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.

Two years ago, we were announcing that Toyota and Tesla Motors had entered an agreement that would net Tesla $60 million to design and manufacture an all-electric powertrain for the RAV4 SUV. Finally, after all of this time we have a debut date set. Unfortunately, it isn’t a showroom debut, but rather a showing of the final product.
Toyota has just has unveiled this new Tesla and Toyota collaboration to the U.S. at the International Electric Vehicle Symposium in LA on the May 7th at noon. The new RAV4 EV is powered by a 154 HP electric powertrain and has a driving range rating of approximately 100 miles and charging time of approximately six hours on a 240V/40A charger. It comes with two driving modes: Sport and Normal. In Sport version the car will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds and will go up to 100 mph, while in Normal mode it will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds with a maximum speed of 85 mph.

Compared to the standard RAV4, the new EV version will get a re-styled the front bumper, upper and lower grill, side mirrors, rear spoiler, and under body design to maximize air flow around the vehicle. The model will be offered in three exterior colors: Blizzard White Pearl, Shoreline Blue Pearl and Classic Silver Metallic combined with a unique "Neutron" fabric for the interior.

UPDATE 05/08/2012: The new Toyota RAV4 EV will go on sale in late Summer 2012 through select dealers at a starting price of $49,800.

It’s not the most fashionable or most powerful concept vehicle BMW has been involved with, but as far as significance is concerned, it just might be one of the most meaningful car projects that they’ve been a part of.

The concept vehicle is called the Visio.M MUTE, a prototype vehicle developed by Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) that now has the involvement of partners from the German auto industry, spearheaded by BMW BMW . The concept is being pegged as a vehicle for the future, one that is being developed to determine the feasibility of developing an efficient, mass-market electric vehicle that ensures the same level of safety and affordability as the combustion vehicles of today.

The project recently received €10.8 million ($14.1 million at the current rates) in funding from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The Visio.M MUTE is the prototype model that will play a critical role in determining how it can handle new technologies in logistics, crash safety, propulsion, and energy storage for a future, mass-produced vehicle.

As it currently stands, the car only carries and output of 20 horsepower and weighs only 400 kg without batteries. It certainly won’t break any speed records anytime soon, but in terms of significance, the Visio.M MUTE could be one of the most important concept vehicles to come out in recent years.

After being teased for quite some time now, the Rimac Concept One has finally made its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The Concept One is not only the proof that "supercar" and "electric" can be used in the same sentence, but it also previews a limited edition model that will arrive in 2013 in a quantity of only 88 units.

Mind blowing as it is to comprehend, Rimac is promising an output that’s unheard of for an electric sports car. Concept One uses a unique powertrain which is divided into four sub-systems, each consisting of one motor, inverter and reduction gearbox. With a total output of 1,088 HP and 2,802 lb/ft of torque, the Concept One will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in only 2.8 seconds and comes with an electronically limited top speed of 189 mph.

The Concept One is the work of some of the most famous designers around the world. The carbon-fiber body is designed by Adriano Mudri, while the interior is designed by a team of former Pininfarina employees, led by Mr. Goran Popović.

UPDATE 04/20/12: The Rimac Concept One has been on display at the 2012 Top Marques Monaco, which was the perfect opportunity for the company to unveil new images of the supercar. Check them out in the picture gallery!

UPDATE 05/07/12: Rimac has unveiled a cool teaser video for their Concept One supercar that will be produced in a limited run of only 88 units. Watch the video and see if this car is really worth the €740,000 ($980,000 at the current rates) price tag associated with it.

Hit the jump to read more on the Rimac Concept One.

For the most part, most of today’s supercars call the European continent their home. The growing trend of these high-powered machines has stretched far and wide in the continent with established countries like Germany , Italy , and the UK being joined in the supercar arms race by Sweden , Denmark , and Spain , among other countries.

Now you can add Poland to the mix.

The country best known for their polish sausages is set to introduce their very first supercar courtesy of Arrinera Automotive. The name for this Lamborghini-inspired beast hasn’t been announced yet, but Arrinera has nonetheless released a number of renderings to give us a first look on what to expect when this Polish hammer hits the streets in the future.

UPDATE 02/10/12: Arrinera has unveiled a new video that takes us behind the scenes of the official video previously unveiled. The video depicts the enormous effort made by the producer as well as the Arrinera team. Hit the jump to watch the video.

UPDATE 05/02/12: Arrinera has officially released the final specs of the Venocara Supercar, as well as the pricing details for it. Find out how powerful this Polish supercar really is and how big of a hole it’s going to have on your pockets after the jump!

This review has been updated with official details of the Arrinera Supercar

We all know about Google’s fleet of self-driving Prius’s, but there are few automakers actually close to creating a self-driving car. Well, that was until now. Cadillac has been steadily testing its self-driving car system and has remained somewhat tight lipped about it all. Just recently, Cadillac finally released some information, along with several videos.

According to Cadillac, this system, dubbed “Super Cruise,” is not complete self-driving, but more of a situational self-driving car. It uses features that are already included in the existing XTS and ATS vehicles and tweaks them to allow Super Cruise to drive the vehicle without any driver intervention on the interstate.

It uses features like rear automated braking, adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, blind spot alert, and automatic collision preparation in combination with the vehicle’s GPS system and electric power steering to actually keep the car driving at safe speeds and in its lane. It is set by simply picking the lane and speed you want to drive in, then clicking the “Cruise” button.

Once activated, this system senses other traffic all around it, as well as the lane the vehicle is traveling in, and makes mild adjustments as needed. It even will take the vehicle through turns on the highway without the driver touching the steering wheel.

A sweet feature on Cadillac’s Super Cruise is that it uses the front collision detection system to measure the speed of the car in front of you. It then adjusts its speed to remain the prescribed two seconds behind that car. It will even bring the car to a complete stop and re-accelerate to the set speed, or the speed of traffic, all by itself, which makes it awesome for traffic jams.

There’s only one issue, it is not fully autonomous, but some drivers may treat it like such. You cannot just kick back and read the paper, as your Caddy drives you to work. It’s still a good start anyways.
GM expects to start rolling out versions of Super Cruise “In the coming years.”

Hit the jump to read Cadillac’s press release

Remember the days when vans were cool? You know, you would cruise down the strip in your mom’s minivan and pick up all of your friends to head out to the coolest hangout spots… Oh wait, vans were never cool, what were we thinking? Well, that is until Mercedes decided to get into the van-making business.

At the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz rolled into the show with its all-new customized Viano VISION DIAMOND. This ultra-luxury van, which is not yet available in the U.S., puts most modern-day limos to shame with its features. Add in the fact that it is large enough to move around in comfortably, unlike limos, which typically have standard headroom, and you have essentially a luxury home on the go.

Mercedes did not release too much information on this machine, but there is enough information obtainable just by looking at it to determine that this thing is flat out awesome. The Viano VISION DIAMOND would certainly eliminate any kids embarrassment of riding to school in a minivan, if this just so happened to be said minivan.

Click past the jump to check out our full review on the Viano VISION DIAMOND.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 0
Spyker D12

We’re all familiar with the Spyker name, so much so that we’re under the impression that the tiny company actually produced at least 50 units annually. However, the company’s CEO Victor Muller recently confirmed that Spyker only produced 12 new cars in 2011, a figure very similar to the amount of cars which Pagani produced in the same time period.

However, Muller isn’t going to let those relatively unimpressive numbers dissuade him, as he wants the company to continue to grow in the coming years and with Saab now completely split from Spyker, it’s the perfect time for Muller to look into strategies to expand the company.

Unfortunately, Spyker’s failed attempt to acquire Saab did affect their car production to such an extent that production has pretty much skidded to a stop. Consequently, Muller is currently looking for an investment of $32 million to restart production, and if all goes well Muller hopes that Spyker can produce upwards of 1,000 cars annually in the coming years.

If Spyker does manage to find this much required investment, then its model line could also be increased to accommodate the 2006 D12 Peking-To-Paris SUV Concept and with luxury SUVs seemingly being the talk of the town recently , the company could be onto a winner if it does put the D12 into production.

The biggest thing standing in the way of Muller achieving these aims may be his inability to receive the necessary funds. Unsurprisingly, after his failed attempt to run Saab and failed attempt to run his own Formula 1 team, firms are understandably apprehensive about whether or not he can deliver on his claims.

Source: De Telegraaf

Not many Japanese automakers quite have the storied history of Datsun and Nissan . Even the now dominant Honda lineup is little more than a teenager in comparison to Nissan’s worldwide presence. With all of this history comes a lot of heritage, and it is obvious that Nissan and Datsun Datsun took and still do take this heritage very seriously, as they have over 400 various Datsun and Nissan vehicles dating back to the 1933 Datsun 12.

Recently, Nissan and Renault CEO, Carlos Ghosn, got to pay this warehouse turned pseudo museum a visit. He didn’t just waltz in and take a quick look at cars, as most of us do when we go to car shows. Nope, he hopped into a nearly 75-year-old, mint condition Datsun 17 Phaeton and went for a spin around the entire facility.

Seeing this warehouse full of classic cars that we rarely get to see is amazing in itself. The fact that Nissan takes special care to make sure these cars remain in impeccable shape truly shows how much Nissan respects its past. We all know that manufacturers hold back special models and keep them in good condition to show them off at later dates, but to see it on this scale and not dealing only with special models is impressive.

Nissan actually houses a staff full former staff and volunteers to keep about 70 percent of these classic imports operating. The warehouse also houses several classic Nissan rally cars and a wide array of Nissan-produced police cars.

The coolest thing about this whole visit is that Nissan filmed it and posted it online for all to see (the video is above). This is extremely unique, given the fact that the general public does not have access to this extravagant collection.

This lack of access may soon change, as former Nissan SVP, Kenichi Sasaki, stated that he hopes to see a Nissan Museum built so the public can enjoy these classic models. Our collective hats go off to Nissan for keeping these cars in this great of condition and allowing us a sneak peek into this restricted warehouse.

Peugeot unveiled the new Urban Crossover Concept at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show in China. The company has yet to confirm a production version of the SUV, but they did announce that the new concept offers a new vision of a compact Crossover that is modern and dynamic.

The new Urban Crossover Concept measures 4.14 meters in length and 1.74 meters in width. Up front, the concept received a highly sculpted bonnet and a "smiling" grille shaped in metal. The impressive design continues on the side where the concept received a smooth flow between the raked windscreen and the line of the roof. The car sits on on new large wheels that not only provide a sporty look but also help raise the concept’s ride.

The rear adds specially designed lamps embedded with precision into the body an presenting a luminous Peugeot signature with 3 floating claws using LED technology. And the finally elements are the aluminium spoiler and roof double bubble reminiscent of the sporty and elegant aspect of theRCZ Sports Coupe .

Posted on by Brad Anderson 1
Saab 9-3 Griffin

Just days ago, we brought news about how Swedish Automobile - which used to consist of Saab and Spyker – was dissolved, as both companies went their separate ways. The only difference between the two is that Spyker is still a viable business while Saab is still crippled with debt with absolutely no known development currently taking place.

Chinese mega-company Youngman put in a multi-million dollar bid to purchase Saab in its entirety from GM a few months ago, but General Motors swiftly denied the offer and once again Saab’s future was left in limbo; the same position which has faced the company for the past few years. Even with Youngman’s promise of putting upwards of $1.5 billion into developing new Saab models over the coming years, GM still wasn’t swayed, but to our surprise that didn’t put Youngman off in anyway.

As a result, Youngman has put in yet another bid to purchase Saab, this time for the sum of $470 million at current exchange rates. In addition, the $1.5 billion promise of development still stands, so in total Youngman is willing to spend almost $2 billion to prop up Saab which currently has a debt of around $2 billion, so it sounds like quite a reasonable offer to us.

However, don’t for one second think that this offer will be accepted, as Youngman also has to compete with Indian company Mahindra & Mahindra who have also reportedly put at least one bid into the acquisition of Saab.

In all honesty, we’re not really sure why so many companies are fighting over Saab, as the brand’s reputation has been tarnished massively over the past few years. Nevertheless, we hope all the bidding parties well and hopefully Saab’s debt saga can be put to rest soon enough.

Source: The Local

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