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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Concept Cars

Toyota A-BAT Concept Pickup; Will Other Automakers Follow Suit?

On: Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 2:13PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota A-BAT Concept Pickup; Will Other Automakers Follow Suit?  test 1-1

Now that Ford Motor Company has announced the official plans to discontinue the production of the Ford Ranger, what is next in a small-sized pickup truck for Ford; will a new prototype be popping up soon to replace the Ranger?

Ford plans to get rid of the Ranger sometime next year and may be planning to replace it with a new vehicle built on the next generation Ford Focus platform.

It certainly seems that there continues to be a market for a small Ranger-type pickup as evidenced by the popularity of the Toyota A-BAT pickup concept at this year’s Detroit auto show. The vehicle is as small as a Toyota Corolla, with four seats and small (4-foot) cargo box.       

The A-BAT has some unique features, such as the midgate which is positioned between the back seats and the tailgate. The midgate can be lowered to create a cargo floor that can be expanded to reach from the cargo box all the way through the back seats up to the front seats of the cab. Extending the space of the cargo box would allow for hauling of a cargo up to 4x8 feet.

Audi R4 e-tron Roadster Artwork Leaks

On: Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 9:26AM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi R4 e-tron Roadster Artwork Leaks  test 1-1

About two weeks ago, reports of a convertible version of the Audi e-tron R4 surfaced. The reports indicated that Audi would bring the convertible to the Paris Motor Show at month-end. The car would remain mechanically identical to the coupe version, which debuted at the 2010 North American International Auto Show, but would lose its top. This week, artwork of the alleged Paris-bound convertible has surfaced onto the Web and new reports indicate that the latest e-tron concept will be outfitted with a hybrid powertrain.

The artwork shows a convertible with a swooping three-quarter glass that wraps seamlessly around the cockpit. The frameless, sloping side windows ascend gently downward into the rear end, giving the concept a hot, minimalistic look. Outside of losing the top, a variety of other visual changes can be seen including new, widened front intakes and a restyled hood. Perhaps the most interesting change is the influence from the R8 in the rear fascia. The body is a mixture of carbon fiber and aluminum, according to reports.

Surprisingly the largest (alleged) change is not the loss of a top, it's the change to plug-in hybrid power. The original R4 was an all-electric that used two motors mounted to the rear axle to drive the rear wheels. Auto Bild reports that the  e-tron R4 Spyder will also feature two motors to provide up to 31 miles of range, but will add a mid-mounted 3.0-liter TDI V6 to extend that range. A continual variable transmission will pull shifting duties. In this iteration, the two motors will drive the front rather than the rear wheels, with the V6 hooked to the rear wheels.

Peugeot Unveils Revolutionary Electric Concept: EX1

On: Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 3:07PM | By: Chris Weiss

Peugeot Unveils Revolutionary Electric Concept: EX1 test 1-1

With cars like the Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid and Fisker Karma coming to market over the next couple years, hybrids and electrics promise to become more than just practical, utilitarian tools; they'll soon be as fun, good looking and sporty as the greater gasoline market. Maybe more so, if Peugeot has anything to say about it. The French automaker recently pulled cloth off its EX1 concept, a four-wheel-drive electric vehicle that promises to break EV acceleration records right and left.

The dramatic EX1 features a tear-drop-shaped body that is wider in front than in back, helping to limit resistance and improve performance. A quick look, and the EX1 appears to be a motorcycle or go kart tucked away in a car's front end. It's crafted from a carbon honeycomb monocoque chassis and weighs just 2,200 pounds at the curb.

Each axle houses a 170-hp electric motor, giving the car a total output of 340 horses and 177 lb-ft. With its light, slippery profile, the EX1 promises to offer a 0 to 62 mph time that ducks under the 3-second mark. Peugeot hasn't quite reached that goal, but it has sped up to 161 mph in the EV.

Another interesting element of the EX1 is that it uses a motorcycle-like swing-arm to suspend both rear wheels. The front wheels get their spring from double wishbone suspension. The seats are integrated into the doors, which open in reverse.

GPR Motorsport Engineered Next Generation Touring Car

On: Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 4:35PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

GPR Motorsport Engineered Next Generation Touring Car test 1-1

The Toyota Avensis NGTC will meet the track for the first time in a race in the final round of this year’s BTCC season.

A sneak peek at the Toyota Avensis Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) has recently been released, unveiling for the first time photos of the racing concept vehicle that will make its entrance in the this year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.


BMW Teases Sports Coupe, Half Hearted Request For No Blogging Ignored

On: Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 3:54PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW Teases Sports Coupe, Half Hearted Request For No Blogging Ignored test 1-1

Car companies are sure getting creative about how they tease upcoming cars and concepts. In a bit of a reverse psychological campaign, BMW has set up the website "dontblogaboutthis.com" to tease a new prototype based on a 6 Series coupe. The website features two video clips and several photographs of the model.

The new prototype is expected to be launched under BMW's EfficientDynamics umbrella in 2012. While BMW falls short of providing any details of the powertrain or specs of the prototype, reports indicate that it will be guided by the show-stopping EfficientDynamics concept debuted at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Bentley Continental GT, V8 To Debut For 2012

On: Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 11:08AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

 Bentley Continental GT, V8 To Debut For 2012 test 1-1

The 2012 Bentley Continental GT 4.0 liter V8 model will be unveiled at this year’s Paris motor show later this month. “The V8 is our hedge against fuel-price spikes, carbon-dioxide-related legislation and uncertainty in the global supercar market,” Uli Eichhorn, Bentley's technical director, said in a statement to the press about the sportier-looking GT model.

The engine, according to Eichhorn is an all new redesigned V8 being built in collaboration with Audi, and although the production model has not yet been launched, Bentley says the new V8 will be assembled in Great Britain, just like the W12. The exact specs on the vehicle’s engine are yet to be announced, but according to a recent automotive news article, speculation is that “given Bentley's enthusiasm for turbocharging, the likely output figures to rate between 350 hp and 400 hp, extending the GT's appeal into market segments where the W12 can't compete,” according to Automotive News.

Lotus City Car Concepts Leak

On: Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 4:45PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus City Car Concepts Leak  test 1-1

Information and pictures about Lotus' "dawn of a new era" to commence at this year's Paris Motor Show are just seeping out all over the Web. Following Lotus' official preview of the Evora S and IPS and a report that identified the four concepts that Lotus will be showing at the show, grainy pictures of two of the concepts have leaked.

Mini Working on a Two-Door Countryman Off-Roader

On: Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 4:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

Autocar Rendering  test 2

Thanks to the success of the BMW X6, BMW-owned Mini may offer an off-road-capable coupe for those that crave something a little smaller. The company is currently beginning design work on a coupe version of its recently released Countryman five-door crossover. The new model would be a coupe aimed squarely at Range Rover's new Evoque, which will make its world debut at the Paris Motor Show in late September/October. If approved, the new Mini could hit the market as soon as 2013.

According to an Autocar report, Mini is currently considering several possible designs for the new concept. A four-door variant with no B-pillars and rear suicide doors is one direction under consideration, and a more traditional two-door model is the other. The car will feature a sloping, coupe-like roofline similar to that seen on the Evoque.

If Mini goes through with the Countryman coupe, it's expected to offer a car that undercuts the pricing of the Evoque while boasting better overall fuel economy and improved city driving. Speculation indicates a price of as low as £20,000.

The Range Rover Evoque, which was unveiled in July, will make its world auto show debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. It will be offered in both two-door and four-door varieties and will be the first Land Rover to offer a front-wheel-drive configuration. It will be Land Rover's smallest, lightest model, but will cost more than the Land Rover LR2 due to its sportier, more luxurious build.

The Countryman coupe is just one of several models that Mini is considering. The company is also developing a city car concept in the vein of the Smart ForTwo. That model is expected to feature a two seat or 2 + 1 layout and debut next year. Autoweek reported last month that that concept might debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

New Details On Lotus Concepts Emerge

On: Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 9:28AM | By: Chris Weiss

New Details On Lotus Concepts Emerge test 1-1

We got an official sneak preview of the Lotus Evora S and Evora IPS coming to the 2010 Paris Motor Show earlier this week, and we now have a not-so-official preview of the four concepts that Lotus will be debuting at the show. The concepts are expected to showcase a new paradigm for Lotus, a shift from the smaller, lighter, cheaper ethic that has guided it for the past several years onward toward a heavier, cleaner and more performance oriented direction.

We've been hearing whispers about an Esprit revival concept and three other concepts, and a report yesterday in Autoweek shed some light on exactly what those other concepts might look like. The report cites the ever- simple "sources" as to where it derived the information.

The 789 Chevy

On: Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 9:36AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The 789 Chevy test 1-1

Imagine a car that has all of the most attractive features from three different classic Chevy models such as the 1957 Bel Air, 1958 Impala, and the 1959 Chevrolet. Then wrap this contemporary body around a 2005-2007 Corvette C6 chassis. This is precisely what was done with a concept car called the 789!

This is a concept car built by n2a motors in limited edition—only approximately 100 vehicles will be available. The chassis is a Corvette C6 and the front of the vehicle is styled similar to the classic 57 Chevy BelAir, the side designed after the 58 Chevy, and the rear resembles the 59 Chevy, hence the name “789.”

Mazda Previews Paris-Bound Shinari Concept

On: Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 9:20AM | By: Chris Weiss

Mazda Previews Paris-Bound Shinari Concept test 1-1

Mazda is showcasing new design language in a concept that it calls Shinari. The Japanese automaker recently previewed the new concept at a design event in Milan, and will officially debut the Shinari at the 2010 Paris Motor Show in late-September/October.

The Shinari is a curvaceous five-door hatch with an RX-8-meets-Aston-Martin look. The concept displays a shift in design language from Nagare to Kodo. Kodo translates into "soul of motion." The new language clearly drops the flowing side strakes that were such an integral part of the Nagare language, but maintains a similar flowing, kinetic style. The front-end has been tightened over the more bulbous front ends seen under Nagare, representing a move toward a more compact, focused design ethic.

Not to be confused with the nigiri of Japanese sushi houses, Nagare translates to "flow." The vehicles crafted under the mantra were designed to show “motion in vehicles, whether they’re moving or still,” with prominent lines flowing along the sides melding the front fasica seamlessly to the rear-end. Nagare first appeared on the aptly-named Nagare Concept, which debuted at the 2006 LA Motor Show.

The language appeared on several other concepts before making its full production debut on the 2011 Mazda5 at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. Reports earlier this summer indicated that Mazda was unhappy with the language and was moving in a new direction.