Chinese start-up Human Horizons, whose technical team is led by the former boss of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division, has unveiled a radical electric SUV concept called the HiPhi 1.
The machine closely previews the new firm’s first production car, which it says is due on sale within two years.
Human Horizons describes itself as a technology company that's focusing on “smart vehicles, smart transportation and smart cities”. It plans to develop a range of machines for the growing Chinese premium EV market, designed for both private owners and shared use, featuring advanced autonomous systems and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication.
The HiPhi 1 concept is the first car the firm has revealed. Technical development has been led by Mark Stanton, who formerly worked for both Ford and Jaguar Land Rover.
The machine features 562 sensors to offer ‘higher-level autonomy’ using V2X communication systems. It will also monitor the interior using facial recognition cameras and even smell sensors to detect unwanted odours.
The HiPhi 1 features nine power-operated doors, flaps and stowage compartments, including gullwing-opening rear doors, and a handleless entry system that uses a facial recognition system matched to a smartphone.
There will be a number of different modes for accessing it, including a ‘superstar’ setting that opens all the roof and door systems. There's also a ‘parade’ mode that will allow the car to move slowly with the gullwing flaps raised.
The exterior design has been informed by Chinese tastes, with a tall crossover design and a large, coupé-like glasshouse. Human Horizons says the lack of a combustion engine has allowed the front bulkhead to be pushed much further forward than in a conventional car, with the 5.2-metre overall length – similar to that of a long wheelbase Range Rover – allowing huge interior space.