It’s three cars in one: a station wagon, an electric vehicle and a supercar. Makes sense to me. It’s Italdesign’s GTZero concept, on the stand at the Geneva International Motor Show this week, and it’s right in line with the trend toward high-end, Tesla-chasing performance cars.
The GTZero is in the tradition of the much-loved (though not much-bought) Volvo 1800ES, a sporting “estate car” that the Swedish company offered for only two years in the early 1970s. It wasn’t exactly a Ford Country Squire, but it sure carried more than the pair of racing gloves and hand luggage that would fit in the Ferraris of the period.
Like the forthcoming Porsche Mission-E and Audi Q6 e-tron, the battery-only GTZero goes for range — 310 miles. That’s made possible by a lightweight carbon frame. There are three electric motors, one on the rear axle, and two up front, which means all wheels are driven. Here are the big numbers: 483 horsepower, 155 mph top speed (electronically limited) and 30-minute fast-charge times. The car also has four-wheel steering.
Inside, the GTZero is more like a 2+2, but the seats are configurable to accommodate both kids and adults. No, you can’t buy one, but cars like this sure add spice to the show floor. I’m noticing a revival of what we call a station wagon and the British sometimes call a “shooting brake.” As an old wagon fan, I welcome the trend. It used to be that wealthy supercar owners would take their Ferraris and Lamborghinis to coachbuilders and have one-off estates made.
It’s possible that the wild GTZero will never be built, but its platform seems readily adaptable to something more sedate.
I’ve already written about another electric supercar, the Rimac Concept_One, which made its production debut in Geneva. But if 1,088 horsepower and 220 mph isn’t enough for you, there’s also the Concept_S. Yes, more! It adds 296 horsepower (for 1,384) and reduced weight, plus a big rear wing to try to keep it on the ground should you be imprudent enough to mash the loud pedal.
Electric cars are really shooting off into the stratosphere, and it’s all Elon Musk can do to keep up. The Concept_S reaches 60 mph is 2.5 seconds, and 124 in 5.6. It will leave the Bugatti Chiron choking on its exhaust — sorry, forgot it was an electric car. They’re only making eight Concept_Ones, and I imagine the S will be even more exclusive. What, four of them?
Along these same lines is a new EV supercar from Sweden-based Koenigsegg, which is chasing the same billionaires as Rimac. The company’s Regera is, like the limited-edition Porsche 918, a very high-end plug-in hybrid car. It offers a five-liter twin-turbo V-8 coupled to three electric motors (two with 241 horsepower, one with 215) and a nine-kilowatt, water-cooled battery pack.
The $2 million Regera, with more than 700 horsepower on tap, can go 22 miles on battery power alone. And the car, limited to just 80 in this first edition, can rocket to 185 mph in 11 seconds.
Somewhat more modest was a sports car from one of the oldest (and smallest) car companies on the planet. Britain’s Morgan Motor Company, founded in 1910, is showing its first ever electric car, the EV3. Where the other EVs in Geneva are big and brawny, the EV3 weighs only 1,100 pounds. Motivation comes from a 62-horsepower electric motor, coupled to a 20-kilowatt-hour lithium battery pack.
Calling on its long history, the new and retro car is a three-wheeler with only-from-Morgan looks. Dig the third, asymmetrical headlight. It goes into production later this year, with a range of 150 miles. You should be able to pick one up for a mere $40,000, making this the choice for EV buyers who don’t own either a hedge fund or an oil well.
Around the Geneva show, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was very bullish on EVs. “Hybrid and plug-in hybrids are a transitional and bridge technology for about the next 10 years,” He said by 2025, as much as 25 percent of the company’s output would be electric and hybrid cars. And he was positive about fuel cells, too.
Audi has a multiplicity of green offerings, including the A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid now at U.S. dealerships, but in Geneva Hyundai also showed its determination to be an EV leader. Its IONIQ sedan was shown in hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrid versions. The Prius-like car will sell for $42,000 in its electric version, and offer 155 miles of range. The plug-in hybrid can travel 30 miles on a charge.
Europe has been getting its green on with diesels, but that strategy is now in tatters because of the VW scandal. Europeans have been slow to plug in, but on the evidence of Geneva at least that’s changing.
Here's the Koenigsegg Regera on video:
And here's that crazy Morgan: