Prominent Chinese automotive pro-GAC Group has opened an advanced design studio in Milan for the first time in Europe. While there are currently no plans to open one in the US, the entire focus of the event has been focused on the flashy two-seater concept to dive into the myriad surprises on the horizon.
The roofless electric sports car strikes a fine balance between a passion for Need for Speed and the minimalism that has defined the aesthetics of vehicles for a decade. Second, it stands out with its flat avant-garde shape reminiscent of an ostentatious coffee table.
Designer: GAC Design
The look of Italian automotive influence from the ’80s and previous in-house concept cars is understandable. The GAC Barchetta show car is the first of the Car Culture series to debut in Milan’s design district, Via Tortona, to celebrate Italy’s abundant car culture. We should see more such interesting concepts from GAC Design and for now this two-seater EV has really raised the bar.
The open-wheel design of the two-seater EV features a flattened chassis without a windshield to ensure minimal aesthetics. According to the design team, the car is divided into three parts. One of them, the flat case, contains compact batteries similar to a smartphone battery. Second, there is the streamlined body, thanks to a solid single-material aluminum frame that keeps everything light and visually timeless.
Third is the ultra-futuristic interior, which comes with a wired steering wheel that doubles as a head-up display to show vital information like speed and battery levels. To continue the minimalism, the driver and passenger seats are made of recycled plastic. Unlike conventional sports car seats, they tend towards a shell that weighs just 6.6 pounds. When the GAC Barchetta is parked or not in use, the steering wheel and panels slide into the cabin. Futuristic headrests and rear-view mirrors also slide into the body shell, making the EV look completely flat.
According to Stéphane Janin, design director of GAC Advanced Design Milan; they have concrete plans to create such “innovative projects every year” during design week. While we’d like to learn more about technical specs like battery capacity and power delivery ratio, for now, we’ll have to settle for the visual feast this concept EV unfolds!