One of the main reasons why many people were initially skeptical of Apple’s car plans is that the infrastructure required for automotive manufacturing is immense and requires billions of dollars in capital. And while Apple certainly has billions to spare, the buildout of a facility capable of manufacturing cars at scale can take years when taking into account permits, staffing, construction, and importing advanced robotics and machinery.
Apple, though, is hoping to avoid these aforementioned challenges altogether by partnering up with an established automotive manufacturer. According to reports, Apple over the past few months has been trying to secure a partnership with a number of companies, including Kia and Hyundai. Those specific talks are said to have fallen through, but Apple today is reportedly still in talks to reach a manufacturing agreement with either Foxconn or Magna.
The type of partnership Apple is seeking would be quite simple: Apple would design its own branded car while another company — with the requisite infrastructure already in place — would handle the manufacturing aspect.
Of course, one of the more interesting aspects of Apple’s rumored and somewhat mythical car project centers on what an Apple-designed car would look like. With companies like Tesla, Porsche, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes already rolling out incredibly advanced and sleek-looking vehicles, it’s only natural to wonder how an Apple Car might be able to differentiate itself, even from an aesthetic point of view.
While there’s no way to know what an Apple Car will look like, we’ve certainly seen no shortage of mockups from designers sprout up over the past few years. More often than not, these renders are either boring or, in contrast, so futuristic and advanced as to be wholly unrealistic.
The most recent Apple Car renders come to us via Leasefetcher which imagines what varying Apple Car designs would look like when mashed up with iconic Apple products. It’s a fun thought exercise, to be sure, but sometimes the results can be a bit out there, to say the least. After all, a car inspired by Apple’s iconic Bondi Blue iMac is interesting but hardly something anyone would call sleek.
The best example from Leasefetcher imagines an Apple Car inspired by a Nissan GT-R and an iPhone 12 Pro.
“If Apple wanted to make a real statement with their first EV venture, the Nissan GT-R would be a great platform to mashup with their most impressive product to date,” the site reads. “Our render comes in Nissan’s Ultimate Silver and features door handles in the style of the iPhone 12 Pro’s buttons, 3 LED headlights to represent the iPhone’s camera trio, and a grille shaped like the top/bottom edges of the phone. Essentially, it is the GT-R in Apple’s signature minimalist style.”
All in all, it’s not a bad-looking car in the slightest, though the odds of Apple releasing a two-door sports car are effectively slim to none.
On the flip side, we have a Honda e with some original iMac inspiration. The end result is certainly interesting, but definitely not something we could ever see Apple releasing.
You can check out additional Apple Car concept images over here.
At this point, it’s no secret that Apple is seriously exploring the development of its own branded car. Now whether or not we’ll ever see an Apple Car on the road remains unknown. Historically, Apple has had no problem devoting years and years of R&D towards a product that ultimately never makes it to market, with an Apple-branded HDTV being a prime example.
As a final point, Apple only enters a new product category when it feels it can offer a differentiated experience not available anywhere else. With that said, if Apple does end up releasing its own electric car, it stands to reason it will be unlike anything else already out on the market. Incidentally, reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo earlier this year said that Apple’s EV will likely boast 300 miles of range and will be able to charge up to 80% capacity in just 18 minutes.