A show dedicated to electronics and new technologies, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas never ceases to attract car manufacturers. Representatives of an industry invaded by chips, the latter come to exhibit their latest innovations, but also to unveil concept cars with overtly futuristic overtones. The 2023 edition was no exception, welcoming no less than five new concepts, prefiguring the more or less immediate future of the automobile.
Peugeot Inception: the electrified tomorrow
Although absent from the American market, Peugeot chose the Las Vegas show to present its new concept car, called Inception. The name is not fortuitous: derived from the Latin “inceptio”, meaning “beginning”, it indicates the beginning of a new era for the manufacturer at Leo.
First in terms of style. First achievement of Matthias Hossann, the new design boss, this large sedan with a slender profile gives clues to the future aesthetic language of Peugeot. Because if the huge windshield plunging into the hood and the doors with antagonistic opening will not make their way to the series, this could well be the case with the smooth surfaces, the angular volumes and the front face “Fusion Mask”, adorned with three luminous claws placed under glass.
The interior, on the other hand, is openly futuristic, with the new generation i-Cockpit as its main piece. The latter incorporates the “Hypersquare” control, a sort of rectangular steering wheel with touch controls, and the “Halo Cluster”, a curved screen concentrating driving and infotainment information. Surprise: Peugeot plans to install such a system on its models before the end of the decade.
The Peugeot Inception concept also announces the new “STLA Large” platform, which will serve as the basis for future large electric models from Stellantis. It is driven here by two 680 hp electric motors, and a 100 kWh capacity battery, promising a range of over 800 km.
BMW i Vision Dee, the future in retro attire
In the automotive world, the “living room beasts” usually wear futuristic dresses, just to impress the barge. This is not the case of BMW concept (for “Digital Emotional Experience”), whose plastic plays the neo-retro card, vaguely evoking the first 3 Series. But don’t be fooled by its discreet grille, its sharp angles and its rounded sides: this compact sedan is more innovative than it shows. First, thanks to the use of electronic ink “e-ink”, it varies the color of its bodywork, and its side windows can be transformed into screens visible from the outside. And screens, this concept no longer wants on board: the information is now projected by an XXL head-up display system over the entire width of the windshield, or even over its entire surface in autonomous driving mode. As for the various controls, they are now touch-sensitive and integrated into the steering wheel and a hidden panel in the dashboard.
The i Vision Dee concept was also an opportunity for BMW to give some information on its future “Neue Klasse” electric platform, expected in 2025. Planned to serve as the basis for a compact model, it will carry new generation batteries offering greater and 30% autonomy and shorter recharging times, and will be equipped with an automated driving system developed in collaboration with the American computer manufacturer Qualcomm.
Volkswagen ID.7, battery-powered heir to the Passat
volkswagen will soon push the Passat into retirement, to replace it with a 100% electric family sedan. Called ID.7, it was unveiled at CES… but still hidden under a layer of camouflage, just to make the suspense last until the official presentation during the year. In the meantime, we will content ourselves with guessing relatively classic exterior lines, close to those of the ID.3 and ID.4. If he was “modest” about his body, Volkswagen reveals more about the interior of the ID.7. An interior that inaugurates a layout revised from top to bottom, with a huge central 15-inch touch screen, accompanied by a small digital handset facing the driver. The manufacturer announces in parallel an augmented reality head-up display, as well as a more modern infotainment system, with superior ergonomics and connectivity.
Based on the MBE platform, shared with its 100% electric counterparts, it benefits from a stretched wheelbase of 20 cm. Enough to allow it to improve its habitability, but also to house larger batteries, the capacity of which could go up to 100 kWh, thus offering a maximum autonomy of 700 km.
Afeela EV: born from the marriage between Sony and Honda
As early as 2020, Sony announced its desire to enter the mobility industry, by creating a joint venture with car manufacturer Honda (Sony Honda Mobility). At CES 2023, the two partners endorsed the birth of their joint brand, named Afeela, and presented a prototype of its first model.
It is a large electric sedan (4.90 m long) with a minimalist design, between a coupe profile, soft lines and particularly fine horizontal lights. The interior is also simple, designed around a row of screens that takes up the entire width of the dashboard. Rather than giving information on its zero-emission engine, Sony Honda Mobility preferred to list the technological content of the vehicle. With the high point of a “digital chassis” developed with the American Qualcomm, assembling sensors, computers and software dedicated to driving assistance and connectivity. Unsurprisingly, entertainment is also a priority, since passengers will be able to stream Sony’s catalog of films, music and video games. This vision of the future is however closer than we think, since the pre-reservations of the first car stamped Afeela will be open in the United States from the first half of 2025.
RAM 1500 Revolution, the boosted pick-up
An ultra-popular car species in North America, the pick-up is in turn beginning its conversion to 100% electric. After the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Chevrolet Silverado EV, and while waiting for the Tesla Cybertruck, RAM is preparing its own replica, prefigured by the 1500 Revolution BEV concept.
Without revolutionizing the genre, the latter is distinguished by its singularly fluid and minimalist lines for an American pickup. The absence of spectacular style tricks (apart from the illuminated front panel and the doors with reverse opening) suggests that its plastic is very close to that of the production version.
The interior is a bit more demonstrative. In addition to its extensive modularity (swivel seats, retractable jump seats, convertible tipper, etc.), the passenger compartment is luxurious and at the cutting edge of on-board technology. We will mention pell-mell the removable central screen of 14.2 inches, the panoramic roof with variable opacity, the semi-autonomous driving system or the very original “shadow mode”, which allows the vehicle to drive at the last pace. owner.
Curiously, the manufacturer says little about the technical sheet: we only know that the machine will be built on the “STLA Frame” platform, intended for the future large electric utilities of the Stellantis group, and that it will carry two electric motors, synonymous with four driving wheels.