There they are, polished and shining, the automobile makers’ concept cars and studies for the streets of tomorrow. It’s clear that automobiles in the future will be smarter and cleaner, but design and dynamism won’t be left behind. Many manufacturers, from Mercedes-Benz to BMW and from Opel to Porsche, are getting by with electric engines or hybrids with three or four cylinders. Opel for instance, with its gull-wing-doored “Monza”, is showing a sports concept that combines an electric engine with a three-cylinder gas engine.
BMW is also showing with its i8 that hybrid and electric don’t have to spell farewell to sportiness. The i8, with its three-cylinder and electric engines, boasts a horsepower of 231. Porsche is also presenting its 918 Spyder which, with its V8-engine with two electric engines, has an impressive 887hp under the hood. Porsche and BMW are so keen to launch the models really for the market. But we cannot tell whether the Monza make it onto the streets, but the technology certainly will.
The various assistance systems, in contrast, are anything but concepts, featured in almost every show car and designed not only to amuse the driver but also to make his task easier. This even goes so far that the S-Class presented by Mercedes-Benz travels the streets partly autonomously and safely thanks to its “Intelligent Drive” system. The technology is not far off being ready for series production. Will we soon be seeing driverless cars on the street similar to subway trains, going to the nearest newspaper stand to pick up some cigarettes? Who knows.