A look at some of the concepts of the 2010 Geneva auto show.
Vehicle type: Hybrid sedan
Engine: 2.0-liter TFSI 4-cylinder gasoline engine paired with a 33-kilowatt electric motor
Who designed it: Wolfgang Egger
What's cool: This “engineering study” is expected to be a full two-mode hybrid capable of moving itself under engine power, electrical power or a combination of both. Power is supplied by a lithium ion battery pack mounted in the rear of the car. Ancillaries such as the power steering, air-conditioner compressor and brake vacuum are electrically run rather than engine-driven. Average fuel consumption is 38 mpg.
Will it be built? Likely at the end of next year.
Show reaction: Audi showed Geneva it is serious about hybrids and electrification.
Vehicle type: Fuel cell SUV concept
Engine: 134-hp fuel cell electric
What's cool: Innovations that bring fuel cell production costs close to those of conventional technology. Metallic separators, or “bipolar plates,” in the ix35's fuel cell stack replace traditional separators of graphite, which are expensive to produce. The metallic separators reduce material costs dramatically.
Will it be built? The ix35 shows Hyundai is serious about bringing fuel cell electric vehicles to market. The automaker says it is well along to ramping up fuel cell electric-vehicle production “into the low thousands” by 2012.
Show reaction: Hyundai continues to place its stamp on the fuel cell future, and the Tucson is a realistic version of what could work.
Vehicle type: Sedan
Engine: 3.5-liter V-6 with 300 hp and plug-in electric or hydrogen fuel cell
Who designed it: Gorden Wagener
What's cool: A new flexible platform can accommodate either a plug-in hybrid engine or fuel cell.
Will it be built? Not in its current form. But elements will appear in future sedan styling, and the flexible platform is likely to be used for new-generation cars
Show reaction: One of the biggest draws
Vehicle type: 2-door coupe
Engine: Electric motor adds 100 hp to the 620 hp from a 6.0-liter, V-12 gasoline unit.
What's significant: The Kinetic Energy Recovery System — or KERS — used by Ferrari's Formula One team in 2009 was the base for developing the control algorithms for regenerative braking and using the electric motor as a performance booster to supplement the gas engine.
What's cool: The HY-KERS Ferrari has quicker acceleration but slashes average fuel consumption 35 percent.
Will it be built? Within four years, all Ferrari models will have a hybrid variant.
Show reaction: Ferrari goes green.
Vehicle type: Hybrid sedan
Engine: 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder, direct-injection, twin-turbocharged gasoline engine teamed with a 40-kilowatt electric motor
Who designed it: Adrian van Hooydonk
What's cool: The car will monitor your route and, if the battery is fully charged, shut off the gasoline engine early and proceed on the last leg of your journey using electric power only, extending the car's electric-only range 30 percent.
Will it be built? Yes, within a year.
Show reaction: The buzz is that the concept car shows off the next generation of BMW's ActiveHybrid technology, which can be adapted to other models and segments.
Vehicle type: Spider
Engine: 1750cc 200-hp inline-4
Who designed it? Pininfarina design studio
What's cool? It's simply gorgeous. Reminiscent of the boat-tail Duetto made famous by Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, this concept is sinewy, swoopy, sultry sex on wheels. An absolute heart-stopper.
Will it be built: A few Geneva shows ago, Pininfarina rolled out a concept called “Brera.” Alfa Romeo built it. Can lightning strike twice?
Show reaction: Nearly universal acclaim as the car of the show.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.