2015 Magna Steyr MILA Plus Hybrid Concept
Based in Graz, Austria, Magna Steyr is an automobile manufacturer primarily known for assembling vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, the Mini Countryman/Paceman, the first-generation BMW X3, the Aston Martin Rapide and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, among many others. The Austrians also developed Mercedes’ 4MATIC AWD system and Opel’s TwinTop convertible roof assembly for the Astra. But despite these many achievements and its ability to develop and assemble mainstream vehicles, Magna Steyr has yet to manufacture a production car of its own. Instead, the Austrians created a number of concepts under the Magna Innovation Lightweight Auto (MILA) brand.
Now, with the 2015 Geneva Motor Show right around the corner, Magna Steyr has readied yet another concept, this time a hybrid, lightweight sports car. Named the MILA Plus Hybrid, the study seems to follow in the footsteps of the BMW i8 by combining sports car-like performance and strong fuel economy. Although the full specs are still being kept under wraps as of February 2015, and Magna Steyr has yet to mention whether the MILA Plus is slated to become a production car, the concept is worth looking into with the current sports-car market moving closer to hybridization.
Continue reading to learn more about the Magna Steyr Mila Plus Hybrid Concept.
2015 Magna Steyr MILA Plus Hybrid Concept
0-60 time:4.9 sec.
Top Speed:135 mph (Est.)
You only need a quick glimpse at the MILA Plus Hybrid to realize Magna Steyr’s latest concept is a sports car. The sleek design, beefy fenders, and the short wheelbase and overhangs suggest the hybrid coupe was built with performance in mind. The front end is somewhat basic, lacking the massive grille common on most modern-day sports cars and supercars. The slim headlamps and the bumper vents blend together to form V-shaped cutouts in the fascia. These are similar to those seen on the McLaren P1, but it’s likely only a coincidence. A carbon-fiber splitter rounds out the front end.
Around back, there’s a Corvette-like hatch, a pair of triangular taillights, and a carbon-fiber diffuser with large vents on each side. From the sides, the MILA Plus Hybrid follows the current sports-car design recipe of muscular haunches, sculpted side skirts and large wheels. Not bad for a company that has yet to build a production car of its own, but the styling is far from spectacular.
Magna Steyr failed to provide any interior details, but it’s safe to assume the cabin will mirror the sporty exterior. That said, look for a driver-oriented dashboard and center console, a pair of bolstered seats, and a sporty steering wheel. Like most concepts, the MILA Plus Hybrid is also likely to employ state-of-the-art tech and convenience features, but don’t get your hopes up for Ferrari-like luxury. A customizable, digital instrument cluster providing access to different drive modes (from Eco to Sport) is also on the table.
Power comes from a hybrid system consisting of a three-cylinder gasoline engine and two electric motors. While it has yet to release output figures, Magna Steyr did reveal that the MILA Plus can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds in hybrid mode and from 0 to 50 mph in 3.6 seconds in all-electric mode. Judging by these numbers and the fact that the vehicle will tip the scales at 1,520 kg (3,351 pounds), I expect the hybrid drivetrain to generate at least 300 horsepower.
Magna Steyr promises a total driving range of around 500 km (310 miles) and an electric range of 70 km (43 miles). The BMW i8, a possible competitor for this hybrid, comes with a total range of up to 372 miles and an electric range of 22 miles. As far as emissions go, the concept emits 32 grams of carbon-dioxide per km - 17 less than the i8.
Naturally, since this is a concept car, we cannot talk about actual pricing. Magna Steyr hasn’t mentioned whether the MILA Plus is slated to become its first production car, but more information should become available as the Geneva Motor Show kicks in.
Based on preliminary information and specs, the Magna Steyr MILA Plus could spawn a competitor for the BMW i8. Also a hybrid, the i8 employs a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine rated at 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, and an electric motor that sends 131 horsepower and 184 pound-feet to the front axle. The engine mates to a six-speed automatic, while the electric motor is connected to a two-stage transmission. The combined output is 362 horses and 420 pound-feet. The i8 needs 4.4 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start on its way to a top speed of 155 mph.
As a hybrid, the i8 can travel up to 310 miles, a figure that jumps up to 372 miles with the Eco Pro mode activated. On electricity alone, the range drops to only 22 miles, while top speed is limited to 75 mph.
Besides being quicker and slightly more efficient than the MILA Plus, the i8 also features more refined visuals, with the sculpted body paying homage to the original M1 and a number of BMW concepts from the past. The cabin is packed with high-grade materials ranging from leather to carbon-fiber, as well as the company’s latest in terms of technology. As exciting as it may be, the i8 doesn’t come cheap at $135,925.
The MILA Plus hybrid sports car looks promising on paper, but while Magna Steyr certainly has the ability to build automobiles, the company’s recent history with concept cars is far from encouraging. You see, Magna has showcased no fewer than seven different concepts since 2006, but none of them have been transformed into a production vehicle as of 2015. Of course, that could change should the MILA Plus receive the attention it deserves in Geneva, but I’m not getting my hopes up until Magna Steyr confirms this sporty hybrid is at least being considered for production. For now, it remains a promising concept built by the largest automobile manufacturer that has yet to launch a product of its own.