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.

Acura NSX Concept

We are all patiently awaiting the release of the Acura NSX , which we all anticipate launching in 2015 featuring a hybrid-drive system of some sort. If you consider trying to dig up any little bit of information possible to satisfy our cravings as being ”patient.” As we wait, a report from Speed points toward Honda working on motorsport plans for its upcoming supercar as early as 2014.

Speed interviewed Steve Erickson, the vice president of Honda Performance Development (HPD), about this potential and he said “In America, there’s only a couple of sports car options for us. But certainly, I think Le Mans is ultimately where it make great sense to have a car to show its prowess. But I think it all depends on where the regulations go in the future.”

From that quote, we can only think that he is talking about entering the NSX into the American Le Man Series (ALMS), which recently announced a merger with Grand Am. The issue with the regulations is the fact that ALMS does not allow hybrid drive in its GTE class, but Grand Am had already announced that it would launch a GX class for hybrids in 2013.

So the final decision on that depends on whether the new merger adopts the GX class plans of Grand Am, or retains the ALMS ban on hybrid drive.

Another point that HPD is trying to hammer out is whether this will be a full-factory endeavor or if HPD will simply develop the cars and sell them to private customers for racing.

According to Erickson, the decision is “down to internal discussions” and they are trying to figure out “where does it make the most sense to race it?” From those two excerpts we can tell that the new NSX will see time on the race track, it’s just a matter of which race track we’ll see it on and when it will show up.

Source: Speed

Jay Leno had a ton of fun at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours, taking in all of the luxury vehicles in attendance, including all of the concepts revealed. In the last episode of Jay Leno’s Garage show, Leno took his time reviewing the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento and the Urus Concepts, but his new episode focuses more on the other concepts presented at the show.

Leno got an up-close look at Infiniti’s fully electric Emerg-E , as well as the latest concept coupes from Rolls-Royce Bespoke and Mercedes-Benz. The first concept to be reviewed is the Emerge-E, which received less than stellar marks. Next, Leno takes a look at the Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe which will be unveiled in production form sometime next year. His final concept to review was the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Aviator Collection which is also set to be put into limited production.

Australia’s very own Ford supercar, the mighty Falcon V8 , has been getting quite the run in the spotlight lately and turns out, there’s another version ready to take some names.

This new version is the Ford Performance Racing Falcon V8, which is set to compete in the V8 Supercars series in Australia. It has been dressed in the team’s Ecoboost motorsport livery and will be driven by both Mark Winterbottom and Will Davidson for the 2013 season.

While the car is still heavy in the testing and development phase, the team is already looking into making all the necessary adjustments leading up to its racing debut next season.

“While there is still a lot of work to be done to understand the new car ahead of next season, our ability to have the car on track running what we hope will be the final specification of many parts will give us the best chance of starting 2013 at the head of the field." said FPR Team Principal Tim Edwards.

Expect to see and hear more about the Ford Performance Racing Falcon V8 when the 2013 season of the V8 Supercars series in Australia draws near.

If there is one person that knows the Nürburgring , it is Sabine Schmitz. No, she’s not some crazy test driver that is hired to test all of the latest and greatest sports cars. Rather, she was once known as the `Ring Taxi, as she was responsible for driving an M5 around the ring to pick up drivers whose cars had either broken down or wrecked. She claims that she has circled the famed racetrack over 20,000 times. Yeah, we think she is an expert.

Well, she is now taking to driving new cars around the track, since retiring from taxiing around racecar drivers (and wannabees). Her latest test was of the soon-to-be-released Exagon Furtive-eGT , which is a French-built EV. It’s claimed to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.5 seconds and hit an electronically limited 155 mph top speed (179 mph without the limiter). So, how did it actually perform?

Schmitz came back with rave reviews on this EV. She is quoted saying “I was very surprised about the grip and the power” and that “you’re [going] fast, but it feels like you are going so easy.” She went on to rave about the brakes and suspension systems too, saying that it’s like “sitting on a cloud.” She also talked about how it has an extremely low center of gravity, which is something that she doesn’t often see in a car like this.

From the sounds of it, the Furtive-eGT is a smash hit, but we won’t know until it officially hits the market. We don’t know exactly when it will go on sale or if it will be available in the U.S., but we do know that it’ll make its debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.

This may finally be the competition that Tesla has been lacking to date, but we’ll see. It is certainly off to a good start.

Ferrari 599 GTO

There is nothing that a parent fears in his or her life more than the possibility of their child facing death. A Subaru enthusiast in England is facing just that, as his 11-year-old son, who has beaten cancer twice, now has an inoperable tumor in his brain that leaves him with just four weeks to live.

Just before the son was diagnosed, Scott, the son’s father, had promised him that they would organize a big car meet at some time. Now that there may be only four weeks left in this child’s life, Scott has decided to post an open invitation on Scooby Net (a Subaru enthusiast board) to anyone with a custom or cool car to gather at a nearby parking lot on September 8th at 1 p.m. for a show.

So far this viral attempt has taken off, as there are 270 cars registered for the event, and several of our colleagues, including Jalopnik, Piston Heads, and M5 Boards are all spreading the word. Even Chris Harris is getting in on it. He cannot personally make it, but he is finding a way to get his Ferrari 599 to the show. There has also been a PayPal account setup that will accept donations, which will go directly to the Children’’s Cancer Fund. The address for the Paypal account is scottharrison10@sky.com.

The Show is set to be hosted at Fred Lawton Ltd, Meltham Mills Industrial Estate, Meltham Huddersfield, HD9 4AY, but it might have to be moved elsewhere because of the growing number of cars registering. We will keep you updated on the exact location if it does move.

So if any of our readers across the pond have a nice ride, feel free to pop into the thread on Scooby Net and register your car. They are accepting all sorts of high-performance and custom cars. Let’s all chip in and give this young man a memorable show!

Also, for anyone looking to participate in this event, Scott asks that you DO NOT mention the terminal illness to his son. They are not telling him until the time is closer, as they want him to enjoy the final month of his life.

Source: Jalopnik

Large companies, like GM, seem to have issues keeping new model leakage under control. We are not completely naive, so we do understand that some of these leaks from large automakers are actually orchestrated by the automaker itself to help drum up interest. Still, there is the occasional major leak that some disgruntled design team member decides to plaster all over the Interwebz.

Well, Lada, a Russia-based company much smaller than GM, but a relative success in the Russian market, kept its recently unveiled SUV under such tight lock and key that it took all of us aback when it was debuted at the Moscow Motor Show. The Xray, as Lada has dubbed this concept SUV, is nothing like any other SUV it has ever produced and it looks like something that belongs in a worldwide production model’s lineup. That said, don’t look for this SUV , or any Lada for that matter, to make its way to the U.S.

The styling of this crossover SUV is not something you would expect to see from a budget automaker, like Lada. It does, however, show how Lada’s eyes are on the future, making its cars more stylish and offering up a wider range.

UPDATE 09/06/12: The first official video of the Lada Xray Concept has just gone live. Click on the photo above to check it out!

Click past the jump to read our full review and find out more about the basics of the Lada XRay Concept.

We all knew that the Formula E series was on the cusp of becoming a reality, as its plans outlined a 2014 debut. Despite the planning, there simply wasn’t the funding available to get the series going. The key word here is “wasn’t,” as the FIA has just inked a commercialization deal to form Formula E Holdings (FEH), which better assures the 2014 debut of the all-electric racing series.

The new promoter of the Formula E series is now FEH. FEH’s anchor investor is a London-based businessman by the name of Enrique Bañuelos. Alejandro Agag takes the reigns as FEH’s CEO overseeing Formula E. There are other folks with significant involvement with the project, including: Lord Drayson, Managing Partner of Drayson Racing Technologies, and Eric Barbaroux, Chairman of the French electric automotive company "Electric Formula."

We will start seeing test runs of Formula E in 2013 and its debut is pretty much set in stone for 2014. While the cars are super fast – 0 to 60 in three seconds and a 137 mph top speed – they can only run on a single charge for about 25 minutes. This lack of longevity means that each team will have to field two cars and two drivers. Instead of stopping for fuel, as seen in other racing series, teams will be pitting to swap cars and drivers. It’ll be interesting to see how teams streamline this process and still remain within the series’ rules.

We can’t wait to see what this series has to offer and the kind of technology that it will eventually lend to typical street cars. We’ll keep a close eye on the development of the Formula E series and keep you updates.

Click past the jump to read the full press release.

Ferrari F12 berlinetta

In 2011, Ferrari broke its own profit record by selling 7,195 cars and raking in a cool €321 million. That was all well and good, but one year wasn’t enough. The low-sales-high-profit automaker was already up 7 percent in total unit sales and 13 percent in profit at the halfway point of the year and the trend hasn’t slowed.

The increases put Ferrari on pace to sell 7,328 units and pull in €304 million in profit, so it has a little work to do in the profit side of the ledger, as 2011 had a strong finish. With the F12 Berlinetta debuting in Europe in September, hitting the second-half growth needed to break its record shouldn’t be a problem.

Ferrari chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, is set on the fact that the company will break its own record profits again, making it back-to-back years of setting records. This is all coming while the rest of the automakers, particularly those in Europe, are struggling to sell cars and lower losses. This shows that Ferrari obviously knows how to keep its operating costs low and still maintain quality control and customer retention.

Regardless of it breaking the record, seeing a low-volume auto manufacturer making that type of profit is impressive. To boot, Ferrari is just about in line with the pricing of its competitors, Lamborghini and Aston Martin , so it’s not a matter of Ferrari just jacking up prices in hopes of profit. Simply good business by itself and parent company, Fiat S.p.A., is all we can attribute this success to.

Subaru BRZ Concept STI

We all know and mostly love the WRX STI that Subaru pumps out each year. The latest model produces a stout 305 horsepower and 290 pound feet of torque through Subaru’s famed AWD system, all for a relative bargain of $34,000. Unfortunately, the STI nameplate has never extended beyond the WRX lineup.

That may become a thing of the past, as Subaru debuted its Forester TS, which is tuned by STI to pump out 259 horsepower and 256 pound-feet of torque from its 2.5-liter 4-banger, to its newest market – Russia. What in the world does an STI-tuned Forester in Russia have to do with more STI models in other countries? Well, according to a report by Autocar, this is simply a test market.

This test will gauge the demand of an STI-tuned car, besides the WRX, in a market other than Japan. A Subaru insider was quoted as saying “It’s clear that STI’s abilities and experience could work on other cars in other markets,” and “Confining them to WRX projects doesn’t make sense when the demand is there.” This would lead us to believe that if the Russian Forester TS succeeds, then Subaru would be start expanding its STI lineup in other markets, like the U.S.

All we can hope for it that the Forester TS takes hold in Russia and Subaru decides to expand the STI lineup in the U.S. to the Subaru BRZ . We know that’s beating a dead horse, but this insider info really shows that this is becoming more of a possibility. This also points to the possibility of a turbocharged Forester STI coming to the U.S., which could give Subaru some much needed help fending off the turbocharged 2013 Ford Escape .

Who knows, we may just run into a performance crossover SUV war soon.

Hmm, that’s kind of scary... We guess little Billy and Sara would always make it to soccer practice on time.

Source: Autocar
Bentley Hunaudieres

Most people won’t remember the 1999 Bentley Hunaudières (pictured here), a concept car created shortly after Volkswagen took ownership of Bentley . It was built on a Lamborghini platform and powered by a W16 engine, shining a whole new light on the otherwise limousine-filled Bentley lineup. This supercar was so unlike anything Bentley would ever push towards production that we wouldn’t doubt it if not one person ever thought they would see this car again.

We can’t promise that the Hunaudières will come back from its 13-year-long hiatus, a la the Porsche 928 H50 Concept/Panamera return, but we can say that Bentley is making some changes and bringing another cool sports-car concept out into the open. This new Bentley sports car will be making its first appearance at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September.

There are no details available on this new concept at this point, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see this sports car concept be put into production solely because of Bentley’s sales target of 15,000 units annually. This new model will join the company’s upcoming facelift version for the Continental Supersport , the four-door Continental Flying Spur , the open-top version of the Mulsanne , and the SUV set to be launched in 2015.

Source: CarAndDriver

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