Another year, another motor show in Geneva, and another superb concept from Pininfarina. It’s a very sleek 2-door luxo-coupe on one side, and a rakish 4-door sports-sedan on the other side. That makes 3 doors, a bit like the Hyundai Veloster, but much lighter, without a single disgraceful line. This Cambiano concept will be undoubtedly a show-stopper in Switzerland. Besides this excellent design, what caught our attention is the plug-in hybrid propulsion system, without a gasoline or a diesel engine, but a turbine.
This is an electric car, with 4 motors, one per wheel, but they’re too big to fit inside the wheels, the motors are on the axles. Each one makes 60 kW, so that’s 320 hp total, without any transmission loss. Performance is then very high, with a 170 mph top speed. A lithium-ion battery cell allows more than 60 miles of range, with the turbine kicking in beyond that.
We shall add that this is a hybrid with a “series architecture”, the turbine isn’t mechanically connected to the wheels. All its power is sent to a generator making electricity. Like all turbines, many fuels are possible, from natural gas to diesel fuel, the Italian engineers chose this last one because of its unmatched energy density. Full specifications will be revealed at the motor show. We will be there for a closer look.