Italian design company Icona has revealed a fully autonomous people carrier at this week’s Geneva motor show.
Called the “Nucleus”, the EV is packaged as a “mobile living space”, which, according to its creators, represents the future of car design, where the “focus is no longer the road but the destination”.
Measuring 5250 mm long, 2120 mm wide and 1750 mm tall, the vehicle’s mono-volume, cocoon-like exterior serves as a “protective bubble” for passengers seated inside an “airplane-inspired” cabin.
However, at the same time, it grants a view to the outside, thanks to a wide glass surface which constitutes the majority of the upper body; the glass is partly transparent and partly semi-transparent, and the two portions are marked by a diagonal line which crosses the roof from front-right to back-left.
In effect, the Nucleus’ body is asymmetrical, with just one large entry to the right, on the so-called “safe side”. It includes the main sliding door and the “oyster opening” on the roof that grants passengers a walk-in access.
Underneath, the six-seater MPV is powered by four in-wheel electric motors that are claimed to generate a total output of 592 bhp. With the addition of a hydrogen range extender, the concept vehicle is also said to deliver a range of over 700 miles.
“Being a large luxury car, the inspiration of the Nucleus has come as much from the Concorde airplane as from a yacht,” says Icona’s design boss Samuel Chuffart, who also helped found the design studio back in 2010 having formerly worked at Bertone as well as Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan before that. “The Nucleus is a car for a time when you no longer need an aggressive design to demonstrate people’s driving ambition. A more mature and peaceful world waits for us”.