Its been a while since we have seen any popular auto shows being held thanks to the global pandemic. However, with things slowly getting better globally, auto shows are being conducted again and many manufacturers are actively taking part in these events. This year, many manufacturers are focusing on electric and autonomous mobility. Many manufactures are also giving a glimpse of what their future portfolio would look like. Let’s take a look at some interesting concepts:
Renault Megane E-Tech electric
The Megane E-Tech electric bears no resemblance to the popular Megane hatchback. The zero-emissions crossover weighs 1,624 kgs and is based on the CMF-EV modular platform which underpins the Ariya from Nissan’s stable.
It measures 4.21 meters long and has a 2700 mm wheelbase. It rides on massive 20-inch wheels and comes with flush door handles at the front for better aerodynamics while the rear doors get ‘hidden’ door handles in the C-pillar. The interior gets a 12.3-inch screen is positioned in front of the driver and is complemented by a 12-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system on the higher-spec models.
It gets an electric motor delivering 130hp and 250nm of torque in the lower variants and 218 hp and 300nm of torque in the higher variants. The higher variants can do 0-00 km/h in 7.4 seconds and go on to a speed of 160km/h. The electric motors are either a 40 kWh or a 60kWh battery pack. The smaller motor gets a WLTP certified range of 300kms and the bigger motor gets a range of 470kms. The battery gets an 8-year warranty. You get 300 kilometers of WLTP range or 200 km of highway driving in half an hour when using a 130-kW charging station. With a 7.4-kW wall box, covering 400 km in a mixed driving scenario is possible after eight hours of charging.
Hyundai Ionic 5 Robotaxi
Hyundai has been pretty aggressive in pushing the possibilities of future mobility. Now, Hyundai has shown their Ioniq 5 robotaxi- a driverless taxi with a level 4 autonomous vehicle rating. The robotaxi is set to take on the roads in 2023 which will take passengers to their destination without a driver.
Motional was formed as a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv a mobility solutions company in 2020. This collaboration saw the financial might of Hyundai married with the software and experience of Aptiv who currently runs a fleet of robot taxis in Las Vegas Nevada.
According to Hyundai, “The robotaxi has more than 30 sensors – a combination of cameras, radars, and lidar – that provide robust 360-degree perception, high-resolution images, and ultra-long-range detection of objects for safe autonomous operation in diverse driving environments. The robotaxi will be outfitted with Motional’s proven driverless technology, which includes advanced machine learning systems — trained on decades of real-world data — that enables the vehicle to safely navigate challenging and complex driving situations.” The Ioniq 5 robotaxi is based on the Ioniq 5 EV which is already on sale globally.
Volkswagen ID. Life
The Volkswagen ID. Life is a preview of Volkswagen’s entry-level EV offering. The ID. Life is set for production in 2025 and it will be slotted below the ID.3 electric hatchback which is currently on sale.
Unlike its bigger brother which sends power to the rear wheels, the concept car has been engineered as a front-wheel-drive EV on a shortened version of the same MEB platform adapted specifically for city cars. The e-motor packs a respectable punch by delivering a healthy 231 hp and 290 Nm to the front wheels, good for a 0 to 100 km/h run in 6.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 180 km/h.
The ID. Life gets power from a battery pack of 57 kWh which will provide 400 km of WLTP certified range. It supports DC fast-charging, which translates to 163 kilometers of range in just 10 minutes. With four years until it hits the road, it will be interesting to see whether VW will improve these numbers for the production car. It has a ground clearance of 190mm combined with 26-degrees and 37-degrees approach and departure angles respectively. The ID. Life measures 4091mm long, 1845mm wide, 1599mm in height and it gets a wheelbase of 2650mm. The ID. Life is another concept that swaps out regular side mirror in favor of cameras for better aero and the rearview mirror inside has also been replaced by a camera to show footage on a nine-inch screen.
BMW I Vision Circular Concept
The BMW I Vision circular concept is a four-seat compact EV imagined for the year 2040. It focuses on sustainability and luxury, with a design that uses 100 percent recyclable materials – that even includes the battery pack. BMW says by creating a battery using materials from the “recycling loop,” that said battery achieves a much higher energy density without draining valuable resources.
The brand’s signature kidney grilles remain, with the headlights embedded within the grille fixtures at each corner, and unique LED accents elsewhere in the grille. The interior uses a mishmash of unique materials and employs what BMW calls “new joining techniques.” The 3D printing on the dash reduces the use of glue and creates a unique one-piece design with embedded crystal materials.
The concept is not going to make it to production anytime soon. However, BMW could utilize some of the unique recycling bits on its future models around 2040.