New BMW Neue Klasse leads new cars at CES
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which takes place in Las Vegas in the US, is the place to launch new tech, but in recent years it has also been a key event to reveal new cars and automotive-related technology. We look at the big announcements from CES 2023.
BMW previews Neue Klasse
Details of the “New Class” of BMW are being gradually revealed over various concepts and events, and CES was the latest stage.
The i Vision Dee is a high-tech electric car, with a number of features both important and more trivial. The one grabbing headlines is the ability for the i Vision Dee to change colour, thanks to E Ink paint. It can switch between up to 32 colours, causing a headache for vehicle registration agencies, automated parking sites, police, and speed camera penalties the world over.
More significant however is the design language used, which previews a potential change from the large, deep kidney grilles to a wider, slightly retro style.
Augmented reality systems feature widely, with no conventional instrument panel, rather projected information using a head-up display, which stretches the width of the windscreen. This is expected in some form within the next few years on production models, starting with the i3.
Volkswagen's EV plans
The latest model to come along in the ID. line-up, Volkswagen will launch the ID. 7 electric saloon. Although covered with QR-code inspired camouflage, the basic design is clear that it's effectively an electric version of the Passat.
With a range of more than 430 miles, full details will be revealed closer to launch, but key details such as basic design, proportions, and a new, larger version of the current VW touchscreen system. Unlike the BMW above and the Peugeot below, this is no concept, but it's also the most disguised of the main reveals at CES.
Premium Peugeot launched with 497 range
The Inception concept was revealed by Peugeot at CES, previewing a potential large electric saloon from the French firm.
Based on a forthcoming platform from Stellantis - Peugeot's parent group - the Inception packs in a 100 kWh battery for a range of 497 miles, with 500 kW (680hp) on tap from twin electric motors.
High-power charging means 93 miles of range can be added in just five minutes, and the concept is fitted with plates for induction (wireless) charging.
The design will reflect future developments in styling for Peugeot too, but of greatest importance is showcasing the techniques the company will introduce to reduce its carbon footprint by more than 50% by 2030 in Europe.
What else was going on at CES?
Polestar's association with Google is set to go further than its already strong alliance. The Polestar 2 was the first car to feature an infotainment system built on a Google platform, and now the Polestar 3 - available later this year - will feature a new HD version of Google's automotive mapping system.
The 3 is expected to be the first car in the world to be fitted with this new HD map, which is an important component of self-driving systems that will be fitted to the Polestar.
Mercedes-Benz has revealed plans to roll-out its own rapid charger network, with 10,000 points to be in the ground by 2030.
It will start in the US, which will account for a quarter of the total number of planned points, including the addition of 400 charging hubs in the nation.
Following a launch in the States, Mercedes-Benz will then expand the network to Europe and China. This is due to be in addition to the Mercedes me Charge network cross-network charging card available to Mercedes-Benz customers, and the German brand's involvement in the Ionity pan-European high-power charging network.
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