One of the most wild-looking debuts at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show was the Peugeot Fractal Concept, a small topless, electric-powered hatchback designed for urban commuting and targeted at generation-Y.
A collaborative effort between Peugeot and renowned electronic music producer Amon Tobin, the radical concept car actually hints at a potential future design for Peugeot’s i-Cockpit, which focuses on sound experience.
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The i-Cockpit was first featured in the SR1 concept, which itself previewed the design direction for the Peugeot 208 that debuted in 2012. The original design focused mostly on visual and touch aspects, including a head-up display, a compact steering wheel and touchscreen interface.
It addition to being very compact in size, and thus highly maneuverable in tight urban spaces, the Fractal Concept has a lightweight construction and tips the scale at just 1,000 kg (2,204 lbs). It has short overhangs for a sporty appearance, a removable roof and sits on large 19-inch wheels.
With 80% of its trim surface consisting of 3D-printed parts, the interior seats up to four occupants and is equipped with a 9.1-channel sound system co-developed by researchers from PSA Peugeot Citroen’s StelLab and French speaker maker Focal, a setup that features 13 speakers and bass systems built into the back of each seat.
Powering the Peugeot Fractal Concept are electric motors on the front and rear axles juiced by a 40-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. With a combined output of 204 horsepower (150 kW) to work with, it accelerates from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.8 seconds and can travel up to 280 miles (450 km) on a full charge.
An all-wheel drive system is standard fare, as is a dynamic suspension system with adjustable air springs that can modify the electric French convertible‘s ground clearance between 7 cm and 11 cm.
The Peugeot Fractal Concept is more than a mere design study — it represents a prospective design for an electric urban coupe / convertible model from France.
Infiniti Previews Its Future Design And Technology With Q Inspiration Concept
At the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, Infiniti took the wraps off a concept vehicle that it says previews its future.
Not only does the so-called Q Inspiration Concept preview Infiniti’s new design direction, but it also ushers in a new era of technology for its vehicles.
It features the company’s next-generation ProPILOT system, which supposedly “liberates the driver from mundane and stressful driving situations.” However, because it can be overridden at any time, it doesn’t completely cut the driver out of the equation.
Power is provided by by Infiniti’s new Variable Compression (VC) turbo four that is said to continually transforms, adjusting its compression ratio to optimize power and fuel efficiency. The VC also powers the new QX50 crossover, where it produces 268 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque in the
Jumping to styling, the Q Inspiration Concept is a four-door sedan with coupe-like profile that’s sleeker, more sculpted and more flowing than any of Infiniti’s current models, even Q60 coupe. Rear-hinged rear doors give excellent access to a futuristic interior.
Christian Meunier, Infiniti Global Division Vice President, stated:
“The premium sedan segment has become rather conservative. The Infiniti Q Inspiration previews something that could appeal to a younger audience, who seek modern design and new technologies to inspire and empower them.”
Although the Q Inspiration Concept is only a design study and isn’t destined for production, there is a chance it will influence the next-generation Q70 sedan or even a spiritual successor the Q45 flagship sedan.
Kia Niro EV Concept Previews Kia’s Long-Range Electric CUV
For those that like or are even considering getting the Kia Niro plugin hybrid, but want more electrification, the Kia Niro EV Conept is a preview of what’s to come.
Unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Expo, the full-electric crossover is just a concept, but Kia has already stated a specific range of 238 miles (383 km), which, as it turns out, is the exact same range that the Chevrolet Bolt EV launched with. A coincidence? The Korean automaker isn’t the type to play games, so likely not.
The elimination of an international combustion engine renders a traditional grille unnecessary, with the Niro EV featuring a smooth interactive display panel instead. It is powered by powered by a next-generation electric vehicle powertrain that pairs a 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack with a 150 kW electric motor.
Designers opted for a minimalistic interior boasting new technologies, including an advanced pedestrian warning system that uses multiple front-view cameras, object-recognition technology and front speakers to detect and alert pedestrians or cyclists of the car’s presence. The system also uses the grille-mounted display to provide visual communication.
The production Kia Niro EV will be one of the first long-range crossovers available when it launches, as well as just one of 16 new green vehicles that Kia will introduce by 2025, including a new hydrogen-powered, fuel-cell electric vehicle sometime in 2020.
Honda Reveals ‘3E’ Robots Called Empathy, Experience And Empower
It’s a little known fact that Honda makes more than just cars, with its expertise extending to motorcycles, aircraft, power equipment and robots. The Japanese automaker has now broadened its vision for robots.
At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Expo, Honda unveiled a series of robotic concepts termed 3E — represents ‘Empower,’ ‘Experience’ and ‘Empathy’ — that serve public, workplace and consumer purposes and can operate autonomously.
The Empathy robot is a creepy-looking bugger called 3E-A18, and it’s optimized for supporting people in their daily lives, such as serving as a guide at airports or shopping malls. Honda says the 3E-A18’s soft-touch skin “invites people to touch or hug” it.
Second up is the 3E-C18 — the Experience robot. It can supposedly learn by observing peoples’ action and features a cart-like design optimized for carrying spaces, as well as a canopy combined with a compact-sized vehicle body base with a driving function.
Last but not least are the 3E-B18 and 3E-D18, the Empower robots. The former is a chair-type mobility concept designed to help support people with baggage carts or strollers, while the latter is an autonomous off-road vehicle with AI designed to support people in a broad range of work activities.
The robots utilize Honda’s Mobile Power Pack World concept, a swappable battery system with detachable power modules that can be charged using renewable energy and then placed into a robot or vehicle for power on the go.
Honda R&D chief Yoshiyuki Matsumoto stated:
“We have entered an era when robotics will become increasingly visible and essential in our everyday lives and have the ability to unlock human potential.”
While Honda hasn’t confirmed if any of the concepts will be produced, is there any particular one you want to see?