Autocar – Car of the Future

Autocar – Car of the Future

Posted June 2, 2023

The idea for what became a 3-part story in Autocar, was born during a visit by the Editor-in-Chief on a visit to Envisage. They were keen to investigate what it would be like to create from scratch a new people’s car for 2025 and beyond, to understand the challenges and processes involved. This would provide insights for the reader about how a car is created and the depth of expertise it entails. How can a shared or owned vehicle in the future still maintain a sense of individuality but allow comfortable transportation for passengers and packages alike.

The chosen concept was a lightweight, electric, C-segment five-door hatchback, similar in size to today’s Golf or Focus, with flexible 5/7 place seating. Its design would need to be equally suitable for private use, as a shared car, or a light commercial vehicle.

The broad scope of the project, aiming to be the answer to every car owner’s needs, was reflected in its P42 code-name, taking its inspiration from Douglas Adams’ answer to ‘life, the universe and everything’ in ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’. The computer ‘share’ symbol was added to the name and badge to reinforce the concept’s emphasis on accessibility and sharing.

The design brief was to create a vehicle that was distinctive, instantly recognizable, unashamedly modern, and challenging. The Envisage design team comprised four young Coventry University graduates with the selected design developed from an original concept by Michael Mills. Using our VR systems we could get a real feel for the car, what it was like to stand next to it, and get inside it.

Following agreement on the broad concept, the Autocar story was divided into 3 distinct parts:

  • The key parameters of the project, creative team, early design & engineering decisions, and the car’s name.
  • Design selection & definition of product detail – dimensions and mechanicals.
  • Creation of a 1:5 scale model and a series of photo-real digital drawings.

Autocar was clear that the end of the project represented only the beginning of a typical 3-year new car programme, but many of the decisions and conclusions about the P42’s concept, features and inner workings are mature. They could work. Autocar were able to continue, was they believed they has a good basis to do so.

To read about Share P42 in depth, please click on the links below which will take you directly to the Autocar website.

Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.

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