- Image: Aura

Several British companies have collaborated to produce this concept car

The Aura is an open-top electric two-seater created by Astheimer, Potenza Technology, BAMD Composites, Conjure, and Spark EV

17w ago
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The age of electrification is coming closer and closer upon us. One of the questions many of us have is what our sports cars might end up being like in an electric future. Will they still be as visually exciting? Will they still be as fun? These are all questions that we don't fully know the answers to quite yet. The Aura, a concept car made by a collaboration between several different British companies (Astheimer, Potenza Technology, BAMD Composites, Conjure, and Spark EV), might help to answer that question though.

Image: Aura

Image: Aura

The Aura is an open-top electric two-seater with a very bold design, which was shaped extensively by using computational fluid dynamics. For a start, there's no windscreen! There are also two massive rollover hoops with integrated headrests, both of which are a big visual statement on the car as well as having the obvious intention of being a safety device in the event of the car rolling over. The rear wheels are also covered, to help the car be even more aerodynamic. The exterior body panels are made with natural fibre composites that are both very lightweight and intended to be as sustainable as possible. This light weight, combined with the car's potentially fantastic aerodynamic efficiency, should result in something that's got Lotus-like performance and handling characteristics. At least, we can hope...

Image: Aura

Image: Aura

Details about the drivetrain are pretty scant, but we do know that it features two 44 kWh battery packs for a total of 88 kWh of battery capacity. The two battery packs are separated (one positioned under the bonnet and the other mounted under the floor as is conventional with production EVs) for optimum weight distribution and allowing easy access to the battery packs for maintenance. This pair of battery packs will also (as claimed by the team working on the Aura) allow it to travel for 400 miles (643 km) on a single charge. If this is true, that would make the Aura one of the longest-range functional EVs that have been currently built!

Image: Aura

Image: Aura

The technology end of things, though, is where things get really intriguing with the Aura. The car uses Conjure's Android-powered Human Machine Interface (HMI) system, displayed using a 10-inch central touchscreen and a 5-inch self-levelling display located in the steering wheel(!) to show all the options and readouts the Aura's driver might want to see. Spark EV's energy-optimisation technology is also part of the HMI system, providing the driver with super-accurate and (perhaps most importantly) super-realistic estimates of the car's range. To calculate this, Spark EV's system takes a huge variety of factors into account such as the weather, the surrounding environment and the driving style of whoever is driving the car.

"We say whether or not you can go to your destination, and then we compare predicted energy against actual energy and refine it using a machine-learning algorithm tailored to each user," Spark EV's CEO Justin Ott said to Autocar about the energy optimisation technology that's being used in the Aura. "...that's really useful, because it adapts to changes in the battery health and condition and you as a driver." The main reason for developing a system like this? To eliminate the ever-present EV problem of range anxiety. Ott claims that the Aura can serve as a "showcase to the world how the industry can use technology available today to help overcome these barriers". If this helps to put those range anxiety worries at ease, the Aura's development could have a bigger impact on EV adoption than we might realise!

Image: Aura

Image: Aura

Ott also revealed to Autocar that the Spark EV-developed system being showcased in the Aura could end up being fitted into two "premium" electric cars going into production this year, which are being produced by two Chinese companies, as well as saying that two electric truck companies (one based in Scandinavia, another based in the US) are working with Spark EV in implementing the technology into their products too.

Image: Aura

Image: Aura

Will we see the Aura enter production? Probably not. It seems like this car is only intended to be a technology demonstrator. It's more likely that we'll see the design concepts and technology shown in the car to end up in future mass-market EVs. Never say never, though!

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Comments (5)

  • Yeah nah...

      3 months ago
    • You give negative awards to pretty much everything I post that involves electric cars or concepts related to electric cars.

      Surely there are better ways for you to spend your time than giving me more engagement over things you don't like?

        3 months ago
    • I'm in an endless lockdown and unemployed because of it. So no.

        3 months ago
  • I'd have a Caterham

      3 months ago
  • It's hideous.

      3 months ago
5