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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Concept Cars

Car Tech: Touchscreen Fabric Coming To Car Interiors Of The Future

On: Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 10:05AM | By: Chris Weiss

Car Tech: Touchscreen Fabric Coming To Car Interiors Of The Future test 2

If researchers at Montreal's Polytechnic School and BMW have their way, future cars may incorporate touch-sensitive fabrics that allow drivers to control functions by simply tapping or rubbing the interior fabric. BMW has shown some interest in the experimental technology.

According to New Scientist, researchers at the Institute have developed a soft fiber that hosts electrical properties from the copper wire and conductive and insulative polymers weaved in. The idea is that the fiber would be woven into fabric and could create different electrical signals depending on where it's touched.

It still sounds quite rudimentary and experimental, but if it materializes, people could tap or swipe their fingers and hands across the material to perform different electrically based functions. In a car, this could mean tapping your finger against the door fabric to change the level of air conditioning or perhaps gliding your hand backwards on the seat to move it back.

UP Design Unveils Vittoria Concept

On: Sat, Jan 28, 2012 at 10:00AM | By: Chris Weiss

UP Vittoria Concept test 2

Umberto Palermo (UP) Design has unveiled its Vittoria concept at the Qatar Motor Show. The concept, which was announced and teased last month, is a sporty coupe with some really flamboyant design elements. It gets some things right but goes awry in other ways.

Little has been published about the Vittoria, though it's rumored to have a hybrid powertrain with V-8 engine. If that's the case, it should drive as sporty as it looks. The only other hard numbers we've seen are its measurements: 4,750 mm long, 1,960 mm wide and 1,250 mm tall.

2013 Porsche 918 Spyder To Debut Next Year

On: Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 11:44AM | By: Chris Weiss

2013 Porsche 918 Spyder To Debut Next Year test 2

After bursting onto the scene at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show followed by ensuing rumors and reports about production and price, the Porsche 918 Spyder has been on an extended headline hiatus. Until now. A new report about the car's launch and production design has updated what we know about Porsche's hybrid supercar.

Unlike all the speculation and rumors that go on when it comes to a high-profile supercar in the vein of the 918, this one comes directly from Porsche by way of its in-house Christophorus Magazine. We can therefore take it as a "yes" rather than a "maybe."

Pininfarina Teases Cambiano Concept

On: Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 12:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

Pininfarina Teases Cambiano Concept test 2

I've seen enough sexy-headlight-teasers-turned-horrible-cars to maintain a healthy skepticism about how the car behind an attractive teaser angle will look in full, uncovered form. The latest example was the Detroit-debuted Toyota NS4, which looked great from headlight-only view, promised to provide a look at the latest, sportiest design language at Toyota, but looked pretty awkward when fully revealed.

Prevailing wisdom aside, there's a substantive difference between a teaser from a mainstream automaker and a teaser from an Italian design house. Given the track record of the latter, a sexy headlight teaser should indeed equate to a thing of beauty. So I'm officially excited to see what the Pininfarina Cambiano is all about.


Land Rover DC100 Sport Goes Red

On: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 2:54PM | By: Chris Weiss

Land Rover DC100 Sport Goes Red test 2

Land Rover and Jaguar skipped this year's Detroit Auto Show in favor of India's New Delhi Auto Expo in order to showcase their concepts and models in the market. Land Rover unveiled newly-colored DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts at the show.

The DC100's design stays the same as it was in Frankfurt and LA, but the model gains a new look with Firenze Red exterior. Inside, the models get white leather with plenty of Firenze Red accents that make for a smooth, seamless transition from the exterior. The hard-top DC100 gets a white roof, and the concepts are also upgraded with off-road-optimized 20-inch alloy wheels shod in Cooper all-terrain tires.

The Defender Concept 100 has served as a first look at a Defender replacement that Land Rover hopes to get to market by the middle of the decade. Not only will the model return to the United States, where it's been missing for nearly 20 years, but Land Rover is also building it with a global focus and wants it to be rough and rugged enough for all areas of the globe.

GM Looks Through 'Windows Of Opportunity'

On: Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 10:22AM | By: Chris Salamone

WOO App test 2

What are automakers supposed to do as children become so entrenched in media exposure that they appear literally incapable of sitting quietly in the backseat? Surely today’s rear-seat DVD players and quasi-interactive gaming consoles won’t be enough to entertain kids of the future – when road trips will become something of an exercise in punishment. In a stroke of visionary boldness, GM has already pioneered a strategy to combat these rare moments of childhood un-productivity.

General Motors Research and Development issued a challenge to the students of FUTURE LAB (seriously) at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel to conceptualize new ways of helping rear seat passengers enjoy a richer riding experience. Their response: smart glass interface technology.

Toyota Reveals NS4 Plug-In Hybrid Concept

On: Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 5:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota Reveals NS4 Plug-In Hybrid Concept test 2

After a few separate teasers, Toyota staged the introduction of its NS4 plug-in hybrid concept. The concept displays both a new plug-in system and an interesting take on sporty design language.

Toyota didn't issue details of the hybrid system in its press release, choosing to state simply that the NS4 uses a next-generation application of the Hybrid Synergy Drive plug-in system that underpins the upcoming Prius Plug-In. The NS4 is envisioned as a unique model, however, and not simply a member of the growing Prius family. Toyota calls it a "new mid-sized concept for potential global market introduction by 2015."

More than a look at the future of plug-in mobility, the car is a look at the styling direction that Toyota will take with upcoming models. Toyota hopes this direction makes an "emotional connection with consumers." It is defined by the forward-tilting cabin, which almost looks like a reverse sportback, and open trapezoid grille accented by a floating lower spoiler.

Tesla Model X Coming In February

On: Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 12:38PM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla Model X Coming In February test 2

Last August, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla planned to introduce a concept version of its next car--the Model X crossover--before the end of the year. Well, guess what? The champagne is drained; the confetti is cleaned and all but the most monumental hangovers have cleared. And we still haven't seen the Model X.  Musk cleared this up in saying that the new concept will make its debut next month.

In a statement from Musk published on tech blog GigaOM, Musk confirmed a February 9 unveiling. He didn't specifically say the Chicago Auto Show, but given that the show starts that day, it seems like a highly likely venue.

Musk didn't reveal any new details on the Model X, but it's known to be a crossover built on the same platform as the Model S. It will offer three rows of seating.

2012 NAIAS: What We Didn't Learn

On: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 1:57PM | By: Chris Salamone

Honda Accord Concept Reveal test 2

While the press viewing of Detroit’s full bounty has expired, and many newly-exciting models are slotted for market, we have to ask ourselves one remaining question: what did we miss? Sure, Acura unveiled a new NSX, RDX, and ILX. Yes, we learned about the Accord, Buick’s Encore, the Dodge Dart, and a few Audis meant for ski country. But amongst all the ad posturing, marketing plans, and novel product innovations we can also glean some interesting non-information about the auto industry in 2012.

Welcome to the flip side of automotive journalism, where a company’s actions might – in themselves – speak volumes about what is or isn’t happening.

Chevy Surprises Detroit With Two Youthful Concepts

On: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 9:39AM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Surprises Detroit With Two Youthful Concepts test 2

The Detroit Auto Show is proving to be a pretty fertile ground for sporty, eco-friendly concepts. The most notable, of course, is the Acura NSX hybrid. But Chevy also introduced two concepts that pair sporty styling with green powertrains. And unlike the NSX, there was nary a peep about these Chevy concepts ahead of the show.

Chevy's concepts aren't in the same pay grade as the NSX, but they do offer sporty styling aimed specifically at younger buyers.

Acura Unveils Its New NSX

On: Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 5:05PM | By: Chris Weiss

Acura Unveils Its New NSX test 2

The Acura NSX has long stood as the ultimate Honda vehicle. Unfortunately, for over half a decade, it's stood as but a memory because Honda stopped building it in 2005.

As of today, the NSX is back. Or at least a concept version previewing what should become a production model brings the NSX nameplate back to Acura. As anticipated, Acura unveiled an NSX concept on the first day of the North American International Auto Show.