesta ST likely feels faster than that.

Ford also tweaks the suspension, steering, and brakes, and the ST rides on 18-inch wheels with stickier tires. The raspy exhaust breathes from twin outlets tucked into the right side of the rear bumper.

Styling is subdued, as is Ford tradition. No point in drawing undue attention to shenanigans, now is there? Inside, Recaro performance seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel indicate sporting intentions, and the Fiesta ST is equipped with a Sync 3 infotainment system and a B&O Play audio system.

2017 Honda Civic Type R

2017 Honda Civic Type R in White paint
Ever wanted a 300+ horsepower Civic from the factory? With the arrival of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R, your dream has come true. The price will be about $35,000, give or take.

Stylistically, the new 2017 Honda Civic Type R takes the opposite approach from the Fiesta ST. You absolutely cannot miss this car, thanks to its flared bodywork, air intakes, fender vents, oversized rear wing, huge triple-outlet exhaust protruding from the center of the rear valence panel, and red-accented everything.

The Civic Type R backs up the wild styling with improbable performance potential. A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine cranks 306 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque to the front wheels through a manual gearbox and a helical limited slip differential.

Additionally, Honda installs a unique front suspension design in this version of the Civic, adds adaptive suspension and adaptive variable ratio steering, and stiffens the car’s architecture in order to ensure otherworldly handling. Brembo brake calipers squeeze 13.8-inch cross-drilled front discs, and the car sits on massive 20-inch wheels shod with summer performance tires. Drivers can also select between Comfort, Sport, and +R driving modes.

Inside, the front seats feature extra-large bolsters and racing harness pass-throughs. Red accents are everywhere, along with aluminum and simulated carbon fiber. Also, don’t forget that the new Civic Type R is based on the Civic hatchback, which means it has a big trunk with the added utility of folding seats.

Honda says the Type R goes on sale in the U.S. in time for summer driving fun, and that the price will be in the mid-$30,000 range. With this performance, and this utility, at this price, what car enthusiast parent would want to drive a crossover SUV?

2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400

2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 in Red
Infiniti continues its relentless pursuit of performance by updating and upgrading the 2018 Q50, seen here in Red Sport 400 trim.

Infiniti announced a handful of changes to its Q50 lineup in Geneva. The styling is freshened up to give the sport sedan a bolder look similar to the new Q60 coupe, so the grille is more pronounced, the headlights appear sharper, and the taillights are tidier.

The versions of the car you’re most likely to want, the Sport trim or, ideally, the twin-turbocharged Red Sport 400 with plenty of horsepower and torque, are visually set apart from the new Pure and Luxe versions of the Q50, and Infiniti takes the Q50 Red Sport 400 even further with upgraded interior finishes and quilted leather seat bolsters.

The company also announced that its driver assistance and collision avoidance technologies would be grouped under new ProPilot branding.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar in Gray
The new 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar looks more expensive than it is. Priced from around $50,000, it ain’t exactly affordable, either.

Land Rover says that the base price of the most basic version of the new 2018 Range Rover Velar will slide in just under $50,000. It looks more expensive than that, doesn’t it?

Size wise, this is a 5-passenger SUV that slots into the Range Rover lineup between the Evoque and the Sport. It shares its platform, powertrains, and technology with the Jaguar F-Pace, and offers as much as 61.1 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded down.

Six versions are for sale, but you’re going to want to focus on the R-Dynamic models equipped with the supercharged V6 engine that makes nearly 300 horsepower. Acceleration with this power plant requires 5.6 seconds to reach 60 mph. Surprisingly, that’s not even a second quicker than the standard turbocharged, 247-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that comes standard in the lighter base models.

While the Range Rover Velar is speedy enough on pavement, it also shines off-road, bringing to bear an impressive arsenal of 4-wheeling hardware and software.

Granted, for 50 grand you’re not going to get the Range Rover Velar that you really want. But with this styling and the cachet associated with the brand, blowing another $25,000 on extras still represents value…in some warped and twisted alternate reality.

Y’know, like Los Angeles.

2018 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line

2018 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line in Yellow
Replacing the unloved CC in VW’s lineup, the 2018 Volkswagen Arteon blends style, utility, and performance in a family-friendly package. Think Audi A7, but less expensive.

If you’re like me, the Audi A7 (or better yet, the S7 or RS 7) is a dream car. It’s got room for the kids. It’s got a rear hatch and folding seats for carrying stuff. It’s rakishly handsome. And, with the right engine, it’s rapaciously fast.

Next year, Volkswagen will provide you with a bargain alternative. The new Arteon, which arrives for the 2018 or 2019 model year, is a 5-passenger sedan with fastback styling, a handy hatch that can ingest up to 55 cu.-ft. of cargo with the rear seats folded down, and potentially thrilling driving dynamics.

Undeniably stylish inside and out, the version of the Arteon you would want is pictured here. This is the sporty R-Line variant, which is offered with a turbocharged, 276-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, a crisp-shifting dual-clutch automated manual gearbox, and all-wheel drive.

Based on the same vehicle architecture used by the new Audi A5 Sportback, itself a less expensive take on the Audi A7 recipe, the Volkswagen Arteon shares components and technologies with its quad-ringed cousin. However, it is arguably more artfully rendered, which might have something to do with how it got its name.

2018 Volvo XC60

2018 Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine Plug-in Hybrid in White
The redesigned 2018 Volvo XC60 looks familiar, but only because it’s basically a shrink-wrapped Volvo XC90. Same platform, same engines, same technologies, different dimensions.

If you think you’re looking at a photo of Volvo’s award-winning XC90 SUV, guess again. That’s the new 2018 Volvo XC60 in R-Design trim and equipped with giant, oversized wheels that likely grip extraordinarily well in corners.

Built on the same architecture as the XC90, but scaled down to a smaller size, the redesigned XC60 is available in T5, T6, and T8 Twin Engine model series. Trim lines include base Momentum, upscale Inscription, and sporty R-Design.

Skip the T5 and head straight for the XC60 T6 R-Design, which has a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine producing well over 300 horsepower and a similar amount of torque. Or, you could get the XC60 T8 Twin Engine model, which has a plug-in hybrid drivetrain making more than 400 horsepower while improving fuel economy and providing pure electric propulsion for short distances.

Perhaps more important, Volvo calls the 5-passenger XC60 one of the safest vehicles it has ever built, and that says plenty given the company’s dedication to creating cars and SUVs that will protect you and your loved ones in the event of a collision.

Image copyrights are held by each automaker, and are to be used for editorial purposes only.

To read more about the vehicles debuting at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, see my work for J.D. Power or visit New York Daily News Autos.

By Christian Wardlaw

A driving enthusiast and father of four, I've got 25 years of experience working in automotive journalism. Currently, I contribute content to CarGurus, J.D. Power Cars and Kelley Blue Book. When I'm not working, I'm doing something fun with my family, preferably in Hawaii.

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