Often, technology is at its best when it mimics the natural world. Survival of the fittest essentially boils down to tens of millions of years of trial-and-error, whereby the optimal way to do a job wins out over all others. Only the best make the cut. Thus, anyone who can successfully decipher biological design will essentially get straight to the heart of a mechanical ideal.
When it comes to making a vehicle, whether it’s a spaceship, airplane, or a car, saving weight is paramount. If the task at hand is to make something move, weight makes everything more difficult. As such, we have all sorts of innovative materials to shed the pounds. The composite known as carbon fiber is one example. Carbon is known to be extremely lightweight, but also quite rigid, a combo that is perfect for vehicle applications. Aluminum and titanium are also common where every ounce saved is critical, such as in the 2014 McLaren P1.
But beyond materials, what can we do to save weight? What if we instead looked at clever design as well?
That’s what German engineering firm EDAG set out to do with its Light Cocoon concept. “The EDAG designers took a leaf as their inspiration for the ultimate, lightweight outer skin,” EDAG states in a press release. “Just as with a leaf, which has the ideal structure with a lightweight outer skin stretched over it, a textile skin covers the ‘EDAG Light Cocoon’.”
If the idea is to create a shell to encapsulate passengers, then the leaf, which is basically configured to collect as much sunlight as possible with as little heft as possible, should make for some wonderful design pointers.
This car might look strange, but the idea it represents is groundbreaking. Using additive manufacturing, or 3D printing technology, EDAG proposes creating this “compact, dynamic sports car” as an optimized platform for future vehicles. Look for it at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.
Click past the jump to read more about the EDAG Light Cocoon.
Concept cars are not just for the automakers. Engineering firms sometimes like to wrap their latest creation around a futuristic body. EDAG taking this idea with practically named "Light Car - Open Source" that will premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The mechanical workings of the car take a backseat to its light an instrument arrangement. EDAG is using the car to show off its (O)LED technology that it calls "an individually adaptable design and communication element." In practical terms this seems to be sort of a blank slate for drivers to individualize. The car looks like its made of glass. The driver can choose shapes, colors and possibly positions for the exterior lighting. Inside the diver can choose where he or she wants the exact position for all of the virtual dials and controls. "We have transferred today’s multimedia and lighting technology standards to the car, and in future want to offer the customer scope for free configuration, as the entire surface of the vehicle functions like the display of a multimedia installation, and can be used intelligently and individually, " explains Johannes Barckmann, Head of the EDAG Design Studio.
The car is designed to go 150 kilometers (93 miles) on electric power from lithium-ion batteries, with motors in each wheel housing. EDAG did not give any power rating for the car. We’re guessing there is only about a 50/50 shot this car will actually have an engine when it arrives in Geneva. This is not a half-baked vehicle; but it’s likely EDAG is more interested in showing off the technology of (O)LED than making the car roll on its own.
EDAG does not want to be the one to design the all the software programs the car can run, that’s why "open source" is in the car’s name. The Light Car - Open Source is a showcase for EDAG, so while this car may or may not make it to the road, the technology will likely in our automotive future.
Press release after the jump.
Besides developments aimed at improving their ecological compatibility, the question of comfort will be a decisive factor in the marketing success of future vehicle types. Having said this, in the age of networked communication and infotainment systems, the term "comfort" is not limited purely to physical comfort in the car.
A car of tomorrow will have to provide the customer with the ability to access any data and information which he or she needs for either private or professional use. Merging the realms of vehicle, office, home and worldwide service and infotainment options defines the future meaning of the word comfort in the automotive branch.
As a global partner to the automotive industry, EDAG has defined "the vision of comfort" as its leading theme, and this will take centre stage at the company’s presentation at the 2008 Geneva Show. With its presentation of the articulated roof for the Rolls Royce Phantom, EDAG is showcasing its first step towards its target of developing complex, innovative luxury solutions.
The new concept car from EDAG Engineering + Design AG will be making its first appearance on March 6, 2007, in Geneva – the “EDAG LUV”. The design concept of the “LUV” is based on an luxury-class SUV and incorporates a maritime look from bow to stern: oiled teakwood on the hood, as the flooring on the interior, and on the elegant cargo area conveys a maritime flair. But the “EDAG LUV” is a real eye-catcher in other respects as well: the cargo area, behind the two rows of seats with plenty of room for 5 passengers, has been outfitted with teakwood and distinctly resembles a quarterdeck – in keeping with the maritime look of the concept car.
On 7th March, 2007, the cry of “Cast off!” will go up in Geneva for the “EDAG LUV”, the latest concept car of EDAG Engineering + Design AG.
Conceived as a niche vehicle, the LUV presents a maritime appearance from its bows to its stern, and is targeted at customers who are not looking for just an ordinary car, and who appreciate something more distinctive.
Oiled teak on the bonnet, inside as the floor covering , and again on the elegant loading plat-form, gives a nautical flair. The (...)
In one of the weirdest revivals of all time, there will be a limited-edition re-creation of the Wartburg-powered Melkus - an East German hit from the 1960s.
The RS1000 was a hit behind the Iron Curtain and within a decade more than 101 cars were completed. The Melkus RS1000 has a huge following even today. More than 80 percent of the production run still survives. The Melkus family has stuck to its roots. It now operates a Lotus and BMW dealership in Dresden and participates in various (...)
At this year’s Motor Show in Geneva, EDAG Engineering + Design AG will be exhibiting two exceptional vehicle concepts which will reinforce the company’s reputation as an innovative and creative partner to the international motor vehicle industry. As a world premiere, the globally active company will be presenting the “EDAG Biwak”, a sensational derivative concept based on the New Beetle.
The Chopster is a luxury-class life-style SUV that was designed specifically for automobile enthusiasts who appreciate a sporty and highly extroverted appearance in the SUV segment, say Rinspeed chairman Frank M. Rinderknecht and EDAG board spokesman Matthias Topp about their joint project. Given that goal the designers of both companies came up with a vehicle whose ambitious exterior immediately commands respect. To emphasize its sporty character the EDAG design team chopped the roof of the original vehicle by a whopping 70 mm and added muscular fender flares.