Audacious Varsovia concept has designs on discerning backseat driversView gallery - 13 images
Picture the ultimate luxury car and Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Maybach instantly spring to mind. They've been doing it for decades, slowly perfecting the formula for a comfortable, cosseting rear-seat ride. But what if you're after something a little more avant-garde, a luxury car which doesn't conform to traditional interior design ideals? One Polish company thinks it has solved the problem with its Varsovia Concept.
At the core of the car's design philosophy is a sense of minimalism, both inside and out. That means the design team has given it a relatively sedate silhouette, without too many flashy badges adorning the flanks. Even though the wheels are big, they're totally free of the usual chrome-heavy concept car finish. It looks fairly similar to the Cadillac Escala, and that's no bad thing.
If the outside is reasonably conventional, the interior is anything but. The front passenger seat has been kicked to the curb, leaving room for a lucky rear-seat passenger to properly stretch out. It's the same concept Volvo has toyed with on its Lounge Console, albeit wrought in a more luxurious way.
How luxurious? Well, the rear seats make use of an extended spa system, giving passengers the ability to adjust the heating, cooling, massage and hardness of nine individual sections. If the occupants don't want to bother with the adjustments themselves, a set of inbuilt sensors adapts it to the user's build and weight automatically.
These sensors combine with a camera to provide automatic mood recognition, too. This is a function often promised in concept cars, but one yet to make it to production. Given the potential to frustrate passengers, maybe that's a good thing.
It's not all massage seats and mood recognition back there, because Varsovia also wants the car to work as a luxurious mobile office. There are two 19-inch displays integrated into the roof, controlled by a built-in keyboard, mouse and tablet. The screens fold into the glass roof when they're not being used, and can be turned transparent to avoid ruining the view.
Satellite internet means busy business moguls can stay connected to the outside world, and the system is designed to automatically pair with the occupant's phone for easy teleconferencing. When the system isn't being used for work, it can be used as the world's fanciest rear-seat movie theatre.
Power comes from a hybrid range-extender powertrain, and claimed total range is 850 km (528 mi). According to Varsovia, the battery pack will be able to provide around 350 km (217 mi) without help from the petrol generator, which will add another 500 km (311 mi). Although the projected curb weight is more than 2000 kg (4409 lb), the claimed 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time is less than five seconds.
As if these audacious goals weren't enough, there are also plans to make the car's interior and exterior design fully customizable. As well as offering material and trim choices, Varsovia says customers will be able to create their own wheels and "significantly affect the shape of the vehicle." The company also claims VIP B7 level armor plating will be available, too.
As you might have gathered, this is all pie-in-the-sky stuff at the moment. The company, which has never produced a car before, wants to display a prototype at an unspecified international motor show. Should it receive enough interest, limited production will kick off after 2018.