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.

Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept

We love gossip just about as much as a 16-year-old schoolgirl, but our gossip is about [ahem] manly stuff; you know? Things like the rumor out of France that Renault will in fact re-launch the Alpine brand that it shuttered up a little less than two decades ago. You read that right, the Alpine sports car brand is returning… if the rumors are true.

According to comments made by Renault chief of design, Laurens van den Acker, the French automaker is trying to develop a car that is more similar to the A110Berlinette from the `60s and `70s and that it is trying to do with Alpine what BMW has done with MINI . Now, before you go getting all excited about seeing a production model of the A110 concept, you can scratch that, as Renault wanting a design similar to the `60s and `70s Alpine A110 nixes that possibility.

To add some validity to the reports, Jean-Pascal Dauce, Renault’s motorsports department head, was reported saying that they anticipate producing 5,000 to 10,000 Alpines per year. Rumors also point to this limited lineup of sports cars running between €35,000 and €40,000 ($44,000 to $50,000), which makes them relatively attainable.

The final tidbit of info leaked is that Renault is anticipating its release to occur sometime in 2015. Unfortunately, there is no information on whether the new Alpine lineup will be available in the U.S. or not. We are certainly hoping that it does, given what we have seen from the A110 concept.

We’ll keep you posted on anything else that comes across the rumormill.

Terrafugia's Transition: the flying car zooms forward

The Terrafugia Transition is more of a drivable plane than it is a flying car, but it is a trailblazer in the industry nonetheless. At 225 inches long, 80 inches high, and 90 inches wide, it is a little bit awkward. The length is a little bit shorter than your average four-door pickup truck, as is its height. At 90 inches wide – 11 inches wider than a Ram 1500 – it is really not suited for cruising down a country road.

All of that said, this is still an innovative vehicle and it looks like it’s close to finally bringing us to the reality of cars that can fly. The Terrafugia Transition has been under development for what seems like forever, and it is finally undergoing FAA testing. Just recently, it passed the first round of in-flight testing, leaving just five more test rounds to go, then it needs to pass driving safety regulations.

From the looks of things, the Terrafugia Transition is a sure thing, as the company is already taking $10,000 reservations for it, and is saying that it anticipates a one- to two-year lead time until it is delivered.

Like we said, this is not your daily driver car, it is something that will be convenient to drive to the airport and fly somewhere, as opposed to having to store it in a hangar. This is, however, a solid step in the right direction of flying cars. Given the automotive world’s copycat nature, other companies will be quick to take Terrafugia’s technology and find out how to make it more compact and drivable, once all of the testing is complete.

Now, will we ever be able to flip our wheels inward and take off Back to the Future style? Probably not in my or your lifetime, but one day it is possible and they will look back on this Terrafugia as the car that spawned it all, given it doesn’t fall out of the sky on one of its tests.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 6

When one thinks of a drift car, an electric-powered urban transport vehicle definitely doesn’t fit the bill. In an ideal world, one would want a rear-wheel drive car powered by a front-mounted engine producing as little as 200HP like the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ . That being said, the Renault Twizy does have at least one of those aspects with it being rear-wheel drive.

It’s almost hard to believe just how little power the Twizy has when one really thinks about it. Any car below 200 or even 150HP is often viewed as underpowered in today’s modern world of automobiles, but the Twizy only pumps out 17 horsepower from its tiny electric motor which also produces 70Nm of torque which can help propel it to 75 km/h.

However, Autocar set out to find out if the tiny 1+1 vehicle could drift when thrown around a drifting circle covered in water, and what would you know, the car turned out to be quite the drift machine.

However, due to the fact that the Twizy is almost laughably underpowered, it genuinely seems like the Twizy is drifting in slow motion and the presenter goes onto reveal that under these conditions, its battery would only last 10 minutes.

Now we’re sure no one out there is going to purchase a Twizy for its drifting capabilities, but it’s definitely interesting to know that almost any car out there can drift.

Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid

Lotus hasn’t seen a great share of luck in recent years, but in the past few weeks, its luck has taken a slight turn for the better. First came INDYCAR’s approval of desired changes to its IRL engines. Now Lotus is now extending this run of decent luck a little more by announcing that its running prototype for the Evopra 414E hybrid is ahead of schedule and ready for dynamic testing.

Lotus first unveiled the prototype at Geneva in 2010, but it was just that, a prototype. It had no engine or motor driving it; it was essentially just a shell. No one in the automotive world expected anything from Lotus in the next year or so, as it seeks a new CEO, fights a rumored lawsuit from its former CEO , and attempts to right this sinking shop.

It looks like we were all wrong, as Lotus just sent out a press release detailing all of the Evora 414E’s main specifications. So, we did what we do best and used our speculative abilities to put together a review for you to use to make an educated shopping decision, if you are lucky enough to be in the market for this type of car.

Click past the jump to read our full review.

Jaguar and Land Rover showed up to the Goodwood Festival of Speed ready to tackle naysayers with an ultra-low carbon XJ _e plug-in hybrid engineering research project. The goals of these automakers was to demonstrate how an advanced parallel plug-in hybrid design can deliver reductions in CO2 emissions of over 70% without impacting the car’s performance.

The new XJ _e research vehicle is powered by an advanced plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) system that combines an efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine, with a 92 HP generator and a 12.8kWh Lithium Ion battery pack. It offers an electric-only range of 25 miles, and, in hybrid mode, can travel up to 679 miles with a fuel consumption of 87mpg. This can all be achieved while still hitting the 0-60 mph mark in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited).

Bob Joyce, Engineering Director, JLR, commented: "The XJ_e investigates how a 5.0-litre V8 engine could be replaced by an advanced 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain to deliver similar performance and refinement, but with CO2 emissions of less than 75g/km. While the XJ_e is an experimental project, it highlights that JLR customers can expect some exciting low-carbon products in the future."

Posted on by Brad Anderson 6
Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Concept

Ever since Stephan Winkelmann confirmed that the stunning Sesto Elemento was in fact heading to production in very limited numbers, very little news about the car has been released. Until now.

Before we get to the juicy details, let’s just recap what we have already known for months. First and foremost, we can confirm that the Sesto Elemento will be produced in a run of just 20 units , with each set to feature almost identical bodywork to that of the original concept. Additionally, we’ve previously confirmed that the car will feature the same 5.2-liter V10 borrowed from the Gallardo which the concept implemented.

Furthermore, we also know that the car should launch from 0-62 mph in just 2.5 seconds, but apart from those aforementioned details, very little is known about the car. However, thanks to a report at Automobile Magazine additional details about the Sesto have finally come out of the shadows.

Previously, it was speculated that the production variant would be road-legal, but if AM is correct, the Sesto Elemento will be limited to track-use and will hit a top speed of 219 mph, rather than the approximate 186 mph figure which was once expected.

Conjointly, Automobile Magazine reports that the Sesto will be priced at just under $2.5 million, rather than the previous $3.44 million rumored figure, although we cannot confirm the legitimacy of that claim.

Finally, the Sesto Elemento is expected to hit production in 2013, meaning a debut of the production variant is likely to be slated for late this year.

Mazda will be attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed with a very cool Mazda MX-5 GT Concept which may head to production depending on customers’ reactions at the festival. The concept was developed by Jota Sport and looks a lot like the MX-5 Super20 unveiled last year at the SEMA Auto Show.

The GT Concept is powered by a normally aspirated 2.0-litre Mazda petrol engine that delivers a total of 205 HP and is mated to a standard manual gearbox. Mazda is also offering an updated suspension, as well as an impressive aerodynamic package that includes a carbon front splitter, a rear diffuser, and a boot spoiler. The final piece of the exterior is a sports exhaust system with a central tailpipe.

For the interior, the concept gets Recaro seats and plenty of carbon fiber to suits any sports car enthusiast. Road slicks and body-colored roll hoops behind the seats were also added for customers who want to run the car on the race track.

"This year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed we have a number of significant cars on the stand and contesting the hillclimb," said Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director, Mazda UK. "The MX-5 has been our best known car for 22 years and with the GT4 and GT Concept on show, we are demonstrating that this car can compete with the more expensive race and performance cars but still remain true to its roots of affordable motoring with a strong focus on the driving experience."

We are pretty open in letting you know that we have had it about up to *here* with the “new” 500 models that Fiat continuously releases. So oftentimes when we see a new 500 model we just continue on without stopping. They are typically unexciting and only add a slight difference from the original 500. It’s like getting rainbow sprinkles on strawberry ice cream instead of red sprinkles; they are the same sugary flavor, just a different color.

Well, when we came across the latest rendition of the 500, which is actually a custom build by Lazzarini Design, it was more like they dipped the ice cream in chocolate – you know, the cool stuff that hardens on the ice cream – added peanuts, then strapped a big nasty V-8 engine to the ice cream cone!

Yeah, it’s that freaking cool, but is this Fiat 550 Italia by Lazzarini Design realistic?

Click past the jump to read our full review on this custom Fiat 550 Italia.

Posted on by Brad Anderson

While speaking to ATFULLCHAT at the recent Pageant of Power event at Cholmondeley, Noble Automotive MD Peter Boutwood officially released the very first, and possibly the only picture ever, of a Noble M600 Convertible.

After the M600 coupe’s launch a couple of years back, we always felt that something was missing from Noble’s range with a convertible being at the very top of our wish list. However, it’s worth noting at this point that the following image is simply being pinned as “a factory styling exercise” with Boutwood claiming “there are definitely no plans at present to produce it.”

Nevertheless, it’s still an interesting prospect being showcased by Noble and despite their claims that it’s only a styling exercise, we have a slight inkling that if pre-existing Noble customers and possible new customers like the idea, and Noble Automotive can find the funds to produce such a car, the company will prepare an M600 Convertible in the coming years.

With that being said, the following picture only seems to be a rendering of a convertible variant rather than an actual photograph taken of a one-off M600 convertible. As a result, we’ll take Boutwood’s statement to heart, but we’ll still dream of a convertible M600 being produced some day, even if that means an out-of-house tuner has to perform the conversion.

Do you think Noble should consider turning this “styling exercise” into a production ready car? Hit us up in the comments section below!


The agreement between Land Rover and Bowler is poised to become a collaboration made in rallying heaven and they’re putting their collective feet out to show their first project together, the Bowler EXR Rally Car.

The prototype rally car will sport a ‘Powered by Land Rover’ branding and has been co-designed by Land Rover and Bowler to be the kind of rally car that will put all others to shame. Or so they say.

The EXR uses a modified chassis of the Range Rover Sport and has been fitted with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that you can also find in a number of Range Rover models. The only caveat is that the EXR’s power train is FIA-restricted for racing purposes, which means that output is only limited to 300 horsepower and 428 lb/ft of torque. The EXR is also fitted with a six-speed manual transmission - and option of a Sadev 6-speed sequential transmission is also available - while also carrying Ricardo front, center, and rear differentials.

The EXR rally car will be in attendance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed at the end of June were it will be showcased for the first time in full rallying gear.

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