Never mind that there’s little public re-charging infrastructure, there were companies selling ‘home charging solutions’ – as if that will solve the problem.
Ford, Volvo, Renault and Tesla all had battery electric vehicles (BEVs), but I saw only one Extended-Range-Vehicle, the brilliant new Chevy Volt. Clearly the Europeans reckon owners will only use their cars within one charging cycle. That sort of thinking isn’t going to work in Australia or America.
So after the disappointment of poor product planning I set off to catch up with my friends from the world of automotive design, and what a pleasure to talk with Fabrizio Giugiaro, and catch up on the work Ital Design is doing for its new owner, Volkswagen Group.
Then it was off to Aston Martin and my good friend Marek Reichmann, who was pleased as punch to show off his new Virage. After his big win with the Rapide saloon, this new coupe was all class.
Among a very interesting and eclectic collection of ‘new stuff’ was the Holden-designed Cruze hatchback wearing Chevy badges, and a not unattractive Bentley Continental ‘Shooting Brake’ from the innovative Italian firm Touring Superleggera.
Designer Adrian Griffths from Bertone Stile was keen to show off his Jaguar concept, and Mazda had a fantastic (but unrealistic) BIG sedan to boast about.
I thought Alfa Romeo’s pretty little 4C looked a winner, if they could ever produce it. Ownership of Alfa Romeo continues to be kicked back and forth in the press between Fiat and VW.
Personally, I would love to see VW pick up Alfa Romeo. The division is soaking up a lot of Fiat’s time and money, and given what Piech has done for Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini, I reckon Alfa Romeo could have a big future if Ferdinand could snatch it from Sergio.
Finally, two compact cars which caught my eye. Citroen’s fabulous little C4, and ItalDesign Giugiaro’s concept car for Volkswagen.