The Cympod is a three wheeled, three-seat concept aimed at the developing markets of China and India. Intended as a cheap and efficient form of transport to get from point A to point B, the concept's exterior surfaces are made of a compound that includes lightweight Ethylene-vinyl acetate (typically used as a shock absorber in sports shoes), which protects the body panels from dents and scuffs. The aerodynamically optimized exterior form encases a 2+1 three-seat package that is well suited to the modern Chinese family, and the single-piece vacuum-formed interior reduces manufacturing costs and saves weight – customers add their own cushions to improve ride comfort. The concept is cheap to manufacture, lightweight and aerodynamically efficient, and can also be driven without a license.
Adam Kerr Phillips
With the Communicate concept, Phillips asks the question: "How can vehicles become anti-invaders of the modern urban environment?" With the changing cityscape, streets are being increasingly democratized. Vehicles need to adapt to this new setting, so that they don't appear as aggressive invaders of space. This proposal sits alongside pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users. It reveals its inner workings and its simplicity, proudly communicating its electric core. The sculptural interior rises up from the street itself while the top shell reflects the environment around it. The concept is also able to change its stance and lighting scheme to communicate with other road users.
Panchal created the Fashionista by Citroen concept, a single seat electric vehicle intended to be a collectible accessory for the female customer. "Electric cars have often been heavily scrutinized and questioned for their distinct lack of beauty," says Panchal, "This project was the opportunity to challenge this notion." The concept – whose name is derived from an extreme personality within the female demographic – features body panels seemingly floating above the extensive semi-transparent glazing, which Panchal says adds to the sense of mystery and desire. The car takes advantage of EV architecture and ups the elegance quotient commonly neglected in alternatively-propelled vehicles.
A Car for the Elderly
Hagen considered the interactions a user has with a vehicle over the entire day when developing his short distance, two passenger urban vehicle for the older generation of users. Hagen focused on the ease of ingress and egress – eliminating the need to bend to sit – and cloaked the car in solar panels to reduce energy consumption. All four wheels pivot to facilitate parking and it is devoid of pedals – only touch screen cruise control was deemed essential. The concept also features a biometric lock, which makes keys superfluous; proximity sensors all around the car; hub-mounted electric engines and a composite structure.
The City Core concept is a pod-like vehicle similar to GM's recently revealed EN-V concept. The upright electric vehicle aims to facilitate recharging in urban areas and has been designed around a metropolitan environment. With links to the smart grid of a sustainable city, which gets energy from solar and wind power, the concept's eco-aspirations are highly conceptual and ambitious, but could mean improved efficiency and decreased reliance on traditional sources of power.
Rautio, as the brief stipulated, initially designed three concepts with different themes before finally deciding on his final design: the C-Crab concept – a small city vehicle which draws inspiration from sports. Rautio explored the aerodynamic efficiency and raw power of a sprinter, the balance and concentration of curling and the sport of football, where the concept combined the functionality of spinning in one spot or to go sideways; essentially dribbling through traffic. Ultimately the third theme was chosen, and overlapping surfaces feature in overall aesthetic.
A Car for Sharing
This vehicle is intended to be used as a shared vehicle in urban environments. "The project is orientated around design for sharing, material essentialism and the practicalities of the electric vehicle as a form of urban transportation," says its creator. With four person flexible seating and a transparent canopy that opens at either end to facilitate entry, users become part of their environment, not separated from it. The concept is made from Fibrolon-injection moldable bio-plastics constructed of natural fibers. Its structural rigidity lies in the arched surfaces.
Citroen Gallery concept
The Gallery concept aims to change the current association with the motor vehicle to make it relevant in the context of the urban environment. This begins, according to Eburah, with an exciting change in the Citroen showroom experience, which is inspired by interdisciplinary trends. Eburah contends that the modern day vehicle is neither efficient nor practical in the modern urban world and proposes an urban vehicle boutique that enables the user to pick a part of a sculpture that will eventually become their mode of transport.
"The car as we know it is dead," Brooks contends. His new mobility solution, the Citroen Boite or 'box', explores the opportunity electric vehicles present to completely change the paradigm on vehicle architecture. The vehicle features a pod which, suspended from an external structure, appears to float. It is a symbolic severance from the irrelevant, overly masculine, aggressive and complex automotive architecture that is currently represented by many products in the industry. The 'boite' is intended to represent a new honesty and simplicity in vehicle design.
College Exhibition: RCA/GM - Fast Forward 2049
College Exhibition: RCA/VW - Day and Night
College Exhibition: RCA/Kia - Venus 2049