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Future perfect: Stunners with wheels

Just when you think carmakers cannot possibly push the concept of luxury any further, they produce more stunners

Jasodhara Banerjee
Published: Oct 6, 2017 06:44:10 AM IST
Updated: Oct 6, 2017 09:58:30 AM IST

Future perfect: Stunners with wheels The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 has an electric drive system and a battery that allows a range of over 500 km
Image: Damiler AG - Global Communications Mercedes -Benz Cars

Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6
This 2+2 seater from Mercedes-Benz is a homage to the glorious age of the aero coupés—note the extremely long bonnet, low roof line and rearward positioning of the greenhouse—while reinterpreting classic, emotional design principles. It measures almost 6 m in length, has an electric drive system with an output of 550 kW (750 hp) and a battery that allows a range of over 500 km.

The interior is a synthesis of intelligence and emotion that combines traditional Mercedes-Benz values with a new high-tech experience. The dashboard wing curves across the door trim into the seat landscape, creating a 360° lounge, which is enveloped in the most luxurious of materials. In the front luggage area are two suitcases, exclusively created for the vehicle. The traditional luxury padded leather upholstery is combined with future technology that include ‘body sensor displays’, which scan and monitor passengers and accordingly adjust features such as seat climate, massage functions ambient lighting and temperature.

Future perfect: Stunners with wheels

The ‘hyperanalogue’ instruments, with needles and circular, crystal-look displays, emphasise the carmaker’s way of combining classic circular instruments with digital elements that are integrated into a continuous glass trim. The front windscreen serves as a transparent display that shows driving-related data and geographical information that can be controlled with gestures.

Future perfect: Stunners with wheels Codenamed 103EX, the vehicle will be digitally connected to every aspect of the owners’ lives and environment

Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100
Codenamed 103EX, this is the first pure ‘Vision Vehicle’ from the British carmaker and defines the future of luxury mobility. Led by Giles Taylor, the director of design, the design team asked itself: “What will a Rolls-Royce owner expect of his or her Rolls-Royce in the coming decades?” and “How do we envision how we meet those expectations?” Armed with an intimate understanding of patrons’ expectations, the team formulated four tenets to epitomise their philosophy: The personal vision, the effortless journey, the grand sanctuary and the grand arrival. Rejecting a common notion that the future of personal transport is utilitarian and functional, Rolls-Royce proposes fully autonomous, coach-built, personalised vision.

Future perfect: Stunners with wheels

The zero-emission drivetrain of the future will power a chassis that is hand-built from the most advanced material. Thanks to technology, customers will be able to commission their personal concepts. The car will be digitally connected to every aspect of the owners’ lives and environment, and have a virtual assistant and chauffeur, ‘Eleanor’, who will work intuitively to advise on schedules and options, appointments and tasks. A blend of futuristic, powerful drivetrain and advanced suspension will ensure the hallmark Rolls-Royce ‘magic carpet ride’. Like in state carriages of old, passengers will step in unbowed and will be cocooned in a hand-crafted lounge atmosphere crafted from the most precious and contemporary of material that exude effortless elegance. Besides, the very size of the 103EX—5.9 m long and 1.6 m high—along with its graceful, sweeping lines and expressive surfaces will ensure an arrival that befits the occupants.

Future perfect: Stunners with wheels
The driver’s seat of the Faraday FFZero1 is inspired by Nasa’s ‘zero gravity’ research

Faraday FFZero1
Designing from inside out, the team at Faraday aimed to build a racing car that will intuitively know what its driver wants. Armed with adaptive personalisation, the vehicle provides seamless transfer of custom configurations, access to live images and real-time data visualisation. The car’s screen-based user interface extends into a display within the helmet that gives precise information when needed. The driver’s seat, which is inspired by Nasa’s ‘zero gravity’ research, has a comfortable and weightless position, with design aesthetics creating a seamless cocoon. The aerodynamically designed exterior ensures driving performance and efficiency, while the tail fin serves the dual purpose of providing directional stability and displaying charge levels, driver’s name and position on the track.

Future perfect: Stunners with wheels
The future Bentley will see a shift towards luxury fabrics

What Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and CEO of Bentley, said at the annual Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, USA, sums up the company’s approach to manufacturing future luxury automobiles: “The next 10 years will be transformational for luxury carmakers. We will see customer demographics broaden and change dramatically to incorporate millennials, the rising affluent in developing economies and members of Generation ‘C’—the connected generation where attitude, rather than age, is the defining characteristic,” he said. “These customers will have different expectations and requirements to the luxury car buyer of today.” Global research conducted by the company shows that future customers will hold tradition, heritage and craftsmanship in high regard while demanding beautiful, high-quality and authentic design with every material demonstrating sustainability. The company has released a sketch of what a Bentley of the future might look like. The future will see a shift towards luxury fabrics (away from leather), coupled with “quilted wood”, and, possibly, a holographic butler. “Luxury is always related to service,” said Stefan Sielaff, director of design. “We are thinking of how to personalise the next generation of communication.”

(This story appears in the 13 October, 2017 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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