Over the years, we’ve seen many automakers turn to 3D printing when designing and developing concept cars. From self-actuating and solar-powered cars to 3D printed cars inspired by leaves, the technology has been used by many in the automotive industry to predict and show what the future of cars could look like.
In 2015, Peugeot introduced a concept electric urban car that featured a 3D printed interior, and now global luxury automotive brand Genesis is showcasing its innovative Essentia concept car. The high-performance vehicle, just introduced at the New York International Auto Show, features a custom-tailored interior made possible through 3D printing.
Manfred Fitzgerald, Global Head of the Genesis Brand, said, “We understand our obligation as a luxury car manufacturer to create objects of desire, sparking passion and inspiration by emphasizing a culture while exceeding expectations in terms of technology and connectivity, bringing our outside world seamlessly to the inside of the vehicle. This is what the Genesis Essentia Concept is all about, and we are thrilled to introduce our interpretation of an all-electric, two-door Gran Turismo here in New York.”
The sleek Essentia is the first battery-powered electric vehicle put out by the Genesis brand, which calls Hyundai its parent company, and showcases the automaker’s vision of its future product technology. It features a swept-back cabin, a multi-motor electric powertrain, and a lightweight monocoque (structural skin) and body made out of carbon fiber.
The sports car sits low to the ground, is finished in Stardust Gray Metallic, and was designed, according to Genesis, “to counter the complexities of a modern lifestyle.”
“The Genesis Essentia concept defines our vision for an electric Gran Turismo that integrates Athletic Elegance and Genesis DNA as defining parameters. A Gran Turismo typology highlights our ambition as a luxurious car brand for the connoisseurs and it is the perfect base to project our DNA in the future,” said Executive Vice President Luc Donckerwolke, Head of Genesis Design.
“The search for dynamic proportions was contrasted with advanced aerodynamic flows to highlight the bionic combination of performance and aesthetics. Essentia embodies the genetic elements of the Genesis design.”
The Essentia has luxury features including a nifty transparent hood that allows you to see through to the exposed pushrod suspension, carbon fiber chassis, and nose cone; an evolved front fascia with a more efficient grille and streamlined airflow; metal copper detail trim on the bespoke wheels; and thin laser-optical Genesis Quad Lights for a “unique light signature.”
The theory behind the concept car’s 3D printed interior design was to increase the connection between the driver and the vehicle by focusing on the details, getting rid of unnecessary clutter, and putting the transparent cockpit cell on display.
Looking through the car’s butterfly doors, which open and close through a sensor that integrates both biometric facial recognition and fingerprint control software, you can catch a glimpse of the 3D printed webbing that beautifully connects both the interior and exterior surfaces.
“On the interior, purism has also dominated the creative process for the interior skin, the layer in contact with the occupants, but less traditionalist the connection between the outside skin and the internal structure,” explained Donckerwolke. “We connected both with our flowing G-Matrix that uses a dynamic web allowing lightness and internal air flow. This highlights the exciting opportunities being explored in 3D printing which transcends the lengthy, inflexible and costly tooling process.”
The innovative 3D printed weave is right inside the door sills and definitely gives the Essentia a more futuristic look. The carbon fiber was layered in individual pieces to give the interior a 3D optical effect.
A mixed-material, high-fashion approach was used to design the rest of the interior, with all details selected to provide the fanciest of fancy rides.
The Essentia is filled with the latest connected technology, including an 8″ wide display screen – and AI, through the next-generation Genesis Intelligent Assistant, which lets you control the vehicle through voice command and have a two-way dialogue. The customizable system also integrates with smart homes and devices, so you can turn on the lights or pre-program HVAC settings at home. The concept car also provides road conditions so you can avoid traffic jams, and even uses machine learning intelligence to recommend routes based on driver inclination…only a little Big Brotheresque.
With an estimated time of 3.0 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph, the Essentia seems to have it all. While it is only a concept car, Genesis has said that at some point it will introduce a luxury/performance couple to the market.
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.[Sources: Genesis, CNET / Images: Genesis]
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