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.

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.

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.


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