Your big guide to the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear

Your big guide to the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show

Lots of cars, lots of tech, and DRONES: welcome to the biggest CES ever

  • Drones, heartbeat monitors, monster electric power and a connection to every digital thing in your entire life: welcome to the car of the future.

    That’s the key theme from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas; the biggest one yet and a show that previewed what the future of car connectivity has to offer.

    It’s a big show, too. Last year, more than 170,000 people covered 2.2 million square feet of exhibition floor to gawp at the latest tech. This year’s show was even more populous and expansive.

    You’ve probably seen some of CES’s automotive headlines: BMW’s rather excellent AirTouch gesture control as seen in the i8 roadster, a virtual reality showroom ON THE MOON, and the small matter of a 1,000bhp 4WD electric hypercar (pictured above).

    Having scoured CES for all the cars, here’s the big stuff you need to know about. Tell us what you’re most scared about looking forward to in the big comments bit below.

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  • Aston Martin Autolink Rapide S

    Together with tech company Letv, Aston unveiled a Rapide S with a very special 13.3in HD touchscreen in place of a centre console. Along with that, there’s another 12.2in screen in place of the instrument cluster.

    What does it mean? Upgrading the ‘human-machine interface’. It enables the Rapide to connect with Letv’s other remote services, and includes things like speech recognition. All very dandy.

  • Audi HMI concept

    Alongside the e-tron Quattro concept we first saw last year at Frankfurt, Audi showcased a new interior concept. Naturally, it’s CONNECTED to everything – phones, watches, probably your oven – and features huge high-res displays with haptic feedback, and a new MMI that recognises familiar gestures.

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  • Audi’s Virtual Reality showroom

    Audi also showcased a very special showroom experience. With the aid of a VR headset and a sensor-set room, you can step into an Audi dealership and configure any model in the range. And even take a trip to the moon.

    Your mission? To recreate the John Lewis Christmas ad using a classic Auto Union racer.

  • Bentley Continental GT V8 S ‘Monster by Mulliner’

    Are you a young professional or a ‘mover and shaker’ in the worlds of sport and music? You’ll already know about this Bentley then. In collaboration with audio enthusiasts Monster, Bentley has rolled out a GT packing 3,400 watts of ear-popping noise via 16 speakers.

    Though if it’s proper noise you want, turn the stereo off, wind the windows down, find a tunnel and, well, you know the rest. Because V8, that’s why.

  • BMW i Vision Future Interaction

    Lovely, isn’t it? It’s BMW’s i8 roadster – which TG revealed will be heading to a showroom near you in the near future – complete with the next generation of connectivity (get used to that word) and gesture control.

    No word on powertrain, but inside, it’s all about the massive screen, and the links it creates to your entire digital world. Make it now please, BMW.

  • Bosch

    Already a huge player in the automotive world, Bosch showcased a rather natty concept car with – wait for it – CONNECTIVITY. Also, a touchscreen with haptic feedback - which is clearly a very cool thing - no roof, a Knight Rider inspired steering wheel and funky lights around the body.

    We’re told the touchscreen tech could find its way into more mainstream stuff very soon…

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  • Chevrolet Bolt

    It’s the new Chevy Bolt! In the States, it’ll weigh in at under $30k, feature a 200 mile range, and terrier-like looks. It’ll get a proper unveil at Detroit next week. A tipping point for EVs?

  • Faraday Future FFZERO1

    Undoubtedly one of the talking points of the entire show – no mean feat, considering we also saw flexible, roll-up HD screen from LG – was Faraday’s 1,000bhp flight of fancy.

    And looking at it, flight is probably the best word. Four motors, 0-60mph in under three seconds and a top speed of over 200mph, this was a fully-electric hypercar that’d shred a Veyron. If it moved, of course.

    We’ll have a more in-depth feature on this FFZERO1 on next week, so keep your eyes peeled…

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  • Ford GT

    Need we say any more? It’s a Ford GT which, as we’ve since discovered, will pack more power than the race car set to compete at Le Mans.

    No new electronic gadgetry on display here: just 3.5-litres of turbocharged excellence in a gorgeous body and a bright yellow paintjob.

  • Kia Soul EV ‘drive wise’

    News from Kia: the manufacturer is planning on rolling out a fully autonomous car by the year 2030. This Soul EV is the beginning, and it’ll fall under the sub-brand ‘drive wise’.

    And going on the pace of the South Korean firm’s development, expect it to be quite good.

  • Mercedes-Benz IAA

    It’s Merc’s slippery, stretchy Frankfurt Motor Show concept, here making lots of electronic waves in Vegas.

    Read the full story here.

  • Toyota FCV Plus

    First unveiled in Tokyo last year, the FCV Plus is a hydrogen fuel-cell concept that doubles as a mobile power station. Perfect for when your phone inevitably runs out of battery.

  • Volkswagen BUDD-e

    Sshh… don’t mention emissions. Instead, lets talk about this rather cute little electric minivan concept from VW; the first to be based on the firm’s brand new electric platform architecture.

    This one boasts up to 373 miles of range, a top speed of 93mph and lots of space and tech inside.

    Also, lasers.

  • Ken Block’s Ford Fiesta ST

    No announcements or any new CONNECTIVITY tech here, just our good friend Block’s lovely little ST on a stand in front of people. Want to see it in action? Click here.

  • Mitsubishi Emirai III

    The third iteration of Mitsi’s connected concept car gets a heart rate monitor in the seats, indicators projected onto the floor (we’re not sure why), lots of fancy screens with swipe-scroll functionality, and a rather natty set of wheels.

  • Rinspeed Etos

    Yep, one of TG’s favourite purveyors of outlandishness strike again with this modified i8. There’s lot of cool tech inside – many screens, a funky steering wheel etc – but the killer is the rear-mounted drone.

    Why? Well why the hell not?

    We’ll have more from Rinspeed next week on, so stay tuned…

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