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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.


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.

Everyone knows Bisimoto Engineering for their amazing street and race vehicles, but the 2012 SEMA Show is proving to be an opportunity for them to show off just how much they can do. They have already unveiled a few impressive updated vehicles, like the 600 HP Elantra GT , but they’re adding yet another one to their list with the Grand Touring package based on the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe .

The tuner started by adding HPF side skirts, a fascia kit for the front and rear, and continued with a Gatorwrap custom laminated body wrap combined with a Denmatic design scheme. The interior received GT3 racing seats and a roll cage.

The exterior and interior upgrades were only thrown in to provide a complete package because the real star of the show is the upgrades of the engine. The Honda’s standard V6 engine has been tricked to deliver an amazing 401 HP (up from the standard 300). For this update, the tuner used a supercharger system and a new Cat-back exhaust system.

The Honda Accord Coupe sits on a new set of 19"aluminum wheels combined with a coil suspension and a sway bar.

Posted on by Serafim

Magna Steyr is an Austrian company that specializes in designing cars and platforms. The company was involved in the development of many popular models including the BMW X3, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and even the Chrysler 300C.

At the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the company revealed a pretty innovative concept named the Mila Alpin. Built as a compact SUV, the Mila Alpin concept features a modular platform that can be used to house a hybrid system or even an electric powertrain. Thanks to its modular design, the concept’s platform can be used as a base by more than one automaker.

The Magna Steyr Mila Alpin concept has a 3+1 seats configuration and is capable of climbing 45 degree inclines. After it was revealed to the public, the Magna Steyr Magna Steyr Mila Alpin managed to attract BMW and Mercedes Mercedes ’ attention which expressed their interest in the modular platform developed by the company. Both companies plan to launch new models and also want to reduce their costs of development, so the solutions offered by the Mila Alpin concept seem to perfectly fit their needs.

Hit the jump for more information on the Magna Steyr Mila Alpin.

Posted on by Serafim

Th!nk used to work with Ford on a small city car, but after a while, the collaboration was interrupted and the Norwegian company continued to work on its project alone. Fortunately, it managed to finish the electric car and even launched it on the market with a huge starting price of $49,500 (including taxes).

Th!nk had much bigger plans, however, and is currently working on a new vehicle which puts practicality and comfort on top of the list. The new vehicle was presented in concept form in 2008 and judging by its tasty looks, it could certainly be received with more interest than the tiny City.

The Ox will be powered by a 60 kW electric motor paired with a pack of sodium or lithium-ion batteries which store enough juice to offer a range of 200 km. The Th!nk Ox can transport up to five passengers, being much roomier than its small sibling.

In the near future, Th!nk will also develop a sport version using the same modular platform as the Ox.

Find out more on the Th!nk Ox after the jump.


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