Even at age 79, Giorgetto Giugiaro is not done designing cars. In 2015, he and his son, Fabrizio, started a design and consulting firm, GFG Style (the initials stand for Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro), in Turin, Italy. The company’s biggest project to date was the China-sourced turbine-powered Techrules Ren supercar. For their newest design, however, the Giugiaros steered toward practicality with a four-door electric four-seater called the Sibylla.
Set to make its debut at the 2018 Geneva auto show, the Sibylla concept is the result of another partnership with a Chinese company. This time, it’s the Shanghai-based energy company Envision, which claims to own the world’s largest Energy Internet of Things (IoT) platform, EnOS, with 100 gigawatts of global energy assets. Envision also claims to be China’s second-largest wind-turbine company. It makes sense, then, that this concept aims not simply to be an electric vehicle, but one that can be integrated into the electric grid.
GFG Style and Envision said in a joint press release that the Sibylla is a “breakthrough in embedding the car into a larger energy system,” but details are scant beyond a general ideology that sees a car not just as transportation but as a portable energy source for the home that also can feed the electrical grid. EnOS is a platform with access to numerous charging companies, and with cars integrated into the system, artificial intelligence could help determine when and where to charge the car, when it’s most efficient to use it for powering a home, and when the grid requires additional energy. Ideally, renewable sources of energy such as wind or solar would be providing much of the power into the grid to make for a clean and sustainable system.
As for the car itself, the all-wheel-drive Sibylla measures approximately 197 inches long and 58 inches tall; it has four electric motors, two on each axle. There is no information about the size or capability of the battery-electric setup, but the press release mentions that a 75-kWh battery stores enough energy to power a typical European household for a week. For reference, Tesla already offers the Model S with 75- and 100-kWh battery packs, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long spoken about the idea of enabling his cars to feed energy back into the grid when needed.
GFG Style cites retro inspirations for the design of the Sibylla, which is both a nod to Giugiaro’s mother, Maria Sibilla, and a reference to the prophets of Greek and Roman mythology. GFG says it is a call back to “provocative hedonistic cars” that Giugiaro penned in the ’60s and ’70s.
Although the large glass greenhouse certainly impresses, the Sibylla doesn’t truly stun until it is fully opened. The wraparound windshield/front glass slides forward above the hood for easy entry, while the rear side glass opens gullwing style. To prevent the sun from cooking the interior, the glass also tints automatically. Other novelties include an “aviation inspired” steering wheel with touchpad controls, multiple infotainment screens in the dashboard, and, for the rear passengers, extra storage space behind the rear seats.
At the Geneva auto show, the Sibylla will be displayed alongside a Chevrolet Corvair Testudo. The Bertone-developed Testudo from the 1963 Geneva show, which Giugiaro designed at age 24, has styling that is echoed in the Sibylla, with a glass canopy and a long, low profile. We’ve no doubt that this the pair will make for a stunning show stand, but we’re skeptical the Sibylla will ever hit the roads in any sort of production form. Maybe we should seek out a sibyl for the answers.