We were lucky enough to be able to attend the 96th Brussels Auto Expo currently being held in Belgium. With hundreds of cars on display from the major global manufacturers, there is something for everyone. Obviously some of the cars are a little more special than the others. As this is an auto show, the main focus is on road cars, so sports and concept cars aren’t a main concern. However, there were a few there and we take a look.
PEUGEOT INSTINCT CONCEPT is PEUGEOT’s take on the self-driving experience and encapsulates the brand’s enduring commitment to driving pleasure.
Self-driving cars are the next automotive revolution. Every manufacturer will be offering this technology. The difference will lie in how they go about it.
It offers four ways of getting around: two active driving modes (Drive Boost or Drive Relax) and two self-driving modes (Autonomous Sharp or Autonomous Soft).
The Peugeot’s Responsive i-Cockpit reinterprets the passenger compartment to meet the needs of the self-driving vehicle. The interfaces can be configured – before, during and after use – according to the mode selected and the user’s profile.
The driver retains control of the car in all circumstances. In Autonomous mode, drivers can give a command or make a manoeuvre via the i-Device on the central console.
In creating the all-new high-performance Ford GT, the pioneers behind the supercar designed it not only to win races but also to serve as a test bed for new technologies and ideas for future vehicles across Ford’s vehicle lineup.
“When we began work on the all-new Ford GT in 2013, the team had three goals,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president of Product Development and chief technical officer. “The first was to use it as a training ground for our engineers as we develop future engine technology and stretch our understanding of aerodynamics. Then, to push the boundaries of advanced material usage, such as lightweight carbon fiber. Finally, we set out to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, referred to by many as the ultimate test of endurance and efficiency.”
Naturally it has already done well on the sporting stage, winning its class at Le Mans on its first opportunity.
The Renault SYMBIOZ, an integrated house and car that work together in harmony. SYMBIOZ extends the vision of autonomous, electric and connected cars to a time when vehicles fully interact with connected homes, cities, other vehicles and road infrastructure and become even more personal in the travel, energy and entertainment preferences of people who use them. The revelation of a concept car associated with a connected home is unprecedented at a motor show. SYMBIOZ demonstrates dynamic scenarios where the car is put to use in different places within and around the home and while travelling.
SYMBIOZ also shows Renault’s vision of the car as an extension of the home when travelling. Generous cabin space is attributed to SYMBIOZ’s rear-wheel drive configuration, with two electric motors located on the rear axle, and the batteries housed beneath the floor. The combination of the retracting dashboard, and pivoting front seats make it ideally suited to ‘Mind-off’ autonomous driving (1). In this mode, drivers can easily relax and chat, read a book or enjoy total access to their personal digital world. Additional personalisation technology allows automatic detection of passengers, customized seat settings, music streaming, and entertainment options.
It has been 25 years since we first saw Gillet Automobiles emerge from Belgium. After a stint racing in GT Championships, they have gone a little quiet but they are still around. What’s more they are looking at a shot at Pikes Peak – and I think we can all agree, that would be an awesome sight.
Racing and rally
There were a few manufacturers that were showing off their racing pedigree. Naturally F1 Champs, Mercedes showed their prize possession. Toyota and Hyundai showed their WRC show cars and Honda was there with their new GT3 NSX and TCR machines. There were a few racing examples from BMW, Ferrari and Lamborghini.
Super and hyper cars
This is probably the most fun from the Auto Expo. You can probably go your entire lives without seeing these on the roads. Bugattis, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and more – glorious machines.
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Photos by Sam Tickell January 2018
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