Electric-powered vehicles may have taken the spotlight as the Geneva Motor Show opened its 11-day run this week, but petroleum-produced horsepower wasn’t quite ready to move to the sidelines, as evidenced at several of the stands, most prominently at Bugatti.
The historic French automaker, now part of the Volkswagen Group, unveiled a one-off La Voiture Noire that not only was its most expensive product — already sold for $12.4 million — but also its most powerful — the 8.0-liter, W16 engine pumping out 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque.
Though down a little on horsepower, Swedish supercar producer Koenigsegg unveiled at Geneva its challenger to break the 300 mph barrier, the lightweight but 1,280-horsepower Jesko. Carmaker Christian von Koenigsegg said he named his newest creation after his father, Jesko von Koenigsegg.
However, providing the Bugatti and Koenigsegg with a challenge in the horsepower race was the Pininfarina Battista, an electric hypercar with four electric motors providing 1,900 horsepower and nearly 1,700 pound-feet of torque. While it won’t do 300 mph, it is expected to reach 350 km/h (217 mph) when it rolls onto the roads as a limited-production 2020 model.
And like Koenigsegg’s Jesko, the Battista is named for a family father, Battista “Pinin” Farina, the designer and coachbuilder who founded the company that bears his name.
Like Switzerland itself, Geneva provides a neutral setting for the world’s automakers to display their latest and greatest production and concept cars, as well as some of their most historic.