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The best cars and concepts from CES 2022: BMW, Sony, Cadillac, and more
Most people don’t think of CES as an auto show, but the Las Vegas tech extravaganza hosts many automotive-related announcements every year. And that’s perfectly normal — modern cars are, increasingly, computers on wheels.
At CES 2022, we saw cool new tech, new model launches, and even some exciting announcements from companies you wouldn’t normally associate with cars.
Here are our favorite automotive announcements from CES 2022.
BMW iX Flow
BMW had multiple announcements at CES 2022, including a beastly 610-horsepower electric car called iX M60. But the real star of the BMW’s show was iX Flow, an electrophoretic “paint job” that changes colors in the blink of an eye.
The concept effectively turns the surface of the car into an e-ink screen. It’s not a new tech — you may be familiar with e-ink from your Kindle e-reader — but it’s the first time we’ve seen it applied to an entire car to such great effect. It works by using currents to move electrically charged microcapsules of pigment around, so the e-ink name is very apt.
Woah, BMW showcased its E Ink colour-changing paint technology at CES on an iX Flow. BMW says it could have implications for the efficiency of its EVs. pic.twitter.com/mw9DbLG2Su— Nafisa Akabor (@nafisa1) January 6, 2022
For now, iX Flow is limited to black, white, and just about any combination of the two you could imagine. The tech could support more colors in the future — color e-ink is, in fact, already available in other products. BMW said iX Flow will not only let drivers change the looks of their cars on the fly, but also provide practical benefits like evading police passively cooling the car off by turning it white.
One of the big surprises of CES two years ago was Sony’s Vision S electric car concept. At CES 2022, Sony was back with an update on its transportation plans, a new Vision S electric SUV, and most importantly, the news that it’s exploring a commercial launch for its EV technology.
Sony will spin off a new company called Sony Mobility Inc., through which it will “explore entry into the EV market,” though it’s not clear for now what this means. Furthermore, Sony Mobility will “help realize a world where everyone can live in harmony with robots on a daily basis.” It sounds like other Sony projects like the Aibo robot dog and the Airpeak S1 drone will also fall under this new corporate umbrella.
To go with the announcement, Sony showed off the Vision S 02 electric SUV (left in the image above), a new format based on the same platform as the sedan EV. Sony emphasized the entertainment and lifestyle features of the car, rather than things like horsepower and range, but said its Vision S cars are currently being tested on public roads.
The EV market is already crowded, but it’s still exciting to see the legendary Sony join the fray, where it can contribute both advanced technology and one of the keenest design senses in the industry.
Also read: The best electric bicycles you can get
Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX
Mercedes-Benz’s latest Vision EQ concept car is the Vision EQXX, and its claim to glory is its ultra-long range of more than 1,000km (almost 650 miles) on a single charge. How impressive is that? Consider that the current car to beat in the industry, the Tesla Model S, can only hit about 400 miles in its longest-range version.
The exciting part is the Vision EQXX’s long range comes from a laser focus on efficiency rather than the size of the battery pack alone. The result is what Mercedes-Benz called an “efficiency masterpiece” with “completely realistic range.”
Now, this is just a concept at the moment, so we’ll have to take Mercedes’ word when it comes to its lofty range claims. But the German automaker says the work it put into Vision EQXX will help develop real-world cars in the future. Given Mercedes’ €40 billion commitment to the electrification of its lineup by 2030, we have no reason to doubt it.
Almost 90 years ago, Chrysler came up with one of the first American cars with a streamlined, aerodynamical design. Fast forward to CES 2022, and the new Chrysler Airflow is a concept car meant to showcase GM’s ambitions in electrification and autonomous driving.
The Airflow could be the basis for Chrysler’s first foray into EVs, expected sometime in 2025. The automaker was stingy with the details, so all we can do is speculate, but the Airflow concept looks grounded in reality. We could see it roll down the street with just minimal modifications to its sleek exterior. The few tech specs Chrysler revealed are realistic, too — the dual shaft-mounted engines will generate 200hp each, giving this elegant SUV enough oomph for 350 to 400 miles on a single charge.
Like many car companies, Chrysler (or rather its parent Stellantis) is investing heavily in autonomous driving. The Airflow features Stellantis’ STLA AutoDrive autonomous driving tech, which is capable of Level 3 autonomy — that means the car will be able to drive itself in many situations, but the driver will need to be present and alert at all times.
For something a little more futuristic, look no further than the Cadillac InnerSpace. A rare sedan(-ish) concept in the age of SUVs, the InnerSpace shows off Cadillac’s vision for the future of luxury personal transportation. Granted, Cadillac knows a thing or two about luxury cars, but the InnerSpace is still a bit out there — not that there’s anything wrong with that. It just means you shouldn’t expect it at your local dealer soon.
This spaceship on wheels opens up spectacularly — the whole roof pops up, in addition to the two doors, allowing the driver and one passenger to board the vehicle in style. The dramatic roofline is guaranteed to turn heads and annihilate drag coefficients.
The InnerSpace lacks pedals and a steering wheel. You won’t need that where this car is going. All you’ll need to do is sit back and enjoy the panoramic display taking up most of what normal cars would call a dashboard. We love it.
Chevy Silverado EV
It may not have the same appeal as some other cars on this list, but the Chevrolet Silverado EV has a small thing going for it — it’s a real car you’ll be able to buy from around $40,000 starting very soon.
The Silverado EV takes the fight to Ford’s highly anticipated F-150 Lightning and other electric trucks from Tesla, Rivian, and GMC. Aside from the electrified badge up front, you wouldn’t know this beefy truck is not your typical gas-guzzler. But under the hood, the tech specs are suitably advanced — up to 400 miles of range, a whopping 664 horsepower, fast charging, and the ability to tow loads of up to 10,000 pounds.
For what it’s worth, the Silverado EV has more in common with the Hummer EV than any ICE-equipped Silverado. You’ll be able to drive it from late 2023 if everything goes to plan, but Chevy will happily take your reservations now.
Also read: The best electric motorcycles
That wraps up our look at some of the coolest automotive news to come out of CES 2022. Check out the links below to see some of our other favorite products and announcements from the show.
- CES 2022: All the most important announcements
- The best new laptops and Chromebooks from CES 2022
- The best new audio products from CES 2022
- The best new wearables launched at CES 2022
- The best phones launched at CES 2022
- The best TVs and monitors from CES 2022
- The best smart home tech we saw at CES 2022