i-brand fighter: prepping for the next generation of private vehicle.
Winning the fight with Munich assisted by Silicon Valley, the initial success of BMW’s i-brand should provide a guidepost to building a competitor in this market. The i3 has sold a remarkable 15,000 units since its release in November of 2013, averaging five percent of BMW’s total sales in the U.S. To compete domestically and globally, Cadillac will need a proper plug-in hybrid to take the fight to the i3. Below is an envisioning of what that could be.
Launched at the 2010 LA Motor Show, the Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept laid the foundation for a proper i3 fighter. Here was a compact plug-in hybrid design with enough grunt to put the i3 and others to shame. Cadillac could enact styling as radical as the i-brand, or maintain a more subdued approach. Alas, Cadillac could fall flat and become Microsoft’s Zune to BMW’s iPod if it does not make a big enough statement upon release. Taking a page from Tesla, BMW-i, and the now defunct Fisker, Cadillac should follow the recycled material "green" trend and produce a top tier interior, with Euro-standard fit and finish. The model could serve as an environmental and technological showcase for Cadillac and GM alike.
A large touch pad should adorn the center console, but remain removable. Perhaps a partnership with Apple could liven up the infotainment aspects of this model to directly appeal more to the technology engrossed millennial. Packaging would be vital. Ideally, the car should comfortably seat five and still provide ample storage space. Similar to the Model S, the battery packs should comprise the floor of the vehicle with the ICE generator unit mounted low in a space that maximizes interior volume. Providing a partnership with Apple is successful, and a rival product is not on the way, Apple’s acquisition of Beats Audio could provide audio entertainment as standard with a more refined system available as an option.
The GPS screen will sit inside the fully digital gauge cluster to refrain from distracting the drivers during vehicle operation. The internal combustion engine will be a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder coupled with a 170 kW electric motor, by way of a single speed fixed ratio transmission. As standard, the model will be rear-wheel drive but with an all-wheel drive dual motor performance option available. A regenerative braking system shall come as standard on all models as well as solar paneling on the vehicles roof. The body will employ lightweight materials primarily carbon fiber and aluminum. The body and chassis are primarily constructed out of aluminum.
The doors, fenders, boot, and bonnet, meanwhile, are constructed from carbon fiber and lightweight plastics. A comfortable ride is an item that is expected of all Cadillac’s GM. Delphi Automotive pioneered this system over a decade ago. At that time, Delphi and GM created magnetorheological dampers and shock absorbers, better known as MagneRide. Following in the footsteps of McLaren, Cadillac could design its own variant of an adaptive suspension to provide both the comfort and taught-ness needed for all manners of driving performance or otherwise.The body and chassis are primarily constructed out of aluminum, while the doors, fenders, boot, and bonnet are constructed from carbon fiber and lightweight plastics.