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We reported recently on Renault's tease that an "EV surprise" would be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, and speculated at the time whether Renault would reveal the electric Renault Twingo ZE ... or another fancy concept car that will never make it to production.

Autonomous Vehicles

6 More Or Less Useless Concept Cars At The Geneva Motor Show

We reported recently on Renault’s tease that an “EV surprise” would be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, and speculated at the time whether Renault would reveal the electric Renault Twingo ZE … or another fancy concept car that will never make it to production.

We reported recently on Renault’s tease that an “EV surprise” would be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, and speculated at the time whether Renault would reveal the electric Renault Twingo ZE … or another fancy concept car that will never make it to production.

It turns out that the reveal was for just another fancy concept car, the Renault Zoe e-Sport Concept (maybe some of these features will make it to the production Zoe at some point, though?). This isn’t too surprising, as that’s what the Geneva Motor Show is known for — high-performance concept cars.

I guess this news is balanced out somewhat, though, by Nissan’s recent announcement that the new LEAF will be released before the end of the year. So, that’s one of two for the Renault-Nissan Alliance, right?

With regard to the Renault Zoe e-Sport Concept, the specs are pretty good (about what you’d expect) — 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, 460 horsepower, a lightweight carbon-fiber body, a fancy interior, etc.

Rather than do individual articles for the various electric concept cars shown at the Geneva Motor Show, we decided to just go ahead and do brief rundowns below. One of our readers dropped us the idea for a summary of the “more or less useless concept cars at Geneva” — the title seemed too good to not use, but hopefully some of these will lead to practical applications and products that consumers can buy. Also, we should probably note that a higher number of plug-in concept cars does raise visibility, awareness, and market demand for plug-in cars. So, there’s that benefit.

Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6E Concept

We’ll start things off with the all-electric Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6E Concept. Feedback on the concept may actually end up informing the design of a future all-electric model, if company Chairman Wolfgang Dürheimer is to be believed, so it may not be a completely pointless show of design ability as many concept cars are.

That said, since no actual details were released concerning the battery pack size and range, it’s hard to see how this could be the case as regards anything important.

The display at the Geneva Motor Show seems to have been set up solely to showcase the EXP 12 Speed 6E Concept’s “sexy” and “emotional” design “language,” going by Dürheimer’s comments in an interview with Bloomberg. That interview also noted that electric vehicles don’t “necessarily need to look like a refrigerator.”

Notably, if the concept does enter production, it will, according to Dürheimer, be released in China first.

Volkswagen Group’s Sedric (SAE Level 5 Self-Driving EV)

Next up is Volkswagen Group’s “Sedric” concept, an SAE Level 5 self-driving plug-in electric concept car and mobility service. The idea behind Sedric is apparently that the concept represents the company’s future with regard to its investments in self-driving tech, the on-demand taxi service Gett, voice control, and electric vehicle tech.

Overall, the concept isn’t much different than similar ones from other auto manufacturers. Though, it does carry with it the “luxury” qualities associated with German firms — fancy wood paneling imported from the other side of the world and a “language of design used to create Sedric (that) is friendly and empathetic, and is intended to generate spontaneous trust.”

And: “fresh air to breathe and a good air-conditioning system are ensured in a particularly ingenious design. Sedric really does have green technology on board: air-purifying plants positioned in front of the rear windscreen enhance the effect of generously dimensioned bamboo charcoal air filters.”

As an end note here, the press release for the Sedric included this gem that seems worth highlighting: “The Volkswagen Group has always democratized individual mobility in many countries of the world with its brands. The company will also make advanced technology and safety available for all with its new mobility concept.”

Feel free to complain in the comments for this, but … “has always democratized individual mobility” …? Who does the company think they are kidding with this crap? Are statements like these meant to make people forgot about the company’s huge contribution to public health problems in many countries (relating to its illegally high diesel car emissions)?

Renault Trezor

The Renault Trezor concept car is one that we’ve covered before, and it’s as stylish as ever. Though, you’ll never be able to buy it. Also, it’s in some ways rather impractical. But … it certainly makes an impression.

As we noted before, the Trezor concept is fully electric and possesses a 0–100 km/h time of under 4 seconds, as well as a decent enough range.

You’ll very likely never see one of these in person, and the model will never enter production, so none of this matters much. It’s too bad that Renault didn’t actually reveal the electric Twingo ZE as we speculated last week.

Toyota i-TRIL Concept Car

The Toyota i-TRIL concept car revealed at the Geneva Motor Show was a 3-seater, one not too dissimilar to earlier 3-wheel electric vehicles created by Toyota. The main “selling point” of the concept, I guess, is the “Active Lean” tech, which does what it sounds like it does … allow the body and front tires to lean by up to 10° for stability (while the rear tires that are spaced close together remain perpendicular).

The interior is a bit strange, as it seems is often the case with Toyota’s concept cars (given how common this is, I guess that it’s just a cultural difference) — the real passenger’s legs apparently run alongside the driver’s legs, for space-saving reasons, I guess? The electric concept model’s range is apparently ~124 miles, and it features a HUD (heads-up display) rather than a conventional instrument cluster. Self-driving features are reportedly part of the concept.


Mercedes-AMG GT Concept

I’ll finish things off here with a rundown of the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept shown at the show. The hybrid concept car (with no plug…) combines a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 engine with an electric motor (and battery pack) to offer an impressive 805 horsepower, and a 0–60 mph time of <3 seconds.

To reiterate the point about the lack of a plug, yes, the model isn’t a plug-in hybrid, but rather just an “ordinary” hybrid — all battery pack charging is via regenerative braking.

The concept looks fairly normal, and polished, so perhaps it will end up entering production at some point.

 

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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