Currently reading: 2024 CES show report: all the latest cars revealed
Consumer Electronics Show has hosted variety of exciting debuts, from Honda EV reboot to Hyundai flying taxi

The first motor show of 2024 isn’t even a motor show at all. CES in Las Vegas, rebranded since its days as the Consumer Electronics Show as part of a wider tech push beyond televisions and mobile phones, has long since been embraced by the car industry looking to position itself at the cutting-edge of the societal change that the rise of electrification is bringing.

Even just within the hall into which the car industry is squeezed, CES can make your head spin - in both its size and what you’re actually being shown. It isn't so much an assault on your senses, rather something that makes you question your own sense of reality. Radars, sensors, cameras and software can be tricky things to demonstrate and make sound exciting. Generative artificial intelligence (AI) being installed into your car just sounds plain scary.

Yet there were still big cars and big car stories to digest at CES. The biggest new car headline came from Honda, which revealed its most interesting and exciting car in a long time: the 0 Series Saloon, a far more exciting project than the name suggests. It’s a wedge-shaped saloon that’s almost DeLorean-esque in its silhouette and is the first model of a series of Hondas made with engagement at their heart. This is not a bland, rational model made by the numbers.

But perhaps the most interesting story came from Kia, which laid out its plans to enter the commercial vehicle sector in 2025 with the PV5, the first in a series of new vans - sorry, PBVs - that it will launch over the next decade. Commercial vehicles bigger and smaller will follow, including passenger versions, in a development that shows the growth of Kia shows no signs of slowing down.

That was the headline for the Hyundai Motor Group from CES, at least of the four-wheeled kind. Its flying car division Supernal revealed its S-A2, a vision for a world where you effectively take Uber to the skies. Road relevance came from it using batteries and motors from Hyundai’s electric cars but more so from being designed by the group design boss Luc Donckerwolke.

“The great thing about CES is it’s not just a commercial show with a goal to sell new products,” he told me about why they chose it to reveal such a radical departure from Hyundai. “You’re talking about a window into the future. CES is an innovation show, giving perspective to what we’re doing and what the environment will be. We’re not just looking at cars and competition, it’s about questioning your ability to design and the fitness of your company for the future. This is what I enjoy: going from automotive world to innovative world into the future.”

Donckerwolke’s words clearly weren’t ringing in Volkswagen’s ears when it decided to bring a camouflaged version of the upcoming facelifted eighth-generation Golf. Still, the German firm did get into the spirit of things by installing AI software ChatGPT into a Golf. Quite what use that would be on the road isn’t clear.

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BMW and Mercedes-Benz had a presence at CES, too, the latter adding increasingly more features to its infotainment software and the former largely the same with the added development of some augmented-reality glasses that you can wear while driving to see things like navigation commands projected into your field of vision ahead. It’s clever stuff, yet BMW’s assertion that such glasses will be as ubiquitous as smartphones in the future felt a bit of a leap. Google Glass, anyone?

Other automotive brands at CES included Vinfast, which brought an electric pick-up truck concept, and Xpeng, which read the CES room more by creating a six-wheeled off-roader that can also fly – obviously.

Yet many of the bigger stories at CES lie in those sensors and operating systems, from the likes of Mobileye and Luminar. Their work isn't glamorous but provides the technology that allows for developments, particularly in autonomous driving, that are of far greater significance than whether a car ever takes to the air.

The world of automotive is changing, massively and quickly, and nowhere more so is that clear than at CES.

Afeela saloon concept

Afeela concept on stage at CES 2024

Sony and Honda's joint venture presented an updated version of its Afeela saloon concept, revealing minor styling tweaks. The side-view cameras have been replaced with conventional mirrors, for example, and the front and rear ends have been tweaked to give a more angular look. Technical specifications were also confirmed, with the EV hosting a 241bhp motor on each axle and a 91kWh battery capable of recharging at rates of up to 150kW. 

The production car will also benefit from a number of high-profile partnerships from the world of technology. Polyphony Digital, developer of the Gran Turismo video games, will provide its expertise with simulations to help develop the car, while Microsoft's OpenAI service will underpin the on-board digital assistant.

Honda 0 Series concepts

Honda Zero concepts at CES

Honda has completely rethought its approach to EV development with a new pair of concepts. Efficiency, engagement and practicality are the priorities for its next generation of global models, which are promised to arrive in Europe in 2026.

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To that end, each 0 Series EV will sit on a brand-new 'thin' platform, allowing them to sit lower - and therefore provide better aerodynamic performance – than existing skateboard architectures. 

The Saloon, promised to be 90% ready for production, will be the first to arrive. However, it will lose some of its more outlandish features, such as the gullwing doors.

The Space Hub MPV hasn't yet been green-lit for production but will inform a smaller, similarly conceived SUV.

Everything we know about the Honda 0 Series EVs

Kia electric vans

Kia PV5 at CES

Kia will expand into the world of vans in 2025, launching the PV5 as a rival to the Ford Transit Custom and Volkswagen Transporter. Based on an adapted version of the E-GMP architecture, which underpins the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, it's highly configurable. Kia displayed MPV, high-roof and pick-up variants of the PV5. A larger PV7 is also on the cards, but the other two delivery vehicles previewed at CES – the PV1 and PV3 – aren't yet planned for production. 

Everything we know about Kia's new electric vans

Mullen Five RS

Mullen Five RS at CES

Nascent American EV firm Mullen unveiled a rival for the Tesla Model X Plaid, claiming a power output north of 1000bhp and a top speed of 200mph. The Five RS is said to feature a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain, 800V electricals and six- and four-piston Brembo brakes. 

Everything we know about the Mullen Five RS

Supernal S-A2

Supernal S-A2 at CES

Hyundai's aircraft division, Supernal, unveiled its vision of an eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft. Billed as an alternative form of taxi in dense cities, it's planned to enter production in 2028.

Everything we know about the Supernal S-A2

Volkswagen Golf Mk8.5

Volkswagen Golf 8.5 GTI at CES

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Volkswagen unveiled the interior of its updated Mk8 Golf, which has been tweaked in response to the criticisms it faced from buyers and the press alike. Physical buttons return to the steering wheel and the infotainment touchscreen from the ID 3 facelift and new ID 7 has been grafted onto the dashboard to improve the user experience – including by adding backlighting for the heater controls.

Everything we know about the Mk8.5 Volkswagen Golf

Xpeng AeroHT Land Aircraft Carrier

Xpeng AeroHT Land Aircraft Carrier render

Chinese EV firm Xpeng's aviation arm, AeroHT, confirmed it will begin production of its Land Aircraft Carrier this year. It's effectively two vehicles in one: a six-wheeled electric van that hosts an electric helicopter.

Xpeng is targeting volumes of around 10,000 Land Aircraft Carriers per year in China alone but is yet to enter discussions with Western authorities over homologating the flying "air module".

Everything we know about the Xpeng AeroHT Land Aircraft Carrier

Additional reporting by Charlie Martin

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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centerbolt 21 March 2024

Really impressed with the new cars. Cars look increasingly different from before.

centerbolt 21 March 2024

Really impressed with the new cars. Cars look increasingly different from before.

FastRenaultFan 10 January 2024
I have to say the Kia Panal Van looks great and is the best looking of all them vehicles. Kia should move the badge at the front to the centre do.
That truck with the pod on the back does look like a CyberTruck from the front alright.