Green Cars and Concept Cars at Geneva Auto Show
    2013-03-12 10:00:00      Web Editor: Xing Yihang
This year's Geneva Auto Show is featuring a unique number of new and futuristic smart cars.

This year's Geneva Auto Show is featuring a unique number of new and futuristic smart cars.


CRI's Li Dong with the details.

The Geneva Motor Show plays host to the creativity of car designers from around the world. Some of the cars on show are fairly conventional, intended for the mass market. Others are more creative, and some even look outright bizarre.

One of the most talked about concept cars is Toyota's i-Road. It doesn't really look like a car. It is more of a three-wheeled motorbike with a roof. But Toyota insists that its latest concept should indeed be classified as a car.

The three-wheel car runs on an electric motor that can take you around 45 kilometers before you have to spend another three hours recharging it. So, it might not be the best car for long trips around the countryside.

But according to Robert Tickner, head of product communications at Toyota Europe, because the vehicle is designed to allow it to lean when turning means it can take sharp corners and navigate narrow streets and traffic, making it an ideal city car.

"The key thing here is that the car is only 850 millimeters wide. Plus, it has this very innovative active leaning system, which enables it to wind through narrow streets and very tights environments. So it's a very usable concept in an urban environment."

At another part of the motor show, Rinspeed is showing off its solution to urban traffic jams and congestion.

The Micromax concept car offers a zany futuristic vision of urban mobility by designer Frank M. Rinderknecht.

A map emblazoned on the exterior of this funky electric minivan belies a solidly digital interior comprised of a 19-inch HD infotainment consul with GPS, cloud systems to create what its designers call the "networked swarm car."

Its future is envisaged as a community taxi, bus or some sort of shared commuter vehicle in which passengers exchange information about their destinations and travel times on the cloud.

Christoph Reifenrath, a Harman Technology marketing representative, says it's all simpler than it sounds.

"You just download an app and type in your destination. There will be feedback from the swarm telling you about cars that are going your way. You will choose a driver and send a request to him. He answers you, and from that moment on after he answers your request, you get information on where you will meet."

At first glance, the McLaren P1 might look like any supercar-sleek, fast, and yes, very expensive. But the McLaren P1 is also a hybrid car running on both a fuel-powered and electric engine.

It has a 3.8-liter V8, twin-turbo petrol engine coupled with an electric motor that can take the car from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in less than three seconds, and from zero to 300 kilometers per hour in 17 seconds.

The Geneva Motor Show runs until March 17th.

For CRI, I am Li Dong.


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