Tag Archives: concept car

Porsche Unveils Its All-Electric Mission E Concept

Porsche has unveiled its impressive ‘Mission E’ all-electric concept sports car at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show.

The four-door sedan features a low, road-hugging design that is futuristic while retaining an unmistakably Porsche silhouette that is more reminiscent of the iconic Porsche 911 than the Panamera.

Porsche Mission E

The Mission E is a full plug-in electric car, like a Tesla Model S, but unlike Elon Musk’s brainchild, this car can deliver a 500km driving range, 600hp of power, a 0-100km/h time of 3.5 seconds and a 0-200km/h time of under 12 seconds. This power is down to two motors, one powering the front and another the rear wheels that combine to offer all-wheel drive and phenomenal grip when needed.

Porsche Mission E Concept

Despite its striking looks and aggressive low-slung stance, the car has four proper doors and four proper seats. This roomy, light cabin is a direct result of electrical propulsion. With no need for engine firewalls or transmission tunnels that eat into legroom, Porsche’s design team has really been given free rein and it shows.

Porsche Mission E Concept white

A swooping bridge-like center console separates the front seats while the virtual dashboard panel uses eye and motion tracking technology to place digital representations of dials within the driver’s eyeline at all times.

Porsche Mission E Concept side

This sounds gimmicky but it’s anything but. Like the effect on an iPhone’s display — images and content appear to move as the handset turns — the information on the display has a 3D-like nature that bends so that no matter how the seats are set up or the steering wheel is tilted or extended, the information on the display is never obscured or anything less than crystal clear for the driver.

Porsche Mission E Concept interior

Likewise the virtual wing mirrors that are actually images captured by camera and projected into space where physical mirrors would be located actually offer a clearer, wider and sharper view while drastically improving the car’s drag coefficient.

Porsche Mission E Concept dashboard

What is gimmicky, however, is the camera in the rear view mirror that attempts to assess the driver’s mood and represent it as an emoticon on the dashboard.

Porsche Mission E Concept seats

But by far the most impressive thing about the car is that something very similar is destined for production within the next two years.

Porsche Mission E Concept back

All of the drivetrain and electric motor technology has already been tested and proven via Porsche’s racing program and the company claims that the battery can be charged to 80% – or 400km of range – within 15 minutes.

Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo

Bugatti reveals Vision supersports car

Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo

With the Veyron era having drawn to a close, Bugatti has unveiled the Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo at Frankfurt.

Designed as a concept for the PlayStation video game Gran Turismo, the Vision show car is also indicative of Bugatti’s intentions for the future.

“Given the nature of the project, our concept car is overstated and pushes performance to the limits,” said Achim Anscheidt, head of the Bugatti design team, “but its progressive design language will clearly show the direction that Bugatti’s design will take in the coming years.”

Nonetheless, key differences exist between the Vision GT and the next Bugatti production model.

“For Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo, we’ve geared every parameter to maximum performance, unlike with our production car, where it goes without saying that comfort and easy handling are also key factors,” explained head of chassis development Florian Umbach.

Vehicles previously designed and released for 2013 PlayStation 3 game “Gran Turismo 6” include the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo, Alpine Vision Gran Turismo, Lexus LF-LC GT Vision Gran Turismo, Mini Clubman Vision Gran Turismo, BMW Vision Gran TurismoVolkswagen GTI Roadster Vision Gran Turismo, and Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo.

2015 bugatti vision gran turismo fromt2015 bugatti vision gran turismo side2015 bugatti vision gran turismo2015 bugatti vision gran turismo interior2015 bugatti vision gran turismo back

Nissan Crossover Concept

Nissan teases crossover concept

Nissan Crossover Concept

The company behind Europe’s most popular SUV-esque cars — the Qashqai and the Juke —  is planning something that blends 4×4 style with dynamic performance for the Frankfurt motorshow on September 17.

Nissan is being very coy about what exactly to expect from its latest concept other than it will “continue to innovate and move the bar higher” in the crossover market.

However, the car is most likely to be a sports-focused model that will adopt the company’s ‘Z’ premium performance badge.

As such when a production model based on the concept goes on sale in 2017 it will blend all of the styling cues of a crossover with the speed more usually associated with a sports coupe.

To date, Nissan has sold over 2.5 million crossovers in Europe alone and the new concept is part of the company’s plan to make the segment even more appealing to even more drivers.

Peugeot teases Fractal concept for Frankfurt [VIDEO]

 has officially revealed the Fractal concept coupe. The “electric urban coupe” is set to make its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Peugeot Fractal has been designed to engage a driver’s ears and sense of touch as well as simply being easy on the eyes.

Peugeot Fractal Concept

It’s an electrically powered coupé that comes with its own theme tune, created by sound engineer Amon Tobin, which plays whenever the car’s doors are remotely opened via its smartwatch app. But that’s just the start.

Much research has been done on how acoustics and auricular stimulation can heighten an experience or make it more immersive or memorable. Yet, when it comes to the automobile, the focus is often on stopping sound from penetrating the cabin or on tuning the exhaust note.

Peugeot Fractal Concept

Not so with the Fractal. It puts auditory perception front and center. So the sound system is designed to give sound depth and direction which makes it easier to process when heard, something that can be of critical importance while using a navigation system.

“The spatialization of sound sources allows the driver to absorb and understand information more effectively and easily,” explained Vincent Roussarie, New Acoustic Services specialist, PSA Peugeot Citroёn.

Peugeot Fractal Concept

It also means that listening to music takes on a new dimension. The bass frequencies from songs pass through the cabin’s solid materials so that the listener perceives them in the inner ear via his or her own body.

But as well as clear navigation instructions and faithful reproductions of a Spotify playlist, the electric  — and therefore almost silent — car also broadcasts sound effects to alert other road users such as pedestrians and cyclists that it’s in the vicinity. And these sound effects change based on whether the car’s accelerating, slowing down or cruising.

Peugeot Fractal Concept

Away from sound effects, the car also engages the driver’s sense of touch and sight via a holographic head-up display and tactile feedback from cabin surfaces and switchgear.

And while it’s just a concept, it should also be enjoyable to drive. The Fractal’s hard top is removable, and, although it’s designed to seat four, the vehicle’s compact, city-focused dimensions — 3.81m long and just 1.77m wide — plus the fact that it has a wheel at each corner will make it very nimble and agile, even on the most crowded or busy of roads.

Peugeot Fractal Concept

Add to that the fact that it’s very lightweight and uses electric motors to power all four wheels and output up to 204hp and it promises to handle and go like a go-kart for up to 450km on a single charge.

Peugeot says the Fractal is only a concept, but they do mention it represents a prospective design for an electric urban coupe/cabriolet model.

Peugeot Fractal Concept

BMW Concept M4 GTS

BMW introduces Concept M4 GTS in Pebble Beach

BMW Concept M4 GTS

The BMW Concept M4 GTS unveiled in Monterey ahead of the official start of this year’s Concours d’Elegance is a track-focused yet road-legal take on the already potent M4 coupe. And while the company might be calling it a concept, make no mistake: this car will be going into production.

And, just as importantly for BMW drivers in general, rather than simply the lap-record setting obsessed, a number of this car’s technological tricks will be filtering down to the company’s wider range.

BMW Concept M4 GTS

The coolest of these tricks is a water injection system. Spraying water vapor into the engine ahead of the fuel cools everything down.

Colder air is denser, meaning that the subsequent combustion of the fuel is more potent and powerful and that means that turbo boost pressure can also be dialed up even more.

In layman’s terms it means that the engine has extra power or extra fuel efficiency but without having to increase or reduce that engine’s size or capacity. It’s an ingenious idea.

BMW Concept M4 GTS

As is swapping the traditional rear headlamps for OLED units, which are brighter and quicker to react than LEDs, and one light unit can be programmed to produce the several different colors needed to tell those behind whether you’re stopping, turning left or backing up.

BMW Concept M4 GTS

The car boasts manually adjustable carbon fiber front splitter and rear wing so that it can be set up ‘just right’ for different track events (or driving on the road) and sits on special lightweight alloy wheels. In a further bid to improve handling, the hood is plastic-reinforced carbon fiber; as well as cutting weight and increasing rigidity, the use of the composite lowers the car’s center of gravity, crucial for driving close to the limits.

BMW Concept M4 GTS

One thing that the company hasn’t revealed is the car’s vital performance statistics. The ‘standard’ flagship BMW M4 Coupe can go from 0-100kph in 4.3 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph (250kph). So the GTS will have to be something special indeed if it’s to better those numbers when it goes into production.

Hyundai Vision G Concept Coupe

Hyundai unveils Vision G Concept Coupe

Hyundai Vision G Concept Coupe

Hyundai unveiled a new concept car, the Vision G Coupe at an evening event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“The concept was designed with coordinated input from Hyundai design studios around the world, but was led by our team here in the U.S.,” said Peter Schreyer, Hyundai’s president and chief design officer.

“The design is our interpretation of the idea that Hyundai breathes into all of its vehicles — a DNA that balances design and performance with the idea that you don’t need to be over the top in terms of glitz and stereotypical luxury cues.”

Instead, the designers focused on the term ‘chivalry’ as a touchstone for aesthetic decision making. Therefore although the car’s lines are strong, they flow gently rather than aggressively and particular focus has been paid to the cabin.

Hyundai Vision G Concept Coupe Interior

“After all — and if all is right in the world — the only time an owner sees the exterior of the car is when it’s standing still,” said Christopher Chapman, head of Hyundai’s US design center and leader of the coupe’s design team.

The way in which both Hyundai and fellow Korean brand Kia have gone about developing and improving every aspect of their vehicle line-ups over recent years — from brand perception to design and reliability — is nothing short of remarkable.

The latest JD Power Initial Quality Study, published in June, highlights the huge lead these companies have built over their competition in the US market in terms of reliability.

Hyundai Vision G Concept Coupe back

“For so long, Japanese brands have been viewed by many as the gold standard in vehicle quality. While the Japanese automakers continue to make improvements, we’re seeing other brands, most notably Korean makes, really accelerating the rate of improvement.”

“Leading companies are not only stepping up the pace of improvements on existing models, but are also working up front to launch vehicles with higher quality and more intuitive designs,” said Renee Stephens, VP of US automotive quality at JD Power, in response to the study’s findings.

And now that Hyundai has built such a strong foundation, mounting a challenge in the premium automobile segment should be easy, especially if the cars it produces take a cue from the Vision G Concept Coupe.

all-electric R8 e-tron supercar

Audi R8 e-tron in self-driving CES Asia debut

all-electric R8 e-tron supercar

Electric concept car, the Audi R8 e-tron, is being introduced to attendees at CES Asia in Shanghai with a range of extras that make it capable of autonomous driving.

A raft of extras augment the recent Geneva Motor Show’s Audi R8 e-tron, including a laser scanner, video cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radar sensors, all of which help the Piloted Driving Concept understand its surroundings.

Autonomous Audi R8 e-tron

Those additional gadgets form part of a vehicle that can go 0 to 100km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds, knocks out 340 kW of power, and has a driving range of 450km (279.6 mi) according to Audi figures.

CES Asia runs May 25-27, 2015.

BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage teaser image

BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage Concept Coming Soon

BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage teaser image

BMW has announced that its big concept car reveal for this year’s event will be a modern-day interpretation of its formidable 3.0 CSL coupe of the 1970s — the car which really established the company’s racing credentials.

Every year, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, an event that is equal parts incredible scenery and fabulously rare and exotic classic car show, thanks to its location on the banks of Lake Como, Italy, honors a particular aspect, decade, model or marque in automotive history.

And 2015 will be no exception because when the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este opens its doors to the public on May 22, it will do so to celebrate the jet-setting style of the 1970s.

Therefore, it should come as little surprise that the BMW 3.0CSL will be one of the potential stars of this year’s event.

With its exaggerated chin spoiler, huge rear wing and massive, flared rear air intakes, it not only dominated touring car and endurance racing, the BMW 3.0 CSL was also the first car built by the company that children wanted to pin to their bedroom walls alongside posters of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches.

Alexander Calder BMW Art Car

The 3.0CSL was also the very first ‘Art Car’. In 1975, US artist Alexander Calder decided to use one as a canvas and by the end of the decade, Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and Roy Lichtenstein had also followed suit.

This year’s event will see those initial Art Cars reunited for the first time alongside the most recent effort, from Jeff Koons. All of which will provide the perfect backdrop for this year’s show concept.

Called the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage and thus far merely teased with cropped images, it promises to be a modern-day reimagining of the iconic coupe, complete with the spoilers and air intakes.

But as well as capturing the original car’s looks, BMW’s design team claim that the new concept also reflects the original’s philosophy.

 BMW 3.0 CSL

The 3.0 CSL Hommage will be seriously lightweight and stripped back, thanks to carbon fiber and every feature inside and out will be there to serve a clear purpose rather than to serve an aesthetic need.

Very few show cars that BMW brings to the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este ever go close to becoming a production reality.

However, the company is strongly tipped to be resurrecting the CSL nameplate as a sub brand to distinguish its most extreme, stripped-back race-focused road cars of the future.

Bistro du Lion food truck

Peugeot Design shows an ingenious foodtruck

Bistro du Lion food truck

French car manufacturer Peugeot has unveiled a revolutionary new food truck, called “Le Bistro du Lion” created with its eponymous Design Lab.

The concept is much more than just a stripped out and refitted van. Instead, working from a brief that demanded a complete dining experience, the foodtruck literally splits in two to create a kitchen and a dining space.

Coffee food truck

“We wanted to create a complete food truck experience, not only creating a kitchen for the chef but a restaurant and cafe for the customers.”

“A lot of attention was given to opening up the kitchen and allowing the chef and food preparation to be as close to the public as possible,” Cathal Loughnane, Head of Peugeot Design Lab.

“We also wanted to create a real sense of surprise as the compact Peugeot Foodtruck transforms into an amphitheatre-like dining space.”

The truck will be put into active service, first at Milan Design Week, which opens its doors to the public on April 14 and then will be taking up residence at the French pavilion of the 2015 Milan Expo.

As such, Peugeot partnered with leading French foodtruck builder Euromag to make sure the concept is up to the task and meets all health, safety and hygiene regulations.

Bistro du Lion

The food preparation area is pro-grade featuring two grill plates, four induction burners, a deep fryer, a 400-liter under-floor cold store for food and a 350-liter fridge for drinks and a top-of-the-range espresso machine.

The truck can offer standing room for 30 customers at a time, shaded by parasols and entertained by an integrated DJ booth and a widescreen display that relays a live feed of the chefs at work in the kitchen.

Peugeot also claims that the truck has been set up to “recuperate and recycle all waste” so that nothing is left behind when it hits the road again.

Henrik Fisker Thunderbolt

Aston Martin Thunderbolt Concept by Henrik Fisker

Henrik Fisker Thunderbolt

Henrik Fisker revealed a new design study based on the Aston Martin Vanquish coupe at the 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

The new car is called the “Thunderbolt”, and officially it’s still a concept though a limited production run could – and likely will be initiated

The exterior, which favors angles over curves, is almost entirely carbon fiber — except the curved roof, which is tinted glass.

Henrik Fisker Thunderbolt interior

The front and rear headlamps are also bespoke, as is the rear wraparound windshield. Look hard enough and the Vanquish is still there, but so too are all of Fisker’s famous design approaches.

“I wanted to create an elegant beautiful GT sports coupe, with pure emotional sculpture, that would stay timeless,” said Fisker.

The front grille is much larger and more pronounced, as is the brightwork and the car does look elegant yet slightly menacing, sitting some 15mm lower to the ground than a normal Vanquish and on 21-inch alloy wheels.

Henrik Fisker Thunderbolt side

Inside, the leather trim is courtesy of premium Italian furniture makers, Natuzzi; there’s a special skeleton Chronograph clock in the center console built by Swiss watch maker Maurice Lacroix, and it is the first car in the world to feature a curved, free-standing touchscreen.

The 11.6-inch display is a prototype designed to be viewable without glare at any angle, developed by Panasonic in collaboration with Fisker.

Henrik Fisker Thunderbolt curved display

Fisker has no official plans to put the Thunderbolt into production, although he said this week that a positive response to the concept could see a limited number built for customers.

 

Geneva 2015 Aston Martin DBX Concept

Geneva 2015: Top 10 concept cars

This year’s concepts, just like the latest production models on show, are all about luxury, speed, environmental consideration and crossover appeal.

The Aston Martin DBX Concept

Geneva 2015 Aston Martin DBX Concept

One of the very few surprises at this year’s show – an Aston Martin that’s got four-wheel drive, is a crossover, seats four in comfort, and is propelled forward by batteries, rather than a V12 engine. Company boss Dr Andy Palmer says that part of the idea behind the concept is to make Aston appealing to new types of client, particularly women.

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6

Geneva 2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6

Described as the vision for the marque’s future, this is a seriously fast, seriously luxurious two-seat coupé and one that, if introduced as a production model, would sit alongside the company’s existing range of cars.

Nissan Sway Concept

Geneva 2015 Nissan Sway Concept

The Japanese company has finally called time on the quirky bubbly shape of the Micra and realized that cutting-edge design is something all drivers of all types of car desire. It even makes a Ford Fiesta look old fashioned.

The Seat 20V20 Concept Car

Geneva 2015 Seat 20V20 Concept Car

This concept serves as an appetizer for a main course that the company is going to serve as early as 2016 – an off-roader (its first ever) that takes styling cues from the Leon. But that’s not all, going forward all new Seats will be designed to look like the Leon, which is now its most popular car.

Lexus LF-SA Concept

Geneva 2015 Lexus LF-SA Concept

This car looks like it’s been chiselled from a lump of metal by a Cylon from TV show “Battlestar Galactica,” but its love it or hate it styling should be embraced. Why can’t a small car have a personality as well as offer practicality. This is only a concept but it shows that Lexus really wants to bring a luxurious competitor to a market currently dominated by the Mini, Fiat 500 and Audi A1.

Quant Quantino

Geneva 2015 Quant Quantino

The company behind the Quantino, nanoFLOWCELL claims to have found a way of making electric cars as potent as their gas rivals and capable of traveling almost as far between charges. The Quantino is compact with room for four, is capable of travellng 620 miles on a single charge and of achieving a top speed of 124mph. Unlike other concepts from the company, nanoFLOWCELL claims that the Quantino will be hitting the road for real before the end of 2015.

DS Divine

Geneva 2015 DS Divine

Ok, the Divine made its debut at the Paris autoshow but it still looks just as good six months later. Newly independent brand DS has made it clear that this car is simply a mobile mood board to signpost future design direction. The Divine won’t be going into production. That’s a huge pity.

Volkswagen Sport Coupe GTE concept

Geneva 2015 Volkswagen Sport Coupe GTE concept

The car, which gets high marks for its looks, also signals VW’s intention to continue with its CC line of four-door coupés that blend practicality with excitement.

The Infiniti QX30 Concept

Geneva 2015  Infiniti QX30 Concept

This infinitely smaller than normal Infiniti is the clearest sign yet that luxury carmakers are moving their focus to the small crossover segment. The QX3à shows that Infiniti’s design language does transfer easily on to a smaller vehicle and the level of fit, finish and trim suggests that this car is ready to go into production.

The Kahn Design Flying Huntsman 110WB 6×6

Geneva 2015 Kahn Design Flying Huntsman 110WB 6x6

What sets this apart from a host of customized off-roaders on show at this year’s event — apart from its six wheels — is that Kahn has built a new body for the car, one with a much longer hood and a panoramic glass roof. The windshield angle is also more rakish and the interior a huge step up on the standard Defender in every way. If it ever goes into production, armor plating will be on the options list.

Aston Martin DBX

Official: Aston Martin DBX Concept

Aston Martin DBX

Aston Martin is making a huge statement of future intent with its new DBX concept, which it unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday.

The first car ever to come out of the company’s facilities to boast all-wheel drive and electric power, Aston Martin claims that the car is intended to redefine the concept of the luxury GT car.

Aston Martin DBX SUV

This is a huge change of direction from the company who until today favored 6-liter, 12 cylinder engines for powering its sportscars, supercars and luxury GTs. But, as well as a nod to more sustainable personal mobility, the new concept also recognizes the importance of the styling and practicality that a crossover provides.

With the notable exceptions of Ferrari and McLaren, all of Aston Martin’s other serious competitors — from BMW to Bentley and from Porsche to Lamborghini — have or are developing larger SUV-inspired cars.

Aston Martin DBX interior

The DBX offers the same elevated driving position, large wheels, ground clearance and bulging wheel arches and increased luggage space, but is still unmistakably an Aston Martin coupe.

Since gaining its independence from Ford, Aston Martin has struggled to compete with its closest rivals on any level other than attention to detail, exterior design and craftsmanship.

Aston Martin DBX side

Its once glorious engines are now showing their age against the latest turbocharged V8s being used by McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz, and some of the company’s in-car technologies pre-date the iPhone.

However, thanks to a partnership with Mercedes-Benz, the company will now have access to cutting-edge V8 engines and a host of other toys.

The unveiling of the DBX shows that the deal is already helping the company to start thinking outside the box again.

Chinese car fish tank

Chinese car boasts tank in back seat

Chinese car fish tank

Combine a fish tank and a driverless car and what do you get? The WitStar, an autonomous electric vehicle from China’s GAC.

The concept car, which was on display at the Detroit auto show, also boasts a wooden floor and swish front seats that swivel around so the family can enjoy the sight of the fish all together — all while in transit.

“In southern China, water means fortune and wealth,” Tang Xiaojian, studio engineer for the ambitious Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group, told AFP. “So many people will have a fish tank in their home.

WitStar fish tank

“So in this concept, the interior will feel like your living room at home.”

But asked the likelihood of the fish tank staying when the WitStar is one day produced, Tang said: “The final product — maybe not because you need to keep the water in the tank clean.”

WitStar

And when will the driverless WitStar make it to market? “Every company is developing autonomous cars, but probably it will take a long time.”

Alpine Vision Gran Turismo photo

This is the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo concept

Alpine Vision Gran Turismo photo

The latest digital concept car created for the long-running PlayStation game franchise also offers a taste of things to come from Renault.

The Alpine Vision Gran Turismo boasts a virtual 5-liter 450hp V8 engine, which will push the carbon-fiber-clad car to a top speed of 320km/h.

DON’T MISS: MERCEDES REVEALS ‘GRAN TURISMO’ VISION

Alpine Vision GT

It also offers next to no creature comforts at all, whatsoever — even the roof has been sacrificed for the greater performance-focused good.

However, though this car will exist only within the “Gran Turismo” game when it becomes available to download as a bonus vehicle in the coming days, the way it handles and performs will point to the characteristics of Alpine’s upcoming road car, its first for 20 years.

Alpine Vision Gran Turismo

“This virtual concept car bridges the gap between the Alpine A450 race car and the 21st Century Berlinetta. It was important to define this vehicle by imbuing it with the true Alpine genes. In terms of performance, it slots between the LM P2 endurance racing prototype and our forthcoming sportscar. If you look carefully, you may discern some of the handling characteristics of our future road-going model, while at the same time retaining features specific to the prototypes that compete at Le Mans,” said Alpine chassis development engineer Terry Baillon.

Alpine Vision GT cabin

And as well as a sense of performance, the virtual car also holds a number of clues as to how the upcoming road car will look.

So expect something sleek and angular but with a proper cockpit and room for a driver and passenger.

Alpine Vision GT back

Alpine will this week unveil a full-scale model of the video game car, but it isn’t expected to take the wraps off its new real-world sportscar until some time in 2016.

ferrari sergio

Ferrari Sergio officially revealed

ferrari sergio

To mark the 60th anniversary of its partnership with Pininfarina, Ferrari is building six bespoke supercars based on the Sergio concept car.

When Pininfarina took the wraps off its incredibly bold, incredibly stripped back Sergio concept at the Geneva motor show in 2013 the reaction was such that it looked that it would only be a matter of time until Ferrari bent to its biggest fans’ wishes and put the roadster into limited production.

Pininfarina Sergio Concept

The concept car was created to celebrate the 60th year of its partnership with Ferrari and to remember the achievements of Sergio Pininfarina.

Sergio led the design studio from 1966 to 2001 following the death of its father, and remained on the board until his own passing in 2012.

ferrari sergio side

Sergio’s flair for exterior aesthetics was only matched by his deep-rooted understanding of engineering. It was his badgering of Enzo Ferrari that led to Ferrari adopting a mid-engine layout and is why the two companies are now synonymous with each other; every Ferrari that rolls out of the Modena plant carries both the Prancing Horse and Pininfarina badges.

The production version of the Sergio is close to the concept model in terms of appearance and proportions. It is a permanent open-top roadster however, unlike the concept model, Ferrari has opted for a windshield.

ferrari sergio interior

This nod to comfort has not in any way diluted its track focus. Every angle, curve and duct of its exterior is about channeling or maximizing performance, but without offending the eye. And inside it’s a similar story, the cockpit is focused on simplicity as to not distract the driver.

And concentration will be needed in massive quantities. Under the hood is Ferrari’s now legendary 605hp normally aspirated 5-liter V8. The same engine that catapults the 458 Italia from a standstill to 100km/h in 3 seconds and which promises even more dynamism in this body shell.

ferrari sergio back

The first Ferrari Sergio is destined for the SBH Royal Auto Gallery in the UAE, at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, and the remaining five examples are currently being hand-built based on their clients’ individual tastes.

SpongeBob Movie 2015 Toyota Sienna

Toyota reveals SpongeBob concept car

SpongeBob Movie 2015 Toyota Sienna

 and Nickelodeon have teamed up to create a one-off SpongeBob concept for the Los Angeles Auto Show.

SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the world’s few truly global and instantly recognizable cultural icons and Toyota has done everything it can to bring the character to life in vehicular form.

The windshield is adorned with his eyes and buck-toothed grin and the roof features his Superhero Incredibubble mask and blows real bubbles.

SpongeBob Movie 2015 Toyota Sienna interior

Inside, the car has a blue, wood-grain dashboard and a ship’s rather than a car’s steering wheel and each of the seats references one of SpongeBob’s friends.

Even the flooring mats get a sand-colored and textured finish.

Following its LA Auto Show global reveal, the one-of-a-kind car will be heading off on a US promotional tour to publicize the next SpongeBob SquarePants film, due out in February.

 

Honda FCV Concept

Honda debuts new hydrogen fuel cell concept

Honda FCV Concept

 has unveiled its FCV concept, heralding the manufacture of a new sedan to be launched in 2016.

Honda promises that the FCV Concept (Fuel Cell Vehicle) can travel 300 miles (or more than 480 km) on a single tank of hydrogen and be refueled in under five minutes.

The production model (claiming approx. 130 hp) will comfortably seat up to five people and will be launched in Japan and North America first.

Honda has already launched a very limited edition fuel cell electric sedan in Japan and in the US: the FCX Clarity.

This year at the LA Auto Show, Honda is expected to provide details on its plans to expand its public hydrogen refueling station network in the US.

Emitting only water vapor, fuel cell electric vehicles produce zero carbon emissions.

Bentley Grand Convertible concept

Bentley Grand Convertible Concept: First Look

Bentley Grand Convertible concept

 has unveiled the stunning Grand Convertible concept, ahead of its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

“With this car we combine the opulent Mulsanne experience with the full sensory indulgence of open-air touring, continuing to unite luxury and performance in new ways,” said Bentley Chairman and CEO, Wolfgang Dürheimer, at the car’s unveiling in Los Angeles.

“We will ensure that this car — if it reaches the roads — will be a highly exclusive, extremely limited collector’s piece.”

DON’T MISS: BENTLEY SUV COMING LATE 2015

Bentley Grand Convertible

The Grand Convertible is powered by Bentley’s formidable 530bhp 6 3/4-liter twin-turbo V8, so progress will be as rapid as it is stylish.

Although the company is keeping quiet about exact performance figures, this engine catapults the Mulsanne from 0-62mph (100kph) in a little over 5 seconds and on to a top speed of 184mph (296kph).

But if you do end up taking delivery of a Grand Convertible — ignore the false modesty, this car will be going into production — you will want to drive it slowly in order to enjoy its interior comforts for as long as possible.

SEE ALSO: BENTLEY MULSANNE SPEED UNVEILED

Bentley Grand Convertible wood interior

Its 4 seats are wrapped in 14 naturally tanned leather hides, hand-matched and merged together with Bentley’s trademark diamond quilting needlework, which subtly changes size as the pattern progresses through the cabin.

A sequin blue (to match the bespoke exterior paint color) cross thread acts as a subtle contrast and is also hand-stitched into the leather.

All Bentleys are a soothing sea of wood, leather and chromed brightwork but the Grand Convertible takes things up a notch with the tonneau (the panel that covers the roof when down).

Bentley Grand Convertible interior

The biggest individual piece of wood veneer ever fitted to a Bentley, the book-matched mirror-finished walnut burr piece is shaped entirely by hand.

Peugeot Quartz

Top 10 concept cars at the 2014 Paris Motor Show

We’ve picked out 10 of the best concepts on display at the Paris Motor Show 2014 for you to enjoy!

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Peugeot Quartz

Peugeot Quartz

If you thought that the current Peugeot 3008 was lacking in substance, style or personality, good news. The next generation people carrier-cum-SUV is taking this as its inspiration as Peugeot aims to offer a European alternative to the Nissan Qashqai.

Toyota C-HR Concept

Toyota C-HR Concept

And it’s not just European carmakers that have taken note of the Nissan Qashqai’s popularity: Toyota’s latest SUV concept shows that it too is planning a challenge. Toyota promises that a number of the C-HR’s styling cues will carry over to a production model, as will the hybrid powertrain.

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration

This is just a concept, but Infiniti has very definite plans to build something very much like the Q80 Inspiration as a competitor to the BMW 6 Series, Mercedes CLS and the Porsche Panamera. Let’s hope the real-world version stays as close to the concept as possible.

Audi TT Sportbreak concept

Audi TT Sportbreak concept

The sportsbreak or four-door coupe shape is one of the most in-demand motoring designs and this Audi concept shows how suited the TT is to being stretched and being made more practical. This car is just a feasibility study away from going into production. Audi’s executives claim that they’ve already received orders for the car if it ever gets built.

Maserati Ghibli Ermenegildo Zegna Edition Concept

Maserati Ghibli Ermenegildo Zegna Edition Concept

Of all the cars on this list, the Ghibli concept is the most likely to be hitting the road. ITs interior styling, choice of fabrics, colours and textures have all been selected by Ermenegildo Zegna (left) and if it does go on sale, it will be as a strictly limited edition.

Volkswagen XL Sport

Volkswagen XL Sport

This is what happens when you take the world’s most aerodynamic, fuel efficient car and rip out all of the clever hybrid technology and replace it with the two-cylinder engine from a Ducati superbike – 0-100kph in 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 300kph (186mph).

Citroën Urban Ride Concept

Citroën Urban Ride Concept

Proving that any car, no matter how small, can be turned into an SUV, the Urban Ride concept is based on the new Citroen C1 and the company is letting visitors to this year’s event vote on its looks. If enough people like it, it’s going into production.

Honda Civic Type R Concept

Honda Civic Type R Concept

Honda is calling this a concept because it’s still ironing out details but the Type R is heading to European roads very, very soon and it promises to be faster and more extreme than pretty much any hot hatch currently available. Its 2-liter turbocharged engine is capable of putting out 278bhp.

The Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 – LP

Asterion

Lamborghini claims that its first hybrid creates an entirely new segment of car – the Hyper Cruiser. The Asterion uses a V10 and two electric motors to generate 910hp, a 200mph top speed and electrifying acceleration. Yet it promises to be as comfortable, spacious and well behaved on the road as any big GT tourer. If it does go into production, the company won’t be able to keep up with demand.

SsangYong XIV Air

SsangYong XIV Air

This car’s targa roof comes off to bring its occupants closer to nature and the interior’s design is inspired by the natural world, from gentle breezes to the flight of birds. It’s good to see a company trying something truly different in its attempts to apply crossover or SUV design features to smaller cars.

Lamborghini Asterion concept paris

Lamborghini Asterion Plug-In Hybrid Concept Debuts

Lamborghini Asterion concept paris

The Italian supercar maker has taken the wraps off a new, more environmentally friendly concept at the Paris motorshow, which it claims creates an entirely new category of dream car.

The Asterion is called a Hyper Cruiser because it’s too fast to be a GT car and too spacious and borderline practical to be a supercar or hypercar.

Whatever the company wants to call it, one thing is clear, even though it is a concept, it is aesthetically flawless, from its curved nose that evokes memories of the Miura and 400GT to its three-section rear engine panel and rear light cluster that ties it into the company’s current design language and the lines of its current flagship Aventador V12, the platform of which was the starting point for the Asterion.

Lamborghini Asterion concept paris

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But as well as attempting to coin a new category, the car’s drivetrain is also a first, for Lamborghini anyway, because it is a hybrid.

Up front there are two electric engines, one powering each of the front wheels, while power to the rear wheels is derived from a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10. When running in unison the result is 910hp.

That means a 0-100km/h time of 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 320kmh. But it can also drive on electric power alone –for 50km anyway and at speeds of up to 125km/h.

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Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 Front

As such, it is the last of the dream car builders to adopt hybrid power. At last year’s Geneva Motor Show the supercar stars were all hybrid — the McLaren P1, the Ferrari LaFerrari, and the Porsche 918 Spyder.

However, Lamborghini believes that hybrids aren’t the answer to keeping both the supercar industry and the Earth alive. It thinks that continuing to cut weight and using turbochargers is the way forward.

SEE ALSO: LAMBORGHINI INSECTA CONCEPT

Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 Interior

“Lamborghini continues to focus on weight reduction as a means to reducing CO2, for example through the investment in carbon fiber engineering, which also contributes to our quest for the best super sports car handling and performance.”

“To significantly reduce emissions on a car in this moment however, plug-in electrification is the best option for us, because for Lamborghini such a car must still provide a truly emotional driving experience,” said Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini as the car was unveiled to the world’s media on Wednesday evening.

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Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 Rear

In the past the company has called for special dispensation for supercars, saying that they shouldn’t have to meet the same emissions and environmental legislation that normal cars have to, because they’re special.

Even now, as beautiful as the Asterion LPI 910-4 – LP (to give it its full name) is, it’s something of a compromise: it’s bigger and roomier because the powertrain takes up more space and that larger, more spacious cabin changes the car’s driving dynamics. Hence calling it a Hyper Cruiser.