Known for its Icona Vulcano supercar concept, Italian design firm Icona is unveiling a new study that embodies its vision for the future of mobility, as first defined by the Icona Neo Concept in 2015. The latest study – the new Icona Nucleus Concept – is being unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show as a fully autonomous living room in wheels.
When the Icona Neo Concept was unveiled years ago, it signaled the design company’s vision for an electrically powered four-seat vehicle for busy people at busy metropolitan areas. Now, Icona is taking this electrically charged vision to a whole new level by creating a concept vehicle that is fully autonomous (Level 5 driving autonomy) – the Nucleus.
Furthermore, the Nucleus isn't just an ordinary vehicle as users don’t take it for a drive, but for a ride. Riders could just imagine a luxurious lounge or living room with the necessary features and convenient details, but with four wheels. A user just needs to step into the Icona Nucleus, sit back and relax. After several minutes or hours, its riders are already at their destination – minus the hustle and stress brought by driving.
In creating the new Nucleus, Icona decided that technology should not be seen but be felt. Thus, the design company employ a “less is more approach,” thereby giving the Nucleus a fluid and sculptural body that allows for greater levels of aerodynamics and ergonomics.
Its body is wrapped in a package that measures 5.25 meters in length, 2.12 meters in width, and 1.75 meters in height, as it rides on 26-inch wheels. It features a slick aerodynamic design with wheel arch aerodynamic blade extensions and full underbody diffuser. With this design, the Nucleus boasts of a CX of below 0.25, which means that the concept isn't just rolling-resistance, but also energy efficient.
According to Icona, the new Nucleus concept represents the synthesis of a human-centered mindset and the futurism. Since the Icona Nucleus doesn’t have a driver, a steering wheel and a dashboard, it takes the concept of mobile living spaces to a whole new level.
Because of its fully autonomous nature, users don’t need to focus on the road anymore, but on their destination. The design company noted that it visualizes a fully autonomous self-driving car to be more of use than the current family car. On the other hand, the Nucleus provides a glimpse into a new generation of vehicles that aspire to be socially responsible by respecting not only the natural environment, but also the human environment.
Icona envisions the Nucleus to replace several cars, while spending more time on the road and less on parking spaces. In addition, its interior design allows for several possibilities, reflecting the concept’s versatile nature.
Instead of using side glass in the traditional sense, it employs semi-transparent body color panels that allow users to see out from the vehicle while those outside cannot see the interior, which means a great deal of privacy during a ride. Offering a space up to six people, the Nucleus features movable seats that can be transformed into a couch. With its asymmetrical approach and different seat designs and configurations, the Nucleus offers more freedom and flexibility during a ride.