Design and engineering specialists strut their stuff at Geneva

  • 29-Apr-2009 12:17 EDT
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An F1 car of the future? Fioravanti's take on a design that more closely links racing with road cars.

The stands of specialist car companies at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show contained some weird and wonderful machines, but also some pointers to future technology for production cars. Separating the two may sometimes be a challenge as the search for novel solutions to complex environmental conditions continues.

­Koenigse­gg, from Sweden, showed a solar-powered supercar called the NLV Quant. The company and NLV Solar AG, a pioneer in photovoltaics and accumulator technology, worked together to create the four-seat electric car. A full-scale model was unveiled at Geneva. The two companies are working on running prototypes to scale up for series production.

They stated at Geneva that advances in electric power generation and storage, together with Koenigsegg’s design and engineering capability, would enable the Quant to charge the FAES (flow accumulator energy storage) system to full capacity in 20 min and give the vehicle a range of 500 km (310 mi). The additional power input from the invisible, thin-film photovoltaic coating that covers the body of the car would further increase the range potential.

The body of EDAG’s show car was made of basalt fiber, a lightweight, stable, and recyclable material. The company believes that it is the first application of its type in automotive engineering. Electric power (in the wheels) is used, and lithium-ion batteries add to its eco credentials.

Italdesign-Giugiaro showed an electric concept supercar called the Frazer-Nash Namir. Italdesign Giugiaro believes it to be the fastest hybrid car in the world. Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) dash in about 3.5 s and 0-200 km/h (0-124 mph) in 10.4 s. Its technology includes an 0.8 L endothermic rotary engine and four electric motors. The engine is coupled to a generator to charge lithium-polymer power cells. Overall output is 270 kW (362 hp). Frazer-Nash is a hybrid systems specialist.

Fioravanti says that it is recognized for its "out of the box" thinking. So at Geneva it showed the LF1, which it regards as a possible future F1 design based on "general simplicity," with links between racing and production road cars. It could fit the proposed 2012 F1 regulations for 1.8-L turbocharged engines, the company believes. It has 18-in wheels that would allow high-performance road car braking systems to be used, and an advanced brake energy recovery application that would make the car eco-oriented. Highly effective aerodynamics are central to the design, with innovative use of ground effect and downforce.

I.D.E.A. Institute’s ERA was at Geneva in what was described as "definitive" form. First seen at last year’s Turin Motor Show, it is a two-seat sports car built on a monocoque steel chassis clad in layers of carbon. It can be fitted with a four- or six-cylinder engine and front- or rear-wheel drive. A hybrid configuration is also feasible.

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