Pininfarina and Hybrid Kinetic Group want to revolutionize the EV market with micro-turbine technology.
At this year’s Geneva motor show, renowned Italian styling design house Pininfarina revealed the HKG H600 to the world, a luxury electric sedan concept that rendered the poor Porsche Panamera obsolete with its stylish looks and practicality. Now, Pininfarina is back at the Shanghai Auto Show and has teamed up once again with Hybrid Kinetic Group to reveal two more EV concepts, this time targeting the crowded SUV segment with the K550 and K750. Both take design cues from the H600, sporting near-identical front-ends.
As you would expect from Pininfarina, the styling is attractive and contemporary, yet wouldn’t look out of place in the real world unlike some futuristic concept cars. Shown in silver, the K550 is a two-row crossover concept with five-seats, while its larger K750 sibling, shown in bronze, is a taller SUV with room for seven occupants across three rows of seating. The H600 electric sedan also made its Asian debut at the Shanghai show. Like the H600, both the K550 and K750 are powered by an electric powertrain in development by HKG mated to a micro-turbine that acts as a range-extending power generator. This setup produced 800-horsepower in the H600 and an impressive electric range of 620 miles.
No powertrain details were announced for the K550 and K750, however. "We are very proud to present in Shanghai a new family of cars born from the collaboration between Pininfarina and Hybrid Kinetic Group,” CEO Silvio Pietro Angori explains. “These three cars express the Pininfarina know-how and skills which are perfect for the Chinese market: style research and development aimed at defining a timeless beauty in the best tradition of Italian style. Moreover, we give shape to HK technology combining design to environmental sustainability”. It’s hoped that the micro-turbine range technology developed by HKG will revolutionize the EV market, though similar tech was used in the Jaguar C-X75 concept.
HKG are claiming the technology boasts energy recovery rates of 30 percent and a range of over 62 miles. It charges the batteries at any time anywhere, eliminating the inconvenience of hunting down charging facilities, and can run for 10,000 miles before requiring any maintenance, with an expected lifespan of 50,000 hours. Pininfarina isn’t only being credited for the styling. As part of a $68 million deal, the Italian design house will be working directly with Hybrid Kinect for around 46 months and will be involved with both the design and development of its new EV family, so expect production models to be rolled out within the next four years.