Geneva Show: Giugiaro's EMAS Italian Kei Cars

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Italdesign Giugiaro's latest design study is a three-car plug-in collection debuting under the name EMAS, which stands for Eco Mobility Advanced Solutions (Emas also means "gold" in Malay). Built in collaboration with Proton and Lotus Engineering, their goal is to showcase variable-design mini-sized cars that provide the interior space of mid-sizers.

For reference, the silver 5-door is the Emas Comfort, the orange one is the Emas Country, and the white 3-door is the Emas3 City.

The shared platform was designed in-house by Italdesign Giugiaro, and with its hybrid system's layout the seating position the Emas family retains a crossover-ish ride height. Thanks to their nifty packaging, interior space is at a maximum.

The Comfort can carry 320 liters and features 4 "business class" seats inside. The Country, an "urban SUV", can seat five and can carry from 390 liters (seats up) to 780 liters seats down.

The Emas3 City's seating gets switched around due to the shortened wheelbase and is now called 3+1 Plus, because "the passenger seated behind the driver has less leg-room but there is still enough space even for an adult."

Power for all three comes from a 45 kW (75kW peak power) electric motor that is recharged by a 1.2 liter 3-cylinder engine. The hybrid plug-in drive system has been developed entirely by Lotus.

0-100km/h (62mph) surges by in 14 seconds, top speed is a hairy 170 km/h or 105 mph, and the electric range is 50 km or 31 miles. Currently the City's numbers are "being assessed", but for stylish EREV city cars there's no denying the stated numbers are good. Small, Giuguaro-designed economobiles? The Japanese need to get on this while it's hot.

- By Phil Alex