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Concept Cars and Cars to Come

Concept cars are prototypes of ideal cars. They are usually showcased for public exhibition. In the fiercely competitive world of car manufacturing, manufacturers are constantly designing and making special cars to show their ability to design and manufacture highly useful cars, built ahead of the times. As the name goes, such cars are purely conceptual in nature.

Why are concept cars conceptual?

Manufacturers of such cars do not go for mass production. This is because prototype cars are non-traditional and are made of very expensive materials or materials like paper or carbon fiber, mass production of which is not feasible. The designs and layouts of such cars are too fanciful to be implemented practically.

Purpose of designing concept cars:

Concept cars are made combining the best of modern technology with the highly effective and time-tested layouts of cars from the past. Reactions to such cars enable automobile companies feel the pulse of the market. The fanciness of the cars set the pace for future designs. Manufacturers come to know whether a car is acceptable or requires a few modifications before going to production. Cars which evince little interest are usually destroyed. Those which catch the imagination of the public are preserved as a strategy to expand the list of company patents.

Toyota Motor Corp. showcased 7 Toyota concept cars at the 39th Tokyo Motor Show. The cars unveiled by the company feature several groundbreaking and futuristic technologies. Among the concept cars showcased are the Fine-X and i-swing. While the former is a personal mobility vehicle the latter is a brand new fuel cell hybrid vehicle. The company has also showcased a prototype car, which has headlights that change intensity of light from dull to bright. The change in color reflects feeling of the driver, whether is happy, sad, or angry.

Among the 2009 concept cars Vision GLK Bluetec, the GLK compact crossover and Vision GLK Freeside are expected to be popular among the mass. Cheverolet will be launching the Chevrolet Camaro Convertile. Audi will introduce six new models in next three years. Audi Q7 SUV is the first of the six models. Audi r8 will make debut later this year. Other models are Audi A4, Audi A5, and Audi Q5. The last of the models which is shrouded in mystery is likely to be out after 2 years. To make its aging models come off age, Jaguar’s S type line-up is being replaced by Jaguar XF in 2009.

New Porsche Concept Car

Who would have thought that you could have a mean looking, fast racing, good looking sports car that also has impressive green credentials? Well, that’s exactly what Porsche are proposing with their latest concept car: the Porsche 918 Spyder. Let’s take a closer look.

Unveiled on the eve of the famous Geneva Auto Show, the Stuttgart based company, Porsche, lifted the lid on their new concept car which happens to be a mid engine, two seater sports cars with hybrid and electric drive technology. It certainly looks mean, but what are the stats like? Remarkably impressive when looked at. Nought to Sixty in less than 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 198mph and it happens to be faster than the Carrera GT, as proven by successfully finishing the Nurburgring lap in less than 7 minutes 30 seconds.

So, how can a car have all this power and claim to be green? The 918 Spyder has electric motors at the front and rear axles. The drive to the front wheels is purely electric via a fixed ratio. The liquid cooled lithium ion battery pack sits behind the cockpit and can be ideally charged at home or by brake regeneration.

This sports car is a high revving V-8 related, 3.4 litre racing car. It produces more than 500 brake horse power with engine revs of up to 9200 rpm. Yet, it does an incredible 78mpg, driven the right way, plus the emissions level sit at just 70 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

The chassis is made from CFP (Carbon fiber reinforced plastic), along with the use of a lot of magnesium and aluminium to keep the frame as light as possible. The stylish interior is designed to be driver orientated with touch screens and intuitive controls.

The Porsche 918 Spyder whilst still a concept car at this stage is a sports car that looks exactly how a sports car should look and drives exactly how a sports car should drive along with boosting very impressive green credentials. It promises to be a car of the future holding real production possibilities which could set a new standard for the next generation of sports cars.

Los Angeles Auto Show 2009 Concept Cars Capture Attention

The Los Angeles Auto Show 2009 is featuring 11 concept cars which either have a space age design, a green theme or both. Concept cars from Audi, BMW, Honda, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo offer a glimpse at what the vehicles of tomorrow may look like.

This group of concept cars include:

o Audi e-tron
o BMW Vision EfficientDynamics
o Honda Personal-Neo Urban Transport
o Lexus LF-Ch Premium Compact Hybrid
o BMW MINI Coupe
o BMW MINI Roadster
o Mitsubishi PX-MiEV
o Subaru Hybrid Tourer
o Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
o Volkswagen Up! Lite
o Volvo S60 Concept

In regard to space age design, the Audi e-tron, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics and Honda Personal-Neo Urban Transport blow away their respective competition. And of this group, the Honda Personal-Neo Urban Transport (or P-NUT as they are calling it) has the most futuristic design.

The P-NUT is a small urban vehicle meant to tool around big cities and fit into tight spaces. It has a small internal combustion engine coupled with a hybrid battery pack that makes it a green vehicle.

On the P-NUT, the windshield and sunroof merge into one as the swoop of the overhead design lends itself to this feature. Now, let’s face it, next to the space age vehicle, the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) isn’t very sexy.

It looks basically like a Prius. But what is sexy is that unlike many other concept vehicles, this one is expected to make it to market next year. Not only that, the Prius PHEV will compete head-on with the GM Volt PHEV.

While GM is making grandiose claims about the performance of the Volt (which is still a work in progress) setting up extreme expectations, Toyota is downplaying expectations of the Prius PHEV – for now.

One can look forward to next year and the years beyond and see the Toyota concept car of today, being one of the highest selling vehicles in tomorrow’s marketplace. And, that’s a pretty good concept, now isn’t it?