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From electric to driverless, car manufacturers paraded their newest technology in front of the eager eyes of car enthusiasts across the globe.
Electric featured prominently during the week as Jaguar marked the start of a new era with its I-Pace concept car – the brand’s first-ever electric vehicle.
Jaguar’s engineering and design teams claim to have torn up the rule book to create a bespoke electric architecture, matched with dramatic design. The result is a no-compromise smart, five seat sports car and a performance SUV in one.
Ian Callum, Jaguar director of design, said: “The I-Pace concept is a radical departure for electric vehicles. It represents the next generation of battery electric vehicle design.”
The Renault Trezor, an all-electric GT, is also making electric cars look good with its low wide body. It has borrowed its electric motor and regenerative breaking system from Renault’s Formula E racing cars and runs on two batteries, each with its own cooling system.
The futuristic Trezor can be operated in three modes: neutral, sport, and autonomous. While in autonomous mode, the wheel will actually expand in width, to create a bigger screen on which the driver can enjoy a movie.
It’s unlikely to end up on the road, but some of its features may make their way into Renault’s production cars.
Meanwhile, ‘Autonomous’ and ‘driverless’ were the theme on just about every stand, including VW’s brilliantly-named self driving pod, Sedric, which has been described as a ‘lounge on wheels’ and is reminiscent of the little pods that carry you from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 Pod car park to the terminal.
Airbus also unveiled its futuristic flying car Pop.Up, a modular, fully-electric, zero emission concept vehicle system designed to relieve traffic congestion in crowded cities.
It’s multi-module design means passengers can take advantage of both ground and airspace.
The passenger capsule can connect to this four-rotored air transport module to whisk rushed commuters above busy roads and crowded areas.
In the usual race for power, McLaren’s new 720S (710bhp) introduced a new look for the manufacturer, with new mid-engined supercar aerodynamics and revolutionised driver visibility.
The Ferrari 812 Superfast was also on show with a collection of newcomers including Aston Martin’s hypercar, now dubbed Valkyrie, the Techrules Ren (1287bhp from a jet-propelled range-extender) and Singapore’s all-electric Dendrobrium, built by Williams Advanced Engineering, which created the hybrid Jaguar C-X75. Even Tata had a supercar, the Racemo.
Jaguar Land Rover unveiled a swathe of new cars including the new Range Rover Velar, which sits between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport and will go on sale later this year.
The Volvo XC60 also stood out among the scores of new SUVs, the world’s fastest growing breed of car.
The new Seat Ibiza made its debut at the show, along with other, more affordable, cars including the new limited edition Micra BOSE Personal edition, and the facelifted Nissan Qashqai.
There was also a new version of the Fiesta ST with three-cylinder turbo power and front-drive, which will be available from 2018. For the first time it will feature three driving modes: Normal, Sport and Track.
Meanwhile, Honda unveiled its new Civic Type R, which was well-received. The new model, which will reach showrooms this autumn, will see the wild streak of the previous model tamed slightly. It will have an engine output of 316bhp when it starts production in the UK this summer.