Show-stopping Supercars at the Geneva Motor Show
The Geneva Motor Show this month brought a range of new vehicles and new technology across all segments, but as ever, it was the supercars that stole the show, with Ferrari, McLaren and Koenigsegg unveiling new models, Aston Martin and Bentley revealing new concept vehicles, and nanoFlowcell introducing a very interesting all-electric concept car. These are just some of the highlights that caught the eye at this year’s show.
Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
Source: Bentley Motors
Bentley unveiled a bold concept at the show, the EXP 10 Speed 6, which signals their intention to compete with the likes of Aston Martin and Ferrari in the two-seater sports car segment. The concept vehicle is described by Bentley as a ‘British interpretation of a pinnacle luxury’, and if it goes into production, could be due to hit the market within the next three to four years.
The design of the EXP 10 Speed 6 is based on the aerodynamic shapes of aircraft fuselage and wings, in-keeping with Bentley’s heritage, but there has been a re-styling of the traditional front grille and headlight configuration. The concept also showcases some of Bentley’s new production techniques, such as 3D metal printing, and the company will use the vehicle to assess the public reaction to machine-made parts alongside hand-crafted parts. It was also revealed that the two-seater is powered by a hybrid drivetrain, although no further details were given. The automaker was certainly bullish about the prospect of the concept reaching production, stating at Geneva, "Performance goals, including top speed, are set to challenge competitors and set a new segment benchmark".
Aston Martin DBX Concept
One such competitor is Aston Martin, which also revealed a surprise in Geneva by showcasing the DBX Concept vehicle, in a move away from its core sports car market. The DBX is an all-electric four-wheel drive concept car, which demonstrates the Manufacturer’s intention to expand its model range and appeal to a new type of customer.
Aston Martin say the DBX was "created to defy conventional thinking about the luxury GT segment", and that the design envisages a future where GT travel is not just about luxury, but is also practical and family-friendly.
The concept is high on practicality, with four seats and generous luggage space, but also high on technology. The car is powered by electric motors mounted inboard of the wheels, running on Lithium Sulpher cells, and the steering is controlled by a drive-by-wire system. The concept also features rear-view cameras in place of mirrors, auto-dimming glass, and twin heads-up displays for driver and passenger.
Aston Martin confirmed that the concept is some way off being production ready, but that it intends to release a car into the segment at some point in the future, and the DBX gives us an interesting insight into the type of model that might feature in the Aston Martin range in the coming years.
Ferrari 488 GTB
Ferrari and McLaren both unveiled new models for the here and now at Geneva, with Ferrari lifting the lid on the hotly-anticipated replacement for the 458 Italia, the 488 GTB.
The 488 GTB will go into production in September, and boasts some impressive figures due to, what Ferrari say is a completely new engine. The GTB’s engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.9-litre unit which produces 660bhp at 8000rpm, a significant increase over the 458 Italia. The car lapped the Ferrari Fiorano test track in a time of 1 min 23 secs, two seconds faster than the 458 Italia, and can reach 0-62mph in 3.0 seconds with a top speed of 205mph.
Not to be outdone, McLaren debuted its 675LT, billed as a lighter and more powerful version of the 650S.
‘LT’ refers to the long-tail aerodynamic design, and the car features a significantly modified 666bhp version of the 650S’s twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8. McLaren say that the engine has 50% new parts, including new turbos, new camshafts and connecting rods, changes to the cylinder heads and exhaust manifolds, and a faster-flowing fuel pump and delivery system.
Carbon fibre has been used extensively in the bodywork and aerodynamic features, as well as other lightweight elements for the engine and chassis, which gives the 675LT a weight of 1230kg – 100kg less than the 650S. The increase in power and reduction in weight contribute to a 0-62mph time of just 2.9 seconds, and a top speed of 205mph.
McClaren confirmed that the cost of the car would be in excess of £250,000 and that just 500 would be sold worldwide.
Swedish super car maker, Koenigsegg, also used the Geneva Motor Show to reveal its new hybrid hypercar – The Regera.
It’s the first hybrid created by Koenigsegg, and is powered by a combination of a V8 engine and three electric motors – one on each rear wheel and one on the crankshaft. The manufacturer says that it is the ‘most powerful production car in existence’, with outputs that eclipse even the McLaren P1. The 5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine produces 1085 bhp at 7800rpm, and reaches 0-62mph in a remarkable 2.8 seconds.
Pivotal to that performance is the lightweight hybrid set-up, which features a new Koenigsegg Direct Drive (KDD) transmission that can reduce energy losses by up to 50% compared with traditional transmissions.
Koenigsegg confirmed however, that just 80 models will be produced over the next five to six years, and that each would be in the region of £1.23 million to buy.
One of the most interesting, and potentially exciting concepts at the show, was the Quant F all-electric concept introduced by nanoFlowcell. The company say that the Quant F is a re-engineered and re-designed version of the Quant e-Sportlimousine that was previewed at last year’s Geneva Motor Show.
The new vehicle is said to be capable of an all-electric range of some 800 kilometres, with a peak output of 1075bhp, a 0-62 time of 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 186mph. nanoFlowcell say that this level of performance is for demonstration purposes, however, and that performance will be reduced for production models.
Source: nanoFlowcell AG
The key to this performance is nanoFlowcell’s own technology, whereby energy is stored in a device called a flow cell, and offers the range and refuelling time of a conventional combustion engine.
Energy is stored in a rechargeable ionic fluid – one batch positive, one negative – which is circulated between two cells mounted side by side. Between the two cells is a membrane that allows electrons to pass through in a process known as ‘cold burning’. The electrical current produced by this process is then used to power the vehicle. The top-end performance is made possible by a capacitor-based buffer system which can produce up to 2,000 amperes when full performance is required.
The Liechtenstein-based company is yet to allow independent testing of its technology, nor has it released exact details of the flow cell, but it has gained authorisation to test on public roads in Germany and says that cars based on the technology will be in production before the end of the year.