2012 Geneva Motor Show Highlights Part 2

2012 Geneva Motor Show Highlights Part 2

With the public open days of the Geneva Motor Show almost over, let’s go over the cars which don’t have quite as much power as we mentioned in our first part.  Whilst most of the attention was focused on the supercars and SUVs of the show, there was no shortage of hot hatches and eco-friendly tech around…Though it didn’t seem as much of a big thing this year, the environment was definitely a focus of this year’s show.  There were plenty of EVs and hybrids, alongside some extremely efficient traditional engines.  Hopefully the lack of fanfare regarding the majority of these could mean that they are quickly becoming a normal part of the industry and accepted in the same way as more traditional motors.

Renault Zoe

Renault's new Zoe EV, set for release by the end of 2012 with a 130-mile range

Let’s start on a high-note, shall we? Renault had a great show in Switzerland this year, with the biggest news arguably coming from a nice little EV called Zoe.  The car was production-ready, and looks fantastic.  The 100% electric car boasts an equivalent power of 88bhp and a top speed of 84MPH.  The range is 130 miles on a full charge, though that is in ideal conditions.  The average user will probably get between 60 to 90 miles depending on the roads, type of driving and other factors.  The time it takes to charge this car?  30 minutes at a quick-charge point, but likely considerably longer from a home socket.  The biggest news about this car, though, is the price.  £13,650 once the £5,000 EV grant has been taken off.  That’s seriously affordable, and in all it makes a great family car.

Nissan Invitation

Nissan's Invitation concept, looking fantastic and most likely to replace the Note

Just as exciting, though not as feature complete is the Invitation concept, a more aggressive looking traditional engined car from Nissan.  Designed to be sold between the Micra and the Juke crossover, Nissan have targeted the best model to fall below 100g/km CO2, but say that all of the upcoming models will be able to wear the Pure Drive badge with honour.  Due to be launched early in 2013, there are no pricing details yet, but I’m sure Nissan won’t take long to announce a production-ready model soon.

Fiat 500L

Fiat's MPV based on the extremely popular 500

If you need a little more space for the kids, a pile of kittens or all that shopping you need to do, but don’t want to sacrifice great Italian design, the Fiat 500L should satisfy all you desires.  Based on the incredibly well received 500 model, the 500L will launch with the choice of 2 gasoline engines (Fiat’s 900cc Twinair and a four-cylinder 1.4 litre model) and a 1.3 litre Diesel.  Not quite as cute as it’s little sister, the new machine will no doubt find fans in its European home market when it comes to launch towards the end of 2012.


Honda's EV-STER concept paves the way for more environmentally-focused roadsters

It’s not all tiny cars or family cars running efficient motors, however.  Honda held the European debut for it’s EV-STER roadster concept at Geneva, after a great reception at Tokyo last year.  The biggest headline from this car is the lack of a steering wheel.  Instead, the driver uses two vertical handlebars which are meant to represent more of a motorcycle’s steering system.  This, however, should not take away from the specs, being a 99mph top speed and 0-60 in 5 seconds.  These are some pretty impressive figures for an EV, and it looks like Honda have given the project a green light for production.  I’ll have 3, please!

Toyota FT-Bh Concept

Toyota's full-hybrid, ultra lightweight city car, the FT-Bh

An international motor show would never be complete wthout some crazyness from at least one of the Japanese automakers, and we had that in spades at Geneva.  This is the FT-Bh, Toyota’s experiment with creating something ultra-lightweight, stylish and environmentally responsible.  All evidence points to the Japanese firm as being successful in its goal.  25% lighter than the Yaris, yet still using existing materials, the car achieves 135mpg and just 49g/km of CO2, making it ridiculously efficient with its hybrid powertrain.  Though there don’t seem to be any plans for production of this slice of awesome from the far-east, we wouldn’t be surprised if the lessons learned here don’t filter down into the production line, and that can only be a good thing, right?

Thanks for reading this post!  If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to leave your views below, and we will see you again soon.


Post a Comment