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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Concept Cars

Audi A2 Goes Electric

On: Fri, Sep 9, 2011 at 2:17PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi A2 Goes Electric test 1-1

Volkswagen is really getting its green on in Frankfurt this year. We've already seen the Audi Urban Concept and VW Nils, and here's another all-electric concept: the A2 electric. Unlike the previous concepts, this one is a preview of a definite production model.

The A2 is a five-door hatchback with four seats. It shares some of its underpinnings with the A1 hatchback, which debuted at last year's Geneva Motor Show. Unlike the A1, the A2 will get an electric powertrain, though Audi has yet to release the full details. According to Car magazine, Ingolstadt plans to offer it in all-electric and range-extending hybrid varieties. In concept form, the A2 packs an 85 kW motor and lithium-ion battery that is good for about 125 miles of range.

Frankfurt Teaser: Toyota FT-86 II Concept

On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 4:25PM | By: Chris Weiss

Frankfurt Teaser: Toyota FT-86 II Concept test 2

Over the past two years, Toyota has been engaged in the process of developing an entry level sports car. The cycle is almost complete. Toyota launched the original FT-86 concept at the Tokyo Motor Show nearly two years ago, and will launch the production version at the 2011 Tokyo Show later this year. In between those two cars, it launched the Scion FR-S, previewing the model that we'll see here in the U.S., and the FT-86 II.

With the Frankfurt Show so close to the Tokyo show, it's no surprise that Toyota doesn't have a new concept to show. The only surprise is that it's teasing the FT-86 II, which we already saw in Geneva.

Fisker Previews Surf Concept

On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 10:38AM | By: Chris Weiss

Fisker Previews Surf Concept test 2

We know that Fisker has some ambitious plans to expand well beyond its Karma range-extending sedan, and it's officially previewed its second vehicle. Called the "Surf," the new car will be a shooting brake and should feature similar technology to the Karma.

Outside of releasing the teaser picture above—which makes the car look rather bloated, if you ask me—Fisker hasn't provided much detail on its new concept. Between the name and obvious surfboard mounted up top, it's clear the concept is inspired by the beach, though we don't know if that inspiration extends to the styling of the car (hybrid woodie, anyone?) or just the overall green, Mother Earth-hugging nature of a series hybrid.

Land Rover DC100: Defender Or Dud?

On: Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 9:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

Land Rover DC100: Defender or Dud? test 2

Land Rover is developing a new version of the Defender, its classic hard-core off-roader, for production in 2015. In a first public step toward that goal, the automaker previewed the DC100 late last month. The concept will make its debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in a couple weeks.

Gerry McGovern, Director of Design, and Land Rover said of redesigning the Defender: "Replacing the iconic Defender is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive design world; it is a car that inspires people worldwide. This isn't a production-ready concept but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century."

Let's just hope that four-year journey is a particularly long one, because this particular version exemplifies those difficulties a little too well.


New Vaporware: Electric, Croatian Supercar With Near-200 MPH Capability

On: Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 5:23PM | By: Chris Weiss

New Vaporware: Electric, Croatian Supercar With Near-200 MPH Capability test 2

It seems like all you need to start a supercar companies these days is a dream and a few fistsful of unlikely promises. The latest contender in the Transtar Racing - Rotary Supercars Not Holding Our Breath Fest is Rimac. Despite coming from an area of the world whose most famous automotive achievement is the Yugo, Croatia-based Rimac Automobili has a very ambitious project underway. We'll get a first look when Frankfurt gets underway.

Called the One Concept, Rimac's concept is an electric supercar. Alright, that's rare, but not unprecedented. But what makes Rimac's car seem highly unlikely is the ridiculous scope of its numbers. Not only will the One Concept boast a series of four motors (one per wheel) that produce up to 1,074-hp and spiral 2,802 lb-ft of torque onto the wheels, it'll also offer a 373-mile range. Oh, and it will weigh around 3,638 lbs.—not particularly superlight, but we'd expect it to weigh more like 7,000 lbs. when you imagine what type of battery pack can not only power a 1,000-hp motor, but can power it to more than 350 miles of driving.

Volkswagen Nils Concept: Frankfurt Preview

On: Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 3:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volkswagen Nils Concept: Frankfurt Preview  test 2

It looks like the VW group is going to have two levels of ultra-compact, urban-maneuvering EVs on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show. We've already seen a bunch of the Audi Urban Concept, and now Volkswagen's revealed a concept of its own: it's called Nils.

Clearly developed in conjunction with the Audi model, the VW Nils features similar elements like the narrow, freestanding wheels. Unlike the Audi, though, the Volkswagen gets even smaller by eliminating the passenger—the Nils is a personal pod designed for a party of one. It also trades the unique slide-back door-roof for a pair of gullwings.

Built atop an aluminum spaceframe, the Nils weighs a mere 1,000 pounds and is powered by a small motor and 5.3 kWh battery pack. Volkswagen calls it a demonstration of "minimalist mobility." The engine pushes the car a total of up to 40 miles and speeds up to 80 mph, so it could foreseeably do some brief stints on the highway, though that's clearly not what it's aimed at. It takes two hours to recharge the battery.

Ford Previews Evos Concept

On: Fri, Sep 2, 2011 at 9:17AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford Previews Evos Concept  test 2

Ford teased its Frankfurt appearance last week with a short presser about four new designs that it will reveal at the show. One of those was described as a "major new design concept." This week, the Blue Oval revealed what that new design concept is: the radical Evos Concept.

Let's just not set ourselves up for disappointment. Despite looking better than pretty much every Ford in the current line, the Evos won't be making it to production. Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development made that quite clear in the press release: "... you will never see this car on the road..."

That's a damn shame, because we would love to see a sporty Ford sedan with quad gullwing doors on the road. That's right, the Evos features gullwings in front and back, providing a wide, inviting entry. Those gullwings are one of the first signs that this isn't your ordinary four-seater. From there, the Evos doesn't disappoint.

Ford To Debut Focus Coupe At The Frankfurt Motor Show?

On: Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 11:37AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford To Debut Focus Coupe At The Frankfurt Motor Show? test 2

Do you like the solid, affordable package presented by the 2012 Ford Focus, but yearn for something smaller and sportier? Well, Ford may just have what you're looking for. According to rumors, Dearborn has an all-new coupe concept ready for next month's Frankfurt Motor Show. And indications are it's a two-door based on the Focus.

The Focus already comes in four-door and five-door varieties, and if rumors prove correct, will soon be available in a two-door model. Carscoop reports that a source has tipped a new sports coupe for the Frankfurt Motor Show. It's not 100 percent certain that the car will be in the Focus family, but that's what it's looking like.

Land Rover Defender Rears Its [Legendary] Head

On: Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 4:46PM | By: Chris Salamone

Land Rover Defender Concept test 2

Few cars have reached the ‘mythic’ stage of popularity, only to be whispered about in hushed tones of excitement and wonder. The Land Rover Defender squarely falls into that category—defying people’s expectations with Spartan utility and capability since the vehicles inception in 1983. Primarily known for conquering the terrains of Africa, the Defender also has an enormous following in Australia, South America, Europe, and the United States. But for years, the Defender has become increasingly outdated and overpriced in a field of off-roaders which are constantly updating their product lines.

Not anymore. For 2015, Land Rover has confirmed that there will be an all-new Defender. The first concept will rear its ugly head at the Frankfurt show on September 13th.

Classic Car Cultist: Dymaxion

On: Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 5:12PM | By: Chris Salamone

Dymaxion Car test 2

The year is 1933. An egg-shaped oddity rolls out during the Chicago World’s Fair. It has eleven seats, three wheels—using the rear wheel for steering—and a canvas roof. After stunning the world with the vehicle’s bizarre looks, an accident occurs which remains shrouded in mystery to this day. The Dymaxion car rolls over, executing the driver and seriously injuring the other two passengers.

One can only imagine how a three-wheel, rear-steering, oval-shaped vehicle might roll over.

Subaru RWD, Frankfurt-Bound Sports Car Named 'BRZ'

On: Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 5:01PM | By: Chris Weiss

Subaru RWD, Frankfurt-Bound Sports Car Named 'BRZ' test 2

So far, the sports-car partnership between Toyota has given us a whole lot of Toyota—two iterations of the FT-86 and a Scion-branded FR-S—and not a whole lot of Subaru. From Fuji Heavy Industries' car brand we've been left with the awkwardly named, 100-percent concept Boxer Sports Car Architecture Concept a.k.a. Rear-Wheel Drive Sports Car Technology Concept.

Well, the production Subaru is anticipated at this December's Tokyo Motor Show, so Subie doesn't have much time to go from transparent concept to full-fledged, production-ready car. The automaker will release the next concept version of the car at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. And, we're happy to report, the model will finally have a simple name that doesn't give us cramped fingers.