All Charged Up
Every year at the Geneva Motor Show, the number of vehicles employing some sort of electrified component in their drivetrains continues to increase. These range from a basic gas-electric hybrid powertrain to plug-in hybrids to pure electric vehicles. This year Geneva provided a fascinating mix of ready-for-the-road vehicles as well as a look at what we can expect to be arriving in the next few years. Here’s a somewhat shocking look (bad pun) at the electrification of the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
Bentley Bentayga PHEV
In Geneva one of the most legendary British marques joined the ranks of electrification; Bentley debuted its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle — the Bentayga PHEV. The Bentayga PHEV can be identified by copper-colored badges on the lower front doors and the tailgate; a copper finish for the wheel centers and Bentley badges; and “Hybrid” on the door sill plates. Beside this special Bentayga was the Starck Power Dock, a home-charging concept that doubles as a piece of art, created in collaboration with designer Philippe Starck. The Power Dock is produced from pressed eco-linen with bio-sourced resin and is designed to store charging cables at home.
Bentley Bentayga PHEV
The Bentayga PHEV is powered by a new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine teamed with an advanced electric motor that works as both a motor and a generator as part of the hybrid system. According to Bentley, the electric-only driving range is more than 31 miles, and the battery can be recharged in 7.5 hours with a standard home outlet, or 2.5 hours with a high-capacity outlet. The hybrid mode can be selected by the driver with a choice of EV Drive, Hybrid and Hold. The Driver’s Information Panel displays E Motion information regarding performance, consumption and energy source, while the infotainment screen displays energy flow for each of the E Modes. The Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is not yet available to order, but orders will be taken in the second half of 2018 in select markets.
Hyundai Kona Electric
The all-new Hyundai Kona crossover hasn’t even come to market, yet the company has already announced there will be an electric version following shortly. The Kona EV made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show, featuring the same attractive styling as its gas-powered sibling, but differentiated by its closed grille that further accentuates sleek headlights. Following a style trend appearing on many new models, the Kona EV will sport a contrasting-color roof. Like the Kona, the Kona EV will feature the latest in entertainment, communications and advanced safety technology.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Hyundai plans to offer the Kona Electric with two battery / power options. With a short-range battery, the electric motor puts out 134 horsepower, providing acceleration to 62 mph in under 10 seconds. The range for the smaller battery is around 200 miles —commendable compared to other offerings on the market. With a long-range battery, the motor output is increased to 201 horsepower. This means the Kona EV can jump to 60 mph about 2 seconds faster and offers a driving range of more than 300 miles. Pricing will be released closer to the on-sale date.
Hyundai NEXO Fuel Cell
Beside the Kona Electric in Geneva stood the latest fuel-cell offering from the Korean automaker — the all-new NEXO. The second-generation of Hyundai’s commercial fuel-cell vehicle — the first was based on the Tucson — the NEXO is new from the ground up. Built as a 5-passenger crossover, NEXO features a stylish exterior with swept-back narrow headlights, flush door handles and a sleek roofline. The interior evokes a futuristic vibe with a wide dashboard that integrates two large LCD display screens. The NEXO employs three separate hydrogen tanks which improve interior space as well as provide room for a large, flat cargo area.
Hyundai NEXO Fuel Cell
The electric motor in the NEXO generates 160 horsepower, enabling acceleration to 62 mph in about 9 seconds. Each of the three hydrogen fuel tanks can hold up to 52.2 liters, which is a much improved storage density over the previous generation fuel-cell vehicle. Even with the increased capacity, Hyundai claims it only takes about five minutes to refuel the NEXO. Once fully fueled, NEXO can travel up to 370 miles — about 105 miles farther than its predecessor. Like battery-powered EVs, fuel-cell vehicles have no emissions; however, an added benefit of the fuel-cell vehicle is that it actually filters the air as it drives. In fact, when air filters through the NEXO, 99.9 percent of particulates are purified — a display on the dashboard informs the driver how much has been contributed to cleaning the environment.
There has been much anticipation around a Jaguar electric vehicle since the I-PACE Concept debuted in 2016, and the all-electric 2019 Jaguar I-PACE that debuted during press days at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show does not disappoint. Built on a unique aluminum-intensive EV architecture that uses advanced riveting and bonding technology, the I-PACE features a light, stiff body structure with a 50:50 weight distribution. The battery is positioned as low as possible between the axles for a low center of gravity, and with a suspension system that includes double wishbones at the front and an Integral Link rear suspension with standard Active Air Suspension, one could expect good ride quality and agile handling. With a long 117.7-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 184.3 inches, the I-PACE has a similar footprint to the Jaguar F-PACE but offers the interior space of a larger vehicle, thanks to the EV architecture.
The all-wheel-drive I-PACE is powered by two electric motors — one driving each axle — for a total output of 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque, which makes the I-PACE capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The estimated driving range is listed at 240 miles on a full charge from its 90kWh lithium-ion battery. Owners will be able to charge the battery from zero to 80 percent capacity in about 40 minutes using publicly-available 100kW rapid charging facilities, or achieve the same 80 percent charge at home using a 230V / 32A AC wall box in just over 10 hours. The 2019 Jaguar I-PACE will be available in three trim levels: S, SE and HSE, with the First Edition model offered for the first year. Prices will start at $69,500 when it begins arriving in showrooms in the second half of 2018.
Lagonda Vision Concept
The Lagonda marque has been part of Aston Martin for more than 70 years. There have not always been Lagonda automobiles in production during that time, but they have always been associated with the utmost in luxury. At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin announced that Lagonda will become a new luxury brand exclusively dedicated to zero-emission powertrains. As part of the announcement, the first look at what that could mean was showcased as the Lagonda Vision Concept. “We believe people associate luxury in their cars with a certain traditional and even old-fashioned approach because, to date, that is all that’s been available to them,” commented Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer Dr Andy Palmer. “Lagonda exists to challenge that thinking and prove that being modern and luxurious are not mutually exclusive concepts,” Palmer noted.
Lagonda Vision Concept
The Lagonda Vision Concept previews both design style as well as the type of technology and abilities that could be expected from the reborn brand as early as 2023. Designers of the Vision Concept were able to take full advantage of not fitting the styling around a large internal combustion engine. The concept is rather large with sleek lines but offers a roomy interior. Looking more like a living room than an automobile, the four seats swivel like lounge chairs so they rotate to face each other. Like many other advanced concept vehicles, the Lagonda is designed to be driven autonomously. The Vision Concept design accepts advanced solid-state batteries that could provide a range of up to 400 miles and be charged wirelessly.
Lexus UX 250h
Lexus debuted the all-new UX compact crossover at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, which will become the smallest crossover in the Lexus lineup. The first Lexus vehicle to use the brand’s Global Architecture – Compact platform, the UX benefits from a rigid structure and low center of gravity to deliver both agile handling and ride comfort. The exterior design aligns with the larger NX and RX models, but is more aggressive, with flared fenders and a large spindle grille that dominates the front view. The grille features a new block-shaped mesh pattern with individual elements that change shape as they expand out from the central Lexus emblem. At the rear, the full-width taillights include 120 LEDs and taper toward the center.
Lexus UX 250h
The UX will be offered with two powerplants in America, including an efficient hybrid powertrain, in two versions for the U.S. market: UX 200 and UX 250h. The UX 250h is powered by a new 168-horsepower 2.0-liter engine integrated with a new fourth-generation hybrid drive system with total power output expected to be 176 horsepower. E-Four All-Wheel Drive adds an additional electric motor at the rear axle to give the 250h AWD capability. Inside, UX offers the choice of two different grain patterns and four different colors. Both UX 200 and UX 250h will be offered as F SPORT versions with sport-tuned suspension and available Adaptive Variable Suspension. The UX 200 and UX 250h will start production this fall and go on sale in the U.S. in December, with pricing announced closer to the on-sale date.
Polestar has been building special high-performance versions of Volvo models since 2013, but now Polestar is being launched as a standalone electric performance brand. The first of at least three prospective models from the brand, Polestar 1 is a 2-door GT car with seating for four, built on Volvo’s new Scalable Platform Architecture. Although the car possesses clear styling cues associated with the Volvo brand — most notably the “Thor’s Hammer” headlights — the Polestar 1 is unique to the new brand. The Polestar 1 also is designed to be lightweight for better efficiency and performance — accomplished by extensive use of carbon fiber in most major body parts. Not only does this reduce weight, it increases torsional rigidity by 45 percent.
As a showcase of what to expect from Polestar, the Polestar 1 features a plug-in hybrid powertrain that produces 600 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid system consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged 4-cylinder engine that sends power to the front wheels while two electric motors drive the rear wheels. There is also a third electric motor that acts as an Integrated Starter Generator. With a total of 34 kWh produced by three battery stacks, the Polestar 1 can travel up to 93 miles on electric power alone. The Polestar 1 is expected to be available to consumers in the middle of 2019. Later in 2019 the Polestar 2 will go into production. Polestar 2 will be a midsize fully-electric sedan and is expected to go head-to-head with the Tesla Model 3. A pure-electric larger SUV-style model will arrive shortly thereafter as the Polestar 3.
Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo
At the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, Porsche provided a peek at the company’s plans for electrification with the debut of the Mission E electric sports car. In Geneva this year, Porsche took the wraps off the next step in its move toward electrification with the debut of the Mission E Cross Turismo. Where the original Mission E concept was configured as a sport sedan, this newest concept is designed to offer the utility and versatility inherent to a crossover utility vehicle. While there are clear styling tie-ins to the iconic 911 and the Panamera Sport Turismo, the Cross Turismo also features off-road design elements such as rugged wheel arches, bold door sills and raised ground clearance. At the same time, the E Cross Turismo still has the wide stance of a performance vehicle.
Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo
Porsche says the Mission E Cross Turismo will feature two synchronous electric motors that deliver more than 600 horsepower to all four wheels, and also will have Porsche Torque Vectoring with the ability to distribute torque to each wheel as needed. Acceleration is expected to be quite strong: 62 mph should be achieved in about 3.5 seconds, and 124 mph in less than 12 seconds. Porsche expects a vehicle based on this concept to offer a range of around 310 miles, and that a 15-minute charge produces as much as 250 miles of additional range. Acceleration will be strong, jumping to 62 mph in around 3.5 seconds. For now this is simply a concept, but don’t be surprised to see a more production-ready vehicle based on Mission E coming soon.
Granted there are numerous hybrid sports cars on the market, but the new Rimac C2 goes one step further by showing what’s possible with a pure electric powertrain. The second model from the Croatia-based car company, the C2 is stunning both in appearance and capability. The car features an electric motor at each wheel, all of which are controlled via the Rimac All-Wheel Torque Vectoring system. Each motor can be used to operate ABS, stability control and an adaptable all-wheel-drive system. Powering the Rimac C2 is a 120-kWh battery back that can provide a range of around 400 miles, or as the press materials point out, two laps of the famed Nurburgring at full power.
Full power is a lot in the C2 — the four motors combine to produce a mind-boggling 1914 horsepower and almost 1,700 lb-ft of torque. With power at all four wheels, acceleration to 60 mph is accomplished in a mind-blowing 1.85 seconds, reaching 100 mph in only 4.3 seconds. Even more impressive: in a bit under 12 seconds the C2 will be at 186 mph, having passed the quarter-mile in a mere 9.1 seconds. While the stats are beyond exotic, the C2 carries its passenger like a true GT car, employing high-quality materials in the spacious cabin as well as a usable trunk. Rimac expects to build 150 of these EV rockets.
This year the smart brand announced its entire lineup will be electric-only from now on. At the 2018 Geneva show, smart also announced it will be the first brand associated with the new Mercedes-Benz EQ family. EQ stands for “Electric Intelligence” and Mercedes already announced there will be several new models under the EQ brand. “smart is electric, innovative, intelligent and totally unique, or in three words each: ‘smart EQ fortwo’ and ‘smart EQ forfour,’” said CEO of smart Dr. Annette Winkler. “With the smart EQ fortwo and forfour, we are putting the first products from the Mercedes-Benz Cars EQ family on urban roads and showing how much fun electric mobility can be.”
While the smart brand is already electric-only in the U.S., by 2020 smart will only offer electric vehicles in the rest of the world. This is only a change in name and branding — the smart models were redesigned just last year. The smart EQ fortwo electric drive features an 80-horsepower electric motor driving the rear wheels with 118 lb-ft of torque. Estimated driving range is 70–80 miles, and a 7-kW onboard charger will recharge the battery to 80 percent in 2.5 hours with a 240-volt power source. The smart EQ fortwo coupe and cabriolet officially debuted at this year’s show in Geneva and will be on sale later this year.
Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Concept
It seems like a new I.D. iteration from Volkswagen appears at every major auto show, and Geneva was no exception. The I.D. Vizzion Concept is the fourth model in the I.D. family and possibly the most advanced showing yet. Providing a look at what might be possible in 2030, the I.D. Vizzion sedan offers Level 5 autonomy (the highest level), which means its “digital chauffer” can take complete control of driving tasks. There is no steering wheel or visible controls — the vehicle is operated by voice or gesture control — and with artificial intelligence, the vehicle is capable of learning.
Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Concept
As with the other I.D. concepts, the Vizzion features an all-electric drive system. There are two motors and two transmissions, all linked together electronically. The 111-kWh lithium-ion battery resides beneath the floor for better weight distribution and lower center of gravity. The front wheels are driven by a 101-horsepower electric motor, while a 201-horsepower motor drives the rear wheels for a total of 302 horsepower and all-wheel drive. Range is expected to be around 400 miles. Volkswagen expects the I.D. Vizzion to reach production in 2022, but with conventional driving controls.