Five eclectic concept cars that bring humans and machines together
Implemented the right way, designers are utilizing one-of-a-kind technology to create worthwhile car experiences for users
The future of car design is here. From Project Mondo G to Kicks 327, Rezvani Vengeance, i Vision Dee and Afeela – designers are skillfully using innovative technology to create worthwhile experiences for users and simply make them a better driver. Read on to know more about these five concept cars of 2023, so far!
Such as Mercedes-Benz launched Project Mondo G – “caricature-like” car informed by puffer jackets. “The luxurious Moncler puffer jacket plays to the visual contrast of the art piece, set against the angular structure of the G-Class!” says Mercedes-Benz.
On the other hand, Kicks 327 by Nissan and New Balance looks like a giant drivable trainer. “The car name Kicks means sneaker in English slang. This became the origin of the idea and led to the realization of a tie-up with sneakers!” Nissan explains.
Did you know that demand for SUVs and sports activity vehicles has risen rapidly in recent years? There were less than 50 million SUVs in 2010 and that figure has now risen to 280 million. With this, Rezvani Motors additionally unveiled the “world’s most aggressive SUV” – Rezvani Vengeance.
BMW further created a concept car that changes into 32 different colors – i Vision Dee. “With BMW i Vision Dee, we’re showing how the car can be seamlessly integrated into one’s digital life and become a trusty companion. The vehicle itself becomes one’s portal to the digital world – with the driver always in control!” adds BMW.
Lastly, Sony presented its first-ever car with Honda that will function as a “moving entertainment space” – Afeela. “Today modern vehicle technology has loads of potential to enhance the driving and passenger experience with sensors, active safety systems and beyond!” says Sony.
1. Project Mondo G by Mercedes-Benz
German car brand Mercedes-Benz brilliantly creates the Project Mondo G puffer jacket-informed car as its contribution to Moncler’s Genius collection – unveiled at London Fashion Week.
One-of-a-kind and designed as an eye-catching sculptural object – this car is a version of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class with a reflective silver roof and wheels that resemble a puffer jacket.
“Project Mondo G is an art piece that reimagines our iconic G-Class merged with the distinctive design codes of Moncler.
Just like our show cars, the basic idea was to create an iconic look – a sculpture on wheels that perfectly accentuates the character of the vehicle!” says Mercedes-Benz.
With this design, Mercedes-Benz aimed to contrast the curved forms of Moncler’s quilted puffer jackets with the angular form of the G-Class car.
An interplay of contrasts – the designers wanted to simply express the functionality, design ethos and versatility of both Moncler’s jackets and Mercedes-Benz’s vehicles.
The car has caricature-like features such as a huge zipper, which is a practical reference to the versatility and variability of both objects – the jacket and vehicle.
“Just like with other design sectors, we want to generate storytelling through our designs. In this case, it’s about the metamorphosis of a purely utility-oriented product into a luxury product!” adds Mercedes-Benz.
2. Kicks 327 by Nissan and New Balance
Teaming up with sportswear company New Balance, Japanese automotive brand Nissan presents the Kicks 327 – a car that resembles a trainer.
Created to promote Nissan’s electric Kicks SUV – the collaboration is a play on the car’s name, which is slang for trainers.
This SUV is adorned with a body wrap to give it the appearance of a gray New Balance 327 trainer.
The shoe’s suede upper is replicated with a graphic print above the wheel arches, while the laces are displayed on the vehicle’s bonnet and the collar, tongue and eyestay are replicated on the roof.
“The 327 has a stylish SUV-like appearance and is light and sticks to the ground.
We thought it would match the concept of the Nissan Kicks e-Power 4WD, which allows you to enjoy driving in any situation, whether on the street or off-road!” says Nissan.
Additionally, the trainer’s ethos matches that of the SUV too.
“327 is a model born from the design inspiration of New Balance’s road, trail and race running shoes in the 70’s.
The stylish design and the sole design of the trail running model have been sublimated as fashion, making it a shoe that shines in the city!” New Balance adds.
3. Rezvani Vengeance by Rezvani Motors
Californian automotive company Rezvani Motors launches Rezvani Vengeance – a car with security features from electrified door handles to pepper spray-emitting wing mirrors that are more commonly found on military vehicles or in video games.
“The Rezvani Vengeance is the world’s most aggressive and most capable three-row SUVs!” says Rezvani Motors.
This 6,200-pound (2,812-kilogram) SUV has a chunky body with a “muscular” back end mounted on 35-inch pick-up style tyres suited to off-road driving.
It was made by video games designer Milen Ivanov, who was tasked with creating a car that wouldn’t look out of place in a science fiction video game.
“In a world of SUVs, you look at the Rezvani Vengeance and you see all the muscular proportions and definitely feel this is a confident and very aggressive design.
The goal was to put a science fiction video game concept car in people’s driveways!” Rezvani Motors adds.
Additionally, buyers can choose from 20 additional security features from the company’s Bulletproof Military Package.
Among the more unique aspects are – electrified door handles and wing mirrors that can shoot pepper spray.
Meanwhile, electromagnetic pulse protection allows the car to automatically steer away from perceived danger and the bulletproof glass is designed to protect it from explosions.
The owners can further purchase bulletproof vests, helmets and gas masks along with the car.
4. i Vision Dee by BMW
German auto brand BMW unveils the i Vision Dee – an updated version of its color-changing car technology at the CES 2023 (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, expanding the concept from black and white to a full color palette.
The “Dee” in its name stands for Digital Emotional Experience and it comprises an exterior made from an e-ink film.
However, where the iX Flow could only change between black and white – this car boasts up to 32 colors and its design allows for the creation of completely customized, digitally controlled patterns on demand.
Intended to create a stronger bond between people and their cars – BMW included this color-changing exterior as part of a suite of features.
“With the BMW i Vision Dee, we are showcasing what’s possible when hardware and software merge.
In this way – we are able to exploit the full potential of digitalization to transform the car into an intelligent companion!” says BMW.
Developed with technology company E Ink – the exterior of the car is divided up into 240 segments that can be individually controlled.
Additionally, the team had to adapt E Ink’s technology for curved surfaces as well as develop new electronic controls and laser cutting processes to form the exterior.
The concept for the i Vision Dee further incorporates other features that are meant to blend the digital and physical worlds and embody a vision for the future of car design.
For instance, one of them is the Mixed Reality Slider – a five-step slider on the dashboard that introduces immersive digital elements to the interior as one moves their finger further along on it.
5. Afeela by Honda and Sony
Japanese consumer electronics company Sony and carmaker Honda combine their expertise to produce an electric car prototype, unveiled at the CES 2023 (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas.
This electric sedan – released under joint venture Sony Honda Mobility’s newly launched car brand Afeela – was designed to prioritize entertainment and interaction.
Fitted to both the interior and the exterior of the car – it comprises interfaces developed by Epic Games as well as screens for movies, games and “infotainment”.
Users will be able to utilize these amenities even when behind the wheel, as the car is set to offer autonomous driving guided by an array of 45 varying sensors and cameras.
These sensors will further enable users to personalize Afeela’s cockpit based on their biometric data – matching the positioning of the seat, steering wheel as well as surround sound to their exact height.
“In addition to movies, games and music – we envision a new in-cabin experience using our expertise of UX and UI technologies.
As a result – the all-wheel drive electric vehicle (EV) would effectively function as a moving entertainment space!” says Honda.
Additionally, the car’s various screens will also display augmented reality (AR) driving assistance graphics developed using Unreal Engine – the gaming engine of American games developer Epic Games – as pioneered in General Motors’ Hummer EV in 2020.
“The most natural way to visualize such data is through intuitive, interactive photoreal augmentation – the very stuff that our game engine was built to do!” Honda adds.