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    Lexus Previews LF-CC Concept For Paris



    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    September 16, 2012

    Lexus has pulled off a surprise before this month's Paris Motor Show by showing off the LF-CC coupe concept.

    The concept features the L-Finesse design language shown on the LF-LC concept. As the images show, the concept wears possibly the boldest implementation of the spindle grille. The overall body looks to share a lot in common with the LFA supercar. In a press release, Lexus says the concept is not just a look at the next generation IS, but also at a new coupe.

    Inside, Lexus says the LF-LC concept is a preview of what to expect in the new IS. The driver sits low and gets a wide grip steering wheel and a set high-visibility instrument dials.

    The center console layout is divided into two distinct pieces: an upper, Display Zone, with a multi-display screen, and a lower, Operation Zone, which has a new design for the gear-lever and a touch-pad controller.

    Powering the concept is a parallel hybrid system pairing a direct-injected 2.5L four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor. Like the exterior and interior, Lexus says expect this powertrain to make appearance in future models.

    Source: Lexus

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    World Premiere of the Lexus LF-CC Concept Car at the 2012 Paris Motor Show

    Sept. 17, 2012 -- Following the unveiling of Lexus’ award-winning hybrid 2+2 sports coupe concept, the LF-LC at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show and its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show, a new, mid-sized coupe concept, the LF-CC makes its World Premiere at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.

    The more compact, rear-wheel drive, full hybrid LF-CC already integrates various design cues from the LF-LC; a first illustration of how concept cars are truly influencing future Lexus models and, in this instance, future D-Segment derivatives.

    Announcing the launch of a premium mid-sized coupe in the more accessible D-segment in the near future, the LF-CC reinforces Lexus’ commitment to create more engaging, inspirational vehicles through attractive design, a superior driving experience and advanced technologies.

    EXTERIOR DESIGN

    The LF-CC showcases the latest evolution of the company’s unique L-finesse design language, with the boldest yet interpretation of the signature Lexus ‘spindle’ grille. Framed by the bonnet lip, deep lower spoiler and powerfully projecting front fender tips, the grille mesh is encased in a deep, metal-finish surround and takes on a pronounced, 3D form.

    A unique, 3 LED-projector headlamp design is housed in the narrow gap between the lower and upper fender surfaces, without a conventional, one-piece cover. Independent Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) are fully integrated into the upper bumper surface to complete this unique new design.

    The broad lower fenders are aerodynamically sculpted to manage the flow of air to the engine bay and front brakes, whilst reinforcing the powerful, dynamic road presence of the new Lexus signature frontal design.

    In profile, the powerful convex curve of the bonnet flows seamlessly through a steeply raked windscreen into a roofline which deliberately peaks towards the rear of the cabin to emphasise the traction available from the vehicle’s rear-wheel drive powertrain.

    The bodywork is stretched tight between the front and rear fenders, and the rear fender is less pronounced than that of the front, reinforcing the concentration of vehicle weight over the driven wheels for maximum traction.

    Further developing a design form initiated on the LF-LC concept and the high-performance LFA, the sharply sculpted form of an airflow regulating fin flows from underneath the side of the car and upwards through the rear wheel arch. This aerodynamic detail is designed to increase downforce over the driven wheels, further improving traction.

    The airflow regulating fin merges with the falling roofline in a pronounced rear spoiler integrated within the boot lid, seamlessly fusing design and aerodynamic elements to give the vehicle its distinctive, coupe proportions.

    To the rear, the full width bumper flows into the rear wheel arches to emphasise the LF-CC’s broad, powerful stance. Lexus-characteristic L-shaped combination lamps feature a layered, strongly three-dimensional design, and the lower, concave bumper section incorporates a full width spoiler to further enhance rear-wheel drive traction. The rear stop lamp is nicely integrated into the shark antenna.

    The LF-CC is finished in a new, ‘Fluid Titanium’ exterior colour, a metallic finish with exceptionally high brilliance which combines sharp, bright highlighting with dark shaded surfaces to reinforce the powerful forms of the bodywork’s sculpted surfaces.

    INTERIOR DESIGN

    The LF-CC’s interior hints at the progressive luxury of a future Lexus model cabin layout, and represents a further development of the company’s HMI (Human Machine Interface) design philosophy.

    The dashboard is divided into two distinct zones: an upper, Display Zone, with a multi-display screen located at an ideal distance for at-a-glance viewing, and a lower, Operation Zone, which allows access to the uniquely designed shift lever and an innovative touch tracer display for remote system control.

    This clear division of zones creates a unique fusion of an airy, spacious cabin and a sporting cockpit which places the emphasis on a snug, highly focused driving environment. All functional driving components are consolidated in the driver’s seat surroundings, combining outstanding ergonomics with advanced HMI technologies.

    The driver benefits from a low, highly focused driving position with a sporting, wide grip steering wheel, optimum pedal placement and high-visibility instrument dials. The touch tracer display for remote system control is located directly behind the shift lever for maximum comfort and ease of operation.

    Coordinating with the ‘Fluid Titanium’ exterior colour, the seats, door panels and instrument binnacle hood are trimmed in a warm, elegant amber leather finish. The extensive use of metallic finishes and soft touch materials throughout reinforces the premium quality of the environment. The contrast between the exterior and interior colour schemes gives the car an elegant yet simultaneously sporting image.

    ALL-NEW 2.5 LITRE FULL HYBRID POWERTRAIN

    Representing a new Lexus powertrain for future production, the LF-CC is equipped with an all-new, highly efficient, 2.5 litre full hybrid powertrain delivering a combination of the engaging performance appropriate to a sporting, D-segment coupe and low CO2 emissions, targeted below 100 g/km. This powertrain will achieve class-leading energy efficiency, with more than 2 hp produced per gram of CO2.

    This Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain features an all-new, ultra-smooth running, 2.5 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine mated to a compact, high-output, water-cooled permanent magnet electric motor.

    In addition to the petrol engine and electric motor, the LF-CC hybrid drive system further comprises a generator, a high-performance battery, a power split device which, via planetary reduction gears, combines and re-allocates power from the engine, electric motor and generator according to operational requirements, and a compact power control unit to govern the high speed interaction of the system components.

    Adapted specifically for the hybrid powertrain, the all-new 2.5 litre, DOHC, 4-cylinder petrol engine benefits from several technical improvements. It adopts the Atkinson cycle and D-4S direct injection technology to optimise both the power and fuel-efficiency benefits of Lexus Hybrid Drive.

    Lexus will introduce this new hybrid powertrain into its model range in the near future.

    Lexus at the 2012 Paris Motor Show

    Besides the world premiere of the new LF-CC, Lexus will also display the all-new LS 600h F SPORT in Western European premiere. The new LS flagship sedan reflects the bolder Lexus exterior and interior design direction, and brings enhanced driving dynamics, world-leading refinement, luxury and innovative advanced technology.

    Introduced by Paul Van der Burgh, Director Lexus Europe, the Lexus Press Conference will be held at 8.45 AM CET on September 27 (hall 4, stand 120).

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      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Lexus executives admit there are some holes in their lineup such as not having a subcompact or three-row crossover. Speaking with Automotive News, Lexus General Manager Jeff Bracken said the brand is losing as many as 70,000 potential vehicle sales by not competing in certain segments. 
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      One possibility is introducing a subcompact crossover possibly with a production version of the UX concept.
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      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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    • By William Maley
      Almost three decades ago at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota shocked the establishment with the introduction of Lexus and LS 400 flagship. Lexus hopes with the 2018 LS introduced this morning in Detroit is able to recapture some of that shock.
      The look of the 2018 LS is familiar and somehow different. The profile is the similar to the current LS, but Lexus made a number of changes to make it stand out. There is a more aggressive take on the spindle grille, a crease running along the doors, lower ride height, and larger wheels. The new GA-L platform that made it's debut last year on the LC coupe underpins the LS. It has been stretched and widened to provide measurements of 206.1-inches long 74.8-inches wide, and 57.1-inches tall. This makes it about the same size as a BMW 7-Series long-wheelbase.
      Power comes from an all-new 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine with 415 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with a new ten-speed automatic. Lexus says the LS with this engine will hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. It is unknown whether or not a V8 or hybrid option will be introduced down the road. The front and rear multilink suspension setup from the LC is employed on the LS. An air suspension system is optional.
      The interior takes some ideas from the LC with a similar instrument cluster with traction control and drive mode selectors sitting on either side. The seats have been redesigned and now feature 28-way power adjustments for those sitting up front. Rear seat passengers can get reclining seats, an ottoman, and Shiatsu massage functionality. Tech-wise, there is a new version of Lexus' remote touch system with a 12.3-inch infotainment system and optional 24" color heads-up display which the automaker claims is the largest in the world.
      The 2018 Lexus LS is expected to go on sale towards the end of the year.
      Source: Lexus
      Press Release is on Page 2


      With the All-New 2018 LS, Lexus Reimagines Global Flagship Sedan
      Radical new design with coupe-like silhouette, yet spaciousness of prestige sedan New platform for greatest-ever LS agility and comfort All-new twin-turbo V6 with 415 horsepower 10-speed automatic transmission All-new available Lexus Advanced Safety Package New level of flagship luxury in every aspect Interior inspired by traditional Japanese aesthetics On sale in U.S. near the end of 2017 DETROIT, January 9, 2017 — It is possible that no single automobile has, upon introduction, upended its category as decisively as the first Lexus LS did when it launched the luxury brand 28 years ago. The 1990 LS 400 was the original luxury disruptor, winning critical acclaim and astonishing customers by setting new benchmarks for comfort, powertrain performance and smoothness, quietness, build quality, attention to detail, and dependability. The brand supported that groundbreaking vehicle by setting and maintaining new standards for customer service and satisfaction.
       
      Now, Lexus is about to repeat history with the introduction of the all-new, fifth-generation LS flagship sedan for 2018, unveiled at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. Inside and out, the new LS reflects a strong, uniquely Japanese identity and approach to luxury. Yet, the LS was designed to be the brand’s latest global citizen, available in about 90 countries.
       
      “Not only will the LS symbolize the Lexus brand, it will become the definitive new-generation luxury car embodying Japanese tradition and culture,” said Toshio Asahi, chief engineer for the new LS. “As such, this global pinnacle must go far beyond what the world expects from a luxury car.”
       
      Longer, Lower, Wider – and More Exciting
       
      Longer and lower than the sedan it replaces, the all-new LS debuts a strikingly bold design with a coupe-like silhouette punctuated by the Lexus design language. A new driver-centric performance feel comes from building the LS on the company’s all-new global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L). This premium rear-wheel drive platform, an extended version of the one used for the stunning new Lexus LC 500 coupe, will offer a more dynamic experience on the road while further elevating renowned Lexus comfort. 
       
      The original Lexus LS won acclaim by anticipating what luxury customers would want, rather than simply amplifying what established luxury automobile brands offered at the time. In that spirit, the 2018 LS sedan’s spacious cabin, unique appointments and visionary technology will once again surprise customers by resetting expectations for a global flagship sedan.
       
      “We set previously unheard of targets and resolutely pushed ahead towards these ambitious goals,” said LS chief engineer, Asahi. “The customers who are going to want to own a Lexus flagship are already surrounded by luxury on a daily basis, people who have a sharp eye for authenticity to begin with. We wouldn’t turn their heads with a conventional premium product.”
       
      A Flagship Reborn
       
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      To create the all-new LS, Lexus took the approach of starting from new, reimagining what a flagship sedan should be, as if launching the brand all over again. The goal was not to improve on what Lexus has done, but to exceed expectations of global luxury customers.
       
      A common thread going through all LS models remains: Omotenashi, the concept of Japanese hospitality. Applied to a luxury automobile, it means taking care of the driver and passengers, anticipating their needs, attending to their comfort and helping to protect them from hazards.
       
      Vehicle Dynamics
       
      More than ever before, luxury sedan drivers demand greater handling agility and performance feel without sacrificing comfort. It’s one of the most difficult balances to achieve in a vehicle, yet the new Lexus global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L) meets the challenge. The new platform debuted in the LC 500 coupe and now, with a longer wheelbase, underpins the new LS. To enhance center of gravity height and weight distribution, the new LS has a wide and low design.
       
      The GA-L platform is the stiffest in Lexus history, setting the stage for enhanced handling, ride smoothness and cabin quietness. The 123-inch wheelbase is 1.3-inch longer than the current LS long-wheelbase model.
       
      Helping to provide the uncanny ride and handling balance in the new LS is the latest generation of a chassis control technology known as Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM). This system implements cooperative control of all vehicle subsystems – braking, steering, powertrain, and suspension – to control basic longitudinal, lateral and vertical motion as well as yaw, roll and pitch. Optimal control of these motions helps to enable exceptional ride comfort, enhanced traction and safety and handling agility. Handling can be further enhanced by active stabilizer bars and the Lexus Dynamic Handling (LDH) System with independent front and rear steering. VDIM is capable of aiding stability when the car is traversing split-friction surfaces, such as dry pavement and ice.
       
      In creating the new LS, engineers used lightweight materials including ultra-high tensile steel sheet and aluminum to carve over 200 pounds from the current LS platform and body. These savings, along with the implementation of the new V6 engine and enhanced body rigidity, allow for a more dynamic driving experience. 
       
      Critical to its driving performance, the new platform lowers the car’s center of gravity by placing most of the mass, including the engine and the occupants, in a position more centralized and lower in the chassis. Special braces in the engine compartment, stiff aluminum front and rear suspension towers, and other features help bolster the strength of key chassis structures.
       
      The LS has a history of outstanding suspension compliance, yet Lexus saw opportunity for new gains in this realm as well. For example, the multilink suspension employs double ball joints on the upper and lower control arms to help allow for control of the smallest movements from the driver inputs and road conditions. Beyond sharing workload, a dual ball joint arrangement helps optimize suspension geometry to increase wheel control and yield more precise steering response with better initial effort. To reduce unsprung weight and therefore aid agility and comfort, aluminum is used extensively in the suspension.
       
      LS Performance and Smoothness Redefined: Twin-Turbo V6 and 10-Speed Transmission
       
      For both high power and excellent fuel efficiency, Lexus designed an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine specifically for the new LS with all-new twin turbos developed through the company’s F1 technology. This new engine in the LS is indicative of the more dynamic approach being taken by Lexus, offering V8-level power without sacrificing fuel economy—all while minimizing noise and vibration. The new LS engine offers the output one would expect in a flagship sedan: 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, sizeable gains over the current LS model’s V8. The long stroke and optimized stroke-to-bore ratio contribute to high-speed combustion and the efficiency of the twin turbos, which assist the LS with a projected 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds (RWD).     
       
      Perhaps more critical is how Lexus tuned the engine and transmission to deliver instant acceleration and a constant buildup of torque toward the engine’s redline.
       
      A ladder frame structure in the cylinder block, redesigned engine mounts, electric wastegates and numerous other features help ensure the remarkable powertrain smoothness, a Lexus hallmark. The driver will be able to tailor powertrain response and feel by choosing from Normal to Sport to Sport+ modes, and just enough of the exhaust note can be heard to enhance the sporty feel.
       
      The first-ever 10-speed automatic transmission for a premium passenger car, having already debuted in the Lexus LC 500, is also used in the new LS flagship sedan. It is a torque-converter automatic, yet with shift times that rival those of dual-clutch transmissions. The wide bandwidth afforded by ten closely spaced ratios is ideal for all forms of driving, helping to provide an optimal gear for all conditions.
       
      Shifting via paddles is available, yet many will prefer the advanced electronic control system, which anticipates the driver’s input. The system chooses the ideal ratio by monitoring the acceleration, braking and lateral-g forces.
       
      For starting acceleration, the close ratios of the low gears and the shortened shift time enable a rhythmical and exhilarating acceleration feel. The high torque of the twin-turbo engine matches ideally with the higher gear ratios for effortless, serene highway cruising, yet very quick downshifts yield direct acceleration with no lag in G response.
       
      Torque converter lock-up activates in all ranges except when starting off to provide a direct feel, while also supporting fuel efficiency.
       
      Crafting a Unique Identity
       
      “The LS is the flagship of the Lexus brand,” said chief designer, Koichi Suga. “More than any other model, it embodies the history and image of Lexus and serves as a symbol for everything the brand stands for.”
       
      Following the “Yet” philosophy that has been passed on since the first-generation LS, Lexus created a design offering the room and comfort of a prestige “three-box” sedan, yet with the stylish silhouette of a four-door coupe that holds stronger appeal for younger luxury customers.
       
      Lexus designers took full advantage of the new platform, with its lower profile and length on par with that of a prestige long-wheelbase sedan, to give the new LS a stretched, ground-hugging appearance. Compared to the current LS, the new model is about .6 inches lower, while the hood and trunk are approximately 1.2 inches and 1.6 inches lower, respectively. The new LS is the first Lexus sedan with a six- side window design. Also a first for a Lexus sedan, the flush-surface windows smoothly integrate with the side pillar.
       
      To preserve headroom with the lower profile, the new LS features an outer slide-type moonroof. The unique rendition of the spindle grille mesh, with a texture that seemingly changes in different light, is the result of both intense CAD development and hand-adjusting thousands of individual surfaces.
       
      The LS debuts five wheel designs, including two new 19- and three 20-inch wheel designs. The 20-inch premium wheels employ a brilliant appearance created using an electroplating technique known as sputtering. All but one of the wheel designs feature a hollow rim structure that helps reduce the resonance sound generated by the tires.
       
      Progressive Comfort with Traditional Inspiration
       
      Creating a new standard of flagship luxury is not simply a matter of adding more features. Inspired by the omotenashi principle, Lexus sought to instill the new LS cabin with luxury that welcomes and envelops the occupants while treating the driver like a partner.
       
      “I suggest that you simply open the door and experience that immediate, intuitive sense that you’re looking at an interior that is unlike any luxury car before,” said chief designer Suga.
       
      New seating designs, including available 28-way power front seats that feature heating, cooling and massage, exemplify this approach. The organically shaped dash design clusters information displays at uniform height to support the “seat-in-control” layout that emphasizes the driver’s ability to operate all systems without the need to change posture.
       
      While making the new LS even more of a driver’s car, Lexus also lavished attention to the rear seat, developing a design that creates seamless, enveloping continuity between the trim and seatbacks for passenger egress.
       
      Options for heating, cooling and massage make the rear seat a welcoming environment. The available power front and rear seat with Shiatsu massage and a raised ottoman, part of a wider rear seat luxury package, offers the most legroom of any previous-generation LS. In addition, the seat behind the front passenger in this optional package can be reclined up to 48 degrees, and can be raised up to 24 degrees to help assist the rear-seat passenger in exiting the vehicle.
       
      Because the new LS is lower than previous versions, Lexus, for the first time, equipped the available air suspension with an access function. Activated by unlocking the car with the smart key, access mode automatically raises the vehicle and opens the seat bolsters to welcome drivers behind the wheel.
       
      The Intersection of Tradition and Technology
       
      Lighting and attention to detail express a unique aesthetic in the LS. A new approach to creating trim elements again turned to Japanese culture, combining traditional Japanese aesthetic with advanced manufacturing techniques. This is reflected in signature touches, such as beautiful interior ambient lighting inspired by Japanese lanterns and armrests that appear to float next to the door panel.
       
      Inspired by Shimamoku wood patterns, the new forms that combine the artistic combination of natural woodwork and application of Japan’s sophisticated sliced wood and laser cutting manufacturing technologies can be seen in the new LS. New patterns include Art Wood Organic, Art Wood Herringbone, and Gray Sapele Wood with Aluminum. Compared to the straight-grain Shimamoku pattern, the new LS cross-grain is a larger pattern featuring bolder contrasts between light and dark, giving the wood a more vibrant appearance.
       
      The Sounds of Near Silence – or Great Music
       
      Lexus tuned the LS exhaust to convey a more authoritative tone, yet also designed the cabin to ensure utterly quiet cruising. New sound suppression methods further hush the environment compared to previous LS models. Active Noise Control quiets the cabin even more by detecting the sound of the engine coming into the vehicle and cancelling certain frequencies using antiphase sound from the audio speakers.
       
      The serenity of the LS cabin provides an ideal stage for the standard premium audio system or the audiophile-worthy available 3D surround Mark Levinson audio package with in-ceiling array speakers. The package features a more inviting graphic user interface. Its next-generation remote touch is designed to mimic smartphone operation, also supporting handwritten input. In addition to its 12.3-inch wide navigation display, the LS can incorporate an optional 24-inch color heads-up display (HUD)—the largest in the world—that projects a variety of information onto the driver’s forward view.
       
      Advanced Safety Features and Driver Support
       
      Structurally, the all-new Lexus LS offers a high degree of passive safety for occupant protection in collisions. Lexus has also equipped the LS with technologies that can possibly help prevent crashes from occurring or mitigate their effects.
       
      The LS will feature the brand’s Lexus Safety System + and offer the Advanced Safety Package, which features the world’s first system with Intuitive Pedestrian Detection with Active Steering within the lane. With this system, if a pedestrian is detected in the lane ahead and a collision is imminent, the LS is designed to automatically brake and potentially steer around the person while staying in the lane. The available color HUD is utilized in alerting the driver.
    • By William Maley
      As we accurately judged a few weeks back, Volkswagen's concept for the Detroit Auto Show is another Microbus. But don't call it that, instead call it the I.D. Buzz.
      Volkswagen is clear in their press release that the I.D. Buzz "is not a retro design on 22-inch wheels." We're not fully sure on that because it looks like Microbus with the large Volkswagen emblem up front, two-tone paint, and a large area of glass. The only point you can give Volkswagen about it not being a 'retro design' is the front end not being so blunt. The interior can seat up to eight people and there are some nice details such as a wooden floor and LED ambient lighting. Technology features include a removable tablet for passengers, augmented reality heads-up display, and a steering wheel that retracts when the vehicle is put into an autonomous driving mode.
      Like the first I.D. concept, the I.D. Buzz uses Volkswagen's upcoming Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB). For the Buzz, the MEB platform is extended to house a 111-kWh battery pack and two electric motors. Volkswagen says output stands at 369 horsepower while range is estimated at 270 miles on a "predicted US driving cycle". As we mentioned a moment ago, the I.D. Buzz will have the autonomous capability thanks to four onboard laser scanners, ultrasonic and radar sensors, and a number of camera around the vehicle.
      The question of course when it comes to Volkswagen and their Microbus concepts is will it go into production or not. In the case of the I.D. Buzz, that is a maybe. We know Volkswagen is working on an electric van due out sometime between 2020-2025 and this could be the one. But given Volkswagen's track record, we're not fully counting on it either.
      Source: Volkswagen
      Press Release is on Page 2


      I.D. BUZZ CONCEPT MAKES ITS WORLD DEBUT AT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW IN DETROIT
      Versatile, zero-emissions, all-wheel drive vehicle is a Microbus for the future All-electric driving range of up to 270 miles, comparable to gasoline engined cars Maximum flexibility: I.D. electric drive system allows seating for up to eight and two luggage compartments Focus on people: in the fully autonomous “I.D. Pilot” driving mode, the driver’s seat can be turned 180 degrees to face the rear Traction for any terrain: electric all-wheel drive with two motors and 369 horsepower Head-up display projects information via augmented reality Vehicle features fully autonomous driving capability Flexible center console with tablet display and Beats® Bluetooth® loudspeakers can be used outside the vehicle Detroit, January 2017 — The era of electric mobility has begun, and Volkswagen will be shaping it with the I.D. BUZZ concept presented at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A Microbus for a new era, the electric concept forges links between the origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future. The I.D. BUZZ, like the compact I.D. presented at the Paris Motor Show, is another new Volkswagen vehicle that gives compelling design to electric mobility and reflects a transformation of the brand and its models. 
      Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand, says: “The Volkswagen brand’s big electric offensive begins in the year 2020 with a completely new vehicle architecture. That is when we will be launching an entirely new generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles to the market. By 2025 we want to be selling one million of these vehicles annually. We are making electric mobility the new trademark of Volkswagen.”
      The I.D. BUZZ zero-emissions vehicle conceptually follows the new Volkswagen brand strategy. Its claim is: “We make the future real.” Four fields of innovation form the basis for this strategy: 
      Smart Sustainability—Volkswagen is advancing the development of innovative high-volume electric car models Automated Driving—Volkswagen will make cars even safer and more comfortable by means of autonomous driving Intuitive Usability—Volkswagen is focusing on cars that are intuitive to operate and feature new display and control concepts Connected Community—In the future, Volkswagen will interconnect humans, cars and the environment with a Volkswagen user identity Volkswagen is showing just how multifaceted electric mobility can be in Detroit with the I.D. BUZZ concept vehicle—maximum space utilization with all-wheel drive, electric motors at the front and rear axles, a fully autonomous driving mode (“I.D. Pilot”) and a new generation of display elements and controls.
      The “I.D. BUZZ” name was hardly an arbitrary choice. I.D. stands for “Identity,” “Idea,” “Individual,” “Intelligent” and “Iconic Design”. BUZZ, on the other hand, is a phonetic word play on “bus” and refers to the silent “buzzing” of the drive system. 
      “The I.D. BUZZ is a next-generation vehicle based on the new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB), offering comfort and plenty of space,” says Dr. Frank Welsch, Volkswagen Member of the Board of Management responsible for Development. “The overall concept of the I.D. BUZZ points the way to the future. This concept vehicle is the world's first electric multi-purpose vehicle to be equipped with a fully autonomous driving mode. It carries the feeling of freedom of the Microbus over to a completely new era of mobility.”
      Thanks to its MEB underpinnings, space utilization is better in the I.D. BUZZ than in any other electric vehicle. An excursion with two families over the weekend? A gig with the band in another city? A vacation trip with bikes and boards? Driving to a business meeting with colleagues who need to prepare on the way? None of these scenarios pose a problem with the multi-variable seating layout and interactive networking of the I.D. BUZZ. Using an extended MEB-XL platform, this concept vehicle—which is 194.6 inches long, 77.8 inches wide and 77.3 inches tall—offers an extraordinarily spacious interior for its class.
      The I.D. BUZZ is not only huge inside, but its technical concept makes it one of the world's most comfortable cars. It has a silent drive system and an extremely long wheelbase of 129.9 inches. The floor-mounted battery lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity and delivers ideal weight distribution. The suspension layout—including multi-link rear suspension with integrated drive units and decoupled subframes at front and rear, as well as air suspension at the rear axle using electronically controlled dampers—delivers premium class comfort, high cornering power, and ideal acoustics.
      The zero-emissions all-wheel drive system has a total output of 369 horsepower and an NEDC electric driving range of 600 kilometers (270 miles on a predicted U.S. driving cycle). One electric motor at the front axle and one at the rear each deliver a power output of 201 hp, distributed between the two axles by an “electric propshaft.” The I.D. BUZZ shown in Detroit can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5 seconds, with a governed top speed of 99 mph. 
      The vehicle’s 111 kWh battery can be charged to 80 percent of its capacity within 30 minutes using the Combined Charging System (CCS) or an inductive charging interface, with a charging rate of 150 kW. As an alternative, the battery can be charged from any conventional household outlet and at charging stations. The all-wheel drive configuration is just one of several that are conceivable. Thanks to the MEB, it would be just as easy to equip the I.D. BUZZ with a rear-wheel drive setup producing up to 268 hp and a smaller 83 kWh battery, depending on the region and purpose of use.
      Automated Driving 
      The I.D. BUZZ is the world’s first fully autonomous multi-purpose vehicle. A slight push on the steering wheel makes it retract and merge into the instrument panel, switching the I.D. BUZZ from manual control to the fully autonomous “I.D. Pilot” mode that could make it into production by 2025. In this mode, the wheel is decoupled from the steering gear via a newly developed steering column system. The ambient lighting then switches from white light (“Drive”) to mood lighting that is warm and relaxed. At the same time, the distribution of ambient lighting is extended to the rear seating area. Simultaneously, the status of the I.D. BUZZ can be seen at all times on the tablet and the augmented reality head-up display.
      Now driving on its own, the zero-emissions concept has already activated its onboard laser scanners. Four of them extend from the roof in “I.D. Pilot” mode. The cleanly styled roof sensors call attention to the fully autonomous mode by indirect lighting.
      The I.D. BUZZ is not only able to detect other road users with its laser sensors, but also with the assistance of ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors, side area view cameras and a front camera. Traffic data is also continually acquired and compared with the vehicle data via the cloud. Fully autonomous mode is deactivated by touching the steering wheel or by pressing the brake or accelerator pedal.
      Volkswagen User-ID 
      I.D. knows who will be at the wheel, thanks to the Volkswagen User-ID. This is an individual profile that stores the personal seat and air conditioning settings, favorite radio stations and songs, sound system settings, exterior sound, configuration of the navigation system, type of ambient lighting and contact information for the driver’s friends and business associates. This profile can be retrieved securely via the cloud. 
      Consequently, the I.D. BUZZ also recognizes which person is entering the car or wants to take the steering wheel at any given time via the authorized user’s smartphone—the Digital Key. As soon as a person approaches the vehicle, the sensor surfaces for opening the door light up. If the person’s hand is very close to the surface, that individual door is opened. Using the Volkswagen User-ID and a relevant smartphone app, passengers in the vehicle can also control infotainment functions and input intermediate destinations into the navigation system. The route is shown on a tablet. 
      Exterior Design  
      The original Microbus is a legend all over the world and forms a global community. Although the I.D. BUZZ is designed for a new era, it would fit in perfectly with its predecessors.
      Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen Head of Design, says: “The I.D. BUZZ is not a retro design on 22-inch wheels; rather, we have taken the logical next step forward in development using what is in all likelihood the most successful design of its kind in the world. The entire design is extremely clean with its homogeneous surfaces and monolithic silhouette. The future and origins of Volkswagen design DNA combine here to create a new icon.”
      The best example of the interplay of familiar and new elements is the front end with its characteristic ”V” and likeable ”face”—it’s clearly a Microbus, but a completely new interpretation. Oliver Stefani, Head of Volkswagen Exterior Design, says, “Instead of the round headlights used in the original model, in designing the I.D. BUZZ we opted for slender LED systems, which not only turn night into day, but also interactively communicate with other road users and pedestrians.” Similar to the compact I.D., the bumpers also integrate a matte aluminum honeycomb design, with illuminated outer sections.
      Extremely short body overhangs also define the vehicle. This applies equally to the roofline with its charismatic front overhang and three stylized air vents in the rear roof pillars, a small tribute to the T1. Each detail has, however, been re-interpreted and implemented in a new context.
      At the front, wrap-around ambient lighting forms a new era equivalent of chrome trim. It is actually an accent strip made of matte aluminum that is embedded in what designers call a sharp undercut. Indirect ambient lighting has been integrated into this full wraparound undercut, which also forms the ”V” of the front hood. When it is dark outside, this creates a unique light signature together with the backlit front and rear VW logos and the lighting elements in the front bumpers.
      The I.D. BUZZ is also unmistakable from the rear. Here, the slender full-LED lights and large painted surfaces make up the iconic design. The tailgate extends far down into the bumper to give a low load sill height of just 23.6 inches. Thanks to its compact electric drive, the I.D. BUZZ not only offers a rear luggage compartment of between 23.3 to 162.5 cubic feet, but also a front trunk of 6.1 cubic feet. The doors and trunklids are power operated: opening the tailgate, front doors and rear sliding doors is initiated by sensors outside the vehicle. Thanks to the Digital Key, all the user needs to do is hold his or her hand over a marked area for entry.
      There are clear design parallels to the I.D. shown in Paris. The front LED lights, wrap-around LED taillights, homogeneously integrated bumpers, side sills stylistically raised at the center of the door area, laser scanners on the roof and the aluminum-alloy wheel design combine to form the design insignia of Volkswagen’s future electric mobility.
      There are few cars in the world that look as good in classic two-tone paint as the Microbus, which is why it was a must for the new I.D. BUZZ. The car is painted in Silver Metallic above the seam that integrates the ambient lighting and in Cyber Yellow Pearl Effect below that line. The yellow hue is also found on the sidewalls of the tires, while the 22-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are painted in Galvano Gray Metallic.
      The I.D. BUZZ communicates with its surroundings via the LED lighting at the front end. The LED headlights interactively mimic the gestures of the human eye and thus interact with other traffic. The concept vehicle masters these light scenarios:
      Parking. When all systems of the I.D. BUZZ are shut down it looks from the front as if its “eyes” are closed. When the I.D. BUZZ is parked, just a narrow, small LED strip is visible in the headlights. Opening. When the I.D. is “awakened”, it greets its driver and passengers with a 360-degree light show. First, the Volkswagen logos light up. This is followed by the wrap-around ambient lighting. In the final phase of this light show, the I.D. BUZZ opens its “eyes.” Driving. The Volkswagen logos, wrap-round ambient lighting, Daytime Running Lights and the LED headlights are always active while driving. As the car accelerates, the “eyes” adjust to the higher speed by adopting a more dynamic light signature. Automated. A distinctive feature of the fully autonomous driving mode is that the laser scanners in the roof are extended and illuminated. As the car speeds up, the LED “eyes” look ahead, giving the car a sportier appearance. In addition, the “eyes” are interactive in the fully autonomous driving mode. If the I.D. BUZZ wants to turn, for instance, the LED headlights look in the direction the car is going to turn. To top it off, if the vehicle detects people at the side of the road, it looks at them. Through this interaction, the Volkswagen alerts pedestrians and cyclists to its presence. Interior Design 
      “The design of the concept places people as the focus; it should appeal to them and invite them to come in,” says Klaus Bischoff. Awaiting them there is an interior that combines the world of the automobile with the atmosphere of a lounge. Tomasz Bachorski, Head of Interior Design of the Volkswagen brand, explains the next era of interior design: “From now on, we will be networking the vehicle much more intensively to make it more interactive. The interior will become a sort of family room, a mobile place where you feel at home.” 
      As a result, the classic cockpit no longer exists in the I.D. BUZZ. In place of traditional instruments or controls is an intuitively operated cockpit consisting of:
      Touch-sensitive steering wheel (multifunction steering wheel with capacitive surfaces) Augmented reality head-up display “I.D. Box” center console (including a tablet usable outside the vehicle) In the “I.D. Pilot” mode, the front seats can be electrically unlatched and rotated so they face the rear, after the “I.D. Box” multifunctional center console is moved rearward. The seating system is flexibly designed to be like the living space at home or a lounge area. This versatility is based on a seat rail system that is integrated in the flat floor and on adjustable and folding seats. The seatbacks of the individual second row seats can be folded to form tables. At stops, the third row can be made into a bed, enabling the I.D. BUZZ to be used for overnight voyages. When the trip is resumed, clever detail solutions make travel more pleasant, such as softly padded rear side sun visors that can be moved and are designed so that a passenger can lean on them. Individually placeable cushions also underscore the cozy atmosphere of the interior, which is flooded with light thanks to its large windows and two-part panoramic roof.
      The warm interior colors are also in keeping with the lounge character. For instance, the dashpad in front of the driver and front passenger transitions from Magnet Metallic to Moon White Metallic, and the dashpad and door panel structures are illuminated by the ambient lighting as well. Stylish details include:
      Wood floor. The floor is made of fine, Silver Birch wood. The bright color underscores the cozy character of the interior. In the rear seating area, aluminum inlays in the wood take up the honeycomb pattern of the dashpad and touch-sensitive steering wheel as well as the front bumper. Door trim. The top sections of the doors are covered with sophisticated metallic leatherette. The interplay of color is underscored by the transition from the darker driver’s area to the brighter passenger zone. The designers have upgraded the lower sections of the door trim panels with a cream-colored knitted fabric throughout the rear seating area. Seat fabrics. Seats are covered in an innovative knit fabric that features a graduated honeycomb pattern. The refined knitting technique used to produce the individual diamond shapes allows a light metallic background material show through. Accentuated yellow details such as piping and seat belts showcase the fresh look of the I.D. BUZZ while creating a connection between exterior and interior. As soon as the driver’s seat is occupied, the steering wheel, which is retracted into the dashpad in parking mode, extends out, and the indicators and buttons on the steering wheel light up simultaneously. In parallel, the I.D. BUZZ activates the augmented reality head-up display and the tablet in the “I.D. Box.” The ambient lighting also greets the driver. Close the doors, buckle up, press the brake pedal and select a gear and the I.D. BUZZ is immediately ready to start. The concept car is shut off by the “P” button on the steering wheel. When finished, the steering wheel retracts flush into the cockpit panel.
      The steering wheel of the I.D. BUZZ does not have any spokes. The wheel, trimmed with Nappa leather, is more of an interactive touchpad. This touch-sensitive steering wheel is a new concept, which allows the driver to operate the drive modes (P, R, N and D), turn signals and various menu functions as well as settings for the head-up display via touch-sensitive areas on its surface. 
      The outer region of the touchpad has a honeycomb-like light signature, as does the dashpad ahead of the driver and front passenger. Pressing on the illuminated VW logo in the middle of the touch-sensitive steering wheel initiates a switch between the “Drive” mode and “I.D. Pilot” mode; the steering wheel then retracts or extends accordingly. 
      The “I.D. Box” fits the character of the I.D. BUZZ perfectly. When the vehicle is being driven by someone, the I.D. Box is positioned between the front seats. In this case, the integrated tablet in the console is positioned to serve as a display and control surface for the driver and front passenger. The I.D. Box is also equipped with loudspeakers from Beats®, which are interconnected with the passengers’ smartphones and the sound system via Bluetooth®. When the driver switches to the “I.D. Pilot” mode, the entire “I.D. Box” moves towards the rear. Other console features include cupholders and a folding table. The console tablet (like the Beats speakers) is easy to unsnap and remove from the vehicle.
      The Volkswagen I.D. lets the I.D. BUZZ know who the driver is. The individual vehicle settings are configured accordingly, and features such as the person’s calendar are shown on the tablet. The I.D. BUZZ also knows the driver’s friends via the Volkswagen I.D. Based on this information, the car might recommend meeting with friends or suggest activities that would fit into the day’s schedule. 
      In “I.D. Pilot” autonomous mode, the system informs the driver on the tablet about changes to the calendar, for instance. If the I.D. BUZZ passes one of the driver’s favorite shops or a favorite restaurant, the car informs the driver via the tablet about the current offerings at these personal points of interest. A new era of interactive and personalized online services is beginning with the I.D. BUZZ.
      Like the compact I.D., the I.D. BUZZ is equipped with an augmented reality head-up display. Information such as navigation directions are projected as virtual images from 23 to 49 feet ahead of the car. The effect is astonishingly realistic. Directions are projected via augmented reality to show exactly where the driver is heading. Thanks to the head-up display, the navigation instructions are now part of three-dimensional surroundings that the driver can experience. Drivers can use the touch-sensitive steering wheel to modify the type and amount of information shown, adapting the system to their individual needs.
      Three levels of information density are available here:
      Level 1: “Navigation,” “Speed” and “Battery indicator” Level 2: Level 1 plus “Phone” (in “Drive” mode) and “Local offerings” (in “I.D. Pilot” mode) Level 3: Levels 1 and 2 plus “Friends” along the route (in “Drive” mode) and “Messages” (in “I.D. Pilot” mode) There are no rearview mirrors in the I.D. BUZZ. Cameras and a display have taken over that function. Where there would normally be a rearview mirror, there is a screen called the e-Mirror. Here, a monitor combines data from the exterior mirror cameras on the left and right of the vehicle and from a camera that faces directly rearward. Doing away with the side mirrors improves the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
      The lighting mood of the interior also changes according to the mode. In “Drive”, illuminated elements are lit in white. When the driver activates “I.D. Pilot”, they switch over to a warm mood color. In addition, the ambient lighting and touch-sensitive steering wheel assume warning and indicator functionality. In “Drive” mode, if the driver wants to change lanes while another vehicle is alongside, a warning signal is shown on the relevant side of the dashpad. This means that the LED warning indicators for the Blind Spot Monitor, which are located in the door mirrors in today’s vehicles, migrate into the interior where they are even more obvious to the driver.

      View full article
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