Italian design house Pininfarina has designed its raciest concept yet for Hybrid Kinetic Group to help position the Chinese start-up company as a credible electric car brand.
The two companies will debut the HK GT concept at next month's Geneva auto show. It's the fourth concept created by Pininfarina for Hybrid Kinetic. The latest concept follows a pair of SUVs unveiled at the Shanghai auto show last year and a large sedan shown at Geneva a year ago.
The concepts are all powered by batteries boosted by a range-extending turbine motor.
The HK GT showcases the classic architecture of the Italian gran turismo automobile school, while continuing to refine the identity and design language of the Hybrid Kinetic brand, Pininfarina said in a statement.
Hybrid Kinetic, also known as HK Motors, is vying with Chinese start-up rivals such as Nio, Byton and WM Motors to become a premium rival to Tesla.
HK intends to launch the HK600 luxury sedan in China and the U.S. in 2019 or 2020, board member Carter Yeung told Automotive News last year.
He said the company will now seek to build its cars in China, following a trial production run at Pininfarina’s Italian facility.
Last September HK’s parent firm Hybrid Kinetic Group signed an agreement with the government of Ningbo city, 200 km south of Shanghai, to set up a factory there with a production capacity of 300,000 cars. The firm said the factory would be ready toward the end of 2020.
HK Motors is run by Yung Benjamin Yeung, who founded Chinese automaker Brilliance. Yeung made headlines in 2009 he when he announced he would build cars in a new factory in Alabama, U.S, that would start production in 2013 and eventually ramp up to build 300,000 cars a year by 2018. The plan was aborted in 2011.
Pininfarina last year signed a trade agreement with Hybrid Kinetic to support in the turnkey development of an electric car from its styling to engineering to validation for series production.
Pininfarina, which is controlled by India's Mahindra, said last year the value of its cooperation agreement with Hybrid Kinetic was worth 65 million euros ($68.7 million).