GM Labs Bare Necessities Car ConceptEnlarge Photo
GM Labs Bare Necessities Interior ConceptEnlarge Photo
What do you need in your next new car? No, really, what do you actually need? That's a question the designers over at GM's The Lab blog have been asking themselves, with the vehicles you see here being some of the interesting answers they've come up with.
The Bare Necessities Concepts are based around a minimalist philosophy that seeks to improve efficiency by reducing cost and complexity - a design principle that would make Ockham proud.
Two primary concepts, the Bare Necessities Car and the Bare NEcessities Truck, show what might be done in the small vehicle segment using sustainable materials and a minimum number of parts. The end goal: the lowest cost-per-mile of operation possible.
It's interesting to see, however, that in the interior shot below, iPod Touch and/or iPhone integration is considered to be a 'bare necessity' and comprises one of the minimum number of parts. Perhaps the concept should be taken a bit further yet.
Critics see this design direction not so much as a refreshing return to the essence of the car - transportation, plain and simple - but rather as a characteristically flavorless imposition by the U.S. government in the wake of its multi-billion-dollar bailout of the carmaker.
Take it as you will, the concepts are interesting in both the Ockhamian and the Orwellian senses.