The concepts driving change at Geneva Motor Show
The Italdesign GTZero is pictured. (Photo from Newspress)
Published Saturday, March 5, 2016 1:18PM EST
The Geneva Motorshow - an event taking place until March 13 and dedicated to the fastest and most exotic cars in production - could soon become obsolete unless something is done to address oil dependence and promote greener alternatives to the internal combustion engine. Thankfully, this year's show was full of ideas that are embracing the possibility of greener technology without diluting desire.
A plug-in electric shooting brake that aims to remain timeless in terms of technology as well as design. It has a claimed a 500km (310 mile) range, can recharge by 80% in 30 minutes and has 483hp on tap thanks to three electric motors funnelling power to all four wheels. No 0-100km/h time has been quoted but because it has four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering, it should be fun to drive.
What makes it timeless is its modular construction. The front and rear portions can be replaced to suit different styles of car and, crucially different types of propulsion - better batteries, a hybrid powertrain or even a fuel cell.
Pininfarina H2 Speed
For this show car, a hydrogen fuel cell was its starting point and the finished concept is an exploration of driving to the limit while remaining environmentally responsible. Externally, the race car draws visual inspiration from a host of Pininfarina classics but underneath it is bang up to date. Two electric motors drive the rear wheels delivering 503hp, a 0-100kmh time of 3.4 seconds and a 300km/h top speed. As for range, it is comparable to a traditional car with the same performance and the hydrogen tank can be brimmed in three minutes.
Techrules AT96 TREV
As well as being the first true supercar concept from China, this is also the first electric car to use a turbine engine for battery recharging and range extension. Current plug-in hybrids or range-extending hybrids pair an electric engine with an internal combustion engine to share the driving load or to regenerate the battery.
The TREV uses a micro turbine engine instead because it's more fuel efficient, compact and loses less energy to friction. So it has a claimed fuel efficiency of 0.18l/100km (1,569mpg).
nanoFlowcell Quant F EF
This car made its first appearance at 2015's show, but a year on the design has evolved and its unique powertrain technology is closer to production. The nanoFlowcell, which uses ionic fluids to generate the charge that powers an electric motor seemed like a myth only two years ago. But an electric car with all of the benefits - acceleration, torque, zero emissions -and none of the drawbacks - range and recharging times is edging very close towards production.