Italdesign Quintessenza GT concept hides a pickup-style bed

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Italdesign used last week’s 2024 Beijing auto show to present the Quintessenza concept, a handsome grand tourer with a pickup truck-style bed hidden beneath a canopy.

The concept features the body of a sleek coupe but an adjustable ride height (up to 11 inches of ground clearance) hints at some level of off-road capability. The rear windshield can be removed, providing ample access to a bed mounted below. There are four seats split over two rows, with the rear two seats able to flip backwards so that occupants can face the rear when the vehicle is stationary.

In a statement, Italdesign said the concept is meant to showcase how “flexibility, freedom, and sportiness” could be combined in a single vehicle. Such a vehicle would be aimed at buyers who live in urban areas but like to spend time in nature, doing activities like camping or hiking or off-road biking.

Access to the cabin is via vertically lifting doors. Inside, a floating dashboard wraps around the cabin all the way to the rear. It features up front a main panel that is made of what Italdesign describes as a marble-based fabric. This fabric hides various controls that only become visible when a certain function is being used, such as the climate settings. For the driver, vital driving information is presented in a floating digital screen behind the steering wheel.

The Quintessenza is powered by an electric powertrain. A single motor powers the front axle while a pair of in-wheel motors are found at the rear. Together they form an all-wheel-drive system and deliver a combined output of 778 hp. Italdesign quotes a 0-62 mph time of less than three seconds. A 150-kwh battery sits in the floor of the vehicle.

This is actually the second time in two years that a member of the Volkswagen Group has presented such a concept in China. Last year, Audi presented the similar Activesphere concept in Shanghai.

Neither concept is intended for production, though. In the case of the Quintessenza, the concept was developed to showcase Italdesign’s capabilities, particularly to companies in China where Italdesign established a local office in 2022.

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