For the third in a series of design concepts, Icona has turned to the transportation needs of a busy metropolis such as Shanghai for inspiration. As such, the Torino, Italy-based design house's Neo concept is a battery-electric urban car that seats four and boasts a tiny footprint.
The concept is styled after the asymmetrical architectural stylings that define the new Shanghai cityscape, where the car was designed. This asymmetry is evident in the door layout, with no rear left door. Instead, the ottoman-style rear bench sear curves around to the left wall where a large glass window provides views of the pedestrian side of the road.
Icona says this is intended to allow passengers to enjoy the city skyline, while also improving safety by limiting passenger safety by limiting entry and exit to the right side, similar to many Shanghai taxis. Unlike Shanghai taxis, however, the Neo boasts a large two-door opening thanks to the absence of a B pillar.
The concept's drivetrain was developed by ACTUA and Italtechnica of Italy and consists of in-wheel electric motors generating at total of 21 kW (28 hp). This allows the designers to eschew the traditional engine layout and give the vehicle a low front nose and panoramic windshield. Despite a wheelbase of 2.2 m (7.2 ft), total length of 3.4 m (11 ft), height of 1.5 m (4.9 m) and width of 1.63 m (5.3 ft), Icona says the Neo can comfortably seat four adults.
With a total weight of 720 kg (1,587 lb), including the 130 kg (287 lb) electric drivetrain or which 90 kg (198 lb) is the battery pack, Icona says the car would have a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) and a city-based driving range of 150 km (93 miles).
The Neo concept debuted at Auto Shanghai in April 2015, but had its European premiere this month in Paris at the Festival Automobile International 2016.Source: Icona