Mercedes F015 Luxury in Motion
Driverless cars are quickly becoming old news, so engineers have been stepping their game up just so they have an edge over their competition. This German manufacturer has come up on our radar thanks to the F 015, which in all honesty, is a thing of beauty. As its name suggests, the F 015 “Luxury in Motion” literally provides a retreat when on the move, an added lavishness because, why not?
Don’t get blown away by its futuristic outer appearance just yet. Inside, plush ice-white leather seats facing one another and a walnut wood floor make sure you travel in comfort and style. An array of screens grant you unlimited access to the digital world with just a tap of your fingers, so while the F 015 takes you to where you need to be, you can catch up on emails, or TV shows.
According to Mercedes, the F 015 is completely automated. Some of our favourite functions include summoning it via a smartphone application and automated doors. Oh, it also has a sexy female computerized voice, if that tickles your fancy. If you’re visiting a motor show soon, be sure to keep an eye out for this teardrop shaped car.
Lexus LC 500
With a monstrous 5 liter V8 engine offering 471 horsepower, the Lexus LC 500 boasts sprinting from 0 to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds. Unveiled at a pop-up showcase in Wisma Atria, the flagship sports coupe instantly drew a crowd. According to Lexus, the vehicle “strikes a balance between function and comfort, sporting intent and luxury”. I thought they were exaggerating a little, but with its thin LED headlights and hallmark spindle grill, I do agree it’s a sight to behold.
A first for the brand, the LC Concept offers a 10-speed automatic transmission, which promises a smooth performance and shifts at high speeds. Coupled with novel technology like gesturing with your finger to bring down the windows for some fresh air, this bad boy is guaranteed impress your date.
BMW Concept X7 iPerformance
Unveiled at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt, the new BMW Concept X7 iPerformance is one of the few new models to join the 7 Series in the brand’s new luxury segment line-up.
The car’s height alone allows it to tower over other cars, so you can be sure it’ll turn some heads as you drive past. Equipped with BMW eDrive technology, and a TwinPower Turbo petrol engine, the SUV’s efficient and dynamic plug-in hybrid powertrain performs in all situations. The instrument panel and center console in the cockpit “wrap around” the driver, offering a comfortable driving experience.
Passengers are not shortchanged either. With the BMW Connected on touchscreen monitors, passengers can access content of their choice to make their commute more entertaining or more productive. Better yet, you can even share an audio track or a good read to with the person sitting next to you with the touch of a finger.
To mark BMW’s new luxury line-up, the X7 will have a newly designed logo – a black-and-white version of the roundel with the brand name spelled out in full, as per the other elite models.
There’s not much information on its performance yet, but BMW has promised a production model in 2018.
Volkswagen ID Buzz
Remember those vintage Kombi vans? Volkswagen’s bringing them back, albeit with a snazzy twist.
The brand unveiled the ID Buzz at the 2017 Detroit auto show. Sharing the same core ideas as the ID Concept previously debuted at the 2016 Paris auto show, the zippy electric minivan goes from 0km/h to 96.5km/h in five seconds, but is capped at a top speed of 160km/h. Energy comes from a flat battery pack under the Buzz’s wooden flooring; a plug-in charging system provides 80 percent of battery in 30 minutes, while an inductive charging plate allows for wireless charging as well.
The interior of the eight-seater can also be personalised: the seats can be shifted, folded flat, combined, or even removed. The Buzz looks like a comfy ride to drive but if you want to kick back and enjoy the ride, simply switch it to the self-driving mode. A touch-sensitive steering wheel provides the mandatory controls, including your gear selection. Crucial metrics like your speed, battery level, navigation is projected on the windshield with a head-up display (HUD). In autonomous driving mode, the HUD gives way to information such as local travel guides, while the steering wheel becomes one with the dashboard.
The German automaker has confirmed the Buzz will be released as a production car by 2022.
Nissan IDS Concept
With the IDS Concept, Nissan shows us what the future holds for self-driving vehicles.
When manually driven, this hatchback resembles any ordinary four-seater car. But when the self-driving mode is elected, the steering wheel actually retracts into the dashboard to be replaced by a digital screen, for you to watch some shows or even take some selfies. If you prefer, the seats can be turned to face each other, so you can have a meal or chat with your friends comfortably on the go.
The IDS concept even comes fully equipped with civility worthy of its Japanese manufacturers. A front-facing message board actually interacts with pedestrians and other road users, displaying texts such as “after you” to signal for them to cross first.
Nissan has promised to develop an automatic lane-changing feature in 2018. Hopefully, the autonomous cars will be available for production then so we can surf the web on the go.