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A legend comes to life

Luca Betti, CEO - Photo by Kimera Automobili

Dennis Pellegrini

A legend comes to life

After five years since the last edition, the Geneva Motor Show is back but on a smaller scale than in the past. On display are the big Renault, Dacia and several futuristic projects from the Chinese. Interesting Italian projects related to the restomod world such as Kimera and Totem, as well as the presence of several driving simulators and the classic car gallery. In numbers, the 2024 show closed with 37 exhibitors, 23 premiers, 157 vehicles exhibited and 168,000 visitors. We listened to Luca Betti, a former professional racing driver, rally enthusiast since childhood, now CEO of Kimera Automobili a company he founded, which, bucking the trend of the big brands, chose to launch its new car as a world premiere at the show. The EVO38, driven by the "What if?" philosophy, aims to bring to life what would have been the Lancia dynasty that dominated editions of the World Rally Championship between the 1980s and 1990s.
Mr. Betti, starting with your ambitious project, what do you think the difference can be between an ordinary vehicle and an actual car?
I think you have touched on an excellent comparison between what will be a mobility tool and what will instead be an expression of mechanics, of art, of design. For us, the EVO38 is a handcrafted, deeply analog masterpiece. A 600-horsepower car that will be made in a limited run of 38. You can compare it to the world of watchmaking, where we have today fantastic smartwatches that let us know all kinds of information. But people who really like watches still want the mechanical one, and so I think it will be for the automobile.
Let's say there is a difference between the digital and the mechanical...
Sure. Digital has little transmission of humanity, it's very flat, it's very functional but there is little art. Whereas in the mechanical you can show the engineering, you can show the functionality that there are behind the human work.
Other restomods like Totem, for example, have also thought about electric mobility. Have you?
I appreciate Totem's work, but I am against this idea. I think the essence of the amateur car is mechanical. It can also maybe go toward new technologies, such as hydrogen, but it has to be something that has a strong mechanical component in it.
Who is the car intended for?
Our reality is small, so by necessity we have a limited run. So the cost for the car is very high and therefore only a few collectors can manage to buy our cars.
Can any celebrities be revealed who perhaps have thought about Kimera?
Some, particularly in California, have thought about it.
Where are these cars sold?
America has become our most important market, but Switzerland also responds very well and then Europe in general. We also get to sell in Costa Rica, Japan, Oman, Qatar, so they are appreciated a little bit all over the world.
Thinking about your new EVO38, does it still make sense to present a world premiere at an event like the Geneva Motor Show, since so many brands have chosen not to?
Today everything is really digital, and instead our car should be seen, should be touched, should be feel. Emotions don't just come through a monitor.