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Kia’s Rondo SX Concept Revealed at 2007 Chicago Auto Show

The ongoing Chicago Auto Show has seen great cars being unveiled one after the other. Most of the cars being shown at the said event are concept vehicles that will in the near future be available for the public. One such concept car that will have a long line of people waiting for its release is the Kia Rondo SX concept vehicle.

The concept car is based on the Kia Rondo unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November last year. The new concept vehicle is the realization of Kia of their “Exciting and Enabling” brand direction.

“We have positioned the all-new 2007 Rondo as a vehicle of function and versatility,” Len Hunt said. Hunt is the executive vice president and COO of Kia Motors America. “The Rondo SX Concept is proof that smart, spacious vehicles don’t need to be boring, and that consumers can still be passionate about a daily driver,” Hunt added further.

The concept car uses design elements that are employed by the current Kia SX models. The aggressive looking front and rear fascias are just some of the design characteristics that are being used by Kia models like the Rio and the Spectra. Aside from that, the concept crossover vehicle also employs sportier grill inserts. The addition of such design increases the aesthetic value of the vehicle.

To make the SX concept of the Rondo more aerodynamic, the roof rails present on other trim package of the Rondo were nowhere to be seen on the concept vehicle. The absence of the roof rails decreased dramatically the coefficient of drag of the vehicle. The door handles and side moldings are finished in contrasting colors which gives the car a soft and fashionable overall finish. The Kia Rondo SX Concept also comes with an accessory body kit which is also available on the other trim packages of the Rondo.

The interior of the concept vehicle exudes a sports car luxurious feel, thanks to the materials used and the finishes utilized. The black leather that wraps the steering wheel which is common on SX trim packages of other Kia models is also present in the Kia Rondo SX Concept. The seats, meanwhile, are upholstered in grey leather with red leather trimmings around the grey Alcantara inserts. Stainless steel sports pedals are employed by the SX concept and this departs from the black theme that the current Rondo models use on their brake pedals. The center stack, shifter surround, and the door switch trims are characterized by an accented platinum look.

The concept car is equipped with a 2.7 liter double overhead cam V6 engine. The powerplant is optimized via a cold-air intake and a cat-back exhaust system which reduces back pressure from the exiting exhaust gas. The use of the cat-back system allows a boost of 10 horsepower to the 192 horsepower output of the engine. The exhaust system allows the powerplant to perform at its optimum level, akin to what a Volvo muffler does for the exhaust system that employs it. The height of the Kia Rondo SX Concept is lower than that of the current models by three inches. The lowered ride height of the car increases the cornering capability of the car. The power from the engine is transferred to the vehicle’s five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels. And to effectively stop the vehicle, cross-drilled and slotted brake rotors are employed at the front and the rear brake system.

Aside from being a platform for the unveiling of the Kia Rondo SX Concept, the Chicago Auto Show also saw the Sedona, another Kia vehicle, receiving the distinction of being the best minivan according to MotorWeek.

The Intriguing BMW I8 Concept Car

There has never been a lack of designs that provide us with hints on what the cars of the future are going to look like, with Japan and German car makers making the most interesting and realistic-looking concepts, that could get into mass production in the near future. One such car is the BMW i8 concept, which was unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, and it’s expected that the Bavarian car manufacturer is going to start producing it in 2013. It’s also known as BMW Concept Vision Efficient Dynamics, and is part of BMW’s “Project i”.

This is a plug-in hybrid, that is powered by a high-performance 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder combustion engine, providing 220 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, that works in tandem with two electric motors. This combination provides excellent performances, reminiscent of the best sports cars in the world, but also makes for a very good fuel efficiency at the same time. So, it goes from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 160 mph. The fuel consumption is rated at 70 mpg, and it has an ultra-low emissions rating of 99 grams per kilometer, according to the manufacturer. You can travel up to 20 miles before the lithium-ion batteries need to be recharged, which is one of the aspects of the i8 that must be improved.

Inside, this coupe can accommodate 4 people, with two pairs of sports leather seats in the front and the back. The control panels and all the instruments are arranged in a way that allows you to enjoy a sporty and aggressive ride, and still be in control of the vehicle. There are three-dimensional displays which give information on engine speed, navigation and entertainment functions, as well as battery levels.

The exterior design makes it look as a real futuristic car. It has a lightweight, aluminum chassis, with the sunroof, windows and windshield made of polycarbonate glass. The doors and the roof are completely transparent, which gives you a clear view of the inside and provides a lot of light into the cabin. But, the innovations don’t stop here. The BMW i8 features something that is rarely seen on cars – laser lighting. There are laser headlights instead of LED lights, which makes the car a lot more energy efficient than most similar concept cars.

This amazing sports car should become available for purchase in 2014, and according to some speculations, it will definitely cost over $150,000.

Auto Show Paris 2008

Most people go to Paris to see the sights, but if you ever have the privilege of being there when the automobile show is on you will also find it to be a most impressive sight as well.

This year in 2008 was not a disappointment to anyone. Those who attended got all that they paid for and much more.

Most everyone likes to know what the future holds, and seeing the 2009 cars is a treat indeed. One that has to be mentioned of course is the 2009 Ferrari California. Once you laid your eyes on this beauty it put you into the instant mode of dreaming of winning the lottery, and the purchase of this car would be the top of the list of things to buy. Prices were speculative but one can only imagine what the price tag will be on this baby.

Stepping back into reality one has to admit from a practical and economic point of view the 2009 Smart For Two EV, really has it all. It certainly seems to be most favored from the ladies point of view. Perhaps because it is so compact, that parking it would be a breeze, and most likely with a car this size parking spots would be far more common.

This very attractive looking vehicle made its debut at the Paris auto show, but had been revealed prior to that. It uses a lithium ion battery so its not hard to tell why its so economical, particularly with the cost of fuel in today’s economy. The time hasn’t quite arrived for the technology that this car has to offer, but it does give one a taste of what’s to come in the future of the automobile industry.

Its interesting to note that there are many automobile shows that take place right around the world. Each one of them is unique in what they have to show and how they present the industry. No matter where the show is being held, the automobile shows never seem to fail to hold the interest of those who attend and to create a atmosphere of excitement. There is something intriguing about roaming amongst those magnificent automobile creations all decked out in their gleaming colors. The Paris automobile show organizers can certainly be proud of the venue that they offered their exhibitors and audience.

Young people seem to be gaining more interest in attending the automobile shows. Most likely because its something that will partake in their future, once they become of driving age.

For the practical and the budget conscious drivers there was keen interest in the new Volkswagen GRI. This is technically still being classed as a concept and is not officially in production, but based on the attention it received there is little doubt that it won’t be in the near future.

At a special event prior to the start of the Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen brought out the newest version of its classic hot hatchback, the GTI. While still being called a concept by VW, the new GTI looks ready for production.