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.
The latest Passat in the U.S market is perceived as a less-expensive executive car with hardly any sporting character. However, VW thinks that the upcoming Passat Performance Concept to be unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show, will change that notion.
The subtle nature of the body kit that this “Performance Concept” wears may be a little misleading, as this is one timid-looking sedan that’s ready to run. The concept will feature 19-inch Luxor wheels, a new front bumper with honeycomb inserts, to go along with HID headlamps and LED tail lamps borrowed from the Chinese Passat.
Step inside and two-tone leather upholstery welcomes you along with, carbon-fiber-looking accent pieces and black headliner. We’re a little turned off by the faux carbon fiber, but we’ll deal with it or now.
The main highlight of this concept is the EA888 1.8-liter turbocharged four-pot engine that will most likely be used in the U.S.-spec Beetle, Jetta and Passat. This engine is already used in the Asian and European markets, and would theoretically replace the 2.5-liter in-line five-cylinder in the U.S.-spec models.
Though the number of the cylinders is fewer and the displacement is lower than the engine it would replace, this new four-cylinder produces 250-horsepower – an increase of 80 ponies from the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine – and it’s more fuel efficient.
Since it is still just a concept, eager customers will have to wait for VW to officially announce the release of this model, which could be dubbed Passat R-Line.
Hyundai Genesis and Equus are two models that have significantly increased sales numbera for the Korean company. However, in order to keep this trend, the company needs to update them periodically on both design and powertrain. With this in mind, Hyundai has unveiled the HCD-14 Genesis - a concept car that preview’s design direction for future premium vehicles - at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
The most obvious updates on the new design language are the deep vertical grille, the new headlamps, the rear-hinged rear doors – a pretty sweet feature for a four-door coupe - and those large-diameter wheels.
Under the hood the HCD-14 concept combines a 5.0-liter Tau V-8 direct-injection engine with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The concept also features an "ultra-rigid" chassis with high-tensile-strength steel in strategic areas that help improve the driving experience.
Updated 01/15/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs. Hit the jump to read more about the Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept.
Previous rumors suggested that Acura could be finally unveiling the production version of the Acura NSX supercar at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. However, it looks like the company decided to tease us a little bit more, as the Detroit Show only yielded another evolution of the NSX Concept. Acura did, however, confirm that this new concept could offer "a first-ever look at one possible direction for the next-generation NSX interior design."
Translated this means that the production version will look pretty much similar to all those concepts we have seen in the past few years and that when the production version finally drops onto the market, it will offer no surprises.
Just like with the previous concept versions, the new one is defined by clean, modern and simple surfacing, and the interior was founded on a "Human Support Cockpit" theme.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Acura NSX Concept.
It’s called the CrossBlue Concept and by the sheer level of technology used on this SUV, you’d think that this is going to be all-conquering machine that can survive the apocalypse.
We’re not going to go that far because the CrossBlue is still, after all, a concept and any talk of production is still up for debate. Be that as it may, there’s plenty to like about the CrossBlue - and a few things not to like about it - a lot of which involves the highly sophisticated powertrain that makes use of a diesel engine, a hybrid system, and electric motors.
Find out more about the Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept after the jump
Toyota will offer proof that the hybrid technology is "no barrier to creating eye-popping custom concepts" at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon the. It will achieve this with the unveiling of the Aqua G Sports — a concept car based on the Prius hatchback — a model that quickly become one of Japan’s best-selling cars since its launch last year.
The new Aqua G Sports concept adds a more aggressive appearance to the exterior and interior, plus a re-tuned suspension and body-reinforcing braces to strengthen its sporting character and handling. Despite these updates, the Aqua concept keeps the usual hybrid powertrain found in the Prius. This means the new Aqua concept will be powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 99 horsepower combined with an electric motor that adds another 82 horsepower.
Full details on the new Toyota Aqua G Sports concept will be unveiled during its official debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon.
Toyota will come to this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon with 10 updated models and four of them are based on the road-going GT86 — known as the "86" on the Japanese market. The four 86 concepts to be displayed in Tokyo will be the 86 x style Cb, 86 Modellista, 86 TRD Griffon and TOM’S N086V.
The standard GT 86 has attracted worldwide praise for its sporting looks and character, but it is only the start for some of the world’s top design houses. For example, the one developed by Modellista features a very aggressive body kit, a carbon-fiber hood and a new set of wheels.
No other details have been provided just yet, but the first image we have reveals a concept car painted red combined with numerous black elements. Full details will be unveiled during the car’s official debut in Tokyo. We’ll bring you all of the details once Toyota and Modellista release them.
It looks like many automaker have used the 2013 Detroit Auto Show to preview their future design language, and Nissan is one of them. Their new Resonance Concept previews the "future direction of Nissan crossovers with smart, edgy design."
The exterior features a new V-Motion design language that includes the front grille, the hood and of course the new boomerang shaped headlights. What we really like about the new concept is that very cool Flare Orange exterior paint combined with the 22 aluminum-alloy wheels with Satin Chrome accents. The interior features a "VIP lounge" look and includes buttery leather and premium-stitched seats, an advanced instrument panel and a open glass roof.
The new Resonance is of course a hybrid vehicle: it combines a smaller displacement internal combustion gasoline engine with an electric motor
Updated 01/15/2013: This review has been updated with the full details, images and specs. Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Nissan Resonance Concept.
The resurrection of the Facel Vega brand has become a topic of conversation for the past year. While there has been no confirmation on when the revived HK Coupe Concept is going to be revealed, some indications from the people behind the project — one Caroline Castets — seem to suggest that this car is more than just a pipedream.
There’s still that issue of trademarks and the right for the new folks to use the "Facel" brand name, but that’s being discussed as we speak, so any developments on that will probably make news anyway.
As far as the car itself is concerned, the release of a new photo finally shows its front end and gives us an indication of what to expect for this sports car. So, what’s the early aesthetic feedback?
It’s hard to tell because the image is a little too dark for our liking. However, judging from the aggressive angles and the sloping hood, there are some sports car elements there that we like. At the very least, that front end is already looking better than the shagglebot rear that looks like it was designed with the idea of slapping components one on top of the other.
Toyota has never been the flashy type when it comes to developing concept cars. Quite frankly, it’s been a while since a Toyota concept really caught our attention. There is, however, a modicum of interest on our part with the Furia Concept that the Japanese automaker has prepared for the Detroit Auto Show.
Toyota appears to really be hitching a lot on this concept because we’ve already seen a number of teasers based on it. Whether its photos or videos, the Japanese automaker has really put serious time and effort to drum up the hype for the Furia concept. It’ll be interesting to see what this concept is going to look like, but rumors are already flying that this concept is going to be the kind of cutting-edge model that Toyota isn’t really known for.
The Furia Concept is scheduled to make its debut on Monday, January 14th. If its expected debut is any indication — the use of 30 custom 46" transparent LCD screens — we’re definitely for a pretty interesting spectacle.
While most manufacturers are busy prepping to launch brand new models to keep visitors drooling, Nissan has taken a different approach by announcing a new fragrance that soothes the visitors at the Nissan stall.
Dubbed the "vert oriental,” this fragrance is reported to smell like green tea leaves during the Chinese spring harvest, which is soon going to be the trademark "smell" of any Nissan. Clearly, that’s one aspect that no one bothers spending time on...
To make the odor familiar amongst visitors, Nissan will be periodically releasing the fragrance. So people planning to visit the NAIAS, you know what to look out for when you step into Nissan’s territory.
Other than that, Nissan will announce a radical new concept and a mini hatchback. Also sharing the spotlight will be the evergreen 2013 Nissan Leaf and people who love bling can look forward to the Gold GT-R developed with Usain Bolt.
To make the experience closer to the movie Minority Report, Nissan has installed an "Innovation Wall" that makes use of the Kinect sensor for X-Box to communicate with the visitors and explain the history of the brand’s achievements through six different screens. Pretty neat, huh?