5 Wild Electric Concept Cars at CES 2019
Every year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world’s tech companies go wild and give the industry a glimpse of what technology to look forward to in the coming year. Not all of the technology on display ends up being products we use every day, but many of the biggest steps forward in the last few years made their stop at the convention before becoming available to the public.
As the automotive industry becomes more tech-dependent with autonomous vehicles and electric power, CES has become the place for OEMs to show off their electric concepts. While, like the other technology on the convention floor, many concepts have no chance of ever becoming a consumer product, this year was different, with quite a few high-tech cars having release dates in the near future. Here are the five best electric concepts from CES, plus a bonus!
1. Audi Aicon
Packing four electric motors generating a total of 405 lb-ft of torque, Audi says it can go 435-497 miles on a single charge. That's better than any electric car on the market today, but believe it or not, that’s not the crazy part.
The craziest part of the Aicon concept is that its interior features no steering wheel or pedals. The Aicon is fully autonomous, and Audi plans to have a production vehicle based on this concept by 2021. Ready or not, here autonomous vehicles come.
2. Mercedes Benz EQ Silver Arrow
If there were an award for Most Beautiful Car at CES, the Mercedes Benz EQ Silver Arrow would win, hands down. Its sleek silver body is reminiscent of old Mercedes Benz race cars from the 1930s but brought up to date for the 2030s. We're not too hopeful for this one ever making it to showroom floors, but you never know.
3. Nissan Leaf Nismo RC 02 Concept
The Leaf Nismo RC 02 looks like it's ready to compete in Japan’s Super GT series. The Leaf Nismo RC 02 loses its rear doors, sports a roofline almost 12 inches lower than a road-going Leaf and packs 322hp and 472 lb-ft of torque between its carbon fiber chassis. Unfortunately, Nissan has no plans to race the Nismo RC 02, as it is strictly a concept.
4. Byton K-Byte
Byton is a Chinese EV startup looking to take a piece of Telsa’s market share. Its sedan offering, the K-Byte, aims to bring Level 4 autonomous driving to the masses by using LiDAR sensors placed all around the car to allow it to maneuver through traffic without any issues. It even comes with a LiBow and LiGuards that light up to communicate the status of the vehicle to everyone around it. This sounds kind of like they just rebranded taillights, but we'll have to see it in action to offer a final verdict.
5. Byton M-Byte
Byton says the M-Byte might look like an SUV, but it is actually a SIV (Smart Intuitive Vehicle). Packed with features like facial recognition, wearable synchronization, video calling and data encryption, the car seems more like a smartphone than an anything else.
Inside, you can’t miss the massive 48-inch screen. If that isn’t enough, there is a tablet in the middle of the steering wheel. Although they are concepts, Byton plans to make their cars available in the United States by 2021.
Bonus: Schaeffler Audi RS3 TCR All-Electric
What happens when you take the Audi RS3 TCR and stuff a Formula E electric motor in all four corners?
You get a 1,200hp donut machine, disguised as a compact sedan. Not only is it fast going straight, it also holds the world record for speed in reverse gear at 130 mph.