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All-electric Geneva motor show sparks into life

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In recent years, motor shows have seen many an electric car unveiled but never more so than at this year’s Geneva event. And these are no longer all speculative concepts but full production models coming to a showroom near you much quicker than you might think…

Here we present the first selection of important new electric cars debuting at the show.

Jaguar I-Pace

The Car Expert Geneva Jaguar I Pace
The much-awaited Jaguar electric SUV makes its public debut at the show. This is the first pure electric production vehicle from the famed British manufacturer, though it will be by no means the last, Jaguar planning a whole host of plug-in model with the next thought to be a version of the XJ saloon.

The I Pace is also a rare Jaguar not be a proper British car – it will be built by Magna Steyr in Austria, and we can expect to spot it on UK roads from mid-2018.

Bentley Bentayga Hybrid

The Car Expert Geneva Bentley Bentayga
As one traditional British name embraces electricity, so does another. Bentley is unveiling a plug-in hybrid version of its very successful Bentayga SUV at the show.

Described by its makers as the world’s first luxury hybrid and a first step towards full electrification, the new Bentayga variant combines the electric motor with a new turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, which makes the official CO2 emissions figures of 75g/km remarkable for such a large luxury segment car.

The Bentayga Hybrid will offer an all-electric range of 31 miles, and while a full recharge using a domestic three-pin socket will take 7.5 hours, installing a callbox will cut this time to 2.5 hours.

Skoda Vision X

The Skoda Vision X is a concept but described “as the third model in the Skoda SUV family” after the Kodiaq and Karoq. Therefore it looks very likely that this car will make production, and indeed it is expected to go on sale in 2019, rivalling the Arona and T-Roc from sister brands SEAT and Volkswagen.

The Vision X appears in this report, however, as the concept boasts not just a hybrid electric powertrain, but one using compressed natural gas instead of petrol.

The result is a versatile power delivery with very low emissions, under 90g/km. The novel power plant won’t be on the first production models, but could preview a future technology direction.

Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion

Volkswagen I.D.Vizzion
The electric plans of Volkswagen under its I.D. branding are well known, and while the I.D. Vizzion, debuting at the show, is a concept, it is expected to evolve into the fourth of at least five planned I.D. models. This will become a very upmarket saloon, an electric successor to the Phaeton large luxury car that VW sold between 2003 and 2016.

The concept boasts fully autonomous driving technology, an occupant able to move it by means of voice and gesture control, and it is no slouch – the all-wheel-drive powertrain, using two motors and two gearboxes, puts out more than 300hp for a 0-62mph time of 6.3 seconds. VW’s first I.D. models should go on sale in 2020, the Vizzion likely around a year later.

Cupra E-Racer

There is no SEAT in the title because this Geneva show marks the debut of Cupra as the Spanish manufacturer’s standalone performance sub-brand. And while the first production model on the stand is a Cupra variant of the Ateca SUV, most interest will surround the E-Racer, a fully electric version of the Leon touring car racer and set to get its own series in 2019.

The E-Cupra boasts more than 400hp of continuous power, peak output of 680hp and a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds. As a comparison, cars in Britain’s most popular race series, the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), have around 300hp, so a full-grid of electric touring cars likely will not be dull…

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.