The Fascinating Unknown Cars of the 2019 Geneva Motor Show

Although in terms of production cars the show was somewhat poorer than the one in 2018, the number of concept cars shown was larger, and the cars themselves were more exciting.

This year, there were in excess of 900 vehicles on the floor of the venue, over 150 of them being world or European premieres. Well over 600,000 people visited the show, entering the stands of both the show’s veterans and the 26 companies attending the event for the first time.

Throughout the past week, we brought you live photos of the most exciting cars and vehicles on display in Geneva, focusing on the mainstream ones.

But there were others, some few ever heard about before, that are equally noteworthy. Below is a short list of the ones we consider to be the most exciting.

Arcfox ECF Concept – Chinese companies have been a notable presence at the Geneva Motor Show this year, and most brought with them exciting-looking machines, a good chunk of them powered by electricity.

For Arcfox, a sub-brand of Chinese giant BAIC, Geneva was the perfect place to show the ECF concept, the nameplate’s first premium SUV.

No actual details on the car were released, but you can see the “simplicity of the architecture and the determined and strong C pillar” in the gallery above. It’s also unclear whether the model will actually sell in Europe.

Aurus Senat – the Russian automotive industry has been for years absent from the international stage. There are only a few Russian-based car companies, and only one is unofficially backed by President Vladimir Putin.

The Aurus Senat is the Russian president’s official car, and this year it was displayed in Geneva complete with the 598 horsepower V8 engine it uses. The Russian-built Rolls-Royce contender is offered in both armored and unarmored configurations to all those willing to buy one.

DR3 – DR is an Italian automotive company established a decade ago. Already on the market with a number of cars the company brought to Geneva the electric variant of the DR3, powered by a cluster of lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 54.3 kW and a total range of 400 km (248 miles).

The DR3 is scheduled to enter the market at the beginning of next year at the latest, but in the meanwhile, customers can go for the internal combustion variant which sells for EUR 15,000.

Gumpert Nathalie – Back in 2017, an unlikely alliance between a German and a Chinese company led to the birth of the Gumpert Aiways joint venture. Their first product, the Gumpert Nathalie, was shown last week at the Geneva Motor Show.

An electric sports car, the Natalie can reach 60 mph from a standstill in 2.5 seconds, and is described by its maker as “one of the fastest and most dynamic sports cars you can drive with a license plate on the normal road.”

The interesting thing about it is that it doesn’t use electricity stored in a normal battery, but rather generates its own by using a methanol fuel cell system. One tank worth of methanol is good for a range of 530 miles (853 km) at speeds of 50 mph (80 km/h).

Given its unconventional power train, even among unconventional powertrains, the Gumpert Nathalie is still a good distance away from actually becoming a reality on public roads.

Touring Sciàdipersia Cabriolet – Touring Superleggera, one of the many Italian car design houses, brought to Geneva the Sciàdipersia Cabriolet, an open-top grand tourer meant to bring back the glory days of years past.

Based on the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible, the car takes its name after the original Maserati 5000 GT delivered decades ago to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, or Persia, which in Italian translates to Scià di Persia. Only 15 units of the Sciàdipersia Cabriolet will be made, for prices that are yet to be disclosed.

Aiways U5 – Announced as a Chinese proposal for the European market starting this year, the Aiways U5 made its debut in front of its future customers at the Geneva Motor Show.

The SUV is of course electric and uses a 63 kWh battery that gives it a range of about 460 km (285 miles). The single electric motor is capable of generating 190 hp 315 Nm of torque. Together with the Nathalie, the U5 is the only other car in Aiways’ portfolio.

Make sure to check the gallery above for photos of the above models, taken at Geneva's Palexpo.

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