Electrification And Autonomy Stand Out At The 2018 Geneva Motor Show

Electrification And Autonomy Stand Out At The 2018 Geneva Motor Show
Automotive

Self-driving mobility concepts and zero-emission vehicles outnumbered traditional petrol-powered debuts

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 13 march 2018

The Geneva Motor Show is historically where smaller design studios and builders shine. The show typically offers the broadest range of experimental vehicle projects of any on the calendar. Electrification and autonomous technologies claimed the spotlight this year, reflecting the state of flux in which the auto industry currently finds itself. Here’s a roundup of debuts that preview shifts in design strategy and visions of what mobility in the next decade might look like.

Lagonda Vision Concept

Aston Martin is reviving the Lagonda name with the aim of growing it into the world’s first zero-emission luxury brand. The Lagonda Vision Concept offers a preview of the design language that will inform the launch of production Lagonda models starting around 2021.

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Lagonda intends to adopt a modern luxury philosophy that is less visually grandiose and more focused on a super luxurious mobility experience. The limousine style interior was developed to include non-traditional automotive materials like cashmere, silks and ceramic tiles.

BMW Concept M8 Gran Coupe

BMW is bringing back the 8 Series to top out its model lineup. The last 8 Series generation ended production in 1999. The Concept M8 Gran Coupe hints at BMW’s new design language and, particularly for this ‘M’ model, interprets that as ultra-sporty, extrovert and polarizing.

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The exterior’s striking Salève Vert paint color was inspired by the Northern Lights. The hue shifts from green to blue depending on the angle of view.

GFG Style Sibylla

Italian design studio GFG Style (formerly known as Giugiaro) collaborated with leading digital energy company Envision on the all-electric Sibylla concept car. GFG describes the car as combining the “comfort of an SUV with the elegance of a luxury sedan and dynamics of a sports car.” The most interesting design feature is the sliding windshield that opens up more space for people to get in and out of the car.

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Envision’s role was to integrate its EnOSTM energy IoT platform to make the car function as an ‘intelligent green power plant.’ The Sibylla’s battery can supply electricity for a typical household for a week as well as connect to a 100 gigawatt renewable energy network to share electricity with other vehicles.

Hyundai Kite Concept

The Hyundai Kite concept was created by 15 Masters of Transportation Design students from Turin-based Istituto Europeo di Design (IED). The result of the Hyundai-sponsored project is a two-seater dune buggy that becomes a single-seater jet ski. The jet ski docks into the of the buggies.

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The Kite concept is powered by electric motors in each of the wheels. Car functions are controlled through a user’s mobile phone which doubles as a dashboard display.

Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Concept

Hyundai is offering a glimpse at its next generation design language with the Le Fil Rouge four-door coupe concept. The name ‘Le Fil Rouge’ (English translation: common thread) signals Hyundai is investing more effort in building long-term equity in its design vocabulary. The Le Fil Rouge evolves shapes and lines from existing Hyundai models in a new way.

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Hyundai is calling this refined strategy ‘Sensuous Sportiness,’ and it will be the mantra applied to future Hyundai models ranging from compact cars to SUVs. Their approach will focus on creating harmony between four characteristics: proportion, architecture, styling and technology. The exterior front has a particularly interesting approach—it has no distinct headlights and the grille is made of sculpted parametric jewels that emit light across the full width of the front end.

Icona Nucleus Concept

Italian design company Icona created its vision for a beyond tomorrow fully-autonomous executive lounge. The Nucleus concept is a more realized version of futurist Syd Mead’s Hypervan designs. The exterior is asymmetrical with a diagonal split between the glass and semi-opaque windshield and body side. There is only one large door on the right hand side that allows passengers to walk into the interior.

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The seating layout is unique and incorporates both swivel and fixed chairs. The interior can accommodate up to six people and was inspired by a first class airline cabin. There’s an integrated desk with power connection for a laptop and a rear seat that can be extended to form a sofa.

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Topping out the luxury features is a hidden wet bar that can hold a couple bottles of liquor.

Subaru VIZIV Tourer Concept

It’s rare these days to scroll through an auto show roundup this far and not see an SUV or Crossover. The Subaru VIZIV Tourer Concept is the closest representative to either of those categories. Subaru has been turning out VIZIV concepts since 2013 to preview how its new design vision looks.

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The VIZIV Tourer is the tamest of the concepts so far, but arguably the most important. Subaru sells a ton of activity focused wagons and carved out a successful niche for the brand in the process.

Volkswagen I.D. VIZZION

Volkswagen rounds out its forthcoming all-electric model line with a flagship sedan concept, the I.D. VIZZION. The concept presented shows the most advanced evolution of the car as a fully autonomous vehicle with no traditional interior controls. VW is proposing fitting the VIZZION with an AI assistant that will both pilot the car as a virtual chauffeur in addition to serving as a digital personal assistant to the occupants. Interaction with the VIZZION could be done through voice commands, gestures or an augmented reality projection seen through a HoloLens.

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The clamshell doors open to reveal a spacious living room-inspired interior with front seats that swivel to face the rear. The glass can be electronically darkened to provide privacy. Volkswagen will launch the VIZZION by 2022 as an all-electronic sedan with conventional driving controls. As autonomous technology is further refined, the steering wheel and pedals will be replaced with automated machine learning and AI driving systems.

Geneva Motor Show

The Geneva Motor Show is historically where smaller design studios and builders shine. The show typically offers the broadest range of experimental vehicle projects of any on the calendar. Electrification and autonomous technologies claimed the spotlight this year, reflecting the state of flux in which the auto industry currently finds itself. Here’s a roundup of debuts that preview shifts in design strategy and visions of what mobility in the next decade might look like.

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+autonomous vehicles
+bmw
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+hyundai
+IoT
+Luxury
+mobile
+subaru
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+volkswagen
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