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.

2012 LA Auto Show Design Challenge Competitors Announced

Let’s get this out of the way now: all of the participants at the 2012 Los Angeles Design Challenge deserve a ton credit for the concept vehicles they designed. Mercedes deserves a huge chuck of credit for actually building a real-scale Ener-G-Force and bringing it to the LA Auto Show .

Unfortunately, there was only room for one winner, and that winner is Subaru’s Highway Automated Response Concept.

As a futuristic concept for what Subaru deems as “24-hour highway monitoring for Hawaii’s highway patrol,” the SHARC Concept captured the essence of this year’s theme best. It’s the smallest of all the concept vehicles, but still retains great functionality, an awesome design, and uses renewable energy. For achieving this delicate balance, the SHARC Concept was deemed as the best of them all.

"The SHARC captured the vision of the Design Challenge theme by combining functionality and problem-solving technology around a dynamic and plausible story," Design LA’s Chuck Pelly said.

Subaru designed the SHARC highway patrol vehicle to provide the kind of innovative, affordable and environmentally conscious solution for 24-hour highway monitoring, protection, and rapid emergency response in Hawaii, all while adhering to the state’s strict UltraGreen carbon-neutral environmental regulations.

It’s unlikely that we’ll see the SHARC as an actual production vehicle in the near future — maybe the distant future — but that’s getting ahead of ourselves. It does, however, give us a vision of what the future could look like in law enforcement.

Straight from the Cross Promotion 101 handbook comes this one-off project car from Nissan and Warner Bros., celebrating the UK release of Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster movie, "The Dark Knight Rises" on DVD and Blu-Ray.

As only Nissan can, the Japanese automaker decided to build a one-off Juke Nismo crossover solely to promote the new DVD and Blu-Ray. Appropriately enough, the crossover is called The Dark Knight Rises Juke Nismo.

The crossover features plenty of Batman-inspired details, something that you should expect from a car promoting The Caped Crusader. Matte-black paint was used to give the Juke Nismo a Batmobile-like appearance. A shark fin antenna was also installed in lieu of the traditional set-up on the Juke, and aluminum bat badges have been plastered in various parts of the Juke Nismo, including the front grille and the tailgate. Rounding out the exterior modifications is a set of 18-inch gloss-black alloy wheels with red detailing.

Moving to the interior, Nissan gave it a Batman-inspired look, beginning with Bat logos on the kick plates. Reflective Bat badges on the suede-trimmed Nismo sports seats’ headrests pays homage to the inspiration for the one-off project car. The puddle lights in the door mirrors are particularly cool because they project the Bat symbol on the floor area by the doors. The same setup can be found on the uplighter, projecting the same Bat symbol on the headlining.

Unfortunately, the Juke Nismo Dark Knight Rises will neither be sold nor be sent off to the auction block. The question of how to get it has yet to be answered, although expect the Juke Nismo Dark Knight Rises to be a prize in some sort of competition down the road.

Based on the new Nissan Juke Nismo, which goes on sale in the UK in January 2013, The Dark Knight Rises Juke Nismo features the same 200PS (197-horsepower) 1.6-liter turbocharged engine driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, giving it a 0 to 62mph (0 to 100 km/h) time of 7.8 seconds. It also gets a Nismo body kit and upgraded suspension.

Posted on by Aravind

Designed with urban Californians in mind, the Hyundai Veloster C3 Roll Top concept was unveiled during a press conference at the Los Angeles Auto Show, today. SoCal is certainly a fitting place to unveil the C3, given its residents can make great use of its key feature.

For those who don’t know what the Hyundai Veloster is, it’s basically a stretched hatchback that borrows inspiration from some of the sleekest coupes on the market. The car mainly targets younger buyers looking for a 3-door car with a 2-door look and a design that sets itself apart from the rest. It’s for people who would want the power and urban feel of a Mini Cooper S but in a less costly, Korean-built package.

The Veloster C3 aims to combine open-air freedom with the style of a coupe and the functionality of a hatchback. Hyundai claims that it rolls the best of both worlds into one amazing package. Let’s find out how “amazing” this package is.

We have seen all kinds of crazy things in the past, but by far this one is the one of the looniest. Smart , in collaboration with fashion designer Jeremy Scott, have unveiled a very strange-looking smart fortwo electric drive at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Called smart forjeremy this interesting concept has been described as "an avant-garde and futuristic smart with loving details based on the overriding wing theme." The concept is painted in bright white and on each side you will notice a wing made of transparent fiberglass. These wings are decorated with rocket-shaped elements and serve as rear and brake lights. The car’s white paint has been combined with a chrome-plated tridion cell, chromed eyebrows, mirror caps and the frame around the radiator grille.

The car is equipped with wider rear tires and wider rear wheel arches that reveal a very interesting set of wheels shaped like airplane propellers.

The same white theme continues into the cabinr where the designer opted for fine white Nappa leather for the instrument panel, seats and door trim. The leather is contrasted by chrome surfaces on the main door trim, the closing handles, the instrument panel side boomerangs and the characteristic rings around the instruments. The driver will enjoy an open-top white steering wheel with two chrome spokes.

The smart forjeremy is based on the current production version of the smart fortwo electric drive powered by a 73-horsepower electric motor. It can sprint from 0 to 60 km/h (37.3 mph) in 4.8 seconds and can hit a top speed of 125 km/h (77.7 mph).

Click past the jump to read smart’s press release.

A few months ago it was rumored that BMW’s i sub-brand was facing some difficulties. Apparently, things must have smoothed out a little, as at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show BMW will expand its "i" lineup with the addition of a all-new i3 Coupe Concept. To no one’s surprise, this new concept will feature the same carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic (CFRP) body as the previously announced concepts and under the hood you will find an electric motor with some pretty stout numbers.

The new i3 Concept Coupe sit atop the same platform as the standard i3, but it adds a gracefully flowing roofline and a fresh interpretation of the BMW i "stream flow" design. Exterior updates include a modified front fascia, restyled doors and new side skirts and for the rear new tailgate and a revised bumper.

So, is this new coupe version of the i3 worth all of the hype that will certainly surround it, or is this just another gimmick to drive up interest in the i sub-brand?

UPDATE 12/13/12: BMW has released a new driving video of the i3 Concept Coupe as it takes to the streets in what looks like downtown LA. Click on the photo above to check out the vid!

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 BMW i3 Concept Coupe and find out.

Shortly after the Los Angeles Auto Show closes its doors, the 2012 Essen Motor Show — basically the European version of the SEMA Show — will kick off. Despite its relative coolness, the vast majority of people outside of Europe don’t pay it much attention. However, we have to tell you that this year’s edition is looking like it will be pretty amazing.

One Essen-bound model that has our automotive hearts pumping is Lexus’ LS-based TS-650 package. To make things even more interesting, Lexus has just dropped the first teaser images of this upcoming show car.

The new TS-650 prototype will feature an aerodynamics package that includes a carbon-fiber hood and several other carbon-fiber components, a set of BBS alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport tires and a set of carbon-ceramic brakes.

Under the hood there will be a 5.0-liter V-8 engine with a pair of turbochargers strapped to it. Unfortunately, the output hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we certainly hope that the "650" in its name is a reference to the horsepower.

Updated 11/27/2012: With just three days before its official debut at the Essen Motor Show, TMG has released the first images and details on its TMG Sports 650 concept. This high-end limousine-sized car is powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that delivers a total of 650 horsepower — just like its name suggests. The engine is mated to an eight-speed high-torque-capacity transmission and the car sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, while top speed is limited to 198 mph.

Posted on by Aravind 8
BMW i8 Concept Spyder

For people who have always wanted to see the the much-anticipated BMW i8 Concept Roadster , BMW will soon grant your wish.

BMW has announced that the North American debut of its concept, open-top supercar will occur at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show , which opens its doors to the public next week. This debut will allow people to actually enjoy the design in person and will also give us some insight on the future design language that the Bavarian giant will employ.

It’s not only the design that will impress, but the theoretical performance of the concept is also to be admired. Powered by a frugal 3-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 134 horsepower and an electric motor that produces 220 horsepower, the total output of the powertrain comes close to 354 horsepower. With its modular carbon-fiber construction and 50-50 weight distribution, this hybrid powertrain propels the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and to a limited top speed of 155 mph.

With hybrid technology being this concept’s key selling point, you likely expect exceptional fuel economy. Well, the i8 definitely doesn’t disappoint in that aspect, as it features an impressive 78 mpg.

The i8 Roadster will be launched for sale sometime in 2014 and is expected to cost about $130,000. If this is true, then roadster enthusiasts, start saving up because this Bimmer is truly a keeper.

Mini Cooper

It’s been a while since we brought you any new details on the next-generation next-generation Mini Cooper , but we believe it’s well worth the wait. Today, however, we finally have some new info for you Mini lovers out there, as our spy photographers have caught the car testing once again. This time around, we got a good look at the car’s real headlights and taillights.

Unfortunately, the daytime running lights where off, but if you take a close look, you will notice a ring around the headlamps with an integrated turn signal. On the back end, you’ll notice that the taillights have grown slightly and, for the first time ever, we get a pretty clear view of the taillight graphics.

The next-gen Mini Cooper will be built on BMW’s new UKL platform and will offer a new three-cylinder engine – possibly several three-cylinder engines – along with the conventional four-cylinder lineup.

The new-generation Mini Cooper will be launched sometime in 2013 and, as previously reported, there will be 10 different body versions offered.

Back at the 2006 SEMA Auto Show , GM , in cooperation with Jay Leno, unveiled a Turbine-Powered EcoJet Concept . With the 2012 SEMA show all wrapped up, Jay Leno decided to give us another look to this amazing concept in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. The funny thing is that we just saw him review the 1963 Chrysler Turbine, which has a similar turbine drivetrain as the EcoJet, just the other day

The concept was built atop a modified Corvette Z06 hydroformed-aluminum frame with aluminum and magnesium structural and chassis components, and is powered by a 650-horsepower Honeywell LT-101 turbine engine. Its shell is an advanced construction of carbon fiber over Kevlar and it has been painted using the Glasurit’s 9 Line Waterborne Technology lines, which are designed to dramatically reduce emissions during application.

The EcoJet is the perfect proof that if you want to drive an environmentally friendly car you don’t have to stick with a Prius .

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.


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