The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has evolved into more than just a platform for new innovations in the field of technology. Over the past few years, car makers from around the world flock to Las Vegas to showcase their latest advancements in their upcoming cars. CES has given rise to numerous interesting technologies such as Audi’s Piloted Driving, Volvo’s Vehicle to Vehicle Communication System and of course the debut of hyped Tesla rival, Faraday Future. We take a look at the most interesting concepts that debuted at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
1. BMW i8 Convertible
BMW’s got its hands in every segment of the auto industry from six seater family MPVs to high performance saloons. The German car maker has various divisions within which some of its most impressive works are born. BMW’s i section is one such division. The i division is to hybrids what the M division is to performance: a section of the company solely focused on hybrid vehicles and drivetrains. With continually restricting emission norms and the loss of power associated with smaller powerhouses, the i division’s opening act was the phenomenal i8, an example of how small engined hybrids can pack a punch strong enough to knock down even the most blue blooded sports cars. For those who felt the i8’s cyberpunk styling and swan doors were not enough, BMW has now revealed an advanced convertible concept of the i8 at CES 2016.
Dubbed the i Vision Future Interaction Concept, BMW’s latest concept previews numerous updates that may make it to the next iteration if the i8 hybrid. The dashboard features a large 21 inch display towards the passenger side that acts as the main control unit for various elements of the car. Similar to the Porsche Mission E concept showcased sometime ago, the German sports car features gesture control that allows the driver to interact with the UI. Similar to Tesla’s infotainment system, the German car maker’s AirTouch system eliminates the need for physical input mechanisms such as buttons or knobs. As such, the cabin is far more minimal and is in stark contrast to its exterior design.
2. Chevrolet Bolt
The Chevy Bolt was a welcome surprise at this year’s CES. With GM launching the first ever accessible long range EV, the American automakers has beaten crowd favorite Tesla to the future of mobility. Although the Bolt may not feature radical styling or massive amounts of tech to soothe its passengers, the $37,500 price tag prior to government incentives makes it the very first budget long range electric vehicle to hit the market. The American hatchback currently has no direct rivals. However, Chevrolet will soon have to contend with Tesla’s Model 3.
3. Volkswagen BUDD-e Concept
VW’s presence at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show was heavy on agenda. Following the largely publicized scandal regarding the car maker’s diesel engines, Volkswagen has entered into damage control mode. To regain the faith of the general public, the German auto giant has opted to showcase a dizzying array of concepts and new models that are either eletric vehicles or hybrids to showcase the company’s keen intentions of conserving energy and the environment.
4. Faraday Future FFZERO1
Faraday Future’s FFZERO1 concept stunned eager EV enthusiasts all over the world. Instead of a compact, affordable electric sedan, the public was treated to a cyberpunk themed dedicated racer. While most fans were disappointed in Faraday Future’s choice of concept/model to showcase, the FFZERO1 was one of the few concepts in the past few years to evoke a sense of awe and wonder when revealed.
5. Rinspeed Etos
Few can argue that the BMW i8 lacks power and cutting edge technology. However, a boutique Swiss designer feels otherwise. The Rinspeed Etos is a self driving BMW i8 that also features its own drone. The Rinspeed Etos’ interior marks a significant departure from the contemporary approach of the current generation i8. With two 21.5 inch curved display monitors and a foldable steering wheel, the dashboard of the Rinspeed Etos embraces autonomous driving technology like no other manufacturer before it.