Geneva Motor Show concept cars run the range from wonderful to whacky

posted on Monday, 25th March 2019 by Chris Jenkins

Automotive  Industrial design  Concept  Trade Show 

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While the annual Geneva International Motor Show is always a good indicator of what’s going to be hitting the streets in the following year or two, plus a chance to see the unaffordable supercars most of us will never drive, we’re always most taken by the strange and cutting-edge concept cars which will probably never see the light of day. Unless they do.
 
Certainly the mould has been broken by the coming of the electric or hybrid vehicle, which often throws out conventional concept of motor design in favour of cutting edge eco-friendly innovations. In the future it’s more likely that we’ll be driving battery-powered bubble-cars than gas-guzzling street-fighters.
 
That’s not to say that some of the concept cars aren’t unattainably expensive and exclusive.

Aston -Martin -AM-RB-003-4

Aston Martin-Lagonda’s AM-RB 003 sports car falls between the company’s Valkyrie hypercar and Vanquish Vision Concept supercar. It features the Valkyrie's Formula 1- and NASA-grade aerodynamics, but shares an engine with the Vanquish Vision, a turbocharged V-6 augmented by a hybrid system. Though the internals are taken directly from the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the new lamp shapes at the front and rear give the Aston Martin AM-RB 003 a look of its own. AM-RB 003’s design brief includes greater cockpit space. To achieve this it uses LMP1-style doors which open forwards taking a section of roof with them. The centre console has been widened, while luggage space is provided via a terrace behind the seats.
 
The cockpit conforms to what Aston Martin calls ‘Apex Ergonomics’. The centre line of the driver’s back, steering wheel and pedals are all aligned, while a display screen mounted on the steering column allows for the best possible view through the steering wheel and infotainment is delivered through a smartphone. Other than that the setup is extremely minimal.
 
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Both retro and futuristic, Volkswagen’s ID Buggy recalls the Dune Buggy of yore, and indeed is aimed at the same leisure market – the resilient and minimalist design of the interior is characterised by waterproof materials. The concept car is a pure 2-seater; however, the ID. BUGGY can also be converted to a 2+2- seater. It’s relatively large, and cheerfully matt green, with exposed wheels with off-road tyres, open side skirts, no doors or roof, touch controls on the steering wheel, and LED-illuminated VW logos.
 
Looking more like a smart toaster than a car, Citroen’s Ami One is a 2.5m long electric two-seater city car limited to 30mph, and designed to be cheap to manufacture and easy to drive. The symmetrical design features fewer unique parts, so the left and right-hand doors are identical, opening in opposite directions so the hinges can be positioned in the same place, and various bumpers and panels are interchangeable.

Citroen -Ami -One -Concept -2019-GIMS-Geneva -_MG_1170-1920x 1280

The spacious interior features a docking slot for your smartphone, with the idea that the Ami One could be an app-controlled hire vehicle, or a more personalized item, which Citroën’s head of interior design, Jean-Arthur Madelaine-Advenier describes as “For a new kind of traveler - it’s not meant to appeal to a car freak, ‘the aesthetic is different, it’s for a wider and younger audience. The Ami One is more like a “connected” object.’
British sports car manufacturer Morgan debuted the Plus 6, its first new design for 19 years. It aluminium and wood construction and overall shape make it pretty similar to Morgans past, but it features a turbocharged V6 engine, and an incongruous BMW automatic gearshift in the otherwise minimal cabin.
 
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There’s always one manufacturer with a flying car concept, and this year’s was the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer Edition Flying Car, costing $599,000. The Dutch company’s first 90 production models will be delivered in 2020, and feature dual controls, EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System), power heating, and carbon fibre trim.
 
Finally, and always worth considering in the ‘what car would Batman drive?’ category, Bugatti came up with the Voiture Noire, a one-off supercar based on the Chiron.

Bugatti -2019-GIMS-Geneva -VM1_0960-2-1920x 1278

A modern reinterpretation of the Type 57 SC Atlantic from the 1930s, built to celebrate Bugatti’s 110th anniversary, it features a unique exterior with Bugatti’s iconic horseshoe grille, aggressive vent design, large diamond-shaped LED headlamps, and revised aerodynamics. Don’t bother saving up – it’s already been sold, for $12m.

Chris Jenkins

Inside ID contributor Chris Jenkins is a freelance technology and industry journalist working for a wide range of consumer and B2B magazines and websites

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