For automakers, this year’s annual industry trade shows have been exercises in restraint. Their challenge? Flaunt the shiniest, greenest, fastest and most futuristic vehicles in their lineups, all while appearing frugal in a way befitting the gloomy state of the both industry and the global economy.
The 79th annual International Motor Show, which got under way this week in Geneva, has few world premieres. But taken together with the real-world hybrids and electric vehicles unveiled at the Detroit, Paris and Washington auto shows, as well as several concept cars developed with an all-things-possible mindset, they offer a glimpse of where the industry is heading.
The Car: Renault Z.E. Concept
The Trends: All-electric, aerodynamic design (example: small cameras instead of side mirrors), compact size, heat-reflective paint.
The Car: Rinspeed E2
The Trends: Dual-mode engine (for commute and city driving), high efficiency (59 mpg city, only 33 highway).
The Car: Magna Steyr Mila EV
The Trend: Electric and hybrid vehicle components (platform can be used for different body styles and powertrain configurations).
The Car: Mitsubishi i Miev
The Trends: Extended-range electric, quick-charging lithium-ion battery pack.
The Car: Dodge 200C EV
The Trends: All electric.
The Car: Opel Ampera
The Trends: Extended-range electric.
The Car: Citroen C4 WRC Hybrid 4
The Trends: Hybrid sports car, optional all-electric mode, regenerative braking.
The Car: Lexus Rx 450h
The Trends: High-end hybrid.
The Car:Toyota Prius 3
The Trends: Hybrid, solar-powered A/C.
Photos courtesy 79th International Motor Show: Geneva 2009 — Photo Galleries