MemberSeptember 6, 2021 at 7:27 am
Let’s start with the features that are mandatory:
1. Headroom, headroom, headroom! While I’m only 5’7”, I’m very long waisted, so I sit taller in a seat than most people who are 6’5”. I can’t drive nearly half the cars on the market because I literally hit my head on the roof.
2. Up/down, front/back adjustable seats. While 8-way power seats would be ideal, I’m sort of assuming this will have manual adjustable seats. In that case please use the style where front/back adjustment is separate from up/down adjustment. This helps maximize headroom for those of us with long torsos and short legs.
3. Comfortable seats with proper lumbar support. The only real flaw people find with the Chevy Bolt is the seats (ignoring the whole spontaneous combustion issue). Don’t let the Aptera be maligned due to poor seats. They don’t need to be “plush”, but they do need to be comfortable, all day comfortable.
4. Telescoping steering wheel. Since this appears to be a very “feet forward” driving position, the steering wheel must be telescoping to accommodate different body dimensions.
5. The ability to access all stereo and climate controls in ALL driving modes, ESPECIALLY REVERSE! The biggest complaint I have in newer vehicles is that climate and stereo controls, even when there are physical buttons, get locked out in when I need to access them the most, namely when I’m in reverse. The reason this is an issue is the the first thing most people do after starting a vehicle is to back out of somewhere. When I start the vehicle, the stereo and HVAC have not yet turned on, so I start backing up, the half way through the maneuver, usually at the most dangerous part (entering traffic), the stereo starts blaring and the HVAC decides to power on full blast, so I can’t hear the environment around me which is very dangerous. Because modern vehicle SW locks these controls while in reverse, I am forced to either suffer through the maneuver before I am able to make adjustments, or put the car back in park, to turn down/off the stereo or HVAC. It makes me hate the whole vehicle every time it happens, which is every time I back up.
6. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. No one should even consider marketing a vehicle without these as standard.
7. 2+USB charging ports with at least 2.4A per port minimum. USB-C with USB-PD preferred.
8. Excellent headlights. Test them on a curvy, narrow, mountain road, in the woods, on a cloudy night. If you can’t see the turn coming through a dip, you need to try again. Hint, you need some light shining above the centerline of the vehicle, and wide to the sides as the road ahead isn’t always below or in front of you. So many cars have practically useless headlights, and this is a feature that is nearly impossible to test on a test drive.
9. A ROUND steering wheel. I’m seeing a trend, maybe started by Tesla, maybe not, toward non-traditional shaped steering wheels. I can’t imagine why people would want that, or how it can be considered safe to drive. Placement of hands on the steering control needs to be predictable in all maneuvers, and this is only achievable with a circular interface.
10. Driver information in front of the driver. This includes current speed, trip distance, energy, output/average consumption/remaining, etc… Requiring the driver to take their eyes off the road to look at a center console to find this info is unsafe and is a deal breaker for any vehicle purchase.
Ok, now for the wish list:
1. 3rd seat option, even if it’s a jump seat.
2. Ground effects lighting as factory equipment. I think they look silly on most cars, but this one needs it. It just does.
3. I like the idea of a solid side window option. Some of the other suggestions in this thread are good. Fixed in place might be acceptable. Mini-van style vent windows could also work well, and would be my preferred choice for this type of vehicle I think.
3a. As others have said, the primary purpose of opening the windows on a car these days is to quickly get the car down to ambient temperature when it’s been sitting in the sun. An option to have a fan circulating air through the cabin while sitting in the sun, above a certain temperature, to keep the car near ambient would really eliminate the need for large opening windows.
4. Adjustable load rear suspension. This type of vehicle seems more sensitive to load variation than traditional types, so adjustable load suspension seems almost necessary. Air suspension systems are very good at this, and can even do it automatically. There may be other designs that also work at lower weight/cost. This is certainly something I’d be looking for as the current load limit only really supports two adults and no gear, and an adjustable suspension would allow you to increase the load limit.
5. Towing option. An integrated hitch receiver and trailer wiring would be optimal. The ability to carry a bike rack or tow a light trailer, makes this vehicle infinitely more practical.
6. Ability to disable TPMS. All this system does is false alarm, and provides zero value. I can tell my tire pressure is not where I want it either through visual inspection or immediate feedback while driving. I can tell it’s off several PSI before TPMS tells me. I know that not everyone can, just like some people can’t tell their brakes are shot, so some people like this feature. That’s fine, for them, but for the rest of us we should be able to turn it off.
So, that’s my list. I’ve never been interested in owning an odd looking vehicle, nor any two seater before, but this vehicle is awesome in both form and function. I must have one, provided the insides are as well designed as the outsides (see above). I can’t wait to see these on the roads, and hopefully own one. I am in the market for a daily commuter and this would be perfect. Hope it’s ready sooner than later.