Keen-eyed observers of our Shanghai Auto Show coverage may have noticed that many of the electric vehicle concepts at the event featured large and very spacious cabins. Two of the most obvious examples were the Audi AI:ME Concept and the Infiniti QX Inspiration.
As both of these concepts feature electric powertrains with batteries in their floors, interior space can be maximized. In addition, the lack of a transmission tunnel means designers have started experimenting with new seating layouts, including bench seats, Reuters reports.
Both the AI:ME and QX Inspiration have bench seats at the rear. Apparently, according to Infiniti design chief Karim Habib, electric vehicles could mark “a return of the bench seat.”
“You can kind of comfortably sit into it … You can cross your legs, stretch your legs out,” Habib said about the rear seat of the QX Inspiration.
It is a similar story with Audi‘s AI:ME (pictured above). Despite being a small vehicle focused on urban use, it offers lots of room inside.
“We are fundamentally changing the perception of a (urban) car, particularly car experience. The AI:me has very compact dimensions but… it shows the urban mobility, especially premium mobility, doesn’t need to feel small. Cars are becoming a living room space,” Audi China operations chief Thomas Owsianski said.
Whereas the AI:ME and QX Inspiration have bench seats, another EV that also premiered in Shanghai, the Qs Inspiration Concept (below), features two large, lounge-like chairs in the rear, offering an alternative at how the interiors of future premium electric vehicles may look like.