From EVs to Colour-Changing Panels, CES 2022 Really Put Cars on Show

From EVs to Colour-Changing Panels, CES 2022 Really Put Cars on Show
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

This year’s CES 2022 was packed with enough car announcements, concepts and tech to rival an autoshow, focusing mostly on EVs and smart car tech (as an “electronics show” would call for).

Brands that showed up with cool car tech this year included BMW, GMC (via Chrysler and Cadillac), Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and… Sony? Here are the standout car announcements at CES 2022, going brand by brand.

BMW

BMW had heaps of exciting tech to show off at CES 2022, including a car concept featuring exterior panels that changed colour on the fly (dubbed “iX Flow”) and the 2023 BMW iX M60, an all-new electric vehicle and the first BMW EV sporting the “M” performance letter.

iX Flow is BMW’s colour-changing body panels tech, turning a concept car’s exterior into a rolling E Ink display. This tech allows the iX Flow concept car to change its colour across the grayscale spectrum, between black and white, using similar technology that ebook screens use. Effectively, the ability to change from black to white on a hot day could mean a cooler car, or, theoretically, the exterior colour-changing panels could absorb sunlight and help the vehicle’s battery life. Before you get too excited, remember it’s just a concept for now.

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BMW iX Flow Concept Car. Image: BMW

BMW’s digital art mode is another concept, bringing art into the cabin of the vehicle. It was shown off in the concept iX Flow vehicle at CES, but BMW announced that its production vehicles will be getting this feature later in the year.

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Digital art mode. Image: BMW

BMW also showed off a “Theatre Screen” concept for entertainment in the back seats, featuring immersive audio and Amazon FireTV integration, effectively turning a car into a rolling movie theatre. The screen features a 8000 x 2000 resolution, allowing for 4K viewing, relying on 5G for streaming while on the road. It’s set to be put in production cars in the future.

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BMW theatre screen. Image: BMW

Finally, let’s talk about BMW’s new car. BMW revealed the iX M60, the first EV from BMW sporting the performance-oriented ‘M’ power lettering. Set for a 2023 release at a price upwards of $US80,000 (this translates into $111,000, but, you know), the iX M60 is set to clock 450 kilometres on a full battery. Speed-wise, the iX M60 clocks 0-to-95kph in about 3.6 seconds, powered by 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. It’s a seriously powerful car.

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BMW iX M60. Image: BMW

General Motors (Chevrolet and Cadillac)

GM announced its new “Ultium platform” for cars at CES 2022, set to power upcoming EVs from Chevrolet and Cadillac at varying speeds and ranges.

Chevrolet announced three new cars at CES 2022 – the Chevrolet Silverado, an all-electric ute with an impressive 643 kilometres of range, the Chevrolet Equinox EV (a small SUV at a cheaper price, around the $45,000 price point for Aussies) and the Chevrolet Blazer EV, a slightly bigger version of the Equinox (we don’t know all that much about it yet). It was a big show for Chevrolet this year, with these vehicles due out across late 2023 and 2024.

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The Chevrolet Silverado EV and the Chevrolet Equinox EV. Image: Chevrolet

Cadillac was all about concept cars at CES 2022. While Cadillac brought back its concept flying car, a new “InnerSpace” concept car was shown off, being a personal space on wheels with heaps of futuristic tech built-in, focusing on entertainment. While it supports Cadillac’s focus on luxury car manufacturing, it’s a pretty heavy-handed concept at the moment.

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Cadillac InnerSpace concept. Image: Cadillac

Chrysler

Chrysler announced an “Airflow Concept” EV. It’s set to feature 400 horsepower, level three autonomy and eight internal displays, but that’s pretty much all we know about it so far. The car itself looks very vaporware and space-age, with the name harking back to the Chrysler Airflow from 1934, with a big focus on aerodynamics. Chrysler has also announced that it’ll be all-electric by 2028, a big commitment and one of the faster-approaching ones announced so far.

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The Chrysler Airflow concept. Image: Chrysler

Hyundai

Hyundai’s CES 2022 showcase was a bit of a letdown, focusing more on flashy concepts than anything solid. Hyundai’s PnD pod concept is basically an electric pod with a crazy amount of steering control. Hyundai seemed to be super caught up with the idea of “metamobility” at CES 2022, very interested in a “Mobility of things” concept, in tandem with a focus on robotics.

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Image: Hyundai

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz showed up to CES 2022 with a concept car. The Vision EQXX is that car, with an insane 1,000 kilometres range from a full battery. It’s imagined by Mercedes-Benz to be the “most efficient Mercedes-Benz ever built, powered by the earlier mentioned battery and solar cells on the roof for long distance journeys. It’s an impressive looking vehicle too, mixing a corporate look with a space-age aesthetic, although right now we don’t know a whole lot about it except for that gigantic range expectation. This battery tech from Mercedes-Benz, however, is expected to be found in Mercedes vehicles in 2024 or 2025.

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Mercedes Benz EQXX concept. Image: Mercedes Benz

Sony EV

Sony? In a cars at CES 2022 wrapup? It’s more likely than you think. Sony has announced a new division of its company, Sony Mobility Inc, focusing on vehicles, so we reckon we’ll likely see some big product announcements from this new division sometime in the future. Sony also revealed the Vision-S 02 SUV (developed by this division), driving it out onto the stage during their CES 2022 showcase. It builds upon the concept vehicle Sony revealed two years ago (Simply the Vision-S).

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Sony Vision-S 02 SUV concept. Image: Sony