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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.

We saw the first rendition of the Golf BlueMotion Concept about five years ago and it was impressive, boasting a 62.8 mph rating and emitting just 119 grams of CO2 per km. We then got a look at the second-gen model in 2009 with its 74.3 mpg and 99 g/km of CO2. Here we are at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and Volkswagen has the third generation BlueMotion Golf ready to show off.

Volkswagen really has something to prove in the mpg department, as it is one of only a handful of automakers available in the U.S. that has openly protested the new CAFÉ standards. VW has attempted to make it clear that its reasoning behind protecting the standards is not because it doesn’t want to build fuel-efficient vehicles, but rather because it feels the yearly improvement numbers are skewed to making it easier on American car and truck manufacturers.

Well, here stands a chance for VW to truly prove that it is all in on saving us money at the pump. So let’s have a look at what Vee-dub-ya has served up.

Click past the jump to read our review on the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion Concept.

It’s understandable if the Mercedes SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive Concept grabbed all the attention from the Mercedes booth at the 2012 Paris Motor Show all by itself. An electric supercar with 740 horsepower on tap?

Yeah, that’s insane.

But it’s also important to remember that the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive Concept isn’t the only car Mercedes brought to Paris because they also brought the B-Class Electric Drive Concept.

Now that we know how serious Mercedes is when it comes to emission-free electric vehicles, it’s worth pointing out that the German automaker has taken the steps to ensure that they’re ready to build series production vehicles that demonstrate high everyday practicality.

“In developing our electric vehicles we accord top priority to customer benefits,” says Professor Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

“Accordingly, the Concept B-Class Electric Drive demonstrates premium-standard electric mobility for all the family. The concept vehicle offers outstanding everyday practicality and great driving enjoyment.”

Find out more about the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive Concept.


So Ferrari really doesn’t have any new models to display in Paris, per se, but it still dropped a huge bomb on us all. We are already anticipating the new hybrid Ferrari in the coming years, but we’re not too certain exactly when to expect it nor are we too sure what it’ll look like.

We do, however, now know that this new hybrid will boast one of the most advanced chassis ever to grace the public roadways. Ferrari gathered up all of its data over the decades of racing it has done and managed to piece together a composite chassis that this upcoming hybrid will boast.

There are four different types of carbon fiber that make up this chassis and each layer is carefully hand laminated, then cured in autoclaves. The process starts simply with T800 carbon. Ferrari then carefully applies T800UD – carbon-fiber tape – over specific areas of the T800 to add a little strength. Engineers then manufacture the underbody and cross member from high-tensile carbon fibers (M46J). From there, the doors and other critical areas are formed from T1000 carbon-fiber – the same carbon fiber that graces the nose of F1 cars. Finally, the undertray is done up in carbon-fiber, but with one significant difference: a nice layer of Kevlar to prevent damage from projectiles.

In all, this advanced chassis development will save about 20 percent off of the Ferrari Enzo , the car this new hybrid is slated to succeed, even though the hybrid system adds significant weight. Last, this ultra-modern chassis will boast 27 percent more torsional rigidity and its beam stiffness will increase by 22 percent. This not only makes the car stronger, but it will also increase its handling capabilities.

It’s not too often that we can say a chassis makes us excited, but one this advanced certainly does. Plus, the video that Ferrari released regarding it is simply bad-ass.

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

Suzuki has unveiled the new S-Cross Concept at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. This concept is a preview version of the company’s next-generation C-segment crossover model - the replacement for the current SX4 crossover - set to arrive on the market in 2013.

The production version of the S-Cross will be built with the company’s slogan - "Way of Life!" - in mind and will focus on delivering exceptionally low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. In fact, Suzuki has promised that it will be amongst the lowest CO2 emitting cars in the crossover C-segment.

The S-Cross concept features a specially created Crystal Green Metallic body color and not by accident. According to Suzuki, the image it evokes is one of "nature in the city and the city in nature" - yet another statement of the promised lowest CO2 emissions.

UPDATE 09/27/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images of the 2012 Suzuki S-Cross Concept.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Suzuki S-Cross Concept.


Audi has unveiled the new Crosslane Coupe Concept at the start of the 2012 Paris Auto Show. This concept offers a glimpse into the design language that will be found in the Q2 and all future Q models. It was built on a new Multimaterial Space Frame and features one of the most innovative and efficient plug-in hybrid drive systems. It also comes with a removable roof, but we highly doubt this feature will make it to production.

The new Crosslane Coupe Concept features some of the design elements already seen in the e-tron concepts , but with a more aggressive interpretation to make them suitable for a crossover model. These elements include a single-frame grille and trapezoidal headlights using Audi Matrix LED headlight technology, as well as large air intakes that ensure the best cooling for the hybrid system.

The concept is powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder TFSI combined with two electric motors for a total output of 177 HP. This power is enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 8.6 seconds and up to a top speed of 113 mph. These are not the best performance numbers out there, but the best part about the setup is that it delivers a money-saving fuel economy of 213.81 US mpg.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Audi Crosslane Coupe Concept.

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The Paris Motor Show is just hours away and we are starting to get things all ramped up. Porsche announced that it will be unveiling an all-new production concept when the show opens up, only to shoot out the official details a couple of hours later. This new concept is dubbed the Panamera Sport Turismo Concept and is slated to compete directly with the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake .

The concept is supposed to preview a possible Porsche sports car of tomorrow, which would mean that they are not letting go of the idea that spawned the Cayenne and the Panamera: Parents need speed too.

Rumor has it that this model will debut at some point in the 2013 model year, so the concept model that we see here will most likely be almost identical to its production model.

Update 12/11/12: Porsche has released a sweet video outlining the development of the Panamera Sport Turismo Concept and how it came to life. You can see the video after the jump.

Click past the jump to have a look at the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Concept.


Bentley has been rumored to be preparing a comeback to the racing circuits for quite some time. Those rumors will be put to rest in just a few hours when the Paris Auto Show opens its doors and we are introduced to the Continental GT3 Concept specially designed for the FIA GT3 European Championship. The future race car will be racing in the 24-hour marathons starting 2013 and will be joining the circuit to tackle the likes of Alpina, Aston Martin, and Porsche.

The Continental GT3 Concept will be based off of the Continental GT Speed . It will be powered by a W12 engine, but unlike the road-going version, it will be much lighter. In fact, the car needs to undergo a significant drop in weight considering its rivals in this category only weigh about 2,755 lbs. By comparison, the standard Continental GT Speed weighs an agonizing 5,478 lbs. The luxury racer will also feature a rear-wheel drive chassis in accordance with the regulations, state-of-the-art motorsport hardware, and a comprehensive aerodynamic package

The vehicle would have to drop all of its luxurious features found in the standard model’s interior and adopt a full race cage and carbon fiber shell seats to participate in these races. The large rear wing and front bumper will be made of carbon fiber and the entire body will consist of lightweight materials.

Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, stated: "The clear message from our customers is that Bentley belongs on the racetrack, and the Continental GT3 is the realisation of a dream we’ve had ever since the launch of the Continental GT. The new GT Speed is the perfect car for us to develop into a racer, and our work so far has shown huge potential. The Continental GT3 is set to show the world what the Continental GT is capable of in its most extreme form, and establishes a solid foundation for Bentley’s long-term motorsport plans."

UPDATE 10/16/12: A few weeks after unveiling the Bentley Continental GT3 Concept at the Paris Motor Show, Bentley has released a new promo video of the concept racer, showing it’s "transformation" from luxury sports car to all-conquering race car. Check it out by clicking on the photo above!

With the Paris Auto Show quickly approaching, we are awaiting the release of the GTI version of the Golf Mk VII . Unfortunately, VW has been pretty stingy with its information on the upcoming GTI trim, but the sneakiness that is the Internet, has picked up on some images and information on the upcoming Golf VII GTI Concept that is reportedly a near-production version.

We have already received just about all of the information available on the 2013 Golf Mk VII, but this sports edition is one that tuners everywhere seek out. The outgoing GTI is peppy enough, boasting a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that rips off a 0-to-60 sprint in just 7.3 seconds. While that’s no Ferrari, it is pretty sweet for a hatchback that gets 33 mpg on the highway.

With the performance and stylish appearance that the 2013 Golf VII GTI offers up, can VW really do anything to make this compact hatch even more desirable?

Click past the jump to read our full review on the Volkswagen Golf VII GTI to find out.

Source: Auto Bild

Though Daihatsu may be out of sight out of mind for many Americans, due to its several-decade-long American hiatus, it is actually alive, well, and thriving in smaller markets, like Indonesia. Most Daihatsu vehicles are very utilitarian, providing little thrill and tons of functionality, but it looks as if Daihatsu may be working its way toward a new area with its latest D-R Concept.

At the 2012 Indonesian International Motor Show in Jakarta, Toyota subsidiary, Daihatsu, unveiled its all-new D-R Concept roadster. The exact details on the model are still a little scarce and the chances of it hitting the market are positioned somewhere between hell freezing over and the day it rains frogs, but the concept at least gives you an idea of the direction Daihatsu is looking to take its automobiles.

Currently, the most popular Daihatsu is overwhelmingly the Xenia, a compact 7-passenger MPV, and this roadster is anything but the Xenia.

Click past the jump to read more about the D-R Concept.

Mini Countryman

Here MINI grows again – well, potentially grows – as in an interview with Inside Line, BMW announced the potential of three new MINI models. We’ll start with the not-so-fun ones first, as Harald Kreuger let IL know that a larger SUV, to complement the Countryman , is in the works, as is a sedan model. The SUV would likely have some chances of making it to the U.S., but the sedan would likely head to developing markets, like China or Indonesia.

Okay, enough with the family-style stuff, let’s see what we’re really here to talk about. Kreuger also announced that MINI is considering a roadster model. Kreuger even went as far as to point to the master of said domain, the original MX-5 Miata , as the potential mold for this vehicle. This would mean that we would have a quick, fun-to-drive roadster bearing the traditional MINI look. We could live with that.

Additionally, we have to look into the distant possibility of BMW sharing its 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine lineup with said Miata-like sports car. Considering the rumors afloat about the upcoming MX-5 Miata boasting a far more powerful four-cylinder engine than ever before, this very well may be the time to take a swipe at the compact roadster crown by including the new 1.5-liter Bimmer engine.

If anyone can create a machine that rivals the fun-to-drive factor that the Miata has always afforded its owners, BMW can. And that 1.5-liter 3-pot has some serious potential.

In the same report, MINI also announced that it may open up a British-design office to help it maintain the “Britishness” that makes MINIs so attractive to the world. Additionally, MINI is midway through a $1.2 billion renovation of its Oxford plant to extend its manufacturing capacity to 250,000 units and it will be renting space from the Mitsubishi -Volvo Nedcar factory in the Netherlands starting in 2014.

We certainly hope that all of these upcoming models will feature a little bit of their own character, as opposed to being simply squashed up or stretched Coopers . Stay tuned for more!

Source: Inside Line

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