The 2018 Geneva International Motor Show gives a clear insight into the future of the car industry and demonstrates how car manufacturers intend to bring this vision to life. From high adrenaline racing machines to self-driving electric cars and everything in between, the motor show proves to the world that there is room for almost anything.
When it comes to the motor industries vision of the future, concept cars are the best indicator. They give a good sense as to the overall health of the automotive business and the bold models on display in Switzerland, certainly nod towards a bright future.
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BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe
BMW’s Concept M8 Gran Coupe shows a concept car that highlights a totally different meaning of luxury for the brand. The manufacturers’ interpretation of luxury, believe it not, doesn’t involve a virtual butler nor does it run on rainbow dust, the car quite simply combines sportiness with elegance.
BMW’s flagship 8 series is much more than a sports car with four doors, it is a serious contender for the likes of Aston Martin’s DB11 and even Bentley’s Continental GT. Boasting dynamic styling, with muscular haunches, a gold-tinged grille, brakes and window graphics, plus a paint finish designed to wow, the company hopes that the M8 Gran Coupe can integrate pretty well with the premium car giants.
The new front end design, coupled with the shorter tail and flowing roofline gives the car a sporty coupe silhouette. The M8 Gran Coupe will be much more than just a ‘pretty face’ though. It’s engine, although not confirmed, will more than likely be BMW’s powerful 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, tuned by the M division to 615 horsepower.
Following the unveiling of the Concept 8 Series Coupe at Villa D’Este concours d’elegance in Italy, BMW has also indicated that an 8 Series Cabriolet is on the cards and although only concepts at the minute, the 8 Series Coupe range appears to be very production-ready.
Envision Energy EV Concept – GFG Sibylla
This car is the innovative idea of digital energy experts Envision, and GFG Style design studio lead by Giogetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro. The Envision Energy EV Concept GFG Sibylla is powered by the world’s largest energy IoT platform, EnOS. The platform integrates with its surrounding energy infrastructure, allowing the car to communicate and share energy with other vehicles, buildings and homes giving what Envision describe as a “flexible and smart” future energy system.
The car runs on four 100Kw electric motors with a 100Kw battery pack, giving a range of approximately 280 miles and 534bhp. Envision has also joined forces with sonnen, the German firm that already enables clean electric charging throughout Germany through its sonnenCharger.
The design of the Envision EV Concept revisits classic themes with a futuristic twist. Being generously proportioned and elegant in style, the vehicle has a sliding glasshouse roof and entering the cockpit is done by sliding the windscreen forward, passengers enter through gullwing rear doors.
Although the exterior lines of the car hint towards the 1960’s-1970’s seductive Italian design, the interior is 100% futuristic with a dashboard-wide screen adjoining a smaller screen in the centre console for ancillary controls and several further screens for the rear passengers, all with numerous touchscreen displays.
Overall, a concept that brings together design and energy beautifully with an exaggerated nod towards the future of sustainable energy usage in cars.
Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo
Porsche is clearly indicating that change is a coming as it unveiled one of the biggest surprises at the Geneva Motor Show. The Mission E Cross Turismo, labelled as a “design study” by Porsche, is a concept intended to gauge public opinion of an all-electric crossover utility vehicle.
Described by Porsche as ‘combining sportiness and everyday practicality’, the Mission E Cross Turismo is powered by two permanent magnet synchronous motors which combined, give a total system power output of 600hp meaning acceleration goes from 0 to 62mph in under 3.5 seconds and provides a range of over 300 miles.
Design wise, the exterior fits somewhere between the 911 and Panamera Sport Turismo, with a low, flat bonnet, curved wings and rugged looking wheel arch extensions, it undoubtedly looks the part of an SUV crossover. The interior shows a new curved infotainment system with three individual displays covering the width of the dashboard. The interior also demonstrates Porsche’s technological ability with an eye-tracking device that is said to make driver interaction easier and less distracting.
The Mission E Cross Turismo follows on from the previously announced Mission-E all-electric four-door saloon, scheduled for production next year.
Lagonda Vision Concept
When it comes to all-electric vehicles, the Lagonda is Aston Martin’s flagship and is being dubbed as “the luxury brand exclusively driven by zero emission powertrain technologies”.
The Lagonda Vision Concept is an epic, fully-electric, super-saloon with a sleek body and a plush interior. The profile hints towards a coupe, with a low front end and an exaggerated rear. Sweeping curves span the length of the vehicle making a bold design statement that was clearly not constrained by trivialities such as a combustion engine, gearbox and transmission. The four-seat interior is high tech and defies convention by using a mixture of both modern and traditional materials. The silk carpets and hand-woven wool upholstery, combined with carbon fibre trim and ceramic tiles, create a cabin that is luxurious and most definitely unlike any other.
The Vision’s exact technical architecture is still in discussion but the car is likely to be powered by two electric motors that will allow anywhere between 0% to 100% of torque to be deployed on any single wheel. Designers are also exploring the possibility of solid-state electric batteries, which could see the Vision reach a much anticipated 400-mile range. Naturally, the Lagonda Vision Concept anticipates a world with a high level of autonomy and is said to be capable of level four autonomous driving, meaning it can drive itself on all recognisable roads and in all routine circumstances. With this in mind, the Lagonda’s steering wheel is capable of moving from left to right-hand drive, and can retract completely, allowing the front seats to rotate so you can have a chat with your fellow passengers in the rear.
Subaru Viziv Tourer Concept
The Subaru Viziv Tourer Concept, with its muscular lines and traditional bonnet scoop, hints at being the much anticipated and long-awaited successor to the Impreza WRX estate.
The Viziv concept was actually introduced by Subaru five years ago, giving an indication as to where the company intended to go with its next generation of vehicles but never quite getting there in reality. At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Subaru revealed the new sporty Viziv Concept, a wagon for the future, which if produced, may help the brand emerge from its slump since its withdrawal from the World Rally programme.
According to Subaru, the concept has been designed with a boxer engine in mind, and symmetrical all-wheel drive. These features hark back to the world rallying days the brand was renowned for. Although, Subaru has also hinted that more conventional inline four-cylinder engines could be used and electrification is an important aspect to consider to help reduce emissions.