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by David Zalstein

The all-electric Italdesign Giugiaro Clipper has been unveiled in Geneva, combining Golf-like styling with people mover practicality.

Named after ‘clipper’ ships of the late 19th century that transported cargo such as herbs and tea, the Italdesign Giugiaro Clipper is touted as being a sporty MPV with “a green heart”.

Part of the Audi Group family that includes Lamborghini and Ducati, the Italian design and engineering company’s six-seat 1800-kilogram concept van is based on Volkswagen’s MQB modular platform and uses two 110kW electric engines to power all four wheels independently. Its battery packs reside under the car’s flat floor, and offer a claimed range of 540km.

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Measuring 4534mm long, 1914mm wide and 1551mm high, the Clipper is 185mm longer, 115mm wider and 60mm taller than a Volkswagen Golf, and also smaller than the VW Golf Sportsvan concept. It has a 170mm longer wheelbase than a regular Golf, and offers a maximum volume of 900 litres (with the two rear most seating rows folded flat).

Access to the interior takes the form of “butterfly” doors at the front and “gull-wing” units at the back, with no side pillars to get in the way. Inside, a floating instrument cluster and two display screens join a further three screens laid out in front of the passenger, a flexible 11-inch mobile tunnel touchscreen and four headrest-integrated iPad Minis.

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Allowing vehicle occupants to stay connected with each other or the outside world, the company developed the Carlink app that provides access to a private network where documents and diaries can be shared and digital chatting and playing is encouraged.

Though not pictured, the Italian brand has also put together a Clipper Ducati version with differently designed doors, a modified C-pillar and a unique livery.

The Clipper was designed, engineered and built at the Italdesign Giugiaro plant in Moncalieri, south of Turin.

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