DS Aero Sport Lounge concept debuts ultrasonic, haptic 3D air-controls
High-end Citroen spinoff DS Automobiles has presented the concept it's taking to Geneva. The all-electric Aero Sport Lounge is a sharp-looking crossover with an arresting interior that aspires to avant-garde as much as aerodynamics.
Were it ever to be made, it'd be a quickie. DS claims 500 kilowatts (680 horsepower) from this thing, equating to a Teslaesque 2.8 second 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration time. That's not to mention a meaty 110 kWh battery pack that should be good for more than 400 miles (650 km) of range. But it'll never be made, so frankly DS is free to put whatever numbers it likes on this thing.
Thus, it's probably most interesting in terms of styling and new technologies. In terms of the former, this is a sharp and spiffy looking thing, with some Lexus-like angling under the headlights, augmented with a set of droopy white eyelashes. The back end makes use of the wonderful woven strand brake lights we saw on last year's truly wacky DS X E-Tense concept, although this time they're sharpened to points, emphasizing aggression over elegance. The whole top looks like it's made of sunroof.
Behind the lit-up logo, the grille area is a big ol' screen showing weird techno animations, and behind that sits an array of self-driving sensors and cameras ready to read the road and provide you with some theoretical high-level autonomy once that becomes more science than fiction.
Opening one of the giant, double-wide doors gives you access to both front and back seats in an interior so busily and futuristically designed that DS hopes you'll take your eyes off your screens for a minute and enjoy it. Good luck with that, guys!
The steering wheel looks like something you might strap a baby into, and the center console is deigned to track your hand movements, looking for a range of gesture commands that could well see Italian drivers flashing the headlights, activating the window squirters and constantly switching radio stations in the course of a simple conversation.
With touchscreens avoided wherever possible, DS has decided to deploy tiny "ultra-haptics" speakers to let you know when a hand signal has been received and acted on, by pulsing little sound waves that give you the feeling that you're touching and manipulating invisible three-dimensional objects mid-air without you ever having touched anything. Forget about the car, I'd like to see that technology rolled out on public toilet door handles.
DS claims it's using an augmented reality HUD for a dash; fine in theory, difficult in practice at this stage. But you can definitely appreciate the wacky and quite pretty design of the seats, which blend in with the sort of artsy interior you might expect to find in the luxury mini-shuttle a galactic emperor sends to ferry you to his space castle. Of particular note is a deep bifurcation down the middle of each seat, perhaps to funnel some cooling airflow through your personal undercarriage on a long trip. Thoughtful, the French.
Apparently some of the interior's earthier tones come from the use of none other than straw in some of the cabin. We're not sure which bits exactly owe their lineage to Farmer Brown's hat, but it's allegedly all in service of the concept of sustainability. Which is funny, since luxury itself is starting to seem less and less sustainable by the day.
Still, such are the times we live in: a car that'll never be built promises self-driving capabilities that don't exist and companies crow about the use of sustainable materials in the process of building one-off luxury cars as pure marketing exercises. Well done, chaps. I am looking forward to twiddling your ultrasonic air knobs, though, if that's anything but pie in the sky.
Source: DS Automobiles