Image via Porsche
Most of the excitement at Geneva this year didn't come from the announcement of new production model cars. No, the task of riling up the auto press was left to the hyper-fuel efficient vehicle concepts trotted out by carmakers that represent the best prospects for the cars of the future. Thankfully, there were a slew of them. And most of these aren't pie-in-the-sky dream cars--many are models the automakers say they'll bring to production. From exciting EVs offered by automakers little-known in the states to plug-in electrics from industry heavyweights, here are the seven most intriguing electric concept cars revealed in Geneva this year.
8. Proton EMAS Concepts
Three concept cars from the Malaysian automaker Proton were on display in Geneva. All three are hybrid electrics that make use of the Lotus advanced series-hybrid drivetrain. The three concepts are a 5-door, 4-seater hatchback EMAS, a hatchback "EMAS Country" crossover concept, and a 3-door, 3+1 plus-seater EMAS3 designed for urban driving. These are exciting not only for the Lotus powertrain, but for the fact that Proton has sold some 3 million cars in Asia and could make major green inroads into its burgeoning markets should the EMAS hit production.
Image via Ferrari
7. Ferrari 599 HY-KERS
A hybrid Ferrari? Blasphemy. Paradoxical. Oxymoronic. Pandering. A stunt. I have just captured the mood of the reaction from auto aficionados upon hearing about Ferrari's hybrid concept. Details are scarce (though claims of emissions reductions of 35% abound), and this thing won't get made anytime soon, it gets a nod here simply for blaspheming and reflecting the fact that regardless of the reason (incoming clean car regs, publicity) a green(ish) car could even emerge from Ferrari.
Photo by Brian Merchant
6. Seat IBE
The Seat IBE, the electric concept car revealed by the Spanish automaker at Geneva, looks kind of awesome. No, that is not just this humble reporter's opinion. It is an objective fact. I mean, just look at it. Sort of has a Deceptecon-esque quality to it, no? Little is known about the IBE--I couldn't get the spokesperson at the show floor to give me any stats--but Seat has confirmed that the car will be made, if not before a hybrid electric version is brought to market.
Photo by Brian Merchant
5. Honda 3R-C
A joke, or a vision of a highly mobile, emissions-free future? Sometimes, it's tough to tell with these concept cars. But the 3R-C has attracted enough attention to warrant its inclusion here--many say they'd gladly take the electric cyber-motorcycle home. Others feel that it belongs on a set of (insert sci-fi film here) and will never see mass production.