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.

Captain America: The First Avenger” was chock-full of loads of action, but one thing automotive junkies couldn’t get enough of was the triple-axle car that Red Skull – the villain – drove in the movie. Though a lot of the scenes in the movie that showed the car were computer-generated, there was actually a real-life example of this beast built, and we found a video showing it in all of its glory.

The Schmidt Hydra Coupe is touted in the movie as being powered by a V-16 Supercharged engine and fueled by a power cube. In real life, however, this massive machine boasted a V-8 Ford engine pulled from a drag car. Taking its styling from the Mercedes 540K , Mercedes G4 Offroader, various Bentleys and Duesenbergs , this tank on wheels is both retro and futuristic at the same time.

It measures in at a massive 7.62 meters (25 feet), boasts six wheels, which is thanks to it being based on a truck chassis. This massive hunk of car is draped in a high-gloss red paint, matching its owner’s skull, and features massive white-wall tires.

It’s a pretty impressive build for a one-off movie car and we’re sure to see it at an auction one day. We’ll have to keep a keen eye out for it, so we can get together all of the details for you.

Until then, enjoy the above video showing us various parts of this awesomely crafted vehicle.

Source: YouTube

Automakers usually take great pride in unveiling concept cars and while most of them don’t even see the light of production, they make for interesting talking points on what kind of car they could’ve been if they were produced en masse. Very rarely do you see a concept version get sent back under the covers without being seen by the public for the next 25 years.

But that’s exactly what happened last weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance when Porsche brought out what can only be described as the evolutionary concept predecessor of the Panamera , the 928 H50 Concept.

It must be noted that the 928 H50 Concept bears a striking similarity to the 928s that were produced from 1978 to 1995. The overall profile is similar, including the long, sliding hood that harkens back to the aesthetic profile of the 928. There are some awkward lines in there and the front-rear balance appears to be skewed to the former, but for all of its resemblance to the old 928, the 928 H50 Concept has one thing the other doesn’t have: two extra doors.

Continued after the jump.

Recently, we let you in on the news that Mercedes-Benz was working closely with the German government in testing vehicle-to-vehicle-to-object technology and that it brought models bearing this feature to the U.S. for its own testing purposes.

We have just received word that the testing process of these “connected” cars is not only a Mercedes job, as the DOT has brought in 3,000 vehicles to test their crash-avoidance skills. This is actually the second phase of product testing, but the first time that the DOT will actually test the Wi-Fi communication between these vehicles.

Once all of this information is gathered, the DOT will crunch the numbers and is expected to make a decision on continuing testing this technology or not sometime in 2013. the goal of this testing phase is to find out “how to apply the technology in an effective way in the real word,” according to David Strickland, NHTSA Administrator.

Now, don’t confuse this progress with movement toward automated vehicles. This is just one of the many major steps toward legalizing autonomous cars, but not the final decision. If this test goes well, then this does set the ball moving slightly faster on automated cars.

To read the DOT’s full press release, click past the jump.

From the folks that gave us the SR3 SL comes another race car set to get your hearts pumping on the track. The new SR1 by Radical Motorsports is an entry level sports-prototype racing car aimed at the track-day driver and club racer. It is priced at a measly £29,850, or $37,800 at the current exchange rates.

The new SR1 was designed by the same guys responsible for the Radical’s SR9 LMP2 racecar, so it follows in the same design direction, but tweaked for current track regulations. It has been designed to be ideal for both the driver and the passenger.

Under the hood, the racing prototype gets an RPE-Suzuki four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 210 HP and is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox as standard. The SR1 can go up to a top speed of 138 mph and sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds.

UPDATE 08/23/2012: The Radical SR1 has begun testing at Bedford Autodrome, one of the locations for next year’s Radical SR1 Cup championship for novice drivers and trackday enthusiasts. Radical has marked this time in their history with a new video introducing all drivers to their new Radical SR1. Check it out by clicking on the image above.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Radical SR1.

A huge part of being an automotive journalist is being able to speculate with a little accuracy. You take some facts, read between the lines, and piece together an educated guess. The folks at Trinity Animation, though they are not automotive journalists, have taken to some high-tech automotive speculation.

They have taken all of the leaked information on the C7 Corvette , which we expect to see sometime in 2013, and pieced together a pretty awesomely detailed animation of the new `Vette. The video shows a Corvette unlike any that we’ve ever seen before.

Typically, the `Vette takes more of the sports car route with its soft curves and sporty look. From this video, which is derived from various Corvette leaks , we see a more supercar-like Corvette, boasting hard-angles and a stunning fastback that screams “supercar.” The additional heat-extraction vents strewn around the `Vette’s body are a nice touch too. Oh, the Camaro -inspired taillights are also a nice touch.

The question on the tips of our tongues is, is this an accurate rendition of the 2014 Corvette? The answer to that question is most likely not, but we sure as hell hope so, because that car looks sexy!

Chevy has always been very careful when making changes to the Corvette. It took Chevy 42 years to finally axe the outdated pop-up headlights, so a significant change is really unlikely. We’ll likely see the longer fastback-style roof, but the Camaro-inspired taillights would kill the long-standing twin-circle Corvette taillight tradition. The harder body lines are long overdue, but Chevy will likely not go as extreme as most people are thinking, or hoping.

For now, we just have to wait and see what Chevy shows us as we proceed toward the 2014 model year. Until then, we’ll continue to keep an eye out for more Chevy leaks.

Cadillac made its presence felt at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in a different fashion from the rest of its colleagues, and certainly different from their approach last year when they unveiled the Ciel Concept . Instead of dropping a world debut or even a US debut, the American automaker decided to show off their newest concept car...in a teaser.

Yep. Cadillac didn’t show a new concept and it certainly didn’t show a new production model. But they did draw up serious interest from a lot of people with what appears to be a new concept car that’s scheduled to make its debut at a future North American auto show in the coming year.

No details have been revealed, except for some comments made by Clay Dean, Cadillac’s director of advanced design, to Autoweek saying that the new concept will be the inspiration - or at least the peg - for the company’s new design language that touches on "American glamor meets American technology.”

If an award for vague teasers was given at Pebble Beach, Cadillac would’ve won it by a landslide. There’s not a lot to go by except for a multitude of speculatory guesses that touch on the long bonnet, wide wheel arches, and a unique tail lamp set-up.

Source: Autoweek

When it comes to small sports cars, very few in the business make it as good as Lotus . Make no mistake, despite their recent bad press, Lotus still knows what it takes to build these babies, and more importantly, race-spec versions of these aforementioned babies.

Take for example their latest toy, the Exige V6 Cup. Making their debuts at the Lotus Festival in Brands Hatch in the UK, the Exige V6 Cup has been touted as the most sinister version of the Exige line. Here’s the best part, the V6 Cup comes in two specs: Track Day and Full-On Competition Spec.

In order to make it about as race-spec as can be, Lotus fitted the Exige V6 with just about every race goodie they could get their hands on. Among the new features include the company’s exclusive Lotus Dynamic Performance Management system, a system that allows the driver to switch between a number of driving modes, including Race, Sport and Touring. From there, the car also gets a new rear diffuser and wing, an aero-optimized front splitter, a multi-adjustable suspension system, a removable steering wheel, HANS-compliant race seats, a choice of 4- or 6-point race harnesses, a racing roll cage, and a fire extinguisher that’s FIA-compliant.

Under its hood, the Exige V6 Cup is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 346 horsepower with a curb weight of 1,080 kg/2,381 lbs, a 0-62 mph of just 3.5 seconds, and a top speed of 170 mph.

Lotus announced that the Exige V6 Cup will be produced by the end of the year with a delivery time by March next year. It will an initial schedule of 20 models.

British luxury car maker, Bentley , knows how to make waves in the auto industry. Three years ago at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance , they unveiled their new flagship sedan, the Mulsanne .

On the same event three years later, Bentley followed it up with the Mulsanne Vision Concept, a convertible version of the Mulsanne and the likely successor of the Azure as their top-dollar convertible model.

While the company didn’t release official photos of the Mulsanne Vision Concept, they did drop a number of sketch photos of the convertible concept, all while touting it as the potential future of the marque’s flagship family.

"The modern, luxurious, high-tech Mulsanne saloon provides a perfect foundation on which to create the world’s most elegant convertible," said Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive. "The Convertible Concept will extend the appeal of the Mulsanne family, while enhancing the profile of the Bentley brand, particularly in new and emerging markets."

The Mulsanne Vision Concept exudes the elegant and graceful form of a coach-built marque car, complete with sculpted lines and muscular haunches that convey a sense of power and movement to the luxury car. The interior of the concept was also described as having a spacious yet intimate cabin design that’s inspired by luxurious, high-performance power boats.

Noted for its unrivaled combination of chic, contemporary design, and the painstaking attention to detail and luxury refinement that Bentley is known for, the Mulsanne Convertible Concept is yet another proof that when it comes to high-end luxury, only a few can lay claim to Bentley’s position as one of the best in the business.

In our weekly scrounge to try and dig up an interesting photo for you folks, we came across something rather interesting that we had forgotten all about. In 1995, GM decided it was time to overhaul the Cavalier and axe the Sunbird altogether. With the exit of the Sunbird came the introduction of the “sportier” Pontiac Sunfire – ah, GM’s creative naming department struck gold there. What we tend to forget is that the Sunfire project started in the early-1990s and was far different than the end result.

To think that the crappy Sunfire was actually a hot concept car with true sports car appearance and likely matching performance numbers seems preposterous, but it’s true. From this photo, you can see just what GM was working on and, on the outside, it was a stunner. Now, inside was a different story. You can see the huge, clunky 1990s GM buttons on the center of the steering wheel and a plethora of these eyesores on the center console too.

One of the advertising gimmicks on this flier, which was distributed at car shows, was the remote-control CD player. This was for those people that just did not have the energy to move their arm the foot or so, needed to touch the CD player’s buttons. What innovative thinkers GM was in the 1990s, right?

Anywho, we need to thank Flickr user Hugo90 for the laughs we got from this blast from the past. Make sure to check out his entire photo stream here, as he has tons of awesome pictures and fliers from various car shows.

McLaren Special Operations (MSO) was introduced to the public last year, as the customization arm for the famed supercar builder. Think of it like Mercedes’ AMG without the performance parts. We haven’t heard too much from this arm in the last year, but that is because they have obviously been extremely busy.

“Busy doing what,” you may ask. Well, they were busy taking an MP4-12C and turning it into a one-off machine like no other to ever roam the streets. This new monster is the brain child of one lucky McLaren client and McLaren designer, Hong Yeo.

The client actually came to McLaren three years ago looking for a car that was more unique than the McLaren F1 and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren that he had already owned. The X1, which MLaren has just unveiled at "The Quail: A Motorsport Gathering," is based on the MP4-12C and was imagined as a timeless car with inspiration from multiple items, including: 1961 Facel Vega , a 1953 Chrysler D’Elegance Ghia, a 1959 Buick Electra , a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K , a 1971 Citroën SM , the Guggenheim museums in New York and Bilbao, a Jaeger LeCoultre art deco clock, an Airstream trailer, a Thomas Mann Montblanc pen, a grand piano, and an eggplant

That’s a huge list of inspirations, but when you look at the X-1, you can actually visualize where each piece may have gained its inspiration. Well, except for whichever piece was inspired by the Jaeger LeCoultre art deco clock and the Thomas Mann Montblanc pen, as we have no clue which clock or pen inspired it.

To have a good look at this wild X-1 and read our review on it, click past the jump.


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