2015 ED Design Torq is a car.
A variety of interesting concepts are on their way to the Geneva Motor Show this year, but when it comes to offering something unique and different, Ed Design just may take the cake. The Italy-based company is known for fashioning concept vehicles for marques like Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Maserati, but this latest creation is something completely from out in left field.
Facts are scarce, to say the least, with the above teaser image and only a handful of details, but here is what we know so far: the Torq was designed to be a two-seat racer with an all-electric drivetrain and fully autonomous capabilities. It was created with the idea of eventually taking part in a one-make racing series for AI-controlled track battles. Oh, and it doesn’t have any windows.
And that’s pretty much it. Mike Robinson, who gained experience at Italian coachbuilder Gruppo Bertone, is the Design Director and CEO at ED Design, and the Torq is part of a project called MAAL, which is an acronym for Mobile Autonomous Automobile Laboratory.
But while that doesn’t tell us much, we can still make a few wild guesses, can’t we? All aboard the Speculation Special — next stop: Conjecture City.
From the single teaser image, it looks like the Torq will be an angular, wedge-shaped supercar with minimal ground clearance, copious swoops and spoilers, and a long wheelbase. Italian publication quattroruote is reporting that total height will not exceed 43.3 inches, which could very well be correct, gauging from this shadowy picture.
No windows would mean less drag, which should go a long way to helping overall downforce efficiency. Seeing as this is a performance vehicle, materials used will probably focus on weight savings. That means a platform built on a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic monocoque, aluminum, and possibly a splash of magnesium and titanium for good measure. The doors will probably swing upwards in a dramatic, scissor-like fashion. Lighting might be provided by LEDs, and the whole thing will be doused in either bright, candy-colored paint, or raw, all-business carbon fiber.
One thing is for certain though: if it’s Italian and has ties to Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Maserati, it’s gonna look fantastic.
The idea of riding around in a windowless, two-seater race car controlled by a computer sounds insanely scary. Personally, I’d want to be able to spot the braking points to prepare my neck for heavy deceleration, not to mention bear witness to the jukes and feints for position.
Therefore, I’m sure there has to be some way to see outside the car from within the cabin. This could be with a camera system that projects onto door- and dash-mounted screens, possibly with some kind of augmented reality coming into play. Perhaps passengers in rival vehicles would shoot virtual missiles at one another while the cars handled all the racing duties, sort of like a much more expensive Anki Overdrive.
Hopefully, there will be the option to take manual control, with a nice Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and some pedals arranged for quick and easy access. Racing harnesses are pretty much mandatory. And since there’s no mention of the Torq being a track-only vehicle, let’s throw in some decent infotainment to stave off boredom while cruising along in fully-autonomous mode, like a 10-speaker Bose audio system, 7-inch touchscreen, USB media interface, and a WiFi web connection.