We don’t quite know how Saab does it, but despite having the most confusing concept car name series going, every car in the family is stunning. And none more so, we wager, than the new 9-X BioHybrid that floored them all at Geneva. The smallest car in the family, the 9-X is based on GM’s Delta (Global Compact Car) platform – think Astra, Cobalt and Volt. Could the final name be 9-1, then? It looks lovely. Slick surfaces, wrapped neatly around the underpinings and a spoiler (deploys at 70 kph along with an active diffuser) are to die for. This is very fashionable indeed. Under that hood is a 200 bhp, 28 kgm 1398cc turbocharged E85 burning four-cylinder. A next gen GM Hybrid will boost efficiency, while roof-mounted solar panels will charge the batteries. The petrol version of the engine will lose 30 bhp and 5 kgm. Both get the 6-speed manual with sequential shifting and an automatic clutch.The cabin is minimalist, high-tech and surrounds the driver with info, and leaves the passengers to enjoy the drive. We absolutely adore the turbine wheels. This four-seater Mini-sized car is very promising, and while we probably haven’t a shot in hell, a Saab 9-1 in India would make a lot of sense.
Magna Steyr started the MILA (Magna Innovation Lightweight Auto) story three years ago as a driving – enjoyment oriented concept. After that one, followed by the Mila CNG and the Mila Future, we have the Mila Alpin concept. This time, we have, erm, a car for mountaineers, who'd rather drive up the mountain than walk. The funky-chunky thing will climb at 45 degrees, burns CNG, seats four (the fourth chap must be slim) and is highly maneuverable. And most panels tend to open by folding upwards. Neat, cute and ultimately, slightly whimsical. Definitely a concept, then.
You’ve already seen the Koleos and the Twingo RS. Now meet the Megane Coupe Concept, the concept that sets up the Megane replacement. The car is possessed with ‘dynamic voluptousness,’ a term we’ve only heard in connection with Silk Smitha so far. For once, the centerpiece is in the superb exterior, while the motor itself is a 200 bhp 2000cc turbo petrol. The gullwing doors will be axed, but if this shape gets into production, Renault will score! The interiors look super-classy too, with the seats moulded up from the sill, and extremely thin in profile. With the all-glass roof, driving will be interesting, although you might hate the kids who play cricket near your car almost instantly.