The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power

The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
The new Ferrari 488 Pista is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The Motor Show will open its gates to the public from March 8 to 18. (Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP)

The Latest on developments at the Geneva International Motor Show (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

With a cashmere and silk interior inside a futuristic frame, Aston Martin is going electric—in what the legendary British automaker is billing as the first luxury brand with zero-emission powertrain technologies.

The high-end car company has spun out its Lagonda "Vision Concept" that some automotive watchers call the standout item at a Geneva auto show already rife with eye-catching items.

The sleek, slim-line concept has doors open in to each other and a top hatch for easy entry. With the battery under the floor and armchair-like seats that swivel around, one attraction is roomy interior space. The seats have red epaulets, and the inside has details of red Melton fabric—the traditional material used by the queen's Welsh guard, said Steve Platt, lead interior designer at Aston Martin.

Production is set to start in 2021.

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1:45 p.m.

At a presentation as booming and flashy as its cars, Ferrari has unveiled its 488 Pista speedster at the Geneva auto show. It features lighter weight than its predecessor and the most powerful V8 engine ever produced by the fabled Italian brand.

The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
The new Ferrari 488 Pista is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The Motor Show will open its gates to the public from March 8 to 18. (Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP)

Marketing chief Enrico Galliera trumpeted how the 720-horsepower machine weighs 90 kilograms lighter than Ferrari's 488 GTB, includes more carbon fiber, and is 20 percent more aero-efficient.

At Ferrari, image matters a lot—and the automaker blasted out a 110-decibel video of vehicles speeding along a racetrack to convey the power and noise of its vehicles, sending powerful vibrations through the rubbernecking audience and shaking the floor of the cavernous Geneva showroom.

Galliera noted the importance of "exhilarating sound" at Ferrari, "which always represents part of the emotion of driving a Ferrari."

He said the Pista rounds out the Ferrari product range, which he considers the company's most effective yet.

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The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
The New Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The Motor Show will open its gates to the public from March 8 to 18 presenting more than 180 exhibitors and more than 110 world and European premieres. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

11:30 a.m.

The head of Ford Motor Co.'s European business says the division's profits will improve this year over last and that the company remains on track to meet Europe's tougher carbon dioxide standards.

Steven Armstrong said that European sales indicated "a good start to the year" and that "we expect profits in '18 to be better than in '17."

Ford of Europe made $234 million pre-tax last year despite the impact of Britain's planned departure from the European union and losses on unspecified warranty issues.

Armstrong, who is head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, said Ford would meet the EU's new, tougher standard for greenhouse gas emissions in 2020-2021 through a mix of diesel and fuel-efficient gasoline engines as well as the rollout of hybrid and battery-only vehicles.

The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
The New McLaren Senna is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP)

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10:00 a.m.

French automaker Renault has unveiled its futuristic—and funky—concept car EZ-Go, featuring a rooftop opening that allows passengers to enter by a ramp for easy access.

Envisioning smaller-scale public transport for increasingly populated cities, Renault has constructed a vehicle with a numeric display on the front and back, a bit like the screen on a bus.

The six-seater self-driving electric vehicle aims to bridge public and private transportation needs, with options like on-demand pickup like by a taxi.

The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
The Volkswagen I.D. Buzz is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The Motor Show will open its gates to the public from March 8 to 18 presenting more than 180 exhibitors and more than 110 world and European premieres. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

Passengers sit around the windows in U-shaped seating. Seemingly almost symmetrical from the side, the tail lights and the opening hatch are the main ways of telling front from back.

Presenting the vehicle, Renault Chief Operating Officer Thierry Bollore called it an "urban, 'robo-vehicle' electric concept that can be tailored for public and private services."

Head of design Laurens van den Acker floated the prospect that EZ-Go might one day become "part of a city's calling card, like the yellow cabs in New York or the black cabs in London."

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8:30 a.m.

The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
The Volvo XC40 model was elected "Car of the Year 2018", ahead of the 88th Geneva International Motor Show, at the Palexpo, in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, March 5, 2018. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

Global carmakers are showing off a mix of low-emission electric vehicles and high-end sports cars at the Geneva International Motor Show.

Many of the new offerings display the battery-electric and autonomous technology carmakers say they need to meet tough emissions standards and cope with an expected shift to cars as a service to be ordered rather owned.

Mercedes-Benz rolled out its EQA concept car, a compact battery electric vehicle with a virtual radiator that changes appearance depending on the selected driving program.

Volkswagen's I.D. Vizzion large electric sedan was shown in an autonomous version without a steering wheel.

Big horsepower and fossil fuels remained very much in evidence however.

Luxury sports car maker McLaren showed off its 211-mph (340 kph) Senna while Ferrari had the curvaceous, race-car inspired 488 Pista.

  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    The New Kia Rio GT-Line is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    The New Tata Motors EVision is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    The New Land Rover Range Rover SV Coupe is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    A representative of the FIAT booth covers a 500L model, one day before opening of the press preview days at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show, in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, March 5, 2018. The 88th edition of the Geneva International Motor Show, which runs from March 8-18, 2018, will focus once again on what is new and on what is evolving. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    Herbert Diess, head of the Volkswagen brand branch, presents the new Volkswagen T-Roc, during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The Motor Show will open its gates to the public from March 8 to 18 presenting more than 180 exhibitors and more than 110 world and European premieres. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne stands beside a Ferrari car as he attends the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The Motor Show will open its gates to the public from March 8 to 18. (Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    The New BMW M8 Gran coupe is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    Adrian Van Hooydonk, senior vice president BMW Group design presents the New BMW X4 during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    The New FOMM Sports Prototype is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    The New Subaru Viziv Tourer Concept car is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    The New FOMM AWD Scooter Prototype is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    The new FOMM 1.0 Concept car is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    The New FIA Formula E is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The Motor Show will open its gates to the public from March 8 to March 18 presenting more than 180 exhibitors and more than 110 world and European premieres. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    The New BMW M8 Gran coupe is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. (Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP)
  • The Latest: Aston Martin combines luxury and electric power
    The undated image provided in a press release by McLaren shows a McLaren Senna which will premiere at the Geneva Car show. The 800 horsepower turbocharged V8 engine car will be shown during press days of the Geneva International Motor Show Monday evening through Wednesday; the show opens to the public on Thursday and runs through March 18. (McLaren via AP)

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