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A tall order to say the least, former British brand MG hopes to find its roots while finding a “next breed of sports car.”
Every new auto show brings another exciting round of wild concept cars. But do these ideas ever make it to reality?
Some do, but many don’t – or they’re so “evolved” that you wouldn’t recognize them. As a result, it’s often tough to get excited about these often far-flung concepts.
Originally slated to hit dealerships, historically, many get dropped from the lineup before they ever see the production line. Here are some of the very best concepts, that are now just collecting dust.
The most interesting of the three cars is the ”Yundong Shuangqing” concept, seen above. It features the company’s usual blue badge, signaling that it is a hybrid. In fact, the “Yundong Shuangqing” features technology from Toyota’s Chinese research and development center, lending it a bit of a local flavor.
“We would like to put smiles on the faces of our Chinese customers with hybrid technology.” said Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Company President. “I want the people of China to be able to experience the beauty of hybrid technology through a hybrid car born in China.”
The other concepts that were unveiled today were the “Toyota Dear Qin” sedan and hatchback. Both cars are considered a part of Toyota’s global-strategic concept. Toyota claims they are designed in order to attract more people to the brand. You can see all three concepts in the gallery below.
GALLERY: Toyota Beijing 2012 Concepts
Looking to double sales in China over the next three years, Honda has announced it will introduce more than 10 all-new or replacement models in the world’s largest car market during that period.
The Japanese automaker has already released teaser images of two of those models ahead of a planned debut at the Auto China motor show in Beijing later this month. The first appears to be a hatchback or van, while the second looks to be a sedan version of the Accord Coupe Concept first shown at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.
Honda says all of its China-market models will shift to use its next-generation Earth Dreams Technology engines. In the mean time, Honda has announced the launch of three of its hybrid models in China: the CR-Z, Insight and Fit Hybrid. Honda will also launch the new 2013 RDX in China as well as the ILX, while the RLX will go on sale next year. In addition, Honda is planning smaller sized engines for many of models based on demand for such product in the country
Honda will announce more at the start of the Beijing Motor Show on April 23rd, with doors opening to the public on April 27th.
GALLERY: Honda Beijing Concepts
Nissan is trying to stay at the forefront of the rapidly-progressing electric vehicle market by announcing a plug-in version of their compact van today at the Detroit Auto Show, the e-NV200.
“A potential game changing vehicle in its segment, the battery capacity will support a driving range similar to the Nissan LEAF, while payload and cargo space will offer the same level as the current NV200. The production version would be targeted mainly at businesses, but also at private users or families in major regions,” Nissan corporate vice president, Hideto Murakami said in a press release.
The concept takes cues from the Leaf. “The Nissan e-NV200 Concept is a standout design, sharing the iconic EV look established by the Nissan LEAF but in a modern, active, functional commercial vehicle form,” said Murakami.
The fact remains that this is just a concept, so exterior and interior features have a lot of room to grow, though it makes sense that the company would borrow heavily from their already existing EV formula. Some concepts are easier to take seriously than others, because as many of us know: concepts often remain on the auto show floor and the drawing board. That isn’t the case for the e-NV200, Nissan sayas they are already conducting tests and preparing it for the real world.
The initial trial took place last year during the summer with the Japan Post Service and the company is continued that work in London with FedEx starting last month.
While cars with a range close to the current Leaf’s capacity will be good for deliveries in cities where routes are short and fleets are big, the reality is that charging times and the cost per vehicle may be prohibitive for small businesses who run frequent deliveries, even with federal tax credits.
The gasoline NV200 is produced in Japan, Europe and China and available in 40 countries, but currently not sold in the U.S. Americans can look forward, however, to seeing the NV200 late next year in New York City as taxi cabs.
GALLERY: Nissan e-NV200
Statistics gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that 700 of 7,000 traffic related fatalities in 2008 were caused by drivers that failed to stop at red traffic lights. What’s more, the red light offenders and the victims involved in the accident (whether passengers, pedestrians, or the driver of the other vehicle) share a near equal, 50/50, chance of fatality.
Determined to eliminate this danger, researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed an algorithm used to predict the likelihood of an oncoming vehicle of running a red traffic light. According to MIT’s aeronautics and astronautics professor, Jonathan How, the growing multitude of active safety advanced telematics systems could benefit from algorithms that prevent drivers from getting into accidents.
The algorithm was developed by Georges Aoude, a former student of How, and applies parameters that can rate a vehicle’s rate of deceleration and distance from the traffic light at intersections to determine whether a vehicle is likely to run the light. If this algorithm becomes widely accepted by multiple automakers, calculated data could be communicated from vehicle-to-vehicle. Professor How explains, “If you had some type of heads-up display for the driver, it might be something where the algorithms are analyzing and saying, ‘We’re concerned.’ Even though your light might be green, it may recommend you not go, because there are people behaving badly that you may not be aware of.”
A field test for the algorithm was conducted at an intersection in Virginia, and from the recorded results of 15,000 approaching vehicles, Georges Aoude’s algorithm achieved a hit rate of 85 percent. The determination of a red light offender is calculated a couple of seconds before the vehicle reaches the intersection, which researchers believed are sufficient to allow other drivers to react.
The research team is also developing the generation of a recommended response for the driver in the event that danger in the intersection is sensed. What’s more, there are plans to tweak the algorithm for the application of air traffic control.
[Source: New York Times]
Famed design house Bertone, of Lamborghini and Alfa Romeo fame, has given Jaguar a hint of Italian flair with the B 99 concept. Slated to be unveiled at Geneva, advance pictures have leaked and given us an idea of what it’ll look like.
The B 99 is what Bertone believes a modern Jaguar should look like, complementing the dramatic lines of the XF and new XJ, with a long, flowing hood and arrow-straight lines. The leaping cat is back in its rightful place on the hood as well, and the ovoid grille suggests the XK and its sporting ancestors.
Rumors from Coventry suggest that Jaguar is preparing a rival to the BMW 3-Series, and while there’s not much known about the extent of the collaboration between Bertone and Jaguar, this could foreshadow that upcoming car.
Click the jump for another picture of what will undoubtedly be one of the showstoppers of the Geneva show.
It’s generally thought that wild concept cars never make it to production. The truth is, most of the time the process just takes so long and there are so many changes involved that consumers don’t even recognize what a street car has in common with its concept from five years earlier.
That may, or may not, be the case when Mercedes sends its ultra-futuristic Biome concept into series production.
Set for some time around 2015, the car was originally crafted for the LA Auto Show’s annual Design Challenge, but Mercedes fulled the car at the last minute, choosing instead to enter just its Smart and Maybach branded concepts. According to a report by AutoCar, the vehicle’s designers were careful not to take it to the extreme, ensuring it could be, “do-able” without major changes.
If in fact the car does see production, it won’t sport the drivetrain from the concept, but is likely to be a flagship for performance and fuel economy, incorporating the company’s latest green technologies.
One interesting feature it may also keep is the central driving position, with a passenger seat at each side – much like the famed McLaren F1.
Little has been said about Subaru in the lead-up to the LA Auto Show, with the Japanese automaker keeping tight-lipped about future product plans. Now we’ve received a teaser image of what Subaru calls the Concept in Motion (CIM). While Subaru is working on a new coupe with Toyota (the FT-86/ FR-S / Toyobaru), several sources have indicated that it is actually a lightly veiled version of the next-generation Impreza.
The design certainly looks coupe-like, but so would a lot of other modern compact cars if you threw a drape over them – see the 2011 Elantra.
The image clearly highlights the fenders, an important part of every Subaru, as later WRX and STI models will no doubt get massively flared arches.
With Subaru having just launched the new 2011 WRX and STI, don’t look for those models for at least some time though. As for the Impreza production model, Subaru could bring it to market as early as the Detroit Auto Show in January, or wait for the NY Auto Show in April where the last Impreza was unveiled.
The car will likely be offered in both sedan and hatch form and feature Subaru’s all-new Boxer 4-cylinder engine mated to, you guess it, all wheel drive.
With the launch of the all-new Swift in other markets, we’ve heard rumors that Suzuki will eventually bring the small hatchback back to North America, and if this concept makes it to production, we’ll really be crossing our fingers.
Revealed well ahead of its planned official debut at the upcoming Beijing Auto Show, the Suzuki Swift R Concept takes inspiration from (where else) the GSX-R bikes. It sports an aggressive body kit, big fender flares and some larger and wider tires. To go along with there there’s a custom suspension.
No official engine specs have been released, but the Swift R is expected to be powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder making around 180-hp. Better yet, this little front-driver hot-hatch is also expected to get a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission – just one of the many ways Suzuki is benefiting from it’s tie-up with Volkswagen.
We’ll be sure to bring you more on this hot-hatch when we get it, but with the Beijing Auto Show not until April of next year, we’ll be waiting a while.
Ford is reportedly working on a four-door coupe for the European market and it’s not unthinkable that this stylish sedan could make its way to the U.S.
Based on the Mondeo mid-size sedan, this new model would help build brand image – something Ford of Europe is starting to do more of as it becomes more profitable. The model will be released alongside sedan and wagon versions of the next Mondeo when it debuts in 2012.
Apparently the new Mondeo will be more of a world-car platform, much like the upcoming Focus and Fiesta, both of which will hit U.S. shores soon.
Currently the car would only have one competitor in the U.S. marketplace, the Volkswagen CC, but as brands like Acura see the potential in the four-door coupe, perhaps by 2012 Ford will have several reasons to bring over its four-door coupe Mondeo.
And even if limited sales in North America prohibited building the car here, there is still a possibility that it could be assembled in Europe and shipped to North America. The added price would then be passed on to the consumer by badging the car as a Lincoln.