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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.

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
Honda EV-STER Concept

After the Del Sol failed to grab buyers’ attention and the S2000 pretty much fizzled into nothingness after nine model years, Honda shelved its roadster-building practices for a few years. That being said, in a speech today, Honda’s CEO, Takanobu Ito, has announced that the automaker will again dive into the roadster-building realm, just not as deep as it was before.

According to his statements, Honda will release a new roaster in 2014, but there are two problems here. Problem No. 1, this roadster will only be available in the Japanese market, making us wonder if an S2000 successor will ever show up. Problem No. 2 is the fact that this new roadster will be based on one of the Honda’s “mini-vehicle” models. In other words, we are looking at something along the lines of a Geo Metro LSi convertible – if you even remember that slouch – not an S2000 successor.

According to Ito, this new roadster will feature “strong vehicle dynamics,” which sounds promising, but could ultimately be the typical automotive lip service. From what this sounds like, Honda is planning to actually produce a version of the EV-STER Concept that has been rumored to hit 60 mph in just 5 seconds and have a total electric range of 100 miles – okay, so maybe it’s a little cooler than the Metro LSi, but still not an S2000 replacement.

Given Honda’s tendency to let models hover in Asia for a while before releasing them worldwide, we anticipate that this new roadster will make its way to the U.S. after about two or three successful years. If it fails in the Japanese market, Honda will simply fold it up and act like it never happened.

Now for the big question; what will Honda name this new roadster? Will it bring back the much maligned Del Sol name or maybe finally cater to the purists that want the CRX name back so badly that they can taste it? We doubt that either name will make a comeback, but it would be kind of cool to see the CRX name again. The Del Sol, eh, not so much…

Stay tuned!

Click past the jump to read the full summary of the speech.

For those of us that grew up in the era of the Nintendo Entertainment System – no, not the Wii, DS, DSi, 3DS, Nintendo 64, or even the Super Nintendo – many of us got our first taste of driving from glitchy and graphic-light video games. One game that gave us our drive-it and shoot-em-up fix all in one was Spy Hunter, which debuted as a cabinet game – yeah, remember those big things – in 1983. Imagine it as Grand Theft Auto only 25-plus years ago, minus the out-of-car stuff.

Though the game is not one of my particular favorites, you just couldn’t pass up on a bad-ass rig, known as the G-1655 Interceptor that had more guns strapped to it than a warship. Unfortunately, the G-6155 was originally an early-1980s Camaro , boasting its emissions-choked 305-cubic-inch V-8.

Well, this game has been modernized and is set to be released next month with a completely redesigned and re-imagined G-1655. This rig is some weird hybrid of a supercar, kind of like a Lamborghini Aventador , Gallardo , and Reventon all got together one night and had a good old time.

Add a few massive cannons to the hood, some rocket launchers flanking it, a massive gun to its roof and various other defense systems, and you have one supercar we would never give a bad review.

To boot, the enemies that it’s thrashing to hell and back in the teaser video just happen to be a few very lightly disguised Mustangs . The Mustang-ites will likely have a wah-fest over that one…

Any who, the game drops for the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS on October 9th, so if you’re feeling a little retro and want to drop $40 to satisfy your retro urges and take out some automotive frustrations, feel free to snag this game up. It’s bound to be a blast.

We are all waiting with baited breath for the release of the Porsche 918 Spyder and every little bit of information we get is quickly gobbled up and processed. However, we had yet to hear any real track numbers for this awesome hybrid machine. Sure ,we know that it will boast an 795-horsepower drivetrain that uses a 4.6-liter V-8 gasoline engine and a pair of electric motors and will hit 60 mph in just about 3 seconds.

Still, that just is not enough information for us, but we just got our first taste of real life track information on the 918 Spyder and it’s all good. It recently completed the Nürburgring Nordschleife lap and pulled in a time of 7:14. Depending on the fractional seconds, this will place the 918 Spyder as the fifth, sixth, or seventh fastest car to ever take on the Nordschleife lap.

In addition, this puts it a full 18 seconds faster than the touted Carrera GT that it replaced. One thing to keep in mind is that the 918 that tested on the ‘Ring and got the fastest time was equipped with what Porsche calls the “Weissach package.” According to what we hear, this package includes upgraded brakes, a 6-point harness, air-conditioning delete, radio delete, and other weight-saving measures, so don’t go thinking that every 918 Spyder under the sun will lap the bankrupt , yet safe, Nürburgring.

Now with our whistles wet with fresh 918 details, we can rest easy for the day knowing that the 918 at least performs on the track as we have always hoped and expected.


French automaker Citroen has been relatively coy about their plans for the 2012 Paris Motor Show , but with the event a little over a week away, we’re slowly getting a good idea on what’s in store from Citroen.

One of the models headed to Paris is the DS3 Electrum Concept, an all-electric concept that promises to take the phrase of an electric supermini to new heights.

Details have yet to be revealed, but Citroen has said that the car can run a range of up to 75 miles and will be powered by a pair of 65 kW motors that has been fitted on the front axle with a Panasonic 17.5 kWh lithium-ion battery.

The automaker also describes the DS3 Electrum Concept as a car with "an innovative and non-intrusive design,” which means we’re expecting nothing short of stunning for this car.

That being said, we’re looking forward to seeing what the DS3 Electrum Concept is all about. Chances are, we’re not alone.

Note: Photo is of the Citroen DS3


We caught a glimpse of the Peugeot Onyx Concept a few weeks ago on Peugeot’s Facebook page. Peugeot, however, chose to be a little coy and not actually release the information, but we managed to peg it down as the Onyx.

Peugeot has now decided to spill the beans about its fancy new concept joining it at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, the Onyx Hybrid. Peugeot has released more detailed specifications and some pretty detailed pictures of this new supercar. And this car is much more impressive than any of the initial rumors could have ever alluded to.

Though the press release shows us no indication of when Peugeot plans to officially unveil the Onyx to the public, we can safely assume that it will be at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Even without the official public reveal, all of the information and images that Peugeot has released, we can now pass a detailed review of Peugeot’s supercar concept on to you.

UPDATE 09/17/2012: Peugeot has touched base with us to say that the Onyx’s gasoline engine puts out 1160 Nm (855 pound-feet) of torque and the electric motor puts out 280 Nm (206 pound feet) of torque for a combined 1,061 pound feet of peak torque. They also let us know that Onyx will not ever be produced (duh), but it is rather just a future styling and technology piece.

Click past the jump to read all about this supercar concept and to find out when and if Peugeot plans to put it on the market.

The racing team behind James Glickenhaus’ Ferrari P4/5 Competizione has an eye on building an actual alternative fuel Ferrari LMP1 race car. How serious are these guys?

Apparently, serious enough to actually release a number of teaser images on what the race car is going to look like. With the success the Ferrari P4/5 Competizione had at the Nurburgring earlier this year - it broke the 599XX Evo’s lap time around the ’Ring, making it the fastest Ferrari to blaze around the track - and the fiery burning session it had later on, the team still managed to take 1st place in the Alternative Energy Class in the 2012 24 Hours of Nürburgring.

With the taste of success still fresh, the team is looking at the possibility of building a new alternative fuel LMP1 race car, only this time, it’s got its eyes set on the series’ top dog, the Audi R18 e-Tron Quattro.

“We’re considering various possibilities for 2013 and 2014," the team said in a statement. "The LMP1 rules for 2014 are very suited to an Alternate Energy Car and we’re exploring the possibility of building and racing P 4/5 LMP in 2014.”

While no official details surrounding the car have been released, these teaser photos appear to be more than just a pipe dream for these guys. The cost will most likely be more than just an arm and a leg, but success comes with a true price - literally and figuratively - and the team behind the P4/5 Competizione appears to be willing to pay it.


You can tell just by looking at the Smart Forstars Concept that Smart is diving out of the box with their recent concept offerings. Just like the For-Us Concept that we saw at Geneva , the Forstars Concept is a take on a future urban sports utility coupe that has a chance to appeal to a wide market.

Combining a new style that’s far removed from the conservative nature of Smart with cutting edge technology that we don’t normally see on a Smart, the Forstars Concept is the kind of concept that we’d love to see Smart build as a production model in the future.

Power’s not that much, but Smart has never been one to rely on an excess of horsepower, so it’s not that much of a big deal. In any case, the Forstars Concept is headed to the 2012 Paris Motor Show , at which we’ll see and know more about it.

UPDATE 12/07/12: Smart has released the first official video of the Forstars Concept. We wish they’d release more than just a promo video - we want to see this bad boy in production! - but we’ll take it for now. Click the photo above to check it out!

Find out more about the Smart Forstars Concept after the jump.


The BMW Concept Active Tourer is set to be unveiled at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, which begins on September 29th and it will debut with some all-new BMW technology. BMW sees the Active Tourer as its way to fit in with the 5-percent annual mpg growth required by the recently passed CAFÉ extension through 2025. Believe it or not, this compact crossover actually shares a small amount of DNA with the upcoming i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, which we will get into later.

The Concept Active Tourer is just as its name alludes to, a concept. However, it is a great glimpse into the upcoming technologies that BMW plans to add to its line up in the coming years. One brand-new item the Concept Tourer bears is the eDrive system, which we’ll describe in more detail later. The second new technology is the first-ever appearance by the much-anticipated BMW 3-cylinder engine.

As with any concept car that we see, we have to ask a few questions. First, is this concept a reality or is it a pipe dream that will likely never see the light of day in its conception form (See: Pontiac Sunfire )? Secondly, can this concept even compete in its market in both price and performance?

Click past the jump to read all about the BMW Concept Active Tourer and get the answers to these questions.


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