Cadillac shows sporty coupes have a gorgeous future in autonomous age
While Chevrolet is busying itself readying the near future, Cadillac is diving deeper into the crystal ball, showing the all-new InnerSpace digital concept car at CES 2022. The ultra-low, sleek coupe has looks to kill, but it's really an interior concept, showing how autonomous driving can be used to create a personal theater as cozy as any living room.
We've often wondered if two-seaters will have much lifespan in the autonomous age. Every fully autonomous concept cabin seems to focus either on an intimate four-person+ vis-a-vis layout or a larger ride share-friendly mini-bus configuration. With the ghost in the machine taking care of all the driving, the exhilarating handling advantages of the coupe are mostly nullified, so maybe the two-door two-seater will ultimately become a forgotten dinosaur.
The InnerSpace says, "Not so fast," showing how sporty design and a two-seat interior could become more relevant than ever in a self-driving world.
Cadillac describes the concept as the reimagining of a classic runabout, and while it isn't a convertible like runabouts often are, it employs a panoramic glass roof that drapes over into the vehicle sides as a way of connecting with the world outside.
The InnerSpace's dramatically low stance, long curves and taut rear end make it worthy as a design study, but Cadillac's focus is entirely inside the lift-away canopy. Here, a snug cocoon wraps two passengers in a love-seat-style bench pointed at a rather dramatically curved LED display. The screen hosts the passengers' choice of augmented reality, entertainment or wellness recovery programming, and GM's Ultifi connected software platform allows Cadillac and authorized third parties to add additional themes and options. The panoramic canopy surrounding the duo ensures they never get so entranced by digital media as to lose touch with their natural surroundings.
Since not every pair of passengers will enjoy cozying up on a love seat, the InnerSpace bench also widens out and separates into two distinct seats that point slightly away from each other. That feature could also be useful for the couple that started the journey enjoying cozying up but realized mid-trip they wanted anything but.
The InnerSpace's low stance is made possible by the decentralized layout of the Ultium battery modules, a design pillar that also increases interior space. Goodyear tires with SoundComfort technology mitigate sound wave resonance to quiet the ride, and its Sightline digital tire tracking feeds information about tire pressure, temperature and load. We tend to doubt couples in a vehicle with this level of human-machine detachment will be all that concerned about tire stats, though.
The InnerSpace is part of what Cadillac calls its Halo Concept Porfolio, which kicked off at last year's CES with PersonalSpace solo eVTOL and SocialSpace shuttle concepts. The Halo vehicles are meant to be "visions for the next decade and beyond."
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Maybe a future version could have a slide-back roof panel for roadster driving.