08 March 2015

Geneva Motor Show - highlights

Last week, at the Geneva International Motor Show, as well as the exotica like the Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 675LT being unveiled, there were plenty of announcements which continue to keep the world of sustainable mobility very, very exciting.  Below is a brief summary of the key news, in alphabetical order by manufacturer.

Catching everyone by surprise, Aston Martin unveiled a 4WD all-electric concept car, the DBX

Aston Martin DBX

Electric motors inboard-of-wheel, powered by lithium sulphur cells, alongside KERS, mean in a decarbonised grid of the future, guilt-free motoring seating four in luxury would be possible.

Audi Q7 e-tron
Back to the here and now, and Audi are launching their 7 seat diesel-electric plug-in hybrid, the Q7 e-tron.  The key stats are compelling:

  • CO2 emissions of just 50g/km
  • Official consumption figure of 166.2mpg
  • Range of 876 miles, and all-electric range of 34 miles
It has 168 individual lithium-ion battery cells, which combine to give 17.3kWh.  It's even got a heat-pump built in, so heat from the electric drive components can efficiently be used to heat the cabin when required.

Audi R8 e-tron

Still at the concept stage, but with 10 production-level cars having being built, an R8 e-tron takes on the R8's new styling, but has two electric motors powering the rear wheels.  

Audi R8 e-tron
It features a 48.6kWh lithium-ion battery, which should deliver a 0-62mph sprint in 4.2 seconds.  A range up to 133.6 miles will be very optimistic for any enthusiasm in driving style, which I'd expect is pretty hard to resist...

Sat firmly in the rarified world of exotica, a production run of 80 Koenigsegg Regera will provide the lucky few with a remarkable feat of engineering:

Koenigsegg Regera

This plug-in monster has the patent-pending  Koenigsegg Direct Drive Transmission (KDD), which is different to normal hybrid configurations.  The KDD allows for direct transmission to the wheels from a 5.0 litre V8, without the need for gears, with three electric motors providing additional direct power, as required (one to each rear wheel, and another to the crankshaft).

Another neat feature is BDM (Battery Drain Mode).  This calculates how best to optimise the use of the electric power, based on the car's proximity to destination and driving style, such that the battery is just about drained upon arrival - minimising fuel consumed.

It's not everyday that swiss-engineering is applied to cars... and to one that's powered by ionic liquids, but that's exactly what we have with the Quant F and QUANTiNO concepts.  They are powered by a nanoFlowcell® battery.

Quant F
The Quant F has a range of up to 800km, can accelerate to 100km/h in 2.8 seconds, and has a top speed of over 300km/h.

The all-wheel drive QUANTiNO can travel up to 200km/h and has a fully-electric range of 1000km.

VW's Sport Coupe Concept GTE is a petrol-electric hybrid, with a 3.0 litre V6 alongside a a 54bhp electric motor powering the front wheels, and an additional 114bhp motor for the rear wheels - 374bhp in total. 

The all-electric range is 31 miles, and 746 using the petrol-electric combination.  Emissions and consumption are claimed to be 46g/km and 141.3mpg.

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