‘Nimbus’ E-Car Concept: Is It Really That Advanced?

The Nimbus concept e-Car is the brainchild of one Eduardo Galvani of Brazil. Go on and Google his name and you’ll find that this man is something of a conceptual genius. The “Nimbus,” pictured here, is only one of his colorful creations.

But anyway, check it out. This concept “e-Car” as he calls it looks like something you might find safari cruising in an old episode of The Wild Thornberrys (90s kids reference) crossed with one of those Fisher Price toy cars … but somehow it’s still cool to look at.

The Nimbus concept website compares a modern day human’s driving experience to an idea within Greek mythology that a machine and body can be one, before going on to state the obvious: “As more power and autonomy has your car, more power and autonomy may have you.” You get the point.

The Nimbus has been designed for both short drives around town and long trips, and is equipped with a hybrid engine and energy consumption system which, according to Galvani, conserves more energy and allows for longer trips than cars that run 100 percent on electricity. It is claimed that the Nimbus could travel up to 181 miles on a single gallon, and its maximum speed lies within the 80-100 mph range. Acceleration from 0-62 mph would take approximately thirteen seconds.

The 180-horsepower electrical engine is in the rear and is powered by a lithium-ion battery, that works in conjunction with a combustion micro-generator allowing a constant charging of the batteries. To help with power generation, a portion of the top of the automobile is covered in solar panels and a regenerative brake mechanism recovers and saves even more kinetic energy.

Using carbon fiber, titanium, and aluminum, Galvani refers to the structure as “very strong and light”, although it still weighs in at 3,570 pounds. There are four different driving modes that the driver can choose between: Energy Saver, Standard Trip, Faster Cruise, and 4WD.

A hydraulic steering wheel, adjustable seats, a push start button, and Obstacle Detection sensors, along with a back up camera all provide creature comforts and ease of operation, which is pretty basic stuff among the cars of 2014. Cruise control is referred to as “Auto-Pilot” technology, and a “Gearless Automatic Velocity System with “Hill Descent Control” provides for torque development without hesitation, in turn allowing optimum use of energy, smooth acceleration, and fluid braking (ABS). It is also equipped with independent suspension.

Side protection bars and six airbags reside within the vehicle, which has seating enough for five people, and the panoramic windows are actually really cool. There are virtually no blind spots – kind of makes the idea of back up cameras and sensors obsolete as far as I’m concerned, but there is also a mini-refrigerator built in that holds up to eight cans for those aforementioned long trips. Brilliant!

The Nimbus has what Galvani refers to as the “Multi Function Convex Driver Dashboard”, a flexible screen that shows the driver all the same stuff your run-of-the-mill dashboard does, along with sound and display alerts for important information and GPS commands. It’s customizable to suit the driver, and can be changed via touchscreen, voice command, or buttons on the steering wheel. A removable touchscreen controls the sound system, interior lights, interior temperature, GPS, and clock, and allow access to a media browser, weather, internet services, and more. Such vehicle information as tire pressure, washer fluid level, and maintenance schedules can also be accessed through this Central Display and Controller.

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi connectivity, USB connectors, anti-theft, and location detection are all included (obviously) but it also features “self-cleaning surfaces” to save water, which sounds fascinating. Unfortunately, Galvani does not elaborate.

To be honest, if not for the advanced energy-saving features, this concept probably would have been way cooler if it was released 10 years ago. So many of its features are commonplace, but it’s still really cool looking in an odd way, and it would probably make for a fun grocery getter if it ever came to life. It’s something of an old VW bus on steroids – and we could definitely get onboard with that.

 

About the author

Stephanie Davies

Stephanie Davies got her start in automotive media while studying at Rutgers University and eventually landed at Roush Performance outside of Detroit, where she now resides. She writes for various automotive outlets, works with rescue dogs, enjoys driving her Roush-charged Coyote-swapped 1992 Fox body Mustang race car, and is convinced that absolutely nothing in the world beats a sunny weekend at the track.
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