For anyone who still thinks electric vehicles are boring, we present the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Over the course of a few days, a wave of luxury sports cars — one was described as a “megacar” — bearing plug-in powertrains hit Switzerland with a vengeance. Automakers seemed determined to make a point that electric capabilities would now be applied to the world’s finest automobiles.
One handcrafted rocket packs 1500 horsepower and can hit 250 miles per hour in fewer than 20 seconds; another hits 60 in in 3.9 seconds and takes its stylish frame 280 miles on a single charge, better than the best-equipped Tesla. Indeed, a new era of electric vehicles has begun on the world auto stage, and there is no turning back.
Here are five electrified cars that stole this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
1. Audi Prologue Avant
Audi stunned the Los Angeles Auto Show crowd with the Prologue coupe concept last year and for Geneva rolled out the wagon version called Avant. Both share the elegant lines, an impossibly stylish front end, and a great deal of power, but the Prologue Avant concept is the greener version with a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Combining its gas and electric motors, this wagon can blast to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 5.1 seconds using 455 horsepower and 553 pounds-feet of torque. What makes it exciting from the green-car universe is the battery capable of covering 33 miles on electric power, but the sweeping design makes the Avant a show-stopper with any type of drivetrain.
2. Koenigsegg Regera
In a sea of supercars, how does an automaker stand out at Geneva? Koenigsegg took the approach of building “the fastest-acceleration, most powerful production car ever,” which is usually a winning formula. In Swedish, Regera means “to reign,” and this hyper/megacar does its bidding with “way over” 1,500 horsepower and 1,475 pounds-feet of torque.
In case that weren’t enough, the plug-in system provides 31 miles of pure electric range so you can save your rocket fuel for later. Good news: anyone who needs to hit 250 miles per hour fast can get it done in under 20 seconds driving the Regera. Bad news: Only 80 will be built; so set aside a few million dollars and start pulling strings.
3. Aston Martin DBX
Even James Bond needs an EV when gas shortages hit, so Aston Martin obliged 007 and like-minded chaps with the DBX all-electric crossover coupe for Geneva. This concept builds on the GT styling but places it on a higher frame without losing much, if any, of the car’s sportiness.
In revealing comments to Car and Driver, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said the automaker had the dual goal of expanding its market base (currently 98% male and dominated by EU drivers) and finding a solution to emissions restrictions in the current era of car production. With that in mind, Palmer wants Aston Martin to get this electric stunner (for which there are no powertrain specs) into production.
4. Volkswagen Sport Coupe Concept GTE
Finally, we get a car from the makers of Audi and Volkswagen that errs on the side of Audi in VW form. The Sport Coupe Concept GTE showcases the new design elements style-seekers will want in the German brand’s next generation. Fastback styling, clean lines, and 374 horsepower tell speak volumes about the way the automaker wants to depart from a staid VW tradition.
As for the green specs, Volkswagen explains the Sport Coupe GTE can cover 32 miles on pure electric power before the gas motor kicks in and long-range driving begins. This sport model can hit a top speed of 155 miles per hour.
5. Audi R8 e-tron
The cat was out of the bag on the R8 e-tron before Audi operatives landed in Geneva, but that didn’t stop this supercar from stealing the spotlight on a very competitive podium. Besides the ultra-slick styling and gorgeous front fascia, the R8 e-tron packs performance specs that make most cars (gas or electric) seem full of hot air.
In fact, the 456 horsepower and 679 pounds-feet of torque make every electric car outside of a Tesla P85D an unworthy competitor. Regarding range, the R8 electric variant beats every Tesla currently on the road with a record 280 miles of battery power. Even though it might seem like pure fantasy, this Geneva car is real. Audi says it will take orders on its super EV later in 2015.