Geneva Motor Show 2020 – Here's the electric and plug-in hybrid cars that were due to debut
Our A-Z guide shows EVs and PHEVs were going to steal the show
Update: The Geneva Motor Show 2020 has now been cancelled. Read the statement by the organizer here.
Geneva Motor Show 2020 was due to take place at the city’s Palexpo exhibition center from March 5-15. However, the event – which takes place for the 90th time this year – will run with both short- and long-term darkening clouds looming over its future.
For 2020, the organizers are already watching the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak in China with keen eyes. With many visitors expected to travel to Switzerland to attend, Palexpo SA issued a statement requesting that anyone from an at-risk area should ensure they do not show any symptoms of infection in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Geneva.
The show also takes place amid a wider rethink of the true value of the international motor show. Are they still worth the huge investment of time and money required by each exhibitor, especially when a bespoke event or even online launch can lure more eyes than an old-school show?
With the Frankfurt event now confirmed to move to its new home of Munich from 2021, Beijing’s 2020 show being postponed, and now Geneva under threat – the world’s three major motor shows face an uncertain future.
But for now, let’s see what Geneva Motor Show 2020 has in store for future mobility fans:
Aiways U6ion concept and U5 production EV
Why it is interesting China’s Aiways was due to show its new U6ion electric crossover coupe concept, but that’s been kept back in Shanghai thanks to the Coronavirus outbreak. However, while the showcar will debut on screen, the European version of the U5 electric SUV (pictured) will be taking a real-life bow at the event.
BMW i4 Concept
Why it is interesting Squint a little and this lightly conceptized show car is pretty much what you’ll get if you buy a production BMW i4 next summer. From the emphasis on aero efficiency, to the blue accents, to the oversized kidney grille, this is the car BMW will use to take the fight to the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.
BMW has confirmed a few details about the production model, including that the car will feature an electric motor, power electronics, charging unit and high-voltage battery all developed by the BMW Group.
The emotor develops 530hp while the 80kWh battery weighs 550kg and gives a WLTP range of 373 miles. BMW invested €200m so that the production i4 can be built at BMW Group’s main plant in Munich.
Dacia Spring EV concept
Why it is interesting Although it’s being shown as a concept, the Dacia Spring will be Europe’s cheapest EV when it arrives in early 2021. Although details are a bit on the short side, given the size of the concept – it’s 3,730mm long – the production car is likely to be built on Renault’s CMF-A platform.
This already underpins the Kwid crossover in India and the City K-ZE electric crossover sold in China. The latter car has a range of 155 miles, while Dacia promises over 124 miles for the Spring EV.
DS Aero Sport Lounge concept
Why it is interesting This luxury EV SUV concept features a 600hp, 400-mile range-capable powertrain that takes some unspecified lessons learned from DS’ participation in Formula E. The interior uses screens with ultrasound haptic feedback, and its fabrics are brightened by fiber optic strands woven within.
New Fiat 500
Why it is interesting The new Fiat 500 is also the first full EV from FCA. Although it bears more than a passing resemblance to its predecessor – and that’s understandable as the 500 remains the second-best selling car in its segment – the 500 is claimed to be all new.
The 500 features a 42kWh li-ion battery that powers an 87kW emotor. Electric range is up to 199 miles on the WLTP cycle, and 85kW fast charge capability is included for 0-80 percent charging in 35 minutes.
The newcomer also features Level 2 ADAS, including camera-based lane-keep assist, and is also the first FCA vehicle to get the latest UConnect5 infotainment system that introduces more connected-car features.
Hyundai Prophecy concept
Why it is interesting Following on from last year’s 1970s-inspired 45 concept, the Hyundai Prophecy takes the firm’s EV design language a further step forward. The exterior has been honed for the best possible aerodynamic efficiency – helping to boost range, while there’s some neat use of alternative materials like acrylic for the bodywork to help lower weight.
Inside, the Prophecy explores a new HMI, including joystick control rather than a steering wheel. A clean air filtration and purification system is also mentioned, which is rather topical given the reason for the motor show’s cancellation.
Polestar Precept concept
Why it is interesting Volvo’s EV subbrand takes its next step with a new concept that showcases how its design will depart from the mothership. This includes splitting the trademark Thor’s hammer lamps apart, changing the front grille for a sensor array, and even showing how rooftop LiDAR sensors might be integrated in near-future production cars. Sustainable interior materials and a next-generation Google Android-based HMI also feature.
Renault Morphoz concept
Why it is interesting Having done a good job of being ahead of the EV curve, Renault has revealed its new electric-car tech via the medium of the Morphoz concept. The firm calls it its ‘vision of tomorrow's mobility’. The concept is modular, so is shown here in City configuration with a 2,730mm wheelbase. In this mode, the car uses a 40kWh battery for a 249-mile range. However, the vehicle can extend into Travel mode, taking the wheelbase to 2,930mm, giving space for an extra 50kWh battery to be fitted, taking range to 435 miles.
While the extending wheelbase might not make production, it's a neat way of showing off the flexibility of Renault's new CMF-EV platform. This will underpin a range of EVs in the B+ to C+ segments, so those larger than its current Twingo EV and Zoe. Surprise, surprise an EV SUV comes first, later this year.
Rimac C_Two production car
Why it is interesting Croatia’s Rimac has been impressing some heavy industry hitters with its self-developed performance EV hard and software, with Porsche and Hyundai-Kia taking stakes. At Geneva, we get to see the production version of the 1,914hp C_Two EV hypercar, complete with a new name.
Why it is interesting The second member of VW’s ID family takes a step closer to its production launch later this year, most likely at the new Detroit Motor Show in June. The crossover is built on the MEB platform that also underpins the ID3 compact EV.
As a result, it’ll debut with a single emotor, rear-wheel drive configuration at first, with a twin-motor all-wheel drive model coming in 2021. Whereas the ID3 isn’t likely to be sold in the US, the ID4 is a proper global EV, to be built in Germany, China and the US.
Other debutants of note
The latest Audi A3 arrived, and follows the Volkswagen Golf Mk8 in going down the hybrid route, rather than full electric. A similarly-sized Audi EV is due in 2021, complimenting the VW ID3. The latest Seat Leon follows suit, with an EV previewed by the El Born concept coming soon. Cupra, Seat's sportier sub-brand, also revealed its first bespoke model. The Cupra Formentor is an SUV, with the option of a 245hp plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Not to be left out, the new Skoda Octavia vRS switched to a PHEV powertrain from the VW Passat GTE for the first time.
PHEV versions of the BMW 3 Series were also announced, as will a plug-in version of the new Kia Sorento SUV. Mercedes also unveiled the revised E-Class, plus plug-in hybrid versions of the CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and GLA crossover.