Approximately a year ago, Guangzhou–based GAC, part of the Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group, took everyone by surprise revealing the attractive Enverge concept in Detroit. Now, the Chinese company is back to the Motor City to unveil its Entranze EV concept – its first vehicle designed at the automaker’s new North American design centre.
The study takes the shape of a seven-seat people-hauler with futuristic looks and a purely electric powertrain. GAC envisions the van-crossover mashup as the “ultimate road-trip car” with an innovative 3+2+2 seat configuration. The interior of the vehicle is made almost entirely from environmentally sustainable materials such as cork and features a dashboard layout with two OLED screens on each side as opposed to a single screen in the middle.
“The Entranze is the representation of GAC’s wonderful experience exploring the marketplace via the celebrated tradition of the American road trip,” GAC’s Executive Design Director, Pontus Fontaeus, describes the concept. “We strived to design a special vehicle that offers travelers the ability to enjoy their driving experience more fully with the ones closest to them. That deep connection was the backbone of our work.”
Unfortunately, the Chinese manufacturer, which is “committing to a stronger presence in North America,” was coy on details when it comes to the powertrain of the concept. Obviously, it’s an all-electric vehicle but the exact powertrain layout remains a mystery for now but chances are it uses the same EV setup that debuted with the Enverge concept last year. If that’s the case, the futuristic MPV should be capable of running up to 370 miles on a single charge.
In addition to the Entranze concept, GAC will also display the GM6 MPV and the new GS5 SUV during the 2019 NAIAS in Detroit.
Photos: Chris Amos Photography
Gallery: GAC Entranze EV concept
DETROIT, MI (January 14, 2019) – GAC Motor is proud to introduce the new ENTRANZE EV concept vehicle at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The ENTRANZE EV concept unveiling caps off another successful year for China’s fifth largest automaker by volume, which is committing to a stronger presence in North America to complement its successful international manufacturing partnerships abroad with major automakers such as FCA, Honda, and Toyota among others. The GAC Motor ENTRANZE 7-person EV concept is the newest design showcase, highlighting the latest trends in mobility and technology.
“The ENTRANZE is the representation of GAC’s wonderful experience exploring the marketplace via the celebrated tradition of the American road trip,” comments GAC Executive Design Director Pontus Fontaeus. “We strived to design a special vehicle that offers travelers the ability to enjoy their driving experience more fully with the ones closest to them. That deep connection was the backbone of our work. EV technology is reshaping many conceptions about what an automotive interior needs to be, also affecting the exterior styling, and it allowed us more space to think differently, designing a completely modern vehicle. The GAC ENTRANZE showcases fresh ways to approach automotive exterior and interior design by evoking many of the touchstones of private jet travel alongside the newest technologies.”
In 2018, GAC Motor opened its North American design studio, headed by Executive Design Director Pontus Fontaeus. The versatile 7-person electric ENTRANZE EV represents the first concept vehicle from the new California-based GAC Design Studio. Responsible for some of the world’s most iconic automotive designs from celebrated marques such as Ferrari, Land Rover, and Volvo, Fontaeus fused his auto experience with his work designing sleek aerospace cabin interiors. The result is the completely unique GAC Motors ENTRANZE EV concept.
GAC Motor’s design approach started by envisioning the ENTRANZE as the ultimate road-trip car: a multi-purpose utility vehicle that can easily shift between extended trips to the beach, mountains, forests, and deserts. For the project, the GAC Design Studio applied their extensive experience in vehicle exterior and interior design as well as Fontaeus’ previous work designing commercial aircraft interiors. The net result is an inside-out design philosophy for the ENTRANZE, an EV concept that combines many different attributes into a one-of-a-kind vehicle with sustainability in mind. To complement its EV platform, more than 90 percent of the Entranze’s interior components are made from environmentally sustainable materials such as cork.
ENTRANZE’s fuselage-inspired interior seats up to seven in a 3+2+2 configuration. Ingress/egress is through sweeping patio-inspired sliding glass doors. To best accommodate passengers, the foldable rocker panels serve as steps – and also function as a bench for comfortable outdoor seating anywhere. This inside-out concept is inspired in part by coastal architecture, which often blurs the barriers between indoor and outdoor living. Breaking from tradition, the GAC Design Studio created the interior and exterior to flow together, the perfect pairing of “form follows users.”
The aircraft inspiration is further evidenced in the ENTRANZE’s UX/UI system. Its intuitive controls are “autopilot”-ready. A special steering wheel uses illuminated touch controls around the steering wheel’s perimeter and works with a heads-up information cluster and voice-command activation.
ENTRANZE’s interior also has a versatile, multi-functional 3-seat bench in the first row. GAC Motor decided to include OLED screens on either side of the wave-inspired instrument panel as opposed to a single screen in the middle. The open-air design offers a feeling of spaciousness, and the gently curved media screens are tucked into sliding covers when not in use. To maximize safety, most of the vehicle interactions is rendered with AI-supported voice control instead of via touch-screen or button controls to minimize driver distraction. Aerospace-inspired HVAC vents are located overhead in the console. Other nods to aviation includes a storage trolley that slides between the seats when needed.
Taking advantage of the fact ENTRANZE doesn’t have a traditional front-engine powertrain, the EV concept's exterior designs weren’t limited by traditional mechanical constraints. The GAC ENTRANZE EV concept is the realization of the future of automotive interiors, pairing a sleek aerodynamic, futuristic exterior with the interior automobile cabin of the future. The exterior and interior attractively merge together through the vehicle’s sliding glass doors and panoramic roof.
In addition to the ENTRANZE premiere, GAC Motor will also show its GM6 minivan and all-new GS5 SUV in its 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) display.