IED students’ all-terrain, 6-seater EV concept to be showcased at Geneva

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 21 Feb 2020

Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) is back at the Geneva International Motor Show (Hall 5, Booth 5,140) this year and will present Tracy, the new concept vehicle created by the students of IED Turin's Master in Transportation Design. The result of a thesis project focused on pure experimentation free of any market constraints, Tracy is a vehicle that interprets the challenges of the contemporary world and expands the concept of shared sustainable mobility.

Based on a reflection on the future of transportation and the conviction that the concept of collective mobility will be increasingly central in our society, IED proposes an electric, all-terrain six-seater vehicle for public or private use, which is targeting users sensitive to the issue of respect for human beings and the environment. Tracy combines the concepts of micro mobility and private, public and shared mobility, broadening the scope of study. For the first time research within the Master's programme is pushing to investigate new modes of shared transportation, proposing a solution that can also go beyond the urban context with the aim of fostering a new sense of sharing and mobility extended to even unconventional scenarios.

"Leveraging a culture of experimentation and innovation, this year we have focused on free research to overcome the constraints of the market with the intention of identifying new targets, anticipating courageous solutions for new intelligent transportation systems of the future," says Paola Zini, director of IED Turin. With Tracy, we have expanded the field of study, with a design that has gone beyond the vehicle and that, as the name suggests, seeks to chart a new direction in a scenario of shared mobility".

Tracy: Compact and 4WD
Tracy (length 3740 mm – width 2205 mm – wheelbase 2890 mm – height 2083 mm) is a solid, compact vehicle with four-wheel drive. It is equipped with a double battery pack and full electric – low environmental impact propulsion, with low levels of emissions and noise pollution.

A softer, more sophisticated upper portion is grafted onto a robust, gritty lower section with pronounced wheel arches that allow a glimpse of the shock absorbers. The dynamic surfaces are lightened by the use of glazed sides and roof to bring the surrounding environment closer and create an atmosphere of complete immersion in the travel experience.

On the front and rear, two roll-bars wrap and protect the interior, functional components that become elements of style thanks to materials and colours that contrast with the bodywork. With a system of hooks and ropes on the front and rear of the car, the luggage racks allow for the transport of backpacks and bags in various numbers and types as needed, emphasising the vehicle's flexibility.

The sense of robustness and habitability conveyed by the proportions and the bold and irreverent character of the exterior's style conveyed by a mix of materials and colours also flow into the interior design with a layout that defines two functional areas: the first is dedicated to the driver, in a more central position compared to the traditional layout of a car; the second, in the back, is reserved for 5 passengers, with a lounge couch configuration. The asymmetry of the exterior is fully consistent with the interior concept when it comes to access: on the left side the driver's entrance, on the right side the passenger access. The attention to the environment is also evident in the choices of colour and trim, with palettes inspired by urban or extreme off-road settings and in the selection of natural pigments and biodegradable fibres for interior upholstery.

The design is completed by the development of a mobile app that can be used by the owner to program the vehicle. Based on needs or desires, commitments or interests, the app allows for functional or recreational travel, immediate or long-term, through the selection of destinations, settings and methods of use.

Five groups, 21 students (seven from India)
The 21 students including seven from India (see details below) worked synergistically in five groups, like competence centres, each focused on developing solutions in a specific field: exteriors, interiors, user experience, colour and trim and 3D modelling with immediate verification through virtual reality. The young designers programmed a virtual reality experience in parallel right from the start. Indeed, the young designers developed 2D and 3D designs concurrently, taking advantage of the potential of virtual reality to identify and solve any problems in the shortest possible time, ensuring a more effective and efficient process.

Tracy was designed by students of the Master in Transportation Design IED Turin for the 2018/19 academic year:
Syed Zaid Abdin (India)
Arjun Nataraj Balasubramanian (India) 
Gianluca Cavuoti Cabanillas (Italy) 
Ping-Chun Chen (Taiwan) 
Siddharth Sanjeev Das (India)
Mohammed Farhan Kauser Farhathullah (India)
Xiaoyu Guan (China)
Tanglong Han (China)
Po-Cheng Hsu (Taiwan)
Ruoyi Li (China) 
Yanhao Liu (China) 
Alberto Longobardi (Italy)
Alessandro Natali (Italy)
Kangyi Nie (China)
Roberta Sanseverino (Italy)
Luca Sardone (Italy)
Vinay Tharun Gowda (India)
Santiago Trapé (Italy)
Kunal Pravin Ughade (India)
Ayush Om Wal (India)
Jiaqi Zhu (China)

The Master in Transportation Design at IED Turin is coordinated by Alessandro Cipolli. The thesis project is coordinated by Davide Tealdi. Tracy has been built by EDAG Italia and the technical sponsors are AM Costruzione Modelli, Srl, Clinic Car Italia, OZ Racing and Pirelli.