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BMW, like any major automaker, will deploy a whole bunch of electric cars at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. This isn’t surprising us at all, but what’s interesting is that the Bavarian brand chooses to concentrate on its hybrid and electric offerings, like the highly-anticipated 330e, the 745e, and the X5 xDrive45e that will share the drivetrain with the facelifted PHEV 7er.
Is the writing on the wall for gas-powered cars? The answer may still be no, but it’s clear that every big player in the automotive world wants to prove to its customers, as well as its peers and the environmental agencies, that hybrid models and all-out electric cars represent an increasing share of its offering. BMW is a leading example, not only with its i family of electric cars but also with its growing variety of hybrids. However, for those who aren’t excited about electric motors and the like, BMW will also display the tasteful M850i Individual Night Sky model under the limelight at Geneva.
Pininfarina, the company best well known for its association with Ferrari, wants to break free from under the shade of the Prancing Horse and make a name for itself as the builder of the fastest car to come out of Italy. The name of this car? Battista, like the name of the company’s founder. The numbers that should firmly plant this car on the map? 1,900 horsepower and 1,696 pound-feet, a 0 to 62 mph sprint in less than two seconds, and a top speed of about 250 mph. All done by an EV powertrain that’s capable of running over 300 miles between charges.
Reading those numbers it’s easy to dismiss the Pininfarina Battista as just another ludicrous car that will never actually become reality. Something like the Devel Sixteen, the Arabian hypercar that packs a V-16 engine that’s capable of 5,000 horsepower. That one was supposedly slated to start final testing this month. Or the equally insane Vector WX-8, Jerry Wiegert’s project that should’ve brought his once proud company back from the dead. He said 12 years ago that a 10-liter, twin-turbocharged, V-8 will power the car and that it will crank out 1,850 horsepower. More recently, Wiegert sold his two WX-3 prototypes to fund the project.
But the Battista is a more serious offering than both those elusive creations. First off, Pininfarina was bought by Mahindra four years ago for $190.6 million and, as we know, Mahindra has the financial power to throw cash at a project like this if so desires. With Pininfarina aiming to build just 150 of these, 50 dedicated to each of its three markets: Europe, America, and the Middle-East, we can expect people to actually come forth with pre-orders once it gets revealed at Geneva in a couple of weeks.
The Skoda Vision iV is a concept car that previews the company’s entry on the electric car market with a vehicle built on Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform. Although it’s aggressive and futuristic exterior looks familiar, drawing cues from previous Skoda concepts, the interior is unique and innovative for the Czech brand. Set to be unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the Vision iV is part of Skoda’s recently announced plans to invest around €2 billion in electrification and launch 10 EV and hybrid vehicles by 2022. The Vision iV won’t make it into production as is, but it provides hints as to how future Skoda cars will look inside and out. The concept has yet to break cover, but we have a few sketches and some information to look at until the Geneva Motor Show kicks off.
The days of Koenigsegg holding court as one of the most exclusive automakers in the world could come to an end soon. A report from Bloomberg revealed that the Swedish automaker plans to boost its output of performance cars to hundreds of models per year by 2022. Making up most of this increased output is a new “entry-level” supercar that Koenigsegg promises will feature an engine that has better acceleration and efficiency. This yet-to-be-identified model will command a price of $1 million per unit. The goal, according to company boss Christian von Koenigsegg, is to put the company in equal footing with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini.
Peugeot will bring a high performance electrified version of the 508 sedan to the 2019 Geneva motor show, although, sadly, like other previous bonkers fast electrified Peugeot concepts, it probably won’t see the production line. And, that’s a pity, because the 508 looks like it goes much faster than it actually does and this injection of extra go is just what it needs.
If you are a true car enthusiast, you need to own an Alfa Romeo at least once in your lifetime. Driving the Stelvio Quadrifoglio really proves that the Alfa Romeo experience is still there. But, most importantly, the Stelvio feels special, and that really sets it apart from everything else. We spent a few days with the Stelvio and could not get enough, and that was just driving around town. If there was a race track around, we probably would not stop until there was no fuel or tires left. The Stelvio, at least in the Quadrifloglio configuration, is just a beautifully crafted machine that begs to be driven.
When seen from a bird’s eye view, Nissan is actually managing its crossover portfolio quite well. At the entry-level, the Japanese automaker has the Kicks and, at the top, it has the Nissan Rogue. Nissan had the Juke to fill the gap in between, but the model was discontinued a couple of years back. Although it looked like the Kicks will have to manage two duties, Nissan quickly came up with a much better replacement for the Juke in the form of the Nissan Rogue Sport. The Rogue Sport was specially designed for the U.S. market and is not being sold anywhere else.
Volkswagen is approaching the end of the development phase of the new Volkswagen Golf 8 - the most connected Golf of all time. But before I proceed with bombarding you with all the incredible things I’ve learned about it, let me just give you a glimpse of its importance through my experience.
It was 2004, my finishing year of elementary school when Volkswagen revealed the Golf MkV GTI. I remember that day vividly because that was the day I was directly exposed to the culture of the Volkswagen Golf aficionados that I subconsciously wanted to avoid. That day, during recess, one kid came running in the schoolyard carrying a ProAuto car magazine in his hands and basically yelling, “New GTI, New GTI.” He did not buy lunch out of his pocket money, but a car magazine with a GTI on its cover. Every single kid that had heard him charged at him to see what kind of a Golf the new GTIwill be. I ran too. I was struggling to see what the new Golf looks like and we all jostled each other to get a glimpse of the car.
That moment alone changed my perception of Golf for a lifetime. And, believe it or not, that car magazine I was telling you about - I started working there some years later.
Now, exactly 15 years after I saw the Golf MkV GTI for the first time, I have the opportunity to witness the reveal of the Golf 8 (and I believe the GTI). 15 years ago, Volkswagen proudly chanted in its press release “It is [Golf GTI] stronger, better and more sought after than ever.” The Golf MkVIII will be exactly that - stronger, better and more sought after than ever. But also, more connected than ever.
Audi has offered a system called Traffic Light Information (TLI) on some of its models since 2015 (i...
The 2019 Geneva Motor Show is only two weeks away, and automakers are already rolling out teasers of vehicles they will showcase in Switzerland. Among them, there’s the Aston Martin Project 003, a new hypercar that the British firm is looking to launch in 2021. We only have a teaser shot and little info right now, but Project 003 looks and sounds exciting, to say the least.