Best Concept Cars at CES 2016
The Consumer Electronics Show this year had plenty to offer in the automotive world. Car enthusiasts present at the ongoing event were treated to some spectacular, futuristic concepts that showcased what cars of the future, the near future, will look like. These cars show us that the future is no longer far away, but here and now. Here are some of the best cars that were showcased at CES so far.
Faraday Future’s FFZero1
Faraday Future is that start-up which unveiled its first-ever concept electric vehicle today. The US-basd company, which is backed by Chinese internet TV provider LeTV, said that the FFZero1 concept car will be production ready in two years. The exterior design of the vehicle draws inspiration from the 1960s Batmobile.
The FFZero1 has a smartphone embedded in the steering wheel to give the vehicle a “sixth sense” that understands the driver’s preferences and is also capable of driving itself. The internet-connected FFZero1 has a top speed of 200mph (321 kph) and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds. Furthermore, the car has what the company calls ‘aero tunnels’ that channels air through the car to reduce drag and cool the batteries.
Faraday Future research chief Nick Sampson said that the company can achieve production of the FFZero1 faster than other automakers thanks to its adoption of “variable production architecture”. “Our lifestyle is becoming very digital and connected, and the car industry isn’t responding to those needs quick enough,” Sampson said. “Our architecture allows us to create different batteries without completely re-engineering the thing each time.”
As the name suggests, the i8 Mirrorless is indeed mirrorless when it comes to the side mirrors, replacing them with small cameras, which will give you the live feed on a large screen housed in the dashboard. BMW ditches the mirrors for aerodynamically shaped struts that houses the camera having wide angle lenses.
The camera system is designed in such a way as to eliminate any blindspot that would otherwise exist with traditional side mirrors. To ensure the cameras are unharmed from dirt, scratches and debris, they feature Gorilla Glass.
BMW iVision Future Interaction
CES is all about tech, and BMW embraces that in the most grand fashion by unveiling its most badass concept filled with tech that is still a distant future. The iVision Future Interaction is a Spyder version of the i8 concept, and it comes with all kinds of new tech.
The first thing to get out of the way is the 21-inch display that stretches over the passenger side of the dashboard. This leaves enough room in the center for AirTouch, which uses simple flat hand gestures to control the entertainment, navigation and communication functions. Basically, AirTouch will let you operate the display in the vehicle to work without having to make contact with the screen.
The AirTouch menu has been developed to reduce the number of steps it takes to make a selection. For example, when activating the phone pad, the system automatically brings up contacts or call lists to the top select level so that a call can be made with just one more action. According to BMW, this allows the driver to focus more on the road.
If those weren’t enough, the iVision Future Interaction comes with three modes – Pure Drive, Assisted Drive and Auto Drive. Pure Drive gives the controls of the car entirely to the driver. In Assisted drive, the driver will get some help from the car, and Auto Drive gives the car complete control, similar to Tesla’s Autopilot mode.
Volkswagen BUDD-e Concept
In its attempt to shift attention to the future rather than the past that’s plagued by the dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen at CES 2016 unveiled its first-ever electric concept bus in the form of BUDD-e. The electric van has a 101-kilowatt-hour battery that gives up to 373 miles of range. VW also stated that the BUDD-e can recharge up to 80% in 15 minutes.
The BUDD-e is based on Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Platform designed especially for its electric vehicles. The design is such that the front and rear electric engines are pushed to the extreme ends of the vehicle leaving a lot of floor space for various activities. The battery pack is fitted under the floor, while the electric motors power the front and rear axels, similarly seen in Tesla’s Model S and Model X.
The BUDD-e is all about design, both inside and out. VW has tried to recapture the groovy, hippie van of the 70s and has brought Everything in the BUDD-e can be controlled by voice command, multi-touch or gestures. The vehicle will listen to you when you say “Hello BUDD-e”. Gesture control allows BUDD-e to know when a passenger is rising to exit and will automatically open the door.
Chevrolet had its moment in the sun as well when it unveiled the Chevy Bolt EV. The Chevy Bolt will be priced just under $30, 000 and is said to offer a range of 200 miles on a single charge. Apart from the price and range, not much was spoken about the specs of the Chevy Bolt. However, you can expect GM to release the specs once the car is made public.
The company also showcased some other features of the Chevy Bolt including Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system with a 10.2-inch color touchscreen. Rear camera mirror and surround vision (giving the driver a 360-degree view of the surrounding with the help of four cameras) are also included in the Bolt.