At this point, you might as well tag the conference “Car Electronics Show” instead of the “Consumer Electronics Show” banner it flies under. Ford kicked off a trend about nine years ago of using the show — which is generally centered around stuff like computers, gadgets, and gear — as a venue to show off the latest car tech it’s been working on. Now, a number of automakers are using the show as an outlet to showcase their wares.
Many major automakers will be present at this year’s show, which kicks off in less than a week. Here are five picks that we’ll be looking for come showtime.
1. Production Chevrolet Bolt
Thanks to spy photographers, we’ve already gotten a pretty good idea of what to expect when the Bolt rolls out at CES. It doesn’t look like it will deviate far from the original concept, and it’s apparent that it was function over form for GM’s engineers. Nonetheless, the Bolt represents GM’s most committed effort yet (and yes, we’re including the EV1) at a mainstream EV, and we can’t get to get more info.
2. Volkswagen Concept
The teaser above is so far the only taste of what Volkswagen is bringing to CES. Instantly, we figured that it might be another shot at reviving the beloved Microbus, but it’s also possible that it could be an electric SUV concept that would share underpinnings with the Audi e-Tron Quattro concept. Only time will tell, but with VW’s recent push on EVs in a post-diesel scandal world, we expect it to follow on that path.
3. BMW’s AirTouch
BMW isn’t bringing a snazzy EV or concept car (well it might, we don’t know for sure), but it is bringing something that regular CES goers will find a bit more familiar: A media interface that uses gesture controls called AirTouch. AirTouch will allow drivers to navigate the infotainment menus without making physical contact with the dash, allowing them to use vague hand gestures to use functions — and presumably, spend less time fiddling with buttons.
4. Faraday Future Concept
“It’s like something out of a science-fiction movie: A shadowy high-tech company with a seemingly unlimited war chest appears out of the ether and begins building a multi-billion dollar manufacturing complex in the desert. It begins poaching luminaries from some of the most advanced companies in the world to design and build its products, and promises that they’ll be on sale — and changing our lives — not in a few years, but in a matter of months,” we said of the mysterious Faraday. The company will have some more light shed on it come CES, when its concept will be revealed in full. You can bet Elon Musk will be paying special attention.
5. Ford GT Electronics
Ford’s GT has been out in the world for a while now, but Ford is bringing it to CES reportedly to showcase the $400,000, 600-horsepower car’s various break-throughs. The GT will be the first car to use Gorilla Glass for its windshield, and we’re guessing the rest of its components will be equally ground-breaking. Oh, and it’s also the official car of CES, whatever that means.
Like classics? It’s always Throwback Thursday somewhere.