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concept cars

concept cars

  A concept car is a car prototype made to showcase a new vehicle's styling, technology, and overall design before production. They are often shown at motor shows to gauge customer reaction to new and radical designs which may or may not have a chance of being produced.

Back in September, Los Angeles Auto Show organizers announced the theme for this year’s Design Challenge contest: contenders needed to design a law enforcement car for the year 2025. Today, they have finally announced the six competitors coming from BMW , General Motors, Honda (two entries), Mercedes-Benz and Subaru .

BMW’s entry will be the E-Patrol (Human-Drone Pursuit Vehicle), which is a concept built on a modular structure with three different drones. In the case of a pursuit in heavy traffic, the patrol officer can deploy either the flying drone or one of the single-wheel drones to chase the suspect and report back to the officer.

General Motors entered the contest with a Volt Squad — a three-vehicle fleet designed around the concept of observe, pursue and engage. Honda has two entries for 2012: the CHP Drone Squad, a vehicle-based-system for 2025, which is designed to work efficiently and seamlessly in the harsh environment of California highways. Honda’s second entry is the "CHiPs" 2025 Traffic Crawler, a vehicle that has the ability to adjust to changes in the traffic environment.

Mercedes is entering the contest with Ener-G-Force, a vehicle based on the G-Class and designed as an environmentally friendly SUV. And finally Subaru’s entry is the SHARC (Subaru Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept) highway patrol vehicles. They are capable of providing an innovative, affordable and environmentally conscious solution for 24-hour highway monitoring, protection and rapid emergency response.

The winner of the contest will be announced on November 25.

Click past the jump to read the press release on each vehicle.

When we first saw the Honda Micro Commuter Concept at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show , we were pleasantly piqued at what the expected production version would look like. After all, the concept was pretty cool in itself.

What we got when the Japanese automaker finally revealed the production version of the Micro Commuter Concept was underwhelming. To be fair, we weren’t expecting the concept’s funky design to be retained for the prototype model. We know well enough that functionality and practicality take precedence over ostentatious styling. However, if you ask us, what Honda came out with was a little bit of a dud.

According to Honda , the Micro Commuter prototype rides on a new Variable Design Platform, a setup that puts the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery and motor at the rear end of the car to help maximize passenger and cargo room. The Micro Commuter is a certified city car, one whose measurements — 84 x 49.2 x 56.9 inches — affirm that widely known belief. Even the cabin isn’t necessarily spacey. It only accommodates one driver in the front and either one adult or two children in the back.

Is there a unique quality about the Micro Commuter that appeals to us apart from it being an eco-friendly vehicle? All we can come up with is the tablet device that was added to the interior to serve as an energy monitor, a back-up camera display, and a navigation system all rolled into one.

In terms of performance, the combination of the car’s lithium-ion battery and motor allows the prototype to produce an output of 20 horsepower, a top speed in excess of 50 mph, and a range of 37 miles with three hours charge time required to bring the battery to full capacity.

It’s also worth noting that this prototype model will probably undergo a number of changes before the production model arrives. Hopefully, there’s more emphasis on improving the car’s design.


At first glance, you may think that the Chevrolet Cruze doesn’t have much tuning potential. However, at the recently ended 2012 SEMA Show, Chevrolet set out to prove the opposite, as its Cruze Upscale Concept moves the compact sedan up a few rungs on the luxury ladder.

Chevy coated the Cruze Upscale Concept in Burnished Brandy Metallic paint, then added in Black Ice exterior trim, giving it a deep and luxurious finish. Next came a set of rocker and fascia extensions, and a set of 19-inch aluminum wheels in Black Ice. Dark-tinted windows and headlamps give the car an even smoother look.

Inside the Cruze’s cabin, Chevrolet combined brown leather with yellow stitching on the seats and steering wheel. The steering wheel is wrapped in Loft Brown and DK Atmosphere leather, as are the door and instrument panels.

To improve the car’s driving dynamics Chevrolet also added an adjustable coilover suspension kit, four-piston front brake calipers, and two-piece vented and drilled rotors.


Chevrolet’s lineup for the 2012 SEMA Show once again included lots of concepts based on the smallest cars in its lineup: the Spark , Sonic , and Cruze . All these concepts have been developed to demonstrate the possibilities for customers who want a more personalized driving experience.

The first of the concepts is the aggressive-looking Spark Sinister. It combines rally-inspired exterior design elements with a dark appearance, which seems to make it the perfect car for a late-night race.

The Sinister Concept is painted Carbon Flash Metallic, then combined with Bahia Red accents and matte-black graphics. It also received a wild body kit that includes bold rocker fairings, a rear diffuser with dual exhaust outlets, a rear wing spoiler, and a front fascia with large air intakes.

The concept sits on a set of 18-inch wheels in split-spoke design and are painted in Bahia Red. The wheels are covered by prominent fender flares and, when combined with a lowered ride height, assist in making the Spark look awesome.

Back in 1978, Dodge rolled out a special edition package for its D150 pickup trucks, which were not yet named “Ram.” This new package was known internally as Package Code YH6 and featured a high-output 360-cubic-inch V-8 engine with a 4-barrel carb pumping in fuel. The engine boasted high-flow cylinder heads and an aggressive cam shave and it all hooked up to a 3.55-to-1 rear end. This package, which we all know as the L’il Red Express, only lasted two years – 1978 and 1979 – and saw only 2,188 units in 1978 and 5,118 units in 1979. This makes it one of the most sought after Dodge pickups ever built.

Well, Ram is rolling out a remake of this classic short-body pickup truck in the form of its SEMA -stationed L’il Red Express Truck. Though it is more modern than the original rendition, it certainly pays it homage rather well. It features the bright-red paint of the original, a side-stack exhaust system, and a wood-trimmed bed.

In addition, this remake of the cult classic pickup features 22-inch Mopar rims with gold inserts, a 5.7-liter HEMI engine that pumps out 390 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque, gold accent stripes, “Hyperblack” painted grille inserts, and a custom Katzkin (no, not “cat skin”) interior. Sure, it lacks the flare-side styling and the wood-outlined bed of the original, but it is bad-ass nonetheless.

There is no mention of this special edition ever coming to the Ram lineup, but don’t be too surprised to see it roll out in 2013 and 2014, as Chrysler loves running special-edition Rams – there have been plenty of them. One thing is for sure, it would definitely carry a higher premium than the $1,131 price for the original L’il Red Express package.

Stay tuned to find our of Chrysler plans to launch this model or not.

If anyone ever had any doubt that the Honda CR-Z is an incredible vehicle, despite its hybrid powertrain, then they should be checked into the hospital. The CR-Z drives and feels like any other sports car on the market, maybe even better, but for those that are doubtful, check out the new CR-Z introduced by Honda Performance Development at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show.

The Honda HPD Supercharged CR-Z Concept continues with the improvements introduced last year, but is even better with a few enhancements to improve acceleration, handling, and stopping. For starters, the CR-Z’s IMA hybrid system gets bumped up from 124 HP and 131 lb-ft of torque to a total of 185 HP and 169 lb-ft of torque. In addition to this bump in power, the CR-Z also gets a new sport exhaust and a new sport suspension. The concept sits on a new set of wheels wrapped in high performance tires combined with sport brakes. Then there’s that incredible red exterior paint finish that just screams, "Look at me!"

It may only be a concept, but there’s always hope for production when it comes to cars like this.

Just like almost every other automaker, Chrysler has headed into Las Vegas with guns a blazin’. Between Chrysler , Dodge , Jeep , Fiat , and Ram , there are more custom Chrysler products than you can shake a camshaft at. Another one to just come to light is the Dodge Dart Slingshot — not to be confused with the Dodge Slingshot Concept.

The details on it are still a little scarce, but they are starting to make their way out, along with some images. The Slingshot is no question a hat tip to the SCCA-style racers in Dodge’s fan base. It’s exterior is very near stock, boasting only a Mopar carbon-fiber hood and a set of 17-inch black alloy wheels to help reduce its weight a little. The exterior is, of course, covered in full Mopar livery along with a white base coat and a black grille.

Inside the Dart Slingshot is where its SSCA soul comes out. As required by the racing circuit, the Slingshot features a competition-spec roll cage, racing seats, and six-point harnesses to keep the riders strapped in place.

Under the hood, it appears as if Mopar left the engine as-is. Then again, the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine that Dodge borrowed from Fiat Fiat is rather impressive itself, as it pumps out 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The only modification to the driveline is an aftermarket exhaust system that is more show and sound than it is performance.

Mopar did install a performance suspension system, but we are still awaiting confirmation on what makes up this performance setup.

Stay tuned for more information.

Hyundai has certainly tossed plenty of examples into the ring at the 2012 SEMA show and it has just unveiled another concept car. This new custom car sits on the base of a 2013 Hyundai Veloster , but Hyundai brought in famed car tuner, John Pangilinan, to help tweak it just a little bit.

The majority of the work done to this Veloster was to the body, interior, and sound system, which is pretty standard for SEMA. However, this is not to say that John P. and Hyundai just left the Veloster bone stock in the performance realm. This compact 4-door hatchback (three man doors and one hatch) received just enough engine modification to make it stand out and a tiny bit of suspension work to sure of the often-complained-about handling of the otherwise sporty Veloster.

At SEMA, the Veloster is up against the best of the best, however, so let’s have a look to see how Hyundai did with this project.

Click past the jump to read all about the Veloster JP Edition.

At the 2011 SEMA Show, Mazda arrived with a cool MX-5 Super20 Concept that lit up the stage in Las Vegas. Mazda claimed that the concept was loud, proud, and boisterous with its bursts of turbocharged energy, but that they have brought something even better to the 2012 SEMA Show: the Super25. Mazda claims this new version is better, meaner, and has been crafted with endurance racing in mind.

Such a great amount of attention has been placed on Mazda’s resident sports car because they say the MX-5 Miata "is the epitome of a light and limber sports car that won’t burn a hole through an enthusiast’s pocket." No arguments there, as the MX5 is small, light, and puts up the right kind of competition to other, more expensive sports car. That being said, is this enough to handle such long-distance, weary-heavy racing?

Hit the jump to find out whether the Mazda MX-5 Super25 has what it takes.

Posted on by Serafim

Electric cars have been around for decades, but it hasn’t been until recently that they’ve finally started to be considered a reliable solution to the problem of future transportation.

The Danish company ECOmove decided to join the crowded club of EV manufacturers and developed an innovative concept car designed for city driving.

The new Qbeak is a compact hatchback powered by a pack of lithium ion batteries and in-wheel motors. Its skin is made of lightweight, recyclable materials and features a unique chassis platform with room for flexible battery modules. Moreover the vehicle is also equipped with a communication system based on a smartphone.

What’s even interesting is that customers can choose from a range of interior and exterior options, which will permit you to modify the seats configuration (between 1 and 6) and also change the exterior color by interchanging some of the panels and parts.

The new ECOmove Qbeak is expected to be launched on the market by the end of 2012, but the company didn’t release any price specifications.


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