design study

design study

  There are some people out there that can just put pen to paper and come up with beautiful and intricate designs worthy of production. Granted, most of these concepts or design studies will never see the light of production day, but they absolutely warrant some attention in the automotive industry.

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The Cadillac Elmiraj concept is still creating a furor weeks after its public debut at Pebble Beach 2013 .

Speculation is rampant about the concept’s direct market potential as well as its broad influence over many future Cadillac decisions. Such is the price of an absolutely knockout concept car, one that nailed the seaside mood of the year and, perhaps, this summer’s automotive zeitgeist.

Big words for big luxury cars. The collective consciousness that Cadillac ’s Elmiraj put on four wheels is one of uncertainty about the future, but also shaping that future to our wildest dreams.

As such, the Elmiraj is very important, despite being just a subtle nip and tuck versus the Ciel of 2012. Purple paint became blue, the grille lost its chintzy plastic egg crates, and a new badge was born without the wreath.

But what should Cadillac do with the Elmiraj? Should it inspire a new version of the on-again, off-again 2016 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine? Personal Luxury coupes are well and good for the 1-percent crowd, but could never offer real brand power, sales volume or the high-profile flagship duties a true rear-drive Cadillac sedan should.

A well-executed Fleetwood could even serve as a new armored upgrade of the current presidential limo: DTS-styled 3500HD pickup truck, affectionately referred to as "The Beast."

A special contributor to GM Inside News has visions of a future Fleetwood that are addictive to watch. In its enhancements of the Elmiraj concept, there at least three viable models looking ready for sale tomorrow at $75,000. This is truly a knockout series of digital renderings about a future Elmiraj-inspired Cadillac lineup.

Low roof, high roof, stretched, coach doors, no B-pillar: they all whir by in a mind-bending blur. There are even two crossover versions to ponder.

Design credit for these speculative renderings is firmly with whiz kid "MonaroSS" of GM Inside News, who wishes to remain anonymous, but this TopSpeed-exclusive animation now belongs to the ages.

Click past the jump to feast your eyes on all these possible future Cadillac’s, including various Fleetwood limo’s and Elmiraj-based crossovers.

Updated 10/15/2013: This article has been updated with the final video and a charming piano soundtrack.

Posted on by Simona  

Have you forgotten what huge news it is for Hyundai to offer a rear-drive performance coupe? You are not alone.

Despite all the right ingredients on paper, the Genesis R-Spec is failing to gain the critical praise enjoyed by the Nissan 370Z. Or, sadly, the sales anywhere near the Mustang in its last year before a ground-up overhaul.

A new announcement from Hyundai for the 2013 SEMA aims to put some fire under the Coupe’s hood.

After the Legato Concept by ARK Performance, the Veloster Night Racer Concept prepared by EGR Group and the Genesis Coupe developed in cooperation by Bisimoto Engineering , Hyundai will also come with a blue beauty developed in cooperation with John Pangilinan.

Updated 11/06/2013: John Pangilinan unveiled the Genesis Coupe Atlantis Blue concept today at the 2013 SEMA Show, and this was the perfect opportunity for us to add a new set of images and a new video. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the Hyundai Genesis Coupe Atlantis Blue.

Posted on by Simona  

If there is one show that really brings the best out of Chrysler’s MOPAR tuning division, it is SEMA in Las Vegas.

Topping its past SEMA showcar roster , it looks like Mopar is once again pretty busy developing the models it will display in Las Vegas during the 2013 SEMA Show.

This year Mopar will bring no less than 20 heavily modified models, coming from Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Fiat and SRT. Plus a few buyer customers from Chrysler’s Facebook challenge prize-winners.

The first teaser images revealed today show:

Those of you whom will be in Las Vegas this year will also have the chance to take a first look at the latest Jeep Performance Parts, developed by Mopar Off-Road Division and even for sale in many Jeep dealers.

The 2013 SEMA will open its door on November 5th, but stay tuned for all the pre-show news!

Click past the jump to read more about the Dodge Dart Slingshot - the model that made quite a sensation last year at SEMA.

Posted on by Simona  

Mercedes-Benz models are not necessarily our favorite luxury vehicles, though we do have a special place in our hearts for the 2014 CLA-Class . However, this SL GTR Concept car designed by Mark Hostler is a Mercedes is definitely up there on our all-time favorite Mercedes concepts list, though it is simply a design study.

Designed as a supercar inspired by Le Mans racers, this SL GTR supercar concept features a specially designed grille, a large rear spoiler that improves downforce at high speeds and a classic teardrop shape racecar canopy. The concept sits on five-spoke, magnesium wheels wrapped in racing tires to go along with a race suspension and carbon-ceramic brakes.

As this was a concept car inspired by Le Mans prototype, it offers racecar-inspired chassis technology. Under the hood, you can find a Nismo-designed, 5.5-liter, V-8 engine used that is best known for its use in the Nissan GT-R GT1 racer.

Of course, this is simply a design study that doesn’t actually exist in real life, so there are no performance numbers to rattle off. Regardless of it being real only in the digital sense, this is still a very impressive concept.

Click past the jump for a video of the Mercedes SL GTR Concept by Mark Hostler.

Source: Tuvie
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The Toyota Tundra really needs an all-star halo truck to liven up its competent but forgettable range of full-size trucks, which are redesigned for 2014. This exclusive speculative preview of the 2015 Tundra Baja 1000 imagines how a Ford Raptor rival from Toyota would compare with the hot-selling off-roader from the segment-leading F-150 .

The Tundra reached its U.S. sales peak in 2007, when the big rig was all-new and came from its billion-dollar assembly plant right in the heart of Texas. Since then, the Tundra has struggled to even crack 100,000 units, which is a major sore spot when even the dullest Toyota sedans like the Corolla are able to rack up more than triple the total volume of the Tundra.

So what is missing from the Tundra ’s three cab styles, short and long bed options, and three engines that top out with a potent 5.7-liter V-8 making 383 horsepower? The Tundra is missing more than a few million loyal customers, first and foremost, versus the long-trenched buyers of Ram , Ford , Chevy or GMC trucks.

Even the also-ran Nissan Titan PRO-4X is trying on some new off-road hero truck ideas for next year’s all-new model. For slow-moving
Toyota ? So far, the world’s most admired car maker has only dipped its toes into the pool.

The new 1794 Edition of the Tundra packs more fake silver trims than a Nokia factory, and the Toyota Racing Development 4x4 stickers its dealers like to apply do not seem to have the same effect as the Raptor ’s unique grille, huge fender flares, Fox racing suspension and sand-basted attitude.

TRD is just about the worst acronym imaginable, so this TopSpeed preview of a Tundra off-roader is dubbed the Baja 1000.

Click past the jump to get a closer look of the 2015 Toyota Tundra Baja 1000.

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The super-luxury coupe market is heating up rapidly this year with the production debut of the Rolls-Royce Wraith fastback and the brand-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe concept .

Both are aiming for the meat of the market occupied by the Bentley Continental GT : a car so successful and profitable that it almost single-handedly relaunched the $100,000 to $150,000 market for two-door, four-seat dream coupes.

While the Conti GT V-8 S is now far more nimble but just as rapid as before, the styling of the Bentley is looking quite tired and unappealing for the sharpest and most fashion-forward shoppers.

In the ultra-chic world of luxury cars, yachts and homes on three continents - old styling and previous ownership of the Bentley means these buyers are ready to move forward.

New styles are poised to capture these Bentley refugees with the Wraith and S-Class Coupe , which is quite near production specification despite being officially tagged a concept.

These two swish shapes are both absolutely fresh designs that introduce advanced styling concepts for both the RR and Merc brands. If well received, the cues seen here will have a strong influence on the next-generation vehicle designs from these storied luxury marques.

As sedan-based two-door coupes, they both essentially start at the same place as the Bentley did when remodeling the VW Phaeton.

But which car is more beautiful, technically interesting, and the winner of this TopSpeed Design Showdown between the 2014 Rolls-Royce Wraith and the 2013 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe concept ?

Updated 10/24/2013: This article now features the latest photography from Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz

Click past the jump for a side-by-side battle of these two exotics from all angles.

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Meet the ultimate Fiat 500 Abarth : the new Corsa Stradale concept from Zender Italia. This bad-ass racing hatchback wears a milky metallic shade of white over a custom carbon-fiber body kit. Even better, creator Zender Italia promises turbo power and road stance so far unseen from the world’s favorite pocket rocket, even on the latest Abarth 595 .

The 500 Corsa Stradale is gorgeous, with a huge track stretch and fender flares so wide that it almost looks like it has square dimensions all around. To go with that revamp outside is a butter-toffee leather cockpit and 240 horsepower from its 1.4-liter turbocharged stinger up front.

This upgrade is a concept built by styling and aftermarket equipment manufacturer, Zender Italia. This division of the company is enjoying a rebirth, even as the Zender Germany off-shoot fell on hard times in 2008 . All signs from the Italian side of the company point to its intention to produce these designs for sale to buyers, if there is enough interest.

Would the Zender Italia upgrade let the 500 Corsa Stradale trample the still-speedy Mini Cooper GP ? Even better; how might its extra 80 horsepower improve the sprint pace of the nimble U.S.-market 500 Abarth ?

Click past the jump for the full details on the 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth Corsa Stradale by Zender Italia.

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The first reviews of the production i8 and i3 are finally out, and the styling really cleans up nicely without the trademark blue disguise wrap worn by the prototypes over the past two years.

The other shock of shocks? The first drive impressions of the i8 are coming back as highly favorable, with great interactivity on the limit and track poise beyond any current EV.

This is huge news for the future of the Ultimate Driving Machine as we know it. The slow creep of isolation and refinement is becoming problematic on the M6 and other fast Bimmers, so the worry has been that adding electricity to the mix will further isolate and dull the experience.

Everyone can sigh a breathe of relief. Both BMW i models run a 50:50 weight balance, carbon-fiber tub with alloy crash cradles. These are all extremely advanced designs shared between the i8 hybrid supercar and the i3 . So, where does a potential i3 M fit in the pricing and technology mix for the future BMW i range?

With the i3 and i8 arriving at American BMW dealers together as 2015 models, all systems are go for the global roll-out of these production models. The price gap might raise an eyebrow or two: from about $43,000 for the i3 up to $135,000 for the i8 .

This exclusive preview brings the first renderings of a performance middle ground for 2016: the BMW i3 M.

Click past the jump for this amazing three-pack of renderings that show the potential style of the 2016 BMW i3 M.

Posted on by Simona  

Is not the first time we hear of a designer that used to work for a major automaker trying to launch a sports car of his own. The latest one is the ex-Caterham boss, Ansar Ali, who started the Zenos brand and wants to develop a new sports car based on the Lotus Elise -sized platform.

The new model currently goes by the name "Project E10," and is powered by a Ford -sourced 2.0-liter engine that delivers a total of 197 horsepower. Ansar Ali is shooting for the E10 to weight only 650 kg (1,433 pounds), so those 197 ponies should be enough to give the E10 a power-to-weight ratio of about 296 horsepower per tonne. For the future, Ali plans to offer more powerful versions too.

The new E10 is built on an aluminum-tubular chassis and features a body made from recycled carbon sheets.

More on the E10 will come as Ali and Zenos get close to releasing a concept, and we will keep you updated with all of the information as it rolls out.

Updated 12/18/2013: Zenos Cars officially confirmed today that the ultra-light E10 sports car will be officially unveiled next month at Europe’s largest dedicated motorsport trade show, Autosport International. The E10 will go into production in late 2014 and first customers will receive their car in early 2015. More details on the Zenos E10 after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Zenos E10.

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A Moroccan supercar is not an oxymoron. The 2013 Laraki Epitome Concept is a prototype showing off the otherworldly style of this $2,000,000 exotic, with nine production cars possible for sale.

There are dozens of really worthwhile supercar startup companies out there, and car guys generally root for all of them to succeed. After all, a world with more horsepower and exhaust rumble can only be a good thing, right?

The standard article caveat for even the most impressive new brands might as well be boilerplate stamp: most new supercars fail rapidly versus the rapidly evolving tech and style of giants, like Ferrari and Porsche .

This will make Laraki’s third concept launch since 2003, with none of the previous Borac or Fulgura models ever making production. A healthy bit of skepticism is only natural.

Laraki Automobiles folded in 2008 without making a single car for sale. Signs are not good for the Epitome’s success either.

Without a functioning Website, press releases, real specifications or any path to ordering one of these models (if you are not already a Laraki Yachts client like the King of Bahrain), the Epitome is not off to a good start.

Click past the jump for more info on this unique hypercar, which promises up to 1,750 horsepower and a 205 mph top speed for its outrageous price.


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