A British consortium of four companies has unveiled the Aura, an all-electric sports car concept aiming to show what the future of a driver's car could look like.
Hand-built with funding from the British government via the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles’ Niche Vehicle Network, Aura is a fully functional two-seater, roofless concept. It’s also road legal, although it going into production is a totally different discussion.
The companies behind it— Astheimer Design, BAMD Composites, Conjure and Potenza Technology—spent the last 11 months developing the car. Their aim with the Aura was to reduce environmental impact through lightweight natural composites, low-drag surface design, and optimized location of battery cells and motor.
On display at the Cenex-LCV show, Aura is powered by an all-electric powertrain enabling a range of around 400 miles (643 km) through two 44 kWh batteries (total 88 kWh).
Gallery: Aura Electric Sports Car Concept
The packaging is a bit unusual, with one battery at the front and the other underneath the chassis. This layout is said to improve driving dynamics and engagement due to the neutral weight distribution. It also provides easy access for maintenance in the future.
The batteries power a single electric motor driving the rear wheels, which are shod with large diameter low rolling resistance tires. Unfortunately, the output ratings are not provided.
As for the design, Aura sports sculptural surfaces and a pure lines, with an obvious focus on aerodynamics. The bullet-like shape, rear wheel covers, air curtains, and large rear diffuser make it glide easily through air, contributing to less energy use and increasing the Aura’s real-world range.
Furthermore, the body panels are lightweight and sustainable to build thanks to the use of natural composite fibers and natural woven fabric. They are matched with sustainable vegan leather in the interior.
Speaking of the interior, the companies behind the project say they applied “cutting-edge in-cabin updates” to eliminate range anxiety and maximize real-world driver feedback. The bespoke 10-inch Human Machine Interface (HMI) is powered by Android Automotive OS, marking the system’s first use on a British vehicle.
To help ease range anxiety, the software is said to find the quickest, easiest charge points and real-world energy optimization and usage accurate to within 0.5 per cent of range. Also powered by Android Automotive, a 5-inch self-leveling circular display at the center of the steering wheel keeps the driver informed at all times.