Pininfarina works with Chinese startup

A teaser images of a future halo performance model called the HK GT. — Handout via AFP
A teaser images of a future halo performance model called the HK GT. — Handout via AFP

HONG KONG, Feb 9 — The legendary Italian design house Pininfarina is famed for producing some of the most stunning and evocative car designs in the world, and now it’s working with a Chinese startup business based in Hong Kong called Hybrid Kinetic Group (HKG). The idea is to help position the Chinese company as a credible electric car brand in what’s already a burgeoning and highly competitive segment of the motor industry.

Two teaser images of a future halo performance model called the HK GT have been released, and the car is said to be a four-seat model using the company’s electric powertrain technology, which includes a micro-turbine that works as a range-extender.

Although no specific details of the powertrain or its performance have been revealed so far, the technology has already featured in HKG’s other concepts, the K550 and K750 SUVs and the H600 sedan. These were all unveiled last year with the fantastic claim of battery packs that could offer a driving range of some 621 miles, and a lifespan of 50,000 charging cycles.

Of course, as this new model that’s been styled by Pininfarina is a performance model, it’s likely that some of that incredible range will be traded-off in the name of extra power and performance.

Then again, those previous concepts certainly weren’t slow by any means. Those 2017 models were said to have electric motors capable of developing in excess of 800 bhp, and the sedan version was claimed to be able to reach 60 mph from a standing start in just 2.9 seconds. That’s just half a second less than the fastest Tesla Model S, the P100D, so if this new Pininfarina-designed performance model is notably faster than that it really will be something special.

The designers at Pininfarina may have worked their usual magic on the HK GT, but it also keeps faith with much of the design language already seen last year with HKG’s previous concepts.

Hopefully, more details will be available when the HK GT is officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show next month, where it will appear alongside the Chinese manufacturer’s three previous concepts. — AFP-Relaxnews

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