Car concepts 2020? Was there something? Despite Corona and many trade fair cancellations, a few studies have actually made it into the spotlight. Here five of them with a special radiance or symbolism.
In addition to new models, car manufacturers show future versions that have been declared as studies or concepts at major trade fairs. Most of these indicate where the manufacturers are headed in the coming years. Sometimes they even serve as a projection screen for a better world. This may already await us next year, should we actually leave the corona pandemic behind us. Then the studies of the car manufacturers will be shown again in large numbers and also live. This year there were seldom opportunities to do so. Only a dozen or so studies made it into the public spotlight. Five of them had special symbolic power.
When Corona was still a local phenomenon in China at the beginning of January 2020, Mercedes provided the AVTR at the CES technology fair in Las Vegas for a first bang in terms of the more distant car future. The gullwing, with an opulent dimension of around five meters, was intended to show that luxury vehicles from Mercedes are also considerate of resources and can thus enable a peaceful coexistence between the car and the environment. Its naturally strictly vegan interior offers four futuristically shaped lounge seats and a couple of bright consoles that wrap around the passengers like a wide, soft landscape. The guests should experience the AVTR not only as comfortable, but also as a living being. As if by itself, the driver's heartbeat is transmitted to the vehicle, flashes of light twitch with the rhythm of one's own pulse over what is left of the dashboard, and the AVTR wakes up. Then four electric motors with 350 kW / 476 PS get the luxury liner going, befitting its class. Its electricity, naturally generated in an ecologically correct manner, for more than 700 kilometers is also stored in innovative bio-batteries.
A 20-strong team from the TU Eindhoven remained significantly more down-to-earth with the mini-electric car Luca, which was also developed from a strictly ecological point of view and was initially presented virtually in January and actually presented in October. Unlike the luxurious AVTR, the Dutch electric dwarf wants to be as minimalistic as possible. With its proportions and the slightly sporty silhouette, it brings back memories of Japanese kei cars like a Suzuki cappuccino. But less the design than the materials used in the construction are in the foreground in this construction. For example, recycled aluminum and plastic that were also returned to a recycling system were used. From the recycled plastic, together with flax, a composite material used for chassis construction is created. The materials are not only resource-saving, they also save costs and weight. Without the battery, the Luca only weighs 360 kilograms. At 60 kilos, the battery is also comparatively light. Nevertheless, the battery should allow a range of over 200 kilometers, because two 15 kW / 20 PS wheel hub motors are responsible for propulsion, which should enable an efficiency between wheel and battery of 92 percent.
Without a large exhibition stage, Hyundai had to present the Prophecy originally announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Despite its futuristic aura, its real mission was to arouse curiosity about the near-series electric platform E-GMP (Electric Global Modular Platform). The Prophecy's substructure, with 800-volt technology and rear-wheel drive, will serve as the basis for a number of upcoming e-performance vehicles that will have up to 440 kW / 600 hp and speeds of up to 260 km / h. Sprint times from 0 to 100 km / h should be possible in less than 3,5 seconds. Despite the near-series platform, on which the Ioniq 2021 will be placed in early 5, the interior of the Prophecy was presented in a rather futuristic way. Thanks to doors that open in opposite directions and the absence of B-pillars, guests can get in particularly comfortably. Instead of using a steering wheel, the driver sets the direction using a joystick on the center console. The dashboard thus exposed is dominated by large displays.
Renault Megane eVision
In autumn, Renault gave an outlook on a newly developed, modular electric platform with the Mégane eVision study. The compact 4,2-meter-long vehicle, which combines elements of the SUV and hatchback, also represents a new generation of electric drives. In the case of the eVision, this offers a 160 kW / 217 PS asynchronous motor, which is supposed to accelerate the 1.650 kilogram concept car from standstill to 8 km / h in under 100 seconds. The 60 kWh battery is very compact thanks to its particularly slim cells, and its housing also functions as an integral part of the vehicle structure. In addition, the French have presented a new type of thermal management for the water-cooled battery, which allows rapid charging with up to 22 kW alternating current or alternatively with 130 kW direct current. Electricity can be recharged for 30 kilometers within 200 minutes. Renault plans to bring an electric compact model with the appropriate technology onto the market as early as next year. The Mégane eVision should correspond to 95 percent of this series vehicle, which will initially be available with 450 kilometers and later with longer ranges.
Nissan z proto
Kyocera Moeye, Mini Vision Urbanaut, Canyon Future Mobility and Renault Morphoz are other studies shown this year that all have one thing in common with the four concepts already mentioned: an electric drive. With the Z Proto, electric pioneer Nissan, of all things, was the only one to present a concept with a combustion engine this year. But the drive, an unspecified 3,0-liter V6 turbo gasoline engine, was subordinate anyway, because the primary task of this concept was to awaken a concrete outlook on the design of the new edition of the Z sports coupé, which will start in 2021. With its flat and long snout and inclined, teardrop-shaped headlights, it will be more reminiscent than before of the original Datsun 240Z from 1969 and perhaps pay homage to the good old days of car manufacturing for the last time.