Nissan’s LEAF electric car is now just hitting the showrooms so the designers are keen to show what they can do with a sports car.
The ‘liquid mercury’ lines of the ESFLOW are wow enough: long bonnet, wraparound windscreen and stubby coupe tail are both retro and contemporary – another sports car triumph for the firm’s designers.
Toyota FT 86 II/Subaru Boxer SportsCar
Toyota’s FT86 featured as a top Geneva concept a year ago, but this one is now much closer to production, both as a Toyota and as a Subaru. It’s the sports car for those looking for a change from the Nissan 370Z, and what a design punch this close-to-production concept packs. Get your order in quick before the cowboys bling the FT 86 up with styling kits.
BMW Vision ConnectedDrive
The visual impact of this BMW concept is unimaginable. Not since the BMW Z1 has such an exciting two-seater graced the stands. But the Vision is not just about the sci-fi style. It’s a total technology-fest, packed with every piece of advanced telemetrics you’ve ever thought of. And many you haven’t!
Remember when Minis were small? Well, the Rocketman is too, short though still as wide as the current Mini. Packed with clever features, the doors double-hinge, so they open back really wide. The cabin is ‘3+1’: two seats in the front are spacious, with a third rear seat behind the passenger, as in the Toyota IQ. A tiny fourth ‘jump seat’ lies behind the driver for emergencies. Weird, but true.
Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid
Volvo’s next generation hybrid offers step gains in the environmental returns that we’ll all have to face up to, sooner or later. A diesel rather than the usual petrol hybrid, the promise is 150mpg, CO2 of just 49g/km and 32 miles on electric power alone. Yet use both diesel and electric motors together and 0-62mph in just 6.9 seconds is possible!
Aimed squarely at the compact buyer who needs more space within the same footprint as a Fiesta, the B-Max offers sliding rear doors in a side with no pillars. It makes entry as easy as pie. The clean lines are attractive but the whole package is arguably unadventurous for a motor show concept. Vauxhall’s Meriva looks far more radical and that’s already in production.
Alfa Romeo 4C GTA Concept
Concept of the show? Definitely a top three contender. The 4C is more compact than it looks in the pictures, a situation enhanced by its flat burgundy colour scheme. It’s awesomely desirable, offering a middle ground between a Lotus Elise and a Porsche Boxster. We’d happily junk the fancy interior if Alfa could get this into production at a sensible price.
VW Combi Bulli
The sentimental crowds at Geneva love this VW, with good reason. Ten years on from the last Combi concept, this one looks far more likely to make it to production. It’s more compact than the original, but packaging is still remarkably good, with passengers sitting three abreast on bench seats that will prove perfect at drive-in movies.
Ho ho! An electric Rolls-Royce. Bizarre indeed. The British super-luxury car manufacturer has thrown the V12 engine and transmission out of the Phantom saloon and replaced it with the biggest battery pack in Christendom. 96 lithium-ion cells and two electric motors result in almost 400hp, and a 0-60mph time of under eight seconds. But no one seems quite sure yet how far it will go on a single charge.
This imposing, bulky coupe is so unlike any Saab you’ve seem before, yet the more you stare at it, the more there are definitive Saab details that catch the eye. We love the nod towards Saab’s fighter plane heritage, even if the winglets alongside the rear window ultimately looks a bit daft. Hints of the 2012 9-3 are here somewhere!
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