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.

Now that Fiat and Chrysler have signed an alliance, the company hopes to make a great return to the Chinese market to take advantage of the fact that it will eventually become the biggest automotive market in the world. To mark this return, Chrysler has unveiled the Jeep Wrangler "Dragon" Design Concept at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

As its name suggests, the concept features design elements that have been inspired from Chinese culture. These elements start with bronze-gold details inside the front grille slats, headlamp surrounds, and Jeep badging in the front and rear. The same color has been used for a pad-printed engine cover, bolts for the fuel-filler door, and the tail lamp assembly, a Chinese dragon character side badge, and wheel center caps. The concept sits on a new set of 18" five-spoke alloy wheels in matte black with a bronze-gold high-gloss outer edge.

Exterior elements also include painted fenders, a gloss-black applique on the front bumper, and a tone-on-tone dragon decal that starts on the hood and runs down the driver’s side of the vehicle. A dragon motif on a unique carbon-fiber insulator has been mounted under the hood and on the gloss-black spare tire cover.

For the interior, the concept gets black leather seating surfaces with bronze-gold accent piping and stitching. The same dragon motif can be found on the head restraints, while bronze-gold leather covers the outside edges of the seats and front center arm rest.

UPDATE 04/24/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the Jeep Wrangler Year of the Dragon Concept.

Next to the Jeep Wrangler Year of the Dragon Concept , Chrysler has unveiled a 300C design concept at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibitio that was created specifically with Chinese elements in mind.

The new Chrysler 300 Ruyi Design Concept features a Maximum Steel exterior color combined with dark chrome on the door handles, grille surround, and lower grille tracer. Exterior touches continue with a polished ruyi-inspired signature grille with dark chrome throats, bluish steel-grey tinted glass, a ruyi Chinese character badge on the deck lid, and a ghosted speed stripe running along the side character lines. Then, of course, we shoudn’t forget about the unique 22" concept alloy wheels in a ten-spoke design.

The interior has received black chrome on the outer dash vents, navigation screen and center dash vent surrounds, gauge rings, steering wheel rim, and door handles. These black accents have been combined with a brush trim used for the center console, upper door panels, and flanking the dashboard. The seats are wrapped in a light-tone leather-wrapped seating surfaces with suede center inserts and side bolsters.

UPDATE 04/24/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the Chrysler 300 Ruyi Design Concept.

UPDATE 05/02/12: Chrysler has released a two-minute, getting-to-know video about the 300 Ruyi Concept, a car that we saw last month at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show. If you don’t know a whole lot and you’re interested to know more, this video is a good place to get started. Check it out by clicking on the photo above.

Rolls Royce has unveiled a very cool Ghost Concept at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show that is described as "a highly-bespoke luxury model that encapsulates the richness of experience that comes as standard with any Rolls-Royce and takes it to a new level of sensory indulgence."

The new Rolls Royce Ghost Six Senses Concept is painted in a very cool Carrara White finish - with a name like the Ghost Six Senses, white is the (super)natural choice - combined with new forged alloy wheels and diagonally-oriented, brown oak cross-banding. The interior adds supple natural soft grain leather in enveloping, hand-crafted seats and in the leather headlining.

However, one of the most impressive features of the concept is the audio system which fills the spacious rear cabin thanks to its upgraded amplifier and the inclusion of "exciter" speakers housed in the leather headlining. Sin Sin ce we are talking about a limousine, Rolls Royce has also included a coolbox that will help serve the most refreshing chilled drinks or vintage champagne.

"The Ghost Six Senses concept is a luxurious environment designed for the most discerning of individuals," commented Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce CEO. "It delights the senses and draws you into somewhere that transcends the interior of a car. Relax for a few moments and you will experience something that is hard to define, but which our customers understand so well."

Hey, as long as Bruce Willis doesn’t show up, we’ll take it!

Volkswagen is expanding on its E-Bugster Coupe shown at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in early 2012 by bringing a similar model to the Beijing Auto Show. The new model is called the E-Bugster Speedster Concept and shares many of the styling cues as that of its coupe counterpart.

Stylistically, we love this version of the concept because of its drop-top configuration. Nothing evokes images of breathless freedom than driving down the highway in a Beetle with the top down and the wind blowing your hair. The E-Bugster Speedster Concept may still be a concept in every sense of the word, but trust us when we tell you that this is one car that we won’t mind seeing inside Volkswagen dealerships soon.

Will it happen? We don’t know. But rest assured, you can expect a lot of people to clamor Volkswagen to send this one to production.

Find out more about the Volkswagen E-Bugster Cabriolet Concept after the jump.

Rumors about a Lamborghini SUV were floating around for about five years before Lamborghini finally decided to ’fess up to the fact that the Italian brand was ready to jump headfirst into the SUV market. There was talk that a production Estoque was in the running as opposed to the SUV, but with the Porsche Cayenne’s growing sales and Bentley Bentley ’s announcement of a future SUV, there was no way Lamborghini Lamborghini was going to miss out on the SUV honey pot. Now they have bought themselves some time before officially rolling out a production SUV by debuting the Lamborghini Urus Concept at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

Like with all other Lamborghini models, the new Urus name comes from the world of bulls. The Urus, also known as Aurochs, is one of the large, wild ancestors of domestic cattle. Urus bulls could measure up to 1.8 meters at the shoulder. How’s that for a little Discovery Channel information?

But back to the Urus Concept. The front end is clearly a mark of the Lamborghini brand and features elements already seen in models like the Aventador and the Sesto Elemento Concept . It also features the same red livery as seen in the previously announced Aventador J and the same coupe-like profile as seen on the BMW X6 . Under the hood, Lamborghini has placed a 600 HP engine and has been promised that the Urus will offer the lowest CO2 figures of all comparable vehicles.

Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann has confirmed that a production version will arrive in 2017 .

UPDATE 02/18/2013: Four grey-colored images have leaked from the Chinese patent office, showing off what we think is the production Urus. Check out the images in the gallery.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Lamborghini Urus.

For a long time we have been screaming from the hilltops that Toyota has been wasting its No. 1 slot in the hybrid market by releasing boring hybrids, like the Prius . Well, Toyota is about to release yet another hybrid concept and we can only hope that it is not more of the same stuff we have seen for the past decade.

The details are a little sketchy on this new hybrid concept, but Toyota did release a pair of teaser images, which look pretty neat from what we can see. The front headlights appear to be normal old headlights on the outside, then as they work toward the center of the car, the lights turn a shade of light blue. Not only is the ambient lighting sweet, but from the silhouette this thing looks nothing like the Prius.

In a way, it has styling similar to the NS4 concept that Toyota revealed at Geneva, which Toyota made clear was not coming into production. Rather, the NS4 was being used to test different features that would make their way into showrooms. This may be one of the cars featuring those NS4-like cues that are heading to showroom floors.

There are rumors circulating that the reason this car is only being revealed in Beijing is because the car will be available in China only. We don’t quite see a point of releasing a hybrid in the Chinese market yet, as it is still a developing market. The likely reason for a Beijing release and not a New York release is so it didn’t steal the new Avalon ’s thunder.

The Beijing auto show opens up to the press today and we are sure that Toyota won’t wait long after that to unveil this new gas-electric machine. We will keep you updated as much as we can on this soon-to-be-unveiled hybrid, as we obtain more information.

The Chinese phrase Jinlong Yufeng, when translated into English means "Golden Dragon in the Wing".

Appropriately, that’s what Audi named this special edition Q3 concept to commemorate the SUV’s launch in the Chinese market.

The Q3 Jinlong Yufeng, which is making its debut at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show , comes finished in a special Liuli Yellow luminous monochrome paint and comes with plenty of add-on components that have been finished in matte quartz. In addition, Audi also added flared arches on the Q3, as well as steel side steps, a new radiator grille, and two carbon fiber-reinforced polymer kite boards that have been mounted on the roof of the SUV.

Inside, Audi went with a more luxurious design on the interior, complete with a titanium gray Alcantara roof liner, an instrument panel upholstered in black Fine Nappa Leather with matching yellow seams. The seats have been dressed in velvet leather while the dashboard comes with plenty of aluminum accents, steel decorative inlays, and gloss black trims.

As for the engine, the Q3 Jinlong Yufeng Concept is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder TFSI engine that produces 310 horsepower and is capable of hitting 0-62 mph in just 5.5 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph.

Alfa Romeo 4C GTA Concept

Alfa Romeo made a brief return to the U.S. in 2008, in the form of only 50 of the $241,000 8C , but it then quickly vanished, just as it did back in 1995. Now there have been talks amongst Alfa Romeo and Fiat to bring the brand back to the U.S. when the Italian automaker releases its newest creation, the 4C.

Well, the speculation and talking are no more, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially awarded Fiat with an American trademark for the name “Alfa Romeo 4C.” It looks as if Fiat first filed for the trademark on March 25, 2011 and received the all-important approval on Aril 10th. This makes it a near certainty that this Maserati-built, Fiat-owned stunningly sexy sports car will make its way to the states.

Much like the 8C that predated it, the 4C will be a limited production model, as Maserati only plans to build about 2,500 models per year. Given we saw 90 of the 500 8Cs produced, we will again likely see about 18 percent of the total production, meaning we will have somewhere around 450 of the 4C available per year.

Fortunately, unlike the 8C, the Alfa Romeo 4C will be affordable for the upper middle-class American with a projected MSRP of $59,310. Fiat plans to pit the Romeo against the likes of the Porsche Boxster , the BMW Z4, and the more affordable MX-5 Miata , though its limited production will not make it easy to compete. This gives Alfa Romeo a car to build around in the U.S. and hopefully make a successful return.

Back in 2009, we reported that little-known Chinese car manufacturer Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd., which fortunately goes by the acronym BAIC, officially purchased the intellectual rights to the Saab 9-3 and 9-5 . It was a rather odd transaction, to say the least, as few people knew what BAIC’s plans were with these rights.

Well, BAIC has officially come forward to let us all know the plan. There are two BAIC cars making their debuts at the Beijing Auto Show, which opens to the press on April 23rd and the general public on the 27th, one of which we know is based on the Saab 9-3.

The Saab 9-3-based model is dubbed the C70, but that is about where our knowledge stops, as BAIC has kept a pretty tight lid on the happenings on at their office. We can speculate that the C70 will feature a Saab engine, likely the 210-horsepower 2.0-liter used in the final 9-3.

The larger BAIC C80K is the most likely home for the high-output Saab V-6 from the defunct 9-5 . This model has a little more info available, as BAIC teased us with a few images of the upcoming vehicle. From what we can tell from its outside, this vehicle appears to be designed to compete with the likes of BMW , Mercedes , and maybe even Bentley , but that 3.0-liter V-6 wouldn’t hold a candle to those makes. This makes it a possibility that the C80K’s engine is an in-house build.

Really cool, yet potentially dangerous, features on the C80K are the B-pillar-less suicide doors. This looks really cool, by giving one wide open entry with both doors open, but could potentially weaken the structural integrity significantly. We also know that the C80k will measure in at 205 inches long and 75 inches wide.

That’s about all we know right now about these new BAIC models, except that they will only be available in China. We will pass along more details as they come along.

Holden SS V-Series Special Edition

So we all have seen strange trademarks and copyrights, plus we have all seen companies fighting over whether or not a trademark or copyright is legal. First you have Windows, then you have Apple, both of which are extremely common words that are trademarked. As of late, you have Macintosh slapping a trademark on the all-too-common “App Store” phrase. Well, how about this for a weird one, “SS” is now an official trademark of GM.

Well, technically the trademark reads “The mark consists of the letters SS in a fanciful design,” meaning the actual letters are not trademarked, but the design with letters are, make sense? So this leads us to speculate… After 51 model years of including the “SS” moniker on vehicles – the first came on the 1961 Impala – why do this now?

We know that the Impala SS is on its way – thanks for that Chevy – but what does GM have up its sleeve? The vast majority of us media folk, TopSpeed included, assume that this means an actual SS model is in the works. There have been rumors afloat that GM will release police package Caprice models as the SS model, and some of the details seem to align.

First, consider the fact that the Holden Commodore was once rumored to become the 2014 Chevy SS , but was never officially confirmed, then add in the fact that the Commodore is now the Caprice PPV . We think you can do the math. It looks like our friends over at GM Inside News were actually correct when they reported the Commodore -turned-SS rumor in 2011. At this point we just have to wait until GM officially announces it, but for now it looks like this is certainly happening.

On an aside, this would also mark the return of the Pontiac G8 , in a way, as the G8 was actually a Commodore in Pontiac garb. Funny how it all comes full circle, huh?


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