Rumors of an Apple Car continue to circulate, such is the apparent appeal of Apple making the jump from smartphones, tablets, and computers to electric cars. While Apple doesn’t appear to be anywhere near close to launching its own car, Vanarama, a car-lease broker based in the U.K., has created an Apple Car rendering to add to the pile of speculation.
It’s common for U.K. companies like this to distribute vehicle renderings for publicity, which is why a leasing firm is offering up Apple Car speculation. Vanarama claims this rendering is based on real Apple patents, although that still doesn’t provide a clear picture of what a real Apple electric car would be like.
The rendering depicts an EV with an SUV coupe body style that combines a tall ride height with a low roofline. That’s in line with recent production EVs like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, but there is no indication that Apple would choose this shape beyond the fact that it’s currently popular with car designers. Even if it did, Apple would just be following auto industry trends rather than offering something new or different.
However, some design details correspond to Apple patents. The car has rear coach doors (also known as suicide doors) with no central pillar between the front and rear doors. This arrangement was once used on luxury cars, but was abandoned because removing that pillar comprised structural rigidity and crash protection. A patent application filed by Apple in 2019 detailed how the company planned to account for this by adding diagonal support sections in the doors, while a second patent application filed around the same time described using the floor to increase structural integrity and absorb crash forces.
The interior features a display screen spanning the entire dashboard, not unlike what we’ve already seen on the Byton M-Byte concept and the Mercedes-Benz EQS. The speculative rendering calls for a fully customizable display and Siri integration, which don’t seem like too much of a stretch given Apple’s core competencies.
Reports of an Apple car program, also known as Project Titan, go back almost a decade. Initial reports focused on autonomous driving or an infotainment system leveraging Apple’s smartphone expertise as the standout features, but more recent reports have claimed battery tech will be what sets the Apple Car apart.
Apple was reportedly in talks with Hyundai and Kia earlier this year to manufacture the car, possibly at Kia’s West Point, Georgia, factory, but those talks appear to have ended. An April report said Apple had begun negotiations with Korean firm LG Electronics and Canadian automotive supplier Magna to build the car. Magna has a contract manufacturing business that includes the Jaguar I-Pace and the upcoming Fisker Ocean, while LG is a major EV battery supplier. However, an October report also said Apple is pursuing a battery-supply deal with Chinese firms CATL and BYD.
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