Held March 9-19 at the Geneva Palexpo convention center, automotive media have been seeing several premiers at the 87th annual Geneva Motor Show.
The Geneva car show is best known for showing off supercar concepts, and this event is featuring a few electric performance cars that seem to be targeted at Tesla and a few startups from the U.S. and China. This year, a few of them have been electrified, one is designed for urban mobility, and another will be a combination of a self-driving car and a flying pod…………
Artega Scalo Superelletra: This German supercar maker was founded in 2007 and has been through a series of prototypes, starting with the Scalo sports car and Karo quad bike. The company said those concepts served as testing grounds for its first production electric car, the Scalo Superelletra, which was just unveiled at the Geneva auto show. It’s being built with a 120-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. It may be able to go 300 miles on a single charge, though that’s yet to be determined; and if drivers gun it like a race car, the range will be a good deal lower. Artega says it it will come with four electric motors, two at each axle, which combined can deliver 1,020 horsepower. It will go 0 to 62 mph in just 2.7 seconds. The top speed has made it up to 186 mph. The electric supercar has been developed in partnership with Artega’s parent company, German automotive electronics supplier Paragon. They’re using energy dense batteries that can add another 60 miles of range in four minutes, and 80% capacity after 17 minutes.
Audi hypercar: CEO Rupert Stadler said in Geneva that the company is working on what’s being called a “hypercar,” and which may be in the early development phase with a launch coming up at the end of the decade. The hypercar may come from the Audi R8 e-tron project that was halted about 19 months after being started up for development. That prototype test model was powered by two electric motors producing a combined 456 brake horsepower and 679 lb.-ft., with 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds. The new hypercar could be a rival to similar vehicles in the works, such as the Mercedes Project One and Aston Martin Valkyrie. (The featured image is another Audi concept released a few years ago.) The German VW subsidiary has committed to having three electric production cars on sale by the end of the decade. The Audi Q6 e-tron sport utility vehicle should be the first to come out, and ready for launch later this year. Stadler also expressed interest in the company’s role in the Formula E series and the idea of electromobility.
Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e: British luxury automaker Bentley Motors revealed the EXP 12 Speed 6e concept electric convertible at the Geneva Motor Show. Details haven’t been released on the motor or battery pack, but it will be an all-electric convertible sports car and the automaker is promoting access to wireless charging as one of its offerings. If rapid wireless charging isn’t available for a few years, the electric car can be charged through an auxiliary charging point that will be out sight behind the rear license plate. The compmany reiterated its plan to introduce plug-in hybrid electric vehicle models across the Bentley model range, which will start with the Bentayga in 2018. As for the EXP 12 Speed 6e, “Bentley is committed to offering an electric model in its future portfolio and we are interested to receive feedback on this concept,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive.
Honda NueV: Honda Motor Europe’s President and COO Katsushi Inoue announced that the European division will be following the Honda brand’s new ‘Electric Vision.’ Two-thirds of its European sales will have electrified powertrains by 2025, he announced in Geneva. The Honda NeuV (New Electric Urban Vehicle) will be part of it and was announced in Geneva. The all-electric concept vehicle will offer owners both personal trips and a revenue model for automated ridesharing when the owner doesn’t need to use the vehicle. Rolling out hybrid technology across of its vehicle line will be the first part of the Electric Vision; and the automaker said it will also make available a line of plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the European market. “We will leverage Honda’s global R&D resources to accelerate the introduction of a full portfolio of advanced, electrified powertrains for the European customer,” Inoue said. In other car show news, Honda announced that the all-electric and plug-in hybrid versions of the Clarity will be launched next month at the New York Auto Show.
Hyundai FE Fuel Cell Concept: The Korean automaker announced it will be launching its second fuel cell SUV next year – and it will break the world record for driving range in a zero emission vehicle. The company says it will go 800 kilometers (497 miles) on a tank of hydrogen. Hyundai said it will be 20% lighter and have 10% greater efficiency than the Tucson Fuel Cell (called the ix35 in Europe). Energy density will be improving quite a bit, by 30%, which the company said will be integral in boosting the range from 265 miles in the Tucson Fuel Cell to 497 miles in the FE Fuel Cell Concept (at least for now; EPA fuel economy ratings will probably bring down that total for the concept fuel cell vehicle).
Italdesign and Airbus flying car: Italdesign, Audi’s design and engineering subsidiary, and Europe-based aircraft giant Airbus debuted a concept car at the Geneva auto show that will be self-driving and able to release its passenger to a flying drone. A drone will hover over the car, attach itself, and then carry the passenger pod to its destination. Italdesign’s Capsula concept goes back all the way to the 1982 Turn auto show. The new concept vehicle from Italdesign and Airbus would offer the latest in ground mobility tapped into flying vehicle technology being tested – ideal for crowded city streets.
Lexus LS 500h: The LS 500h debuted last week in Geneva as an electric- and gasoline-fueled version of Lexus’s flagship sedan. The Toyota division hasn’t released the price, but it could compete directly with the Tesla Model S at a base level and go near $90,000 at the high end. It has a V6 gasoline engine paired with two electric motors, a lithium-ion battery, and 354 horsepower on a multi-stage hybrid transmission. It will come out as a 2018 model year vehicle.
Mercedes-AMG GT Concept: This concept vehicle has EQ Power+ designation, which indicates that the German sports car brand is looking at adding the new model to electrification of its future models under the new electric brand. All performance hybrids from AMG will carry this EQ Power+ designation. This concept taps into a combination of a gas-powered 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, a high-performance electric motor, and a powerful yet lightweight battery to get a total system output of 805 horsepower. The concept vehicle is being tied into Mercedes-AMG’s 50th anniversary.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid: Porsche world-premiered the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid in Geneva, and will be launching it in the European marketing in July 2017. The company is promoting it as the flagship in the Panamera brand for its impressive power delivery. It can deliver 500 kW/680 horsepower of system power and 850 Nm of torque. It goes from zero to 100 km/m (62.13 mph) in 3.4 seconds, and can hit a top speed of 310 km/h (192.62 mph). The power comes from a 100 kW electric motor combined with a four-liter V8 engine that can bring the hybrid system 550 in horsepower.
Renault Zoe e-Sport: The Zoe e-Sport Concept displayed at the Geneva car show brings together the automaker’s commitment to electric vehicles with winning two titles in FIA Formula E races. The e-Sport Concept will be built on the Zoe all-electric car’s platform and will have some of the same aerodynamic design and styling of the Renault e.dams team’s Formula E single-seaters. It will also utilize lightweight carbon fiber, as does Renault e.dams’ racer. The Renault e-Sport is powered by two motors that deliver a total of 340 kW of power. It will come with two batteries for energy storage with a total capacity of 40 kWh.
Toyota i-TRIL: Toyota’s urban mobility concept vehicle, the new electric i-TRIL concept, debuted globally at the Geneva Motor Show. It’s been designed to be smaller than other specialized cars ideal for roaming through crowded city streets and parking garages. The market will be SMESTO (Small to Medium Sized TOwns) in which Toyota references European Union studies. The automaker thinks that these types of cities in Europe and other markets will be ideal.