Tucked away in the corner of this year’s Geneva Motorshow were a couple of rather interesting concepts created by the coach builder Carrozzeria Castagna (maker of the original new MINI wagon that debuted a few years back). In our mind the most innovative of these concepts on the Geneva stand was Castagna’s MINI Hybrid concept. Here’s the full press release on the car:

>The luxury of not polluting. Traveling silently, going where other vehicles have to stop.

>From today forward, all our creations can be equipped with hybrid engines. On the occasion of the Geneva Motor Show, we are showing a functional application of our technology, based on a MINI.

>Retaining the vehicle’s original mechanical and propulsion systems, a strengthened suspension system and an electronically controlled electric motor are fitted at the rear of the vehicle, allowing the driver to select the propulsion method he/she desires.

>The latest generation batteries, managed by a specially developed on-board resource optimisation programme, guarantee a maximum range of up to 200km, at a top speed of approximately 140 km/h.

>The combustion engine can be used to power the vehicle on the open road, or as a generator to charge the batteries.

>A special digital instrument panel fitted to the vehicle allows the driver to check the battery charge level, the remaining range and the operating mode in use.

>Thanks to a dashboard-mounted control, the driver can select either conventional or electrical mode, battery power or the utilization of the combustion engine as a generator.

>There are two control options for managing the on-board electrical resources: CITY or SPEED. The former reduces consumption in order to ensure maximum range (200km) and limiting the maximum speed to 70 km/h. In SPEED mode, the top speed increases to slightly more than 130 km/h, giving a maximum range of approximately 120 km.

>The batteries are guaranteed for a period of 5 years and they can be fully charged in 6 hours through a domestic power outlet.

You can download Castagna’s full 2006 catalog of coachbuilding on the MINI Chassis below. Dial-up user be warned, it’s a hefty 12MB.

[ 2006 Castagna MINI Coachbuilding Catalog (PDF) ] Carrozzeria Castagna


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