Unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show under the new brand REDSPACE, REDS is defined as the first step in a program with the aim to start manufacturing in the near future.
The sub-three meter concept car features a new design language and a new layout made possibile by the electric powertrain.
As Chris Bangle explains “REDS breaks away from conventions. We are entering a fourth age of car design, but designers are hesitant because of the fear of doing things differently.
“This car is, for me, the demonstration that we can have something that is extremely emotional with immediate appeal, and at the same time highly functional and intellectually engaging.”
One of the goals of the project was to make the car enjoyable even when stationary in traffic – which is about 90% of the time in Chinese megacities.
The exterior design integrates radical elements such as the negative windshield and zero- tumblehome greenhouse – which create shadow and reduce heat load – into a familiar image.
The body uses a layered surface treatment, and features Cartesian sliding doors for minimal space requirements. The complete form of the car reveals a unique figure-8 silhouette and huge side windows.
“We’ve created a new design language that is at once friendly and immediate, but at the same time subtle, ambiguous, and textually layered. This gives REDS character, the kind you will enjoy looking at for many years”, says Chris Bangle.
Built in Turin (Italy) as a fully functional running prototype, REDS is slightly longer than a Smart Fortwo but with a smaller turning radius, it can seat four adults when moving and five when stopped; it has space for one or two suitcases depending on configuration.
Among the technical features are the largest solar panel roof in its category, an aluminum space frame surrounding the batteries that allows excellent crash test results, and e drivetrain that enables best-in-class 0-50 km/h acceleration.
When stopped REDS becomes a multi-functional, interconnected working space (helped by a drop down table in development); the quiet venue for a meeting or a presentation; or a place to truly relax while enjoying a film with friends on its 17’’ screen.
The interior features several space optimization and practical solutions, including folding seats, steering wheel and armrest and a rotatable driver’s seat that enables a lounge-like layout when the car is not moving.
For more information you can check the official website of the REDSPACE project.
The background story of REDS
In 2014 CHTC asked Chris Bangle Associates (CBA) to lead a series of workshops on the future of EVs in China’s megacities.
CHTC operates – among their various sectors of activities – as a commercial vehicle manufacturer, owns subsidiaries in both China and Europe, and is today one of the main EV truck manufacturers in China.
The workshops with Chris Bangle and his team focused particularly on the real time construction of full-scale models that explored the idea of space in an electric car.
With this experience, in 2016, CHTC started developing REDS for production with CBA providing the design.
CHTC also registered a new company in China––REDSPACE––to be the home of REDS. After the premiere in Los Angeles the car will go through testing, and REDSPACE will develop and finalize production plans and sites as well the suppliers network.
(Source: Chris Bangle Associates)