Our five favorite design study stunners from this year's Geneva Motor Show.
Across the board, the Geneva Motor Show had some brilliant cars on display. We've already gone through our favorite supercars and sports cars, and we've got a whole other series of posts on the amazing autos dotted about the rest of the show floor. While a majority are destined for eventual production, quite a few of our Geneva show stoppers were one-off creations that will likely remain the pure flight of fantasy. Given they're devoid of any creative restrictions, though, they're frequently among the most outlandish cars on display - and few were as avante-garde this year as the Techrules TREV.
The product of a Chinese engineering firm, the Techrules models on display at Geneva 2016 all showcase the company's turbine powertrain tech (the 'TREV' acronym stands for Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle). It sounds a lot like the Jaguar C-X75's system, but the TREV is in fact a range-extender hybrid along the lines of a Fisker Karma or Chevrolet Volt. Needless to say, it's considerably quicker than either: with a claimed 1,030 hp output, this carbon monocoque concept can reach 0-62 mph in 2.5 seconds, and top out at 217 mph. Those stats aren't just theorized specs either, as the Techrules is a fully functioning prototype, with plans to further refine the tech at shakedown tests around the Nurburgring. Needless to say, we're pretty excited by the TREV.
Another concept with eventual limited-run ambitions is the Pininfarina H2 Speed. This vividly-painted prototype not only stunned us by being a truly incredible piece of design (as well as being the only major hydrogen-powered concept on display at the show), but we were also made aware after our initial article on the Pininfarina was published that there are plans to turn the H2 Speed into a proper racing car. Pininfarina's even brought the former Formula One racer Olivier Panis on board as the official test driver for the project. If a proper, fully-functioning competition car is born from the H2 Speed endeavor, then we'll be extremely excited about the future of motor racing!
Not every concept car at the Geneva Motor Show this year will be funneled into a track-based environment, however. Some are more than content with being one-off creations designed purely to generate a buzz - even if some, like the ItalDesign GTZero, would make a pretty interesting production car. It already gets plus points for being a shooting brake, and has a faint whiff of Lamborghini DNA in the design if you squint a bit. At 483 hp, power may seem a bit weak in comparison with the Techrules TREV we mentioned earlier, but it's still enough grunt. You probably wouldn't want more poke than that in a car where the only physical controls you have access to from the driver's seat are the steering wheel and parking brake.
More driver control can be found in our next Geneva-revealed concept car: the Rimac Concept S. An evolution of the already barmy Concept One, the Concept S is (as you'd probably guessed from the 'S' moniker) a sportier version of its blisteringly quick road-going counterpart. Power is up by 253 hp to 1,384 hp, and weight has been reduced by 110 lbs - even though that still means the Rimac weighs in at just under 4,000 lbs. Still, that's enough for a Chiron-rivaling 0-62 mph time of 2.5 seconds and a 220 mph+ top speed. While the Concept One is now officially a production car, we can't find any word from Rimac that the S is one too - so, as it's got the word 'concept' in its name, it's staying on this list for the time being.
Rounding off our list of concept car highlights from this year's Geneva Motor Show is a vivid green coupe from a company you've probably never heard of. It's the DS E-Tense and, like so many other design studies on display, it's a full-on EV. Though DS has yet to confirm whether a road car inspired by the E-Tense is coming, we'd like to think it's at least considering that option. Having a positive reception for the E-Tense certainly helps, as does the fact the 400hp powertrain is based on the same tech that propels the DS-sponsored Virgin Racing Formula E single seater. If we never see a production E-Tense, though, that's okay - we did, after all, get a cracking concept car out of that particular brainstorming session in the DS board room.