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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Concept Cars

Lotus Will Build Its Own Range of Engines

On: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 10:07AM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Esprit test 2

The tide of change continues to rise over in Hethel. Lotus revealed late last year that it planned to make a decision on whether to build its own engines for its upcoming sports car expansion. The automaker was supposed to come to the decision in the winter, but apparently it took a little longer to green-light an internal engine production program. What it took was the freeing up of some funds in order to allocate monies toward engine development.

Lotus found the funding it needed from the delay of the Elan 2 + 2, a decision that it announced recently. The automaker decided that the car was just a little too close to the Esprit and delayed its development for a few years.

Bad News/Bad News: Tesla Ending Roadster Production, Adding Crossover

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 10:30AM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla Ending Roadster Production test 2

Well, I suppose it was bound to happen. But I just wish it didn't have to happen like this. Tesla filed some papers with the SEC last week, and in those papers was an admission that we all knew was coming, but hoped against: it will wind down Roadster production by the end of the year. A few stragglers will remain at dealerships until they're all sold, but the Roadster's days are clearly numbered.

Never fear, Tesla has a new car on the way. No, not an all-new sports convertible, but a crossover! Joy.

Sneak Peak: More MINI In 2013

On: Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 4:56PM | By: Chris Salamone

MINI Cooper test 2

For all practical purposes, a larger MINI Cooper actually should be defined as ‘less-mini’. However, in this case, there are several key improvements anticipated for the 2013 MINI Cooper which necessitate the use of the term ‘more’ with respect to other features… other than size. Wow, talk about a mouthful. Anyhow, WorldCarFans.com recently posted spy photos of a prototype for the 2013 MINI Cooper. Pictures indicate that the new MINI will likely be longer and wider than current models.

One theory to account for a larger MINI revolves around the need for extra space for mechanical purposes. MINI has made no secret of their plans to utilize several different types of alternative fuel powertrains. As we saw with the Mini-E, creative power sources require creative engineering. The MINI-E replaced the entire back seat with 575 pounds of batteries. Maybe the 2013 MINI will have enough engine space to preserve four-player seating and still offer unique engine options.

Trident 2020? Maserati GT Garbin Design Study

On: Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 2:47PM | By: Chris Weiss

rident 2020? Maserati GT Garbin Design Study test 2

Here's a little look at what the James Bond of the future could be driving around while trying to foil plots of international consequence. Actually, looking at that menacing face and those bright blue LEDs, it might be a better ride for Batman or a similarly shadowy crusader. Whoever you envision behind the wheel, it's a pretty interesting design.

The Maserati GT Garbin, as it's called, is a joint project thesis from three students—Jaime Cervantes, Andrea Coccia, and Chetan Rajput—for their Master's degrees in Transportation and Automobile Design from Politecnico di Milano. The recent graduates had the backing of Fiat in preparing the design.


BMW M1 On The Way?

On: Tue, May 31, 2011 at 8:01AM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW M1 Concept test 2

Well, here's one of the juiciest rumors that we've heard in... well, since the last M1 rumor: BMW is reportedly considering a possible M1 revival (again). Far from a done deal, the rumors indicate that BMW is at the very initial stages of such a possibility, working on a few sketches of the design. So, even if you take the Internet-based rumor at face value, there's still a long way to go before we ever see an M1. And still a lot of time for BMW to can the project.

The original M1, which was produced by BMW from 1978 to 1981, is, to this day, the ultimate (and pretty much only) BMW supercar. Developed with the help of Lamborghini, the two-seater used a mid-mounted 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine to power the rear wheels. It is a true Bimmer icon.

Protospar Lampo3: 560-HP, Three-Motored Electric Concept

On: Fri, May 27, 2011 at 9:35AM | By: Chris Weiss

Protospar Lampo3 test 2

Ever notice that the Swiss have pretty much zero automotive presence. Despite dominating industries like timepieces and pocket knives, and despite that "Swiss engineered" is about the equivalent of "utmost quality," the Swiss don't really get involved in cars, outside of a couple of tuning firms and a handful of small, specialty automakers.

And maybe that's because the process behind making a car that's good enough to wear a "Swiss engineered" label is just so damn intricate and time-consuming, it's not worth it. At least that's the impression we're getting from Swiss EV-maker Protoscar. Because we're on the third iteration of the company's "Lampo" EV prototype and it still don't appear to be anywhere near actual production.

Volkswagen's XL1 Spotted On US Soil

On: Thu, May 26, 2011 at 11:18AM | By: Chris Salamone

Volkswagen's XL1 Spotted On US Soil test 1-1

Back in January we had our first glimpse at the incredible new generation XL1 which uses a mere 0.9 liters of gas per 100 km. The prototype XL1 is the latest vision in VW’s quest to create a production 1-liter car which is both affordable and practical. And most recently, VW debuted the XL1 to the United States at the New York City Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA, as residents affectionately proclaim.

VW suggests that future mobility is one of the most stimulating topics of our time and the XL1 aims to address the most critical question: how little energy consumption can a single car operate on? Well, since January 2011 the answer comes in vehiclar form. VW doesn’t just pose outlandish questions while standing on the sideline. No, no, VW actually delivered a new version of the XL1 which sets a new standard for efficiency.

The Next Extreme, Crowd-Sourced Auto Coming Our Way

On: Wed, May 25, 2011 at 1:53PM | By: Chris Weiss

Rally Fighter from Sangho Kim test 2

Back at the 2009 SEMA show, the world was presented with an entirely new type of automobile. It was called the Rally Fighter, and not only did it look like something that an off-road-obsessed, mechanically gifted, garage-workshop tuner might have come up with, but it was entirely developed by an enthusiastic internet community. Local Motors, a start-up with new ideas on how automobiles could be built, held a competition for designers to submit ideas. Then they chose the best one to build: the Rally Fighter from Sangho Kim.

First Official Pics: Honda CR-Z Mugen Hot Hatch

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 5:21PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda CR-Z Mugen test 2

Honda has released the first official photos of the CR-Z Mugen, a tuned-up concept that will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this July. The prototype is a supercharged version of the CR-Z that adds some pep and performance to the hatch's eco-heavy resume.

The CR-Z Mugen is being developed jointly by Honda and Honda's tuning arm Mugen Euro. It will provide an enviable mix of hybrid-powered fuel economy and on-tap speed and performance.

Aston Martin Zagato Is Here!

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 4:42PM | By: Chris Weiss

Aston Martin Zagato test 2

Once again, Zagato is here and it doesn't disappoint. Built to celebrate 50 years of Aston-Zagato collaboration, the all-new Aston-Zagato concept, which doesn't appear to have a unique name outside of "V12 Zagato", was unveiled a day ahead of its official debut at the Villa D'Este Concours in Lake Como, Italy last week.

Aston and Zagato's first collaboration was the 1960 DB4GT Zagato, so the V12 Zagato was built with that roadster in mind, a fact that is immediately evident from the concept's short, muscular stance. Much more of a fastback design than modern Astons, the V12 has an impressively sharp, slung-back roofline that dives right down to the rear-end, a rear-end that is in itself thoroughly sharp and angled. The handcrafted aluminum body allows for curves and shapes that wouldn't be possible with pre-formed panels, according to the companies. The muscular haunches immediately jump out as a defining feature.

Bertone To Sell A Sextet Of Show-Stopping Sirens

On: Mon, May 16, 2011 at 10:50AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photo illustration by author test 2

I’ve already covered many of the classic confections due to be sold May 21 when RM Auctions has their sale at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Como, Italy.

And as rare as they all might be, none can claim to be “one-of-one,” nor can they boast having been a show-stopping show car created from one of the finest automotive design houses on the planet, Bertone S.P.A.

Yup, it’s that Bertone, and each of the six vehicles being sold there comes directly from the design house’s own collection. Some, like the Lamborghini Marzal and Lancia Stratos HF Zero, are world-famous and rightly so, while the others are less well-known and, in turn, less expensive.

So if you’re looking to add some crown jewels to your collection and have a thing for Italian design straight from the source, here’s your one and only chance.

Get to it!