DS has revealed the Aero Sport Lounge, a bold electric concept that combines a motorsport-derived electric powertrain with an aerodynamically optimised exterior and radical interior, ahead of the Geneva motor show.
The French firm says the coupé-SUV is “a new shape of car” intended to showcase how cars designed for maximum efficiency “can exist without giving up character and strong design”. DS also says the concept “reinvents” interior design by minimising the use of display screens.
DS design chief Thierry Metroz calls the Aero Sport Lounge both “a prelude to our next creations” and “a manifesto intended to illustrate the buzzword ‘sustainable’”.
He says: “It is a clear willingness to offer luxury while still thinking about our environmental footprint: the quality of sustainability. DS Aero Sport Lounge illustrates the opening of a new era for the car."
The Aero Sport Lounge is designed to optimise aerodynamic efficiency, with its length of 5000mm and steeply raked roof line intended to reduce drag. The front grille is shaped to push air to the side, with the help of large, 23in wheels designed to further direct airflow.
The traditional engine grille is replaced by a screen covering various sensors, while the lights use the latest version of DS’s ‘light veil’ concept, which the firm plans to use on future production cars.
The powertrain is based on that used by the DS Techeetah Formula E single-seater and comprises a 671bhp electric motor that draws power from a 110kWh battery, offering a claimed range of more than 400 miles. DS also cites a 0-62mph time of 2.8sec. The Aero Sport Lounge is the second DS concept to feature a Formula E powertrain, following the X E-Tense concept of 2018.
Although no images of the interior have been issued yet, DS says it features even bolder design steps. The traditional dashboard screens and display are replaced by two wide strips and DS says the lower strip is used to display information that is projected from the one above.
Screens for the digital mirrors and a small number of controls are located on either side of the dashboard and each occupant gets their own screen to offer a "first-class" experience. Information traditionally shown in the instrument display is projected onto the windscreen using an augmented reality head-up display.
DS says a central armrest between the seats functions as “a guide”, with occupants able to use hand gestures near it to control various systems. DS has partnered with a Silicon Valley firm called Ultraleap to use a system that employs pulses of wind and small speakers to provide a “sensory answer” to hand gestures.
The dashboard features Iris, which DS calls an artificial intelligence system that responds to voice prompts. The car also has a haptic control system that, according to DS, uses three-dimensional ultrasound systems to offer tactile feedback.
Reflecting recent concept car trends, the interior uses several unusual materials. The dashboard strip and seat backs are covered with straw marquetry, with DS claiming that the expertise involved in creating them turns “a common and economical material” into “a symbol of quality through the unique expertise of a Parisian craftsman.”