2018 Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept
Integrating EV charging into the electricity gridby Ciprian Florea, on
Responsible for some of the greatest automotive designs, Giugiaro lost its place in the spotlight in recent years. But, even though it stopped working with the big automakers outside the Audi Q2 and some Chinese cars, Giugiaro rolled out a few spectacular concepts recently, including the Parcour and the Zerouno. The Italian firm introduced yet another in 2018. It’s called the GFG Sibylla, it’s fully electric, and it was developed in cooperation with Envision, a Chinese company specialized in wind turbines, energy management software, and energy technology services.
Created to celebrate Giorgetto Giugiaro’s 80th birthday, the GFG Sibylla uses Envision’s EnOS energy IoT platform, which allows the car to become intelligently integrated into the wider energy ecosystem. In short, it’s integrating EV charging into the electricity grid, a system that other automakers have been studying for quite a few years now. The Sibylla name was chosen accordingly, as it references a figure from Latin mythology endowed with the ability to provide answers and predict the future. It is also a tribute to Giorgetto’s mother, named Sibylla. Let’s find out more about the concept car in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept.
2018 Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept
Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Exterior
- Transparent dome roof
- Elegant design
- Sporty front end
- Clean rear end
- 22-inch wheels
- Not ready for production
The concept car has a unique design as the conventional roof was replaced by a transparent, wraparound dome
The Giugiaro calls the GFG Sibylla a luxury sedan, but it’s more of the notchback variety, as it has a very short deck lid and a steeply angled rear window. It also has a unique design as the conventional roof was replaced by a transparent, wraparound dome. There are no A-pillars, while the B-pillars are almost invisible. Despite this, it’s quite elegant and sportier than the usual four-door sedan. It’s worth mentioning that the dome roof is some sort of trademark design feature for Giugiaro, as it can be seen on several other concept cars from the past.
The roof itself is more than just an exotic design feature. The driver enters the cabin by sliding the windscreen towards the front by 750 mm (29.5 inches) on three tracks. Two are placed on the hood and one on the roof. The central longitudinal structure also has hinges for the second-row passenger windows, which open in a gullwing fashion. The doors open at the same time as the windscreen and rear windows, making ingress and egress effortless. Once the passengers are seated, the cockpit closes automatically.
The rear fascia is surprisingly clean and simple for a concept car
Design-wise, the GFG Sibylla is quite aggressive to look at. Up front, the grille is flanked by really thin headlamps and aggressive wings on each side. A protruding splitter gives the car a race-inspired look. Unlike other concept cars, the GFG Sibylla is equipped with a front stop light. It may sound ridiculous at first, but Giugiaro explains that the stop signal was added "to give pedestrians visual assurance when crossing the road that the approaching car is braking." Sounds like an interesting feature for future production models.
The side panels look simple but modern. There are no door handles, while the doors are almost rectangular, but an aggressive beltline splits the sides into a wider upper section and a narrower lower area. The side skirts are deeply cut into the body and stand out thanks to their black and red trim. A thick C-pillar and a set of massive, 22-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires round off the profile.
The rear fascia is surprisingly clean and simple for a concept car. The taillights are thin and integrated into the outer edge, forming an arch on the edge of the deck lid and the rear section of the fenders. The design is similar to the Maserati 3200 GT from the late 1990s, a car also designed by Giugiaro. The bumper looks a bit more organic though, with a splitter-like lower section and a flat diffuser in the center.
Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Interior
- Four-seat layout
- Dashboard is a massive display
- Tablet-like touchscreen
- Aviation-inspired steering wheel
- Fine leather
- Aluminum trim
The dashboard is a wraparound design that extends into the door panels and is made of high-resolution displays only
Thanks to the transparent roof, the cabin looks airy and bright. It also looks luxurious thanks to the enormous amount of Poltona Frau leather covering the seats, the door panels, the lower dashboard, and the steering wheel. The carpets also seem soft and inviting. Every inch of leather is finished in brown, giving the cabin a classy look, especially when combined with the black dashboard and the aluminum trim.
Speaking of the dashboard, it’s a wraparound design that extends well into the door panels, and it’s made of high-resolution displays only. There are no buttons, no knobs, and no A/C vents. There’s a display in front of the driver that acts like an instrument cluster, another one in the middle, probably for infotainment purposes, and another one on the passenger side that displays information about the car’s drivetrain. One of these screens also displays data about weather, driving conditions, and the nearest charging point. Because the background is black all over the place, the dash appears to be a massive screen from one corner to the other.
The aircraft-style steering wheel is pretty exotic too, as it features touch pads at thumb level
The area that extends into the door panels include touch-screens too, and it seems that they can be used to adjust the seats. A sixth displace is place above the center console. This screen is vertically oriented and gives access to a wide range of features. The smartphone place on the tray in the center console suggests that the concept is equipped with inductive charging.
The aircraft-style steering wheel is pretty exotic too, as it features touch pads at thumb level. I’m not sure this design is very comfortable to use, but it’s definitely different from what I’ve seen in other concept cars. The completely flat floor design enables Giugiaro to place four identical seats inside the cabin, meaning that the rear section must be very comfortable for two passengers. The inside of the backrest of each seat is fitted with an innovative sensor made by Japanese company Delta Kogyo Co, which detects sudden changes in passengers’ blood pressure variations and heart rate.
The innovative packaging also allows space for suitcases, bags, and garments behind the rear seats, so the trunk can remain free for larger luggage.
Giugiaro GFG Sibylla EV Concept Drivetrain
- 100-kWh battery
- Four electric motors
- AWD layout
- 536 horsepower
- 0 to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds
- 279-mile range
- Integrates EV charging into the electricity grid
The AWD sedan benefits from a total output of 400 kW, which converts to around 536 horsepower
The GFG Sibylla has an all-electric drivetrain that brings together a powerful, 100-kWh battery and four electric motors that send 100 kW to each wheel. This means that the AWD sedan benefits from a total output of 400 kW, which converts to around 536 horsepower. No word on torque yet, but the oomph is enough to send the GFG Sibylla flying from 0 to 62 mph in only 4.5 seconds. Top speed is rated at "over" 200 km/h, which converts to 124 mph. That’s not much for modern standards, but it’s enough to cruise comfortably on the highway.
As far as range goes, Giugiaro claims that the concept car covers 450 km, or about 279 miles, on a single charge. The sedan runs on a pair of innovative Pirelli Cyber tires that feature internal sensors that provide information on tire and road conditions, as well as vehicle performance.
The car can connect to a network of renewable energy and share energy with other vehicles, homes, and buildings
Although there aren’t too many details to run by, Giugiaro says that the GFG Sibylla was also developed as an exercise for integrating EV charging into the electricity grid, which has been one of the biggest challenges for the auto industry in recent years.
Giugiaro goes on to explain that an electric car with a 75-KWh battery can store as much electricity as an average European household consumes in a week and that integrating the car into the energy system means that the vehicle "can be both an energy source and help contribute to stabilizing the energy grid, a critical link between energy supply and demand."
Using the EnOS system, the car not only connects to a network of renewable energy, but it can also communicate and share energy with other vehicles, homes, and buildings, enabling "clean, secure and affordable electricity in a flexible and smart future energy system." Well, let’s hope that this EnOS gadget will make it into production in a few years to make EVs more sustainable.
The GFG Sibylla is definitely one of the most intriguing concept cars launched in 2018, but there’s very little chance that it will go into production. The sliding wraparound roof would be very expensive to produce, while all that technology that could integrate the car’s drivetrain into the energy system would need an infrastructure that’s not exactly feasible for a small company like Giugiaro. Sure, Envision might have the resources to do it, but it wouldn’t make much sense for the Chinese company to invest in a grid for a potentially expensive car like the GFG Sibylla. In all, it’s a good design exercise for Giugiaro, but the tech behind the GFG Sibylla must be built in a much more affordable vehicle. If Giugiaro and Envision manage to do that in a few years, the electric car market might make an important step forward.
Read our full review on the 2014 Giugiaro Parcour.
Read our full review on the 2018 Italdesign Zerouno.
Read more Geneva Motor Show news.