Building on the success of the SL03, the new Changan S7 electric SUV follows a similar blueprint to the sedan, focussing on sustainable design and adopting a familiar form language. Inside the car, a new dashboard design moves away from the traditional instrument panel layout, and includes a wide 15.6-inch screen that uses face-tracking technology and can rotate sideways by up to 15 degrees according to the passenger’s needs and comfort.
The layout aims to create a feeling of calm and space, helped by the long wheelbase and electric powertrain which frees up room. A unique floating “sound island” integrates all elements of the audio system within the cabin, while a 360-degree active noise-cancelling surround sound system delivers a refined audio experience. The cabin is bright thanks to a panoramic sunroof which almost entirely engulfs the roof, helping users relax and “feel as if they are wandering in a river of stars.” The wide, long armrest draws inspiration from that of a luxury yacht, perhaps underlining the overall approach to comfort and serenity.
Kia EV4 Concept
Bearing the same kind of geometric exterior as its siblings, the EV4 does not have a traditional sedan silhouette, with a fast roofline flowing into the bootlid which sits only slightly higher than the bonnet, helping to create the feel of a typical sedan. It is also lower to the ground than its crossover and SUV siblings – this is meant for roads only and does not try to play the role of jack-of-all-trades.
The interior appears spacious and uncluttered, decked out in cream-caramel upholstery that plays nicely with the bronze exterior paint. An oblong steering wheel (found on the other concepts but not the production EV5) is in keeping with the wide, stretched out central display and instrument panel. If some interiors can be described as portrait orientation, this is very much a landscape layout. Sustainability was a key focus area for the designers, and the EV4 Concept makes use of recycled cotton, natural dyes and hemp fibres.
Nissan Concept 20-23
Starting life as a passion project, the Concept 20-23 marks the 20th anniversary of Nissan Design Europe’s studio in London, and is the result of a team of young designers letting loose. It brings together influences from online gaming, racing, and city living in a neat and compact package.
Two scissor doors hinge upwards from the base of the A-pillar to reveal the sporty interior, complete with ultra-modern, lightweight bucket seats and a striking rally-inspired steering wheel. This extends outwards towards the driver on a carbon-fibre mount, and is connected to a large spherical opening in the IP that provides more visibility on the road ahead. The metal rollbar and architecture is visible all around the cockpit, and while there are some soft, refined materials dotted around, there is a distinct no-frills, driver-focused feeling to the concept, with no giant touchscreen and very little in the way of knobs and buttons. Nissan says that this bare functionality reflects its vision for the racing car of the future.