Not everything at the 2021 Munich Motor Show is new. Mixed among wild concept cars like the BMW i Vision and production EVs like the Mercedes EQB are bonafide classics like this Volkswagen T2 van. Look inside, however, and you'll see there's nothing classic about this party bus, save for its mission of being cozy and comfortable.
This is the AmbienC3, a concept created by Continential to showcase both the company's future vision and advanced materials for vehicle interiors. For the record, we don't know if Continental intentionally chose a name shared with a popular prescription medication to help people sleep, but creating a calm, relaxing environment for travellers is certainly a major theme for this concept. It also highlights sustainability through the use of recycled and synthetic materials developed by Continental that have some rather interesting properties.
Gallery: Continental AmbienC3 Interior Concept
What kind of properties are we talking about? According to Continental's press release, some materials can generate heat, and some are extremely resistant to abrasion while incorporating some self-healing properties. A type of synthetic leather called laif is exceptionally breathable, allowing air and water vapour to pass through while being soft to the touch and self-regulating with regards to temperature. Another material called staynu (stay-new ... get it?) is used on the driver seat, and as the name suggests, it's extremely resistant to dirt and stains.
Speaking of the driver's seat, you'll notice it's the only seat mounted in a traditional passenger car position and even then, it's not a traditional seat by any means. Aside from featuring its trick materials, Continental presents the AmbienC3 as a vehicle incorporating occupant-friendly "third space" where people drive, work, and relax. As such, fully autonomous driving is part of the equation and there are areas to stretch out while the van handles the commute. Bright-yet-soft colours offer a theme of general relaxation, though apparently there will be no accidents in the future since not a single seat belt is seen anywhere.
"With the AmbienC3 we are connecting a globally renowned icon of the automotive world with new, intriguing surfaces and future-focused technologies, whose attributes assist driving, working, and relaxing as effectively as possible and distinguish them through colour, design, and material," said Ralf Imbery, the global director of innovation, transformation, and design at Continental’s surface experts. "With the AmbienC3 we are demonstrating our expertise in terms of sustainability, design, functionality, ‘third space’ development, and customer centricity. It sees us bringing together key drivers for the future of the mobile interior."
The AmbienC3 concept will be on display at IAA Mobility 2021 in Munch through September 12.