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Italdesign makes a pitch with shooting brake EV

Gee T: Italdesign’s GTZero show car would not look out of place in a Lamborghini sowroom.

All-electric show car is Italdesign’s vision of a modern electric-powered wagon


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2 Mar 2016

LAMBORGHINI, your all-electric wagon is ready. You just need to get on the phone to your design subsidiary, Italdesign, and the four-seat battery powered GTZero is all yours.

That’s the way it seems after the famed Italian design house sprang this design study for a 21st century electric super-wagon at this week’s Geneva motor show.

Described as a modern interpretation of the classic GT car, the GTZero would seem to fit the bill for Lamborghini should it ever decide to flick the switch from raw power to saving the planet.

Like modern Lamborghinis, the GTZero is based on a carbon-fibre monocoque, but instead of incorporating a mid-mounted V10 or V12 engine, it is packed with batteries and three electric motors capable of churning out 350kW of power via all four wheels.

Top speed is said to be a limited 250km/h, range is about 500km, and the batteries can be charged to 80 per cent capacity in about 30 minutes.

The body design is described as shooting brake, although the show car is more like 2+2 hatch than station wagon. The rear seats are really only suitable for two children, and the two luggage compartments – one in the front and one at the back – can hold just three bags.

The most polarising feature of the exterior design is the hexagonal rear glass hatch that is reminiscent of the 1970s Honda Z.

In this case, a long LED light wraps around the edge of the glass.

A large moon-roof illuminates the rear seat area, offsetting the rather claustrophobic high waistline towards the back of the car.

Italdesign head of design Filippo Perini said concern for the environment and arrival of new technologies have led to cars that are both efficient and powerful.

“However, the car’s aesthetic personality can still be preserved, irrespective of the type of drive system, the various types of car will not disappear and sports cars will continue to exert a particular appeal,” he said.

“GTZero is our vision of a classic, the gran turismo, which embodies the traditions of Italian body designers, but is also brought up to date with tomorrow’s technologies and requirements. It has zero emissions, so it is therefore GTZero.”

Italdesign says the GTZero plays homage to the nearly 50 years of Italdesign, and is supposed to incorporate some of the design cues of cars past, including the 1997 Alfa Romeo Scighera and Ferrari GG50. Even a Daewoo, 1995’s Bucrane concept, made the list.

Although the “tub” is carbon-fibre, the designers incorporated aluminium sub-frames front and back for a modular layout to accommodate various powertrains and vehicle designs.

Aerodynamic wings emerge at speed to keep the GTZero glued to the road. Mega alloy wheels – 22 inch on the front and 23 inch on the back – help too, especially when fitted with custom-made Pirelli P-Zero Nero tyres.

The cabin is stripped of buttons, apart from the electric handbrake, with most functions controlled via touchscreens on the console and dash and touch-pads behind the steering wheel. Even the electrically operated seats are adjusted by these controls.

Doors are your typical supercar scissor arrangements, this time also removing a chunk of the roof for easier entry and exit.

The Turin design studio that became Italdesign was founded in 1968 by Giorgetto Giugiaro. It was sold to Lamborghini in 2010.

Rival Italian design house Pininfarina also ripped the covers off a green focussed supercar at Geneva, the H2 Speed, which the Mahindra-owned company claims is the world's first hydrogen-powered high-performance car.

Pininfarina says the H2 Speed, which was co-developed by GreenGT, sits “halfway between a racing prototype and a production supercar” and delivers 375kW, has a maximum speed of 300km/h and can race – in almost complete silence – from 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds.

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