The annual Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas is the mecca of consumer technologies – until now, that is. Slowly but surely, 2020 CES is becoming a car show, and it’s all for the better.
And since we’re crazy about new cars, it’s only right to present a roundup of the best cars that made us swoon at 2020 CES. In no particular order, here are the vehicles that made us all giddy on the future of mobility.
Sony Vision-S Concept
That’s right. The Japanese electronics giant is not just about TVs, portable walkmans, and the PlayStation gaming console. In a totally unexpected move, Sony presented the Vision-S Concept at 2020 CES.
And for once, we more than thrilled. The Vision-S is not an appliance but rather a culmination of Sony’s expertise in sensors and electronics on four wheels. Most surprising is how Sony managed to create what is perceptibly a nice-looking car.
It has the aura of a Model 3 but with the elongated vibe of a Porsche Panamera. Sony didn’t mention anything about the powertrain, but the spec sheet indicates a dual motor set up for an effective all-wheel-drive system, double-wishbone suspension with air springs, and a top speed of 140 mph.
Also, Sony said the electric motors are rated at 200 kW each. Based on our recent piece on understanding EV specifications, this means the Vision-S has 400 kW or 536 mechanical horsepower, thereby making it a potential Model S killer. Sadly, the Vision-S is just a concept and probably won’t make it into production soon.
Fisker presented the new Ocean SUV a couple of days prior to CES 2020. In a private event, Fisker revealed the production model Ocean along with leasing and pricing options. The Ocean is literally making big waves not because it’s an all-electric SUV built using sustainable materials.
As a matter of fact, the Fisker Ocean is slowly becoming the biggest bang-for-the-buck alternative in the EV industry. With retail prices starting at $37,499 before tax credits, the Ocean can be yours for less than $30k after all is said and done.
This is not a bad deal considering you get either one or two electric motors, and 80 kWh battery pack, and around 250-300 miles of range. Also, the Ocean has ‘California Mode’, a brilliant feature that opens all of the nine windows and glass panels of the vehicle by pressing a single button.
According to Audi, the AI:ME is an empathetic car. You can think of it as a mildly sensitive human being that analyzes and learns all your quirks and preferences. This means the car knows your preferred air temperature, interior lighting, and even your driving destinations in any given day or situation.
For example, the car is able to suggest ordering takeout from a restaurant that you love or play your favorite driving music. The reasoning behind the human-like attributes of the Audi AI:ME is it being a fully autonomous car. If the vehicle is in charge of the driving duties, human occupants need something to do, right?
With that, the Audi AI:ME has a large OLED display panel with augmented reality technology. The screen has an eye-tracking feature for a true hands-off operation. The vehicle also has a pair of VR goggles if you wish to dabble with virtual reality on the way to the office.
In short, the Audi AI:ME is a vehicle that wants to be your friend. Isn’t that what we’ve always wanted in a car?
Jeep 4xe PHEV
If there’s any indication the entire automotive industry is seriously heading towards electrification, you only need to look at the 4xe Jeep Wrangler PHEV. Jeep proudly displayed a Wrangler PHEV quietly charging in the background at CES 2020, and it’s a refreshing sight to behold.
According to Jeep, the Wrangler 4xe PHEV is expected to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March while the Compass and Renegade 4xe will debut in April this year. Also, the hybrid Renegade and Compass is powered by a 1.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine paired with an electric motor. Power is rated between 190 and 240 horsepower.
This allows an all-electric range of 31 miles and an EV top speed of 81 mph. We’ll know more about Jeep’s newest hybrid off-roaders as we approach the Geneva Motor Show a few months from now.
Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR
More than just being a nifty product placement for the upcoming lineup of new Avatar films (Mercedes said the car won’t be featured in the movies), the Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR attempts to fuse the connection between man, machine, and nature. It’s a concept car from the ground up, but it’s the type of concept that made us lost for words.
Editor-in-chief Vincent Nguyen got an actual hands-on experience with the Vision AVTR show car. “Hovering your hand above the futuristic center console recognizes the driver’s breathing pattern and wakes up the drivetrain and other systems,” said Nguyen. “It’ a vehicle that seamlessly interacts with its occupants.”
The Vision AVTR has 33 multi-directional surface elements or flaps in the vast rear hood and can move, flutter, or undulate as a means of communicating with the driver. It has transparent doors that look like the wings of a dragonfly when fully opened. Also, the wheels and tires are spherical by design and offer brilliant all-terrain traction without destroying the ground.