Geneva Motor Show 2019: Spectacular, to say the least!
Posted On April 9, 2019
“An eventful couple of weeks it has been in Geneva”, would be an understatement for all the spectacular stuff that has happened during the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS). Everything from high octane, growling supercars; smart electric vehicles or exciting new consumer cars, GIMS has it all to offer. I’ll be taking a look at some of the wonderful new cars (and new tech) to come out of GIMS to give you a glimpse of what we will be seeing on the roads in the near future. What are we waiting for, let’s get right into it!
Škoda Vision iV
Let’s start with a really interesting concept that Škoda revealed – the Vision iV. I know what you’re all saying… “it’s just a concept, we won’t see it on the road” which I can certainly understand however, the Vision iV is actually expected to be on the road by 2021/2022. Škoda claims that the version revealed at GIMS is in fact very close to the actual production version, so we’ll just have to wait and see!
Škoda has always been known as that one car brand that is super affordable and known for it’s value for money factor. Rather unfortunately it is also known as being a Volkswagen but with a cheaper price tag. Not anymore!
Škoda have really done it for themselves over the past half decade by introducing some very beautiful pieces of engineering: starting with the completely redesigned Škoda Superb B8 (which frankly still catches my attention nowadays), Škoda’s first SUV – the Kodiaq all the way to other new models such as the Kamiq and now the Scala! I’ve started seeing a trend here, a lot of firsts for Škoda which they haven’t achieved before.
Another … more personal remark, is that Škoda comes from the Czech Republic – as do I! Škoda has always had a special place in my heart and a huge impact on my development as a car enthusiast. Every Summer, my parents would rent a Škoda Octavia or Škoda Superb (as we would only spend a month out of the year in the Czech Republic) which I would always inspect and pretend to be a mechanic or engineer by staring at the engine bay for hours on end.
Škoda describe it as “the next step in it’s journey towards eMobility” which I certainly agree with looking at the all-electric powertrain sporting 225kW or 306PS (around 301HP). Top speed is limited to 180 km/h and can see 100km/h from a standstill in 5.9 seconds. You might be thinking – what about range?. Škoda claims a range of up to 500km – given that is a prospective figure, we don’t quite know what to expect realistically. The all-electric SUV also has an all-wheel-drive system which ensures optimal traction.
Lastly, the technology! No modern vehicle of this age is complete without all the cool tech and gadgets on board. The Vision iV doesn’t lack in that department. The Vision iV has what you’d expect with smart vehicles nowadays: connectivity, laser and radar sensors, assistance systems etc… The feature I wanted to emphasize is the autonomous driving at level 3. This is a huge step for Škoda to be implementing AI and autonomous driving into the Škoda fleet and I am definitely excited for it.
Now for some exciting news from one of the best hypercar manufacturers around – the Koenigsegg Jesko! I’ll be completely honest by saying that the Jesko struck me completely by surprise when I heard about it’s reveal at GIMS. Named after the founder’s father – Jesko von Koenigsegg, the new hypercar comes with some very bold claims of surpassing the 300 mph mark.
If that claim doesn’t surprise you enough, the performance figures for the Jesko will blow you away! The redesigned twin-turbo 5.0 liter V8 produces some 1280 horses on standard gasoline and a whopping 1600hp on E85 biofuel! With the Jesko weighing in at 1420kg (curb weight), this would give the Jesko a power:weight ratio of about 0.90 hp/kg (theoretically 1.12 hp/kg with E85 biofuel). That’s quite impressive given the nearest (realistic) competitor to that is the Rimac C2 which has a power:weight ratio of 0.97 hp/kg. We’re obviously disregarding Jesko’s older relative the Koenigsegg One:1 (power:weight ratio of 1 hp/kg) as the One:1 was an exclusive limited model which saw only 7 cars produced.
If you haven’t seen the debut of the Jesko, then you can watch the full 20 minute clip below:
Another thing to mention is the 9-Speed Light Speed Transmission (LST) which is a multi-clutch system that allows for impossibly quick gear changes. That applies to changing from any gear into any gear due to the several clutches onboard, unlike a common dual clutch system where gear changes comparably quick can only be done between the preceding and proceeding gear to the selected. This is revolutionary and never heard before!
The Jesko will have a limited production of 125 units and will come in two variants:
Track focused and downforce maximizing variant called the Jesko
Top speed and drag reducing variant called the Jesko 300
The Jesko 300 moniker symbolizes it’s potential in breaking the 300mph mark – a record yet to be broken by a production vehicle. In the metric system that’s just over 480 kph. As of writing this article, the highest top speed record on a production vehicle is held by the Koenigsegg Agera RS at 284.55 mph, as mentioned in my article on Car Wheels and Tires where I talk about the instrumental role that tires play in reaching the 300 mph mark. This would be achieved through
What else can Geneva possibly bring to the car world?
Italian car designer brand Pininfarina have introduced their newest car branded as a “hyper EV” – The Pininfarina Battista! With hyper electric vehicles sharply on the rise such as Tesla or Rimac, Pininfarina have stolen the spotlight this year at GIMS with their newest model! Similarly to the Jesko, the Pinifarina Battista is named after a very influential person to the company, the founder of Pininfarina himself – Battista “Pinin” Farina who founded the company back in 1930.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of Pininfarina because they haven’t physically released any cars themselves (at least for a while) thus the lack of recognition. To give you a brief history, Pininfarina have been around for almost a century and have made some very classy cars back in the last century. You might not know this but Pininfarina actually shaped the cars we know today – brands such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo or Maserati relied massively on their design factory. In fact, Pininfarina and Ferrari have such a close relationship that since 1951 the only road-legal cars that have not been designed by Pininfarina are the 1974 Dino 308 GT4 and the 2013 La Ferrari! They’ve had such a close partnership for over half a century now and have shaped the automotive industry! No wonder the Battista looks like it inherits some elements from Ferrari’s or Maserati’s design.
Now onto the actual specs of this hyper EV! This might be a surprise to you but the Battista is actually the most powerful road-legal car to come out of Italy – surpassing the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and even Pagani! The Battista comes with a hefty 1900 bhp allowing the car to get from 0-100kph in less than two seconds which is unheard of! Top speed is said to be around 350kph – about 220mph. The electrical motors have actually been co-developed with Rimac which are known for their Rimac Concept One or even their C2 as I’ve mentioned with the Jesko.
You might be wondering – “What’s the range on it, thought?”. Given this is a pretty capable beast, the 1900bhp monster has a theoretical range of about 300 miles (about 482 km) which although doesn’t sound like much, is relatively impressive given the sheer performance of this thing. To put that into perspective, 300 miles is about the distance between London and Paris – give or take.
I am incredibly astonished by the amazing styling and design of the car itself! This is no surprise of course as Pininfarina were in charge of designing some of the most beautiful cars that exist today. The Battista truly looks like a hypercar and I can definitely see a resembalance to the Ferrari 488 Pista or F8 Tributo in the front (seeing the S-duct and slanted nose). I’m not sure if you see it too but I find that it sort of reminds me of the McLaren P1 (although Pininfarina and McLaren have never had a partnership) – comment below if you agree with me or not. On that note, the rear of the Battista also reminds me of the McLaren Speedtail with the horizontal rear – again tell me if you see it too!
The Battista will come at a hefty price tag of over 2 million Euros and will come with a limited production of 150 units (40 of which have already been reserved prior to it’s reveal at GIMS).
What a Spectacular Year for the Automotive Industry!
A long but juicy article to commend the spectacular array of cars revealed at GIMS this year! From smart new consumer vehicles, a growling hypercar capable of reaching 300mph to the debut of a hyper EV from one of the most legendary car designers in history – what else could you get? The upcoming few years are integral for the car industry as we’re seeing a progressive transition to electric vehicles due to the shift in demand and most importantly the need to protect our environment.
With that said, I hope you enjoyed the article and if you have any opinions then do leave them below and I’ll be more than delighted to see what you all think!