True or false? Apple might launch its own car after a chat with electric vehicle specialist Canoo, a rumour alleged. Such speculation was not new, though. Many previous rumours implied the tech giant – which is currently more associated with phones, tablets, and computers than transport – might expand its portfolio.
Note the past rumours. One claimed the company employed thousands of people and told them to manufacturer a car, for example. Code name ‘Titan’ was mentioned, too. Apple allegedly also spoke to other car manufacturers. As for Canoo, the rumour – which was nothing further than a rumour – hinted that the tech giant might one day incorporate the manufacturer’s ideas into its own vehicles.
Canoo has its ‘skateboard’, for example. The skateboard is a self contained, fully functional, rolling chassis that can be driven independently. It therefore contains propulsion, battery, suspension, electric, and control systems. Think of it as a usable car that has no bodywork. Significantly, this chassis can also support several vehicle body styles. Just bolt on what is required.
The skateboard’s specification can also be optimised to suit the body style. For example, it can be propelled by a motor at the front, a motor at the rear, or a motor at both. In other words the chassis can be front, rear, or all-wheel drive. The rear motor produces up to 300 bhp and the front generates up to 200 bhp. The chassis’s maximum range per-charge is 300 miles (with dual motors).
Furthermore, the steering is ‘steer-by-wire’. In other words, there is no mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the tyres. This makes it easier to move the steering wheel to suit the body style. It can also easily be moved left or right of the chassis to match the county. Right for Great Britain, for instance.
The Skatebord chassis is already the basis for a couple of vehicles. The Canoo is a ‘lifestyle vehicle’, the manufacturer confirmed. It has the ‘interior space of a sports-utility vehicle with the small footprint of a compact vehicle’. Furthermore, there is room for seven people, under seat storage, and a pegboard. The seats ‘feel more like modern furniture than traditional car seats’.
Alternative vehicles include the MPDV1 (van), MPDV2 (larger van), and there are more to come. As for the Apple rumour, Canoo said that ‘it does not openly comment on strategic discussions, relationships, or partnerships unless deemed appropriate’. The end!