Green Update–>Geneva

March 3rd, 2010

Citroen SurvoltThere are so many hybrids and electrics at the Geneva International Motor Show (officially opening tomorrow) that we can’t begin to cover them all. So here’s a selection. Typical of the pizzazz at Geneva is the Citroen Survolt all-electric concept shown here, one of the hits of the show. Not to be outdone, Peugeot showed the SR1 hybrid concept, which probably won’t get produced either.

It’s worth noting that the auto industry’s increasing focus on green cars is “a huge leap of faith” for carmakers who aren’t quite sure what technology to bet on. Geneva has proven this in spades. There are cars of all stripes and concepts, each representing the tremendous gamble the industry is taking as sales shrink, China threatens, and Toyota stumbles.

GM, for instance, is putting lots more money into Opel/Vauxhall. The company is also extending its design range—showing everything from the Ampera (a Volt by any other name) to the Flextreme concept, which adds a little more zip to the same platform.

Audi A8 HybridAudi AG brought a couple of new hybrids, first the new A1 (pix here), which has gotten a lot of press as a competitor to the MINI. It appears to be a pretty sharp, if expensive (starts at £13,000), little car, with two turbos and two TDI diesels offered. No hybrid needed, says Audi. Another car in an already crowded field.

The A8 hybrid, on the other hand, (right) is being billed as “the efficiency standard,” says Autoblog, and it will give you 38 mpg, a real achievement in moving all that weight around. Is it me, or are the Audi front ends just getting ridiculous with their massive grilles? This car looks positively maw-like.

Lexus CT200hMore mundane and more desirable (to me) is the Lexus CT200h, a midsize luxury hybrid crossover coming to the U.S. in early spring of next year. It’s going up against the Audi A3 TDI in Europe, says Car and Driver, and will be based on a new platform (wishbone rear, front struts) that may find its way into future Lexus and Toyota cars.

From the practical to the preposterous: Aston Martin’s Cygnet Minicar was revealed—a toy available only to those who already own an Aston. Based on Toyota’s cheap iQ minicar, the Cygnet permits

Aston Martin to comply with tough new fuel economy and emissions regulations coming into effect in Europe by 2012.

Aston Martin Cygnet conceptWe knew there had to be a reason. The photo shows the car leering at the model’s tush, grinning from headlight to headlight.

And finally, the Lotus Evora 414E (click for photos) hybrid concept coupe, with two 204kW motors in the rear producing 295 lb-ft of torque. This car will be tremendously fast. Its gas engine is small, a 1.2-liter for recharging the batteries à la the Volt, and should have a range of just under 300 miles, says Lotus.

Okay, which one of all these green superstars do you want, and why?

—jgoods

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  1. randy
    | #1

    That Aston micro car looks like a lot of fun. Ok, I’ll admit I’m no fan of Audi’s styling. It looks more and more like an Edsel. (And yes, I’m old enough to remember the original.) With mini and micro cars now “in”, I’m hoping we’ll see a lot more fun and original small cars, as opposed to econo-boxes like the Chevy Aveo. It’s nice, too, that they’re almost too small to make into hybrids although full electrics are possible.

  2. Travis
    | #2

    I want the Cygnet! Of course, first that means getting someone I know to pony up for a Rapide or DBS…

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