Lux­ury City Cars. Classy com­pact mod­els in the city

Avion Luxury International Airport Magazine - - CARS - Smart. New For­speed. De­signed to be en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, this two-seater road­ster has no roof or side win­dows. In­stead of a wind­shield, it has a low wind de­flec­tor in the style of clas­sic pro­pel­ler air­craft. The re­spon­sive elec­tric drive has been fur

Park­ing in cities is be­com­ing even more ex­pen­sive and, as if that wasn’t enough, the spa­ces for cars are be­com­ing limited in both num­ber and size. At the same time, ur­ban cen­tres with a high risk of pol­lu­tion are be­com­ing re­stricted ac­cess ar­eas, which is pre­cisely what has hap­pened in Mi­lan with Area C. This jus­ti­fied mea­sure, which has al­ready been im­ple­mented in other ma­jor Euro­pean cities, clashes with an­other im­por­tant and in­evitable el­e­ment: the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion forecasts that, thanks in part to the rapid evo­lu­tion of the Brics coun­tries, in 2030 some 60% of the world pop­u­la­tion will live in cities and, 20 years later, this fig­ure will reach 70%. A fig­ure that is caus­ing au­to­mo­tive com­pa­nies and car users to re­flect on their plans, ex­pec­ta­tions and habits: there isn’t room for ev­ery­one, so we must be sat­is­fied with cars that are smaller and above all elec­tric or very “en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly”, but none­the­less lux­u­ri­ous. A so­lu­tion that is, all things con­sid­ered, tol­er­a­ble given that, even to­day, there are plenty of choices from the most im­por­tant names on the au­to­mo­bile scene. The lux­ury city car is, for now, a very Euro­pean con­cept, to the ex­tent that in the US only one pro­to­type has been un­veiled, from Cadil­lac, which only skims the sur­face, just to high­light the eco-friendly vein of the pos­si­ble hy­brid engine. In­stead, this con­cept is taken se­ri­ously in Europe, where the best known Ger­man brands are firmly at the helm of a new trend that spans more than one seg­ment. This is the case of BMW with the i3 Con­cept, one of the most in­tel­li­gent and sus­tain­able de­signs for ur­ban mo­bil­ity. Driven by an elec­tric engine with­out com­pro­mises (170 hp), the i3 in­tro­duces many new fea­tures to the sec­tor and of­fers in­ter­est­ing ad­van­tages as well as ex­cel­lent dy­namic driv­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics due to its pow­er­ful ac­cel­er­a­tion and very low cen­tre of grav­ity. Along­side this gen­uine trend­set­ter of the next few years, again from the BMW group, is the al­ready avail­able Mini E, a model be­tween two gen­er­a­tions of cars, which stands out for its ex­cel­lent out­put - 204 hp - and peren­ni­ally fresh lay­out in what is one of the best loved cars of all time. Mov­ing fur­ther west, to Stuttgart, Mercedes Benz think in the same way about the need to con­tain di­men­sions with cut­ting-edge cars: the B-Class E-Cell al­ready has - just like the BMW i3 Con­cept will in the fu­ture - a ver­sion with elec­tric engine or an op­tion with a Range Ex­ten­der petrol or diesel engine that is able to recharge the bat­ter­ies while con­sum­ing only small amounts of fuel, with the dual ad­van­tage of in­creas­ing range and guar­an­tee­ing greater re­li­a­bil­ity even in the cold­est cli­mates. Mercedes how­ever con­tin­ues to make a good im­pres­sion with the A-Class E-Cell. Even smaller, is the Smart ForTwo Elec­tric, which has the small­est di­men­sions of all elec­tric cars and gives tech­no­log­i­cal lessons to all: suf­fice it to say that the Forvi­sion con­cept, which uses ad­vanced ma­te­ri­als thanks to its tie-up with Basf, fea­tures so­lar panels on the roof that let in light and, at the same time, pro­duce en­ergy. Audi of­fers a glimpse of ur­ban mo­bil­ity with its elec­tric Ur­ban Con­cept, but the pho­tos of the car avail­able so far are so sketchy that it makes one think it is a model that is still far from re­al­ity, mainly be­cause of the fact that it is a two-seater and has free-stand­ing wheels. The good thing about this pro­to­type is the

As­ton Martin Cygnet, una mi­cro­car a 4 cilin­dri con mo­tore a ben­z­ina da 98 cavalli, tradizionale ma lus­su­o­sis­sima. As­ton Martin Cygnet, 4-cylin­der mi­cro­car with a 98 hp petrol engine, is ex­tremely tra­di­tional but very lux­u­ri­ous.

Smart. Nuova For­speed. Uno stu­dio eco-sosteni­bile, due posti, senza tetto e cristalli lat­er­ali. Al posto del parabrezza è dotata di un de­flet­tore pi­atto nello stile dei clas­sici aero­plani su­per­leg­geri ad elica. Scat­tante trazione elet­trica, per­fezion­ata gra­zie alla fun­zione Boost. Mas­simo pi­acere di guida all'aria aperta.

ex­treme re­duc­tion in weight (less than 500 kg) and its pre­sumed ex­cel­lent recharg­ing times - from 20 min­utes to 2 hours - and the price, which will prob­a­bly be be­low the psy­cho­log­i­cal thresh­old of €10,000, a record for the car maker from In­gol­stadt. From the Bri­tish, lastly, there are still no fu­tur­is­tic projects in sight. How­ever, the As­ton Martin Cygnet has been seen on the streets of a few Euro­pean cities since the be­gin­ning of 2011. This 4-cylin­der mi­cro­car with a 98 hp petrol engine, is ex­tremely tra­di­tional but very lux­u­ri­ous for its di­men­sions. Based on the Toy­ota iQ, it does not em­body the eco-friendly essence of fu­ture city cars, but demon­strates that even a great brand can make run­abouts that are truly con­tained, at least in terms of di­men­sions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Italy

© PressReader. All rights reserved.