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CES 2023: Top 5 Coolest Car Debuts from the World's Biggest Tech Show

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the biggest tech shows in the world. Held each year in Las Vegas, CES has become a place where automakers show off their latest tech. From electric vehicles to innovative safety features and the latest infotainment systems, CES is the place to put them on display. This year was no different, with reveals ranging from near-production to beyond our wildest dreams. These are the five CES reveals with think are the coolest and the most relevant to the automotive market.

Volkswagen ID.7

The ID.7 is Volkswagen's next electric vehicle and the sedan is expected to go on sale in Canada in 2024. VW showed the car off in camouflage at CES but gave us a good look at the interior and hinted at what its range will be. The shape looks like the ID.Aero concept car that Volkswagen revealed late last year in China, so we expect the production ID.7 to look a lot that one. The production model will likely have different headlights and taillights as well as some simplified bodywork, however, which will ease production.

VW says that it expects a 700-km range for the ID.7 on the generous testing cycle used in Europe. That should translate to around 600 km of usable driving range when we test it in Canada.  The ID.7 will offer what Volkswagen calls a "new display concept," as well as an augmented reality head-up display and a 15-inch centre screen. The "four-door coupe" (a sedan with a sloping roofline) will also offer plenty of voice commands for the climate control and other onboard systems. The ID.7 is a Passat-sized sedan that will be built on the same platform VW is using for its other current ID. models including the ID.4 crossover.

Ram 1500 Revolution Concept

Ram is the last of the Big Three truck builders to reveal an electric truck, but while it will not beat Ford or GM to market, it certainly looks cool. Keeping in mind that this is a concept vehicle (so the production truck will probably be much less radical), Ram has gone all-out with styling aggression. From the massive (and animated) RAM grille badging and LED headlights to the cab that eats into the bed, it even has a uniquely huge passthrough. Using the bed, midgate cab passthrough, and front trunk, there is room for objects up to 5.5 metres long.

The Ram Revolution concept has an 800-volt electrical system that allows 350-kW fast charging, which is enough for 160 km of charge in just 10 minutes. Ram didn't say how much power it will put out, but we expect big numbers to compete with the other full-size electric pickups.

Other concept car tech includes "Shadow Mode," a system that will let you walk ahead of your truck and it will follow you at a safe distance, like leading your horse. It has an intelligent storage app that promises to analyze the dimensions of an object (using augmented reality measuring or barcode specifications) to tell you if it will fit in the truck. The lower centre screen is also removable, giving you a 14.2-inch tablet to use at work or to entertain passengers.

Project Arrow

Project Arrow is the result of a two-year project from Canada's Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association (APMA), multiple educational, tech, and even OE automakers, partly funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Unlike some of the other concepts on display, there are no plans to build this car. Instead, it is a showcase of the capabilities of the Canadian automotive industry and what exists outside of the major manufacturers.

The suppliers involved have created a fully-functional zero-emissions model and say that it has Level 3 autonomous driving. APMA says that there are 25 new technologies incorporated into the vehicle, with Canadian suppliers ready to help build those technologies for any car company that is interested. Next up, the Arrow will tour major auto shows around North America including those in Toronto and Montreal.

BMW i Vision Dee

The BMW i Vision Dee expands on e-ink technology and creates a car that can change colour on demand. Last year's iX concept could change from black to white and numerous shades of grey. The Dee can change through 32 different colours, with each body panel able to show a different hue. Even the wheels can change colour, giving the concept a hyper-cool and extremely customizable appearance.

A second Vision Dee concept car was less about wow and more about how, as in how BMW plans to make a new user interface work in its next generation of cars. The second Dee has exterior display panels that can show different shapes and colours. It's intended to make different facial expressions, and BMW says it will be able to talk to people and "express moods."

The car can even show your chosen avatar on the side window to greet you as you approach. This car also shows off a new head-up display that projects using the entire windscreen for the driver. Users will be able to choose how much content they want to see and how it will be displayed, all in a way BMW says will deliver "perfect integration of virtual and physical experiences."

Sony-Honda Afeela

Sony and Honda have announced a new electric prototype as well as a new vehicle brand. That new brand is called Afeela, and this car is a look at the electric sedan it plans to bring to market in 2026. Honda has previously partnered with GM for its EVs, and the upcoming Honda Prologue is set to be the first. This Afeela could mark a second-generation model or be a new sales avenue for Honda completely.

The car is exceptionally tech-heavy, with 45 cameras and sensors inside and out. It will also have incredible amounts of computing power and Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon Digital Chassis system-on-a-chip. That system should help enable Sony's plans to open up EV partnerships with other industry partners and customers. The pair promises a more personalized in-car experience using cloud-services connectivity as well as integrating entertainment and virtual worlds into the vehicle.

Peugeot Inception

This one's a bonus because it won't go on sale here, however, the Peugeot Inception concept is super cool so we thought you needed to see it. An EV concept that is all sharp lines and brutalist styling, it looks like a Peugeot 305 from the future with a heaping dose of attitude that's ready to take your lunch. (Are we sure this isn't coming here? Because this would be a perfect Dodge -Ed.). The Inception is built on the large Stellantis EV platform and Peugeot says it has 800 km of range thanks to a 100-kWh battery. Then 680 hp and dual motors give it the power to back up the looks. Then there's the interior, which is truly out of this world.