Concept Cars: Driving the Future

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The 2017 New York International Auto Show, which opens next week, will provide a platform for a number of manufacturers to highlight their vehicles of the future

 An array of concept cars due to be unveiled at this month’s New York International Auto Show will give manufacturers an opportunity to reveal mobility possibilities of tomorrow.

A number of models are expected to shine a light on future design language or provide technical details that are close to becoming a reality. Whatever their size and shape, the vehicles always offer new ways of looking at future driving needs. Here a preview of some of the concepts that are scheduled to be revealed:

VOLKSWAGEN I.D. BUZZ

The vehicle is a versatile, zero-emission, all-wheel drive Microbus with an electric driving range of over 400km and the ability to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in about five seconds.

Its design configuration allows seating for up to eight people, with luggage stored in two cargo compartments. The model boasts a fully autonomous I.D. Pilot driving mode and the driver’s seat can be swiveled through 180˚ to face the rear.

An excursion with two families over the weekend? A gig with the band in another city? A holiday trip with bicycles and boards? Driving to a business meeting with colleagues who need to prepare on the way? None of these scenarios pose a problem thanks to the vehicle’s multi-variable seating layout.

 

INFINITI QX50

The QX50 Concept showcases Infiniti’s vision for a next-generation, mid-size premium crossover. The model’s cabin-forward silhouette combines with taut, muscular lines and flowing surfaces, giving it a dynamic yet practical look.

Inside, the organic forms of the driver-centric, passenger-minded cabin harmonize with the exterior. Blending progressive design with elevated levels of modern craftsmanship, the QX50 Concept’s interior reflects Infiniti’s desire to challenge conventional approaches to premium interior design.

The vehicle’s driver assist system is part of the company’s development of autonomous drive support technologies.

 

TOYOTA CONCEPT-i

Designed from the inside-out, the artificial intelligence-enhanced Concept-i reinforces Toyota’s belief that a vehicle shouldn’t begin with technology – rather, it should start with the experience of the people who use it.

Every aspect of the vehicle is designed to strengthen the user experience – from the advanced personal assistant nicknamed Yui which uses artificial intelligence, to the interior lines that allow Yui to communicate using light, sound and touch.

As you drive Concept-I the vehicle Yui to know you – learning to anticipate your needs and building a warm, friendly relationship.

 

CHRYSLER PORTAL CONCEPT

Chrysler’s Portal Concept is the company’s next-generation family transportation idea. The interior offers driver and passengers a third space – an open and serene atmosphere that bridges work and home.

The mono-volume exterior features an illuminated, portal-shaped articulating front, while wide, rear doors make the vehicle easy to access. Electrically powered, the model is estimated to have a range of more than 400km on a full charge.

 

AUDI Q8 CONCEPT

Designed to be dynamic, highly efficient and extremely comfortable, Audi’s Q8 concept combines the spaciousness of an SUV with the emotional lines of a coupé. Propulsion is provided by a powerful, highly efficient plug-in hybrid engine.

Despite the sloping, coupé-like roofline, even rear-seat passengers enjoy ample head and shoulder room. Inside, the control concept uses large touchscreens in the cockpit and is rounded out by an expanded version of the brand’s virtual cockpit supplemented by a contact-analogue head-up display.

 

LEXUS UX

The UX Concept is a new variety of four-seat crossover which combines the 4×4 presence of an off-roader with low ground clearance and a coupé-like driving position. It’s advanced in-vehicle electrical technologies include electro-chromatic windows, while door mirrors have been replaced by e-mirror camera housings that are far slimmer than conventional fixtures.

Left and right e-mirror images are displayed on integrated internal screens described as representing an “inside-out” view of the vehicle’s progress. All switchgear is electrostatic, and housed under transparent covers.

 

NISSAN VMOTION 2.0

Nissan’s Vmotion 2.0 is a new concept vehicle that signals the company’s future sedan design direction. It combines a high sense of style, emotional design, roominess, comfort and technology to make the mobility experience seamless for busy professionals.

Providing hints at the future of Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility systems – the brand’s roadmap to achieve zero emissions and zero fatalities – the lighting around the front badge glows to indicate when the vehicle is in ProPILOT mode, which is envisioned to provide autonomous driving support technology on urban roads and at intersections.

 

CADILLAC ESCALA

What would an American auto show be without a new Cadillac on display? The Escala Concept represents the next evolution of the brand’s design language and previews the craftsmanship and technology being developed for many future models.

Escala – Spanish for scale – is a concept for a larger, more elite and expressive vehicle than any currently available from Cadillac. It has been designed to be both a driver’s car and an indulgent flagship sedan.

The model is equipped with a new 4,2-litre twin-turbo V8 engine – a prototype of a new powerplant in development for future Cadillacs – which utilises Active Fuel Management technology to improve consumption by seamlessly disabling four cylinders whenever the engine is under light load.

 

JAGUAR I-PACE

The all-electric I-PACE Concept previews a Jaguar that is expected in showrooms in 2018. It is described as a five-seat sports car; a performance car; a family car and an SUV all in one.

The model features a cab-forward design with a sporting driving position, exceptional interior space and, of course, zero tailpipe emissions. Inside, there are two super-intuitive touchscreens that serve up information where and when the driver needs it.

Packed with proven Jaguar sports car technology, the I-PACE Concept is said to offer exceptional ride quality, balanced handling and a zero to 100km/h time of around four seconds.

 

Organisers of the New York Show – which will feature nearly 1 000 latest model cars and light commercial vehicles – expect about one million visitors to attend

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