BMW unveils car that changes color at Consumer Electronics Show 2023

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Electric future

In terms of electromobilization, the German auto industry has lagged behind Tesla and the Chinese, which are developing at a breakneck pace. But it is systematically preparing a new generation of electric cars, which should become the best in the world.

For Mercedes, this is a new family on a platform called MMA. It is important to note that until now Mercedes simply did not have a “trolley” for compact electric vehicles, or rather, there will not be one for more than a year. There are cars in the line, but these are, to a certain extent, crude conversions from gasoline models to electric ones: EQA and EQB.

Luke Wilkinson: Cupra in the ascendancy, as Seat’s role changes

The balance of power is shifting at Seat and Cupra, a point illuminated during interviews at the IAA that we explore in our analysis here. This show was all about Cupra and we did a deep-dive on the more athletic brand to understand its future prospects.

My first stop of the day was Cupra’s Exponential Experience centre. It was an out-of-town tarmac skidpan, on which the company had plonked a modified version of its UrbanRebel race car, outfitted with a VR equipment and a racing driver. The idea? You jump in the car, put the VR headset on and carve your way around a virtual arcade racetrack that only you can see through your virtual reality goggles.

It sounds like the recipe for an enormous accident but, in practice, it worked rather well. Cupra’s computer boffins managed to slash computer lag down to less than 70 milliseconds, which meant there was almost no delay between the motion you see through your goggles and the G-forces you feel through your body.

Cupra hopes to one day expand the technology further and turn it in a proper racing series, in which drivers compete on their own skidpans (even if they’re on opposite sides of the globe) in semi-virtual racing. It hopes to stream the whole thing online, too. The aim is to attract young video game fans to the brand.

Cupra also used Munich as an opportunity to show off the physical version of its DarkRebel concept car. The car was originally designed for the company’s Metaverse platform (there’s that gaming link again), with the help of 270,000 Cupra fans. Cupra then handed the digital plans off to its engineers and told them to build a show car. What’s more, if the company’s boss Wayne Griffiths gets his way, we could soon see a production version of the car.

There’s no word on timelines yet, but he told us: ‘The DarkRebel – to realize that for me would be my biggest dream come true. If that, during my presidency of this company, I can make that reality, then that for me is a big step.’ Watch this space. Cupra has a habit of making its concept cars a reality.