At Automotive Interiors Expo, Continental showcases a wide range of surfaces for vehicle interiors. Concept vehicle AMBIENC3 points the way to the future – for e-mobility, shared mobility and autonomous driving. N3XT and Panel Films Vol. design collections D show trending topics and new, adapted concepts for the interior.
It’s like entering another world: Music swirls invitingly through an interior as if it’s showing off its home. Tinted windows ensure companionable privacy. Pleasant, clear lighting effects provide orientation. Smooth, uncluttered surfaces present themselves in bright natural colors – seats, couch, tables, floors, doors and headliner. In this vehicle interior, everything is perfectly coordinated. An environment that invites you to linger and promises comfort. This converted VW T2 Bulli named AMBIENC3 is only “retro” from the outside, inside it offers a view of the future. Visitors to Automotive Interior Expo in Stuttgart; Germany, from November 9-11, 2021, will be able to experience Continental’s new concept vehicle first hand on stand A4250/Hall 4.
The allround concept of the AMBIENC3 is the “3rd Space,” a space that combines driving, working and relaxing in the vehicle interior and offers design concepts tailored precisely to the individual application. What makes the concept vehicle so special, however, are the surface materials from Continental. “With their properties, our surfaces support driving, working and relaxing. The areas are separated by color, design and function,” says Ralf Imbery, Head of Innovation, Transformation and Design at Continental’s surface experts.
Renewable, sustainable, natural
The issue of sustainability plays an important role in this: “Our idea was to develop a vehicle that’s made primarily from sustainable materials – based on natural and renewable raw materials, while consistently saving wood and genuine leather,” emphasizes Imbery. “The development of authentic surfaces and high-quality products is very important to us here. We also support our customers and suppliers in their efforts to become more sustainable.” For this reason, Continental’s surface specialists are increasingly using recycled materials or materials from upcycling as well as low emission and low pollution materials for the vehicle interior. Lightweight surfaces also help save vehicle weight. As a result, energy consumption is reduced, emissions are further reduced, and electric vehicles have a longer range.
Staynu and laif technology from Continental are widely used in the AMBIENC3. The staynu technology ensures that the material stays and looks new for longer – which conserves resources. The laif technology effects that the material is permeable to air and water vapor. This results in particular comfort, impressive softness and special acoustic properties.
Autonomous driving drives surface trends
The automotive industry has long been in agreement that the future is “autonomous driving.” And this is precisely the context that Continental has created the perfect interior for, with the AMBIENC3 and its 3rd Space concept. Because if you no longer have to focus on driving and pay constant attention to the traffic, you have time to relax or work. “The design always has an eye on the allround concept: Good design should not only be sustainable, but also natural and inspiring – based on the shapes of nature and consistently focused on use,” says Imbery. This also means that it must be intuitive, so that everything works without permanently visible buttons and switches. For Continental, this is not an utopian vision, but a concept that could soon go into production – not least thanks to “shy technology,” which hides buttons until they’re needed.
Iconic car with the interior of tomorrow
The exterior of the AMBIENC3 has happily been preserved. The iconic VW Bulli shines in its retro look – and this is where the circle closes: In the AMBIENC3, retro meets the future. A motto Continental stands for in its Anniversary Year: 150 years in the service of mobility form the basis for the coming decades.
In addition to the AMBIENC3, Continental will be presenting the trend book and associated N3XT collection (pronounced “next three”), which present visionary future designs against the backdrop of the three megatrends of “Natural Elements”, “Human Being” and “Cyberspace”. The idea behind “Natural Elements” is to get back to nature again and find inspiration in natural materials and products. “Human Being” is about the influence of different cultures, social trends and individual lifestyles. “Cyberspace” contains innovative, futuristic-looking materials with some complex technical structures.
Design collection also takes home interior concepts as a role model
A complete design collection for vehicle interiors is contained in Panel Films Vol. D. Continental’s design experts are constantly working to ensure that their customers feel comfortable in their vehicles. In addition, new home interior design concepts are a particular source of inspiration for them, which they then apply to surface materials for the automotive industry.