Automotive equipment maker Visteon came to CES with two concept cars, each showing off new technologies. One showcases the latest in digital tech, and the other, designed for emerging markets, shows how to make a car for less money.
Visteon's C-Beyond was built on a Citroen C4 Picasso platform. The exterior lighting and interior were replaced to show off Visteon's technologies, which range from new materials to switchgear to digital interfaces, and even an entirely new arrangement for climate control.
The C-Beyond uses an LED headlight system developed by Visteon. A single-LED array handles configurations for high-beam, low-beam, and special settings for city and wet-road driving. These configurations are handled through a lens that rotates in front of the LEDs, while the lights themselves remain fixed in position. These headlights also have an adaptive function, projecting their beams into corners when the wheel is turned.
The cabin of the car shows off different materials and lighting effects. The center console actually motors back and forth, creating extra space in front while providing a convenient armrest and separator for the rear seat on demand.
The C-Beyond's instrument cluster is completely digital, an LCD with 1,280x480-pixel resolution. Visteon touts how the look and information display is completely flexible. This display can represent up to six analog gauges with a realistic design. Or portions can be used to show navigation and entertainment functions.
The scroll wheel on the center console demonstrates a new paradigm for a cabin tech interface. With the wheel and directional buttons, a driver can access any set of menus on the main LCD. Visteon emphasizes the solid feel of this switchgear.
A really intriguing feature of the C-Beyond is that Visteon removed the climate control system from the center dashboard, opening up the space for bags and purses. The vents were moved to the ceiling of the car, one over each seating position. The result is a shower of air over driver and passengers. This configuration makes it easier to only control temperature zones. If only one person is in the car, the other vents can be turned off, saving energy.
The doors have an interesting lighting effect, using LEDs and a translucent patterned template. Visteon boasts that automakers can choose any pattern, or even have their brand or the car's model name appear.
Visteon's Growth Market Vehicle concept is designed to show automakers very inexpensive equipment for cars in new markets such as India and China. These cars require extremely smart and economical use of modern materials and electronics to keep costs down.
This dashboard is shown in right-hand drive configuration, although Visteon designed it to be easily manufactured as left-hand drive. As this concept is aimed at India, a flat area was designed into the top of the dashboard for a statue of Ganesh, a common feature in Indian cars.
The center panel combines an inexpensive cell phone LCD with a large capacitive touch panel. Visteon says that these touch panels are cheaper to produce than traditional plastic buttons. In this case, the panel shows features such as a USB port and Bluetooth phone support, proving that inexpensive cars do not have to be tech-free.