Get ink and drive: what the cars of the future can do |  Articles

The largest car dealerships in the world are retraining into abstract mobility exhibitions, showing scooters, e-bicycles and unicycle. That being said, the annual Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) continues to focus on the automotive component. Izvestia tells about the most interesting auto premieres in Nevada.

Black, white and grayscale

CES traditionally gives the first chance to see the most advanced technologies of the near future. And cars in this future will do fantastic things. For example, change the body color. BMW technology uses E-Ink digital ink. The body is covered with very thin plates containing negatively charged white pigment and positively charged black. Under the influence of current, they are brought to the surface, due to which the body changes color.

Photo: BMW Group

As in the case of e-books using E-Ink technology, only monochrome gamut is available for the iX Flow concept – black and white plus shades of gray.

BMW talks about the energy efficiency of the new technology. Electricity is only consumed when the color changes. In addition, the white body heats up less in hot weather, so less energy is needed to cool the passenger compartment.

Electric athlete

However, it is not yet clear when this technology will appear on production vehicles. In compensation, BMW has shown another production-ready version of the iX electric crossover.

Photo: BMW Group

The M60 is its most powerful and sporty variant. The two electric motors deliver 540 hp in total. and 1015 Nm, but for a short time they can develop 619 hp. and 1100 Nm. This is enough to accelerate to “hundreds” in 3.8 seconds. The iX M60 is therefore as fast as the petrol-powered BMW X5 M Competition. Plus improved aerodynamics, sports air suspension and more powerful brakes – reasons not to pay attention to the openly controversial design of the Bavarian electric crossover.

The traction battery with a capacity of 105.2 kW ∙ h provides a mileage on a single charge up to 566 km in the WLTP cycle. To replenish an almost discharged battery up to 80%, half an hour is enough when connected to a 200-kilowatt terminal.

Who has a bigger screen

Naturally, no CES is complete without competing for the largest display in a car. BMW unveils 31-inch 8K Theater Screen with support for online services.

It comes with a 30-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system that transforms the rear of the car into a true movie theater.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Daimler has equipped the Vision EQXX concept with a 47.5-inch 8K hyperscreen that spans the entire width of the front panel.

Diet record holder

The concept itself is dedicated to a single task – to drive 1000 km on a single charge. The range was increased in several ways. The most obvious thing is to improve aerodynamics. The body of a four-seater car, almost 5 m long, tapers towards the stern, like a drop. As a result, the drag coefficient turned out to be very low – only 0.17.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The second way to increase mileage is to reduce weight. For this, aluminum alloy is widely used, from which even brake discs are made, and various composites. The springs are also fiberglass-reinforced composite.

Increasing the operating voltage to 900 V made it possible to reduce the cross-section of the wiring and, therefore, its weight. The final weight is 1790 kg, which is not so much for an electric car.

Finally, solar panels are installed on the roof, which power the secondary systems, but still help increase the range by 25 km in sunny weather. The dynamics were also sacrificed for the cruising range, the only electric motor develops only 204 hp.

With a blanket and slippers

Another “tailed” concept is the Cadillac InnerSpace. It also has a low, teardrop-shaped body, and a huge curved display not only occupies the entire width of the front panel, but also half-blocks the view forward. However, this will not hurt passengers. InnerSpace is a fantasy about a more distant future, when fully autonomous vehicles will drive on the roads. Therefore, it is completely devoid of controls.

Photo: Cadillac

Its main task is to provide maximum comfort. Therefore, to facilitate seating, the halves of the sofa are rotated and the roof is lifted up. The equipment of the machine includes pillows, a blanket and slippers.

Photo: Chevrolet

If Cadillac is showing the development of cars in the long term, then Chevrolet showed General Motors’ immediate plans at CES-2022. The American automaker decided to electrify its bestsellers and developed a completely new platform for this. It will power the Chevrolet Blazer EV and Equinox EV crossovers, which will go into production next year.

Battery Powered Pickup

Even the Chevrolet Silverado EV pickup will receive the same platform: now it has no frame, and the battery frame has become the main load-bearing element. Thus, the new electric car has nothing to do with the regular Silverado.

Already the base pickup boasts two electric motors with a total output of 517 hp. and 834 Nm. There are also more powerful versions equipped with air suspension. The Silverado EV supports 350-kilowatt terminals and has a maximum range of 644 km.

Photo: Chevrolet

There is a spacious cargo compartment under the front hood, but the electric pickup has a payload capacity of only 590 kg. However, the Silverado EV will be capable of towing trailers weighing 9 tons.

Unlucky name

If GM relies on popular names, then for the American brand Chrysler electrification is a chance to survive. What the future has in store for it by the Stellantis concern formed last year is demonstrated by the Airflow concept. This name was given to the innovative model of the 30s with an aerodynamic design ahead of its time.

Photo: Stellantis

The Airflow concept also relies on aerodynamics, but even the hidden door handles are hard to surprise right now. This is another electric crossover with two electric motors and a range of about 600 km.

Naturally, this was not without a record number of displays: three in the front and two in the back. Moreover, passengers will be able to share content by throwing it to each other with finger movements.

New names in the automotive industry

Photo: VinFast

An electric future awaits the Vietnamese brand VinFast: revised BMW and Opel in the past. The company began accepting orders for the VF e35 and VF e36 electric crossovers presented in Los Angeles, now called the VF8 and VF9. In Las Vegas, the firm brought the concepts of the younger models – VF5, VF6 and VF7. All are built on a single platform, and were designed by the Italian studios Pininfarina and Torino Design.

Another newcomer to the automotive segment is Sony. The first prototype of its car, developed in collaboration with Magna Steyr, was presented by the company at CES two years ago. But then she abandoned plans to master a new segment for herself. As it turned out, only in words.

Photo: Sony

In Las Vegas, the Japanese brand unveiled the Sony Vision-S 02 crossover, built on the same platform as the sedan two years ago. It has air suspension and two electric motors with a total capacity of 544 hp. The autopilot is still only of the second level, but the Vision-S 02 boasts an advanced entertainment complex. Rear passengers can remotely connect to the PlayStation and play video games on the go. Speakers built into the chairs will allow you to separate audio streams.

Injected by robots

Hyundai, which bought renowned robot manufacturer Boston Dynamics last year, has done something unusual. The company showed several robots, including the Plug & Drive (PnD) module. It is able to rotate in place and move autonomously.

Inside there is room for one passenger who can operate the module with a joystick. For example, PnD can dock to public transport with a passenger inside, follow him part of the way, and then continue moving on his own.

Tunnel Syndrome

The CES exhibition will also be remembered for a curious incident: a congestion has formed in the “anti-traffic” tunnel under Las Vegas. The Vegas Loop tunnel was built by The Boring Company, owned by Elon Musk. The “pipe” connects the two parts of the Las Vegas Convention Center and is used by Tesla electric cars underground.

It was created to demonstrate the “anti-cork” network created by Mask. However, the influx of visitors to CES and the closure of one of the three stops resulted in a traffic jam in the tunnel.

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