2010 Geneva Motor Show: Wrap up
Luxury and performance brands embrace the electron
Mercedes-Benz's hybrid concept unveiling, the F800 Style, was not quite as close to the production end of the concept car spectrum as its German rivals' hybrid "concepts." The F800 Style is a design precursor to the upcoming remake of Benz CLS four-door coupe, with a plug-in hybrid gas-electric powertrain that can run the car for about 30 km and up to 120 km/h on electric power. As a hybrid, the F800 Style can reach 100 km/h in a little over 4.7 seconds, and has a top speed of 250 km/h. The F800 Style can also be powered by a fuel cell, said Daimler AG chairman Dieter Zetsche, "which would mark the first rear-wheel-drive production fuel-cell vehicle in the world."
Even Ferrari is getting into the hybrid game, if only at the concept stage, with one of the most high-profile unveilings at the show, the 599 GTB HY-KERS, a gas-electric version of the 599 GTB V12 sports car. Its bright green tinge allowed newspapers and websites across the globe to exclaim "Ferrari goes green!" even though the car is strictly a prototype tester. Still, Ferrari has an ambitious target to hybridize all its cars with the HY-KERS F1-derived brake regeneration system, and cut emissions by 35 per cent over the next three years, said company president Luca di Montezemelo.
Challenging the Ferrari HY-KERS for hybrid hyper performance audacity was Porsche's 918 Spyder Concept, a 718-horsepower mid-engine beast that "could easily become the next Carrera GT," said a Porsche rep. The Porsche RS Spyder race car-based mid-engine two seater sends electric power to both its axles, giving it all-wheel drive when it needs it, but RWD otherwise. The plug-in 918 Spyder would offer an electric-only range of up to 25 km, and average as little as 3.0 L/100 km, according to Porsche. That's assuming of course that you're not pushing the car's 9,200 rpm redline, tackling its stated top speed of 320 km/h, or trying to match Porsche's incredible 3.2 second 0-100 km/h acceleration time.
What can Canadians look forward to?
Besides the new Cayenne, other vehicles unveiled in Geneva that will appear in North America include its sibling, the Volkswagen Touareg, the sinfully styled Nissan Juke small crossover, the similarly sized Mini Countryman crossover, and two other small crossovers - the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and the Kia Sportage. Mazda's redesigned 5 mini-minivan, Volvo's new S60 midsize sports sedan and the almighty Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera will be on their way over the next year. Hopefully Audi's RS5 super-coupe and Alfa Romeo's Giulietta will also make the trip over too.