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Subaru Legacy Concept unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show

After last month’s teaser photo, yesterday the Japanese carmaker has unveiled the Subaru Legacy Concept in Detroit. The car, which previews the next generation Legacy sport sedan, also celebrates 20 years since the first Legacy was introduced (and 3.6 million units sold). Though the teaser photo was really exciting, we can’t say we’re in love with the concept, which is not as sporty or striking as we’d expect. And the concept design’s theme, “Presence” as Subaru calls it, it’s kinda dull actually.

As for the powertrain, details are scarce, Subaru mentioning so far that the Legacy Concept features Symmetrical AWD and is powered by a Horizontally-Opposed 3.6 liter Boxer engine, which should be enough to offer a thrilling ride. We’ll see about that.

More photos and a video after the jump. (more…)

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Volkswagen Concept BlueSport debuts in Detroit

In Detroit, under the title “Volkswagen celebrates comeback of the compact roadster”, the German carmaker presented the Concept BlueSport, which is a modern sports car aimed at offering “maximum driving fun with minimal fuel consumption”. “The BlueSport proves to be a compact and passionate car with a clear Volkswagen signature. The car offers pure dynamics with a powerful 180 PS Clean Diesel engine that is combined with the characteristic Volkswagen philosophy of efficiency,” said Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen’s Chairman of the Board. So, what does the BlueSport offer?

Under the hood, there’s a 180 hp (132 kW) Clean Diesel TDI featuring commonrail injection and downstream NOx storage catalytic converter which, mated to a 6-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, is able to take the roadster from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.6 seconds and up to a top speed of 226 km/h (140 mph). The fuel consumption figures also look great, with only 4.3 l/100 km (54.7 US mpg), the Concept BlueSport featuring two new technologies, part of the so-called Eco mode (automatic start-stop system and energy regeneration), which lower the fuel consumption by 0.2 liters per 100 km.

The Concept BlueSport also looks very good, the show car having a Flex Silver exterior finish with an orange fabric convertible top, while the interior features, among others, an easy to operate touchscreen and leather upholstered seats in lightweight construction with their single-piece seatbacks.

Check out more photos of the Volkswagen Concept BlueSport after the jump. (more…)

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Audi Sportback Concept previews the future A7

At the Detroit Motor Show, which is happening as we speak, the Audi Sportback Concept was unveiled. Though the German carmaker didn’t confirm, the concept most likely previews the future Audi A7 four-doors coupe. A proof that the project is quite advanced is the technology behind the Sportback concept. Under the hood there’s a 3.0 liter V6 TDI clean diesel which delivers 165 kW (225 hp) and 550 Nm (405.66 lb-ft) of torque and with only 156 g/km (251.06 g/mile) of CO2 emissions, it meets the emission standards of all 50 U.S. states and the Euro 6 standard scheduled to take effect in 2014.

Featuring a new 7-speed tiptronic gearbox and quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system, the Audi Sportback Concept is able to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 7 seconds and up to a top speed of 245 km/h (152 mph), while managing to achieve a fuel consumption of 5.9 l/100 km (39.87 US mpg), which is, we must say, incredible.

The car looks pretty good, with several styling influences from other VW Group cars (the headlights are similar to those from the Audi R8, while the rear part reminds us of the awesome Lamborghini Estoque, even though Audi mentions that it’s inspired by the A5).

And now check out a complete photo gallery after the jump.

Update: We’ve also added a short video of the concept, released by Audi. (more…)

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Subaru Legacy Concept to debut next month in Detroit

The 2009 North American International Auto Show will mark the debut of the Subaru Legacy Concept, a vehicle which has two purposes: one is to celebrate 20 years since the Legacy was introduced for the first time and second is to preview the Japanese carmaker’s next generation midsize sedan, which is scheduled to debut in early 2010. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until the show to get more details on the car, because all we have so far is this teaser photo (looks good, though) and some rumors that a new 3.6-liter flat-6 engine will power the car. But stay tuned, because we’ll let you know once we find out more about the car.


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Honda FC Sport Concept: the hydrogen sports car of tomorrow?

In what came somehow as a suprise, Honda has unveiled an interesting new concept at the LA Auto Show, the Honda FC Sport design study. The three-passengers sportscar concept features a powertrain based on the Honda V Flow fuel cell technology, already in use on the FCX Clarity sedan. By combining lightweight materials, improved aerodynamics and a low center of gravity (due to a modular approach to fuel cell component packaging and the electric drivetrain), the concept achieves quite impressive performances, or at least that’s what Honda says, because so far there were no official specs released.

The FC Sport concept, designed at Honda’s Advanced Design Studio in Pasadena, California, by a team led by Jason Wilbure, looks pretty good, with angular shapes in the front of the vehicle that taper into geometric, hex forms in the rear (which house cooling radiators for the fuel cell), F1-style barge boards behind the front wheels and what I really like are the visible hydrogen storage tanks, somewhat similar to what Ferrari or Lamborghini are doing.

More photos and video after the jump. (more…)

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Toyota CNG Camry Hybrid Concept debuts at the LA Auto Show

The LA Auto Show marks the debut of the Toyota CNG Camry Hybrid Concept which highlights the Japanese carmaker’s new Hybrid Synergy Drive system. The concept was developed by TMS Advanced Product Strategy group and built by Metal Crafters of Fountain Valley, California, who replaced the 2.4 liter gasoline fuel system with a CNG (compressed natural gas) system including two CNG tanks installed in the spare tire well area. The concept also received some exterior changes, like a new front fascia and front bumper cover that got rid of the grill opening, custom rear bumper covering the tail pipe and the exhaust system, new side skirts and 19 inch alloy wheels fitted with run-flat tires (meant to make up for the lack of the spare tire).

Photo Gallery: Toyota CNG Camry Hybrid Concept


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Nissan NV2500 light commercial truck concept to debut in Detroit

Nissan North America has released a photo of the NV2500 concept, which will make its world debut at next year’s Detroit Motor Show in January. The light commercial truck concept, beside being one of Nissan’s largest concepts ever presented, will also preview the Japanese carmaker’s entry into the North American Commercial Vehicle market, which will happen sometime in 2010. This comes after Nissan has already announced plans to invest $118 million at its Canton, Miss., plant to build the trucks. That’s about all we have so far on the concept, because Nissan didn’t give too many details, more info coming at the concept’s official launch in January.


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Chevrolet GPix Crossover Coupe Concept debuts in Sao Paolo

It seems that the South American market is getting more and more important for carmakers, who started paying more attention to it. Yesterday we showed you the Renault/Dacia Sand’up concept, designed entirely in South America and now we’ve got another concept, the Chevrolet GPiX Crossover Coupe, created by GM’s design center in Brazil, making its debut at the Sao Paolo motor show.

Its name, GPiX, means ‘Global Picture’ (‘G’ for Global and ‘P’ for Picture) and the two door concept features high ground clearance, appropriate for not-so-perfect roads found in emerging markets, the Chevrolet gold bowtie in the front grille, LED headlamps, 17-inch mixed-use wheels plus a panoramic glass roof. According to Jaime Ardila, President of General Motors Brazil and Mercosur, “this project, the Chevrolet GPiX concept could result in the development of many models for Brazil and the Mercosur region.”


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Video: Ford Mustang Giugiaro concept in action

After watching this video of the Mustang concept by Giugiaro doing donuts, we keep wondering why doesn’t Ford understand that Europeans design better looking cars? Because we’ve seen some spy shots of the next generation Mustang, plus the teaser photos released by Ford, and the car is basically a facelift, at least in what regards the design. Anyways, here’s the video. Doesn’t it look hot?


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Renault Sand’up concept unveiled in Sao Paolo

At the Sao Paolo Motor Show in Brazil, Renault has unveiled the Sand’up concept, based on its Renault/Dacia Sandero. The Sand’up, which is the first Renault concept designer entirely in South America, has a modular design that allows it to go from a closed hard-top coupe to a convertible pickup. The concept is powered by a 1.6 liter Hi-Flex engine that delivers 107 hp when running on petrol and 112 hp when using ethanol. We have to admit, Renault did a great job with this concept, which is pretty attractive with its big wheel arches, satin nickel roof rail arches and see-through doors. Check out one more photo after the jump.

Later edit: We’ve also added a video of the concept. Check it out!


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Volvo S60 Concept teaser photo released

In cooperation with Swedish glassworks Orrefor, Volvo is currently working on a new concept car, which will be on display at the Detroit Motor Show in January and which will be the starting point for the development of the next generation Volvo S60. As we can see in this teaser photo, the concept will feature a crystal panel integrated into the dashboard which creates a very interesting glass-crystal center panel that stretches all the way to the backseats.

“If you want to explore the full scope of Scandinavian design, Sweden’s glassworks are a natural source of inspiration. Large glass areas are very much part of modern Swedish architecture, creating the special, light transparency,” says Steve Mattin, Volvo Cars design director.


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Carbon ‘E7’, the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement vehicle

To be honest, I’m surprised nobody thought about this before though, given the current economy, I don’t know if the project will be successful. What we’re talking about is the Carbon ‘E7′, the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement vehicle, developed by Carbon Motors. The E7 (which is only a temporary name), was created with the help of over 1,700 law enforcement professionals, representing all 50 US States, who gave their input to the Carbon Motors team, so that the vehicle could be fully equipped with a suite of purpose-built performance and safety features.

“The military has long used purpose-built vehicles to accomplish their unique missions. Fire engines were specifically designed to provide firefighters with water, aerial ladders or other equipment to assist them in rescue work. And even postal workers have purpose-built trucks for delivering mail. Law enforcement, by comparison, has had to settle for retail cars designed for ordinary passenger use with haphazardly and dangerously installed law enforcement equipment. The women and men who protect our communities deserve better. Carbon’s ‘E7’ will rectify this injustice” said William Santana Li, chairman and chief executive officer, Carbon Motors Corporation.

The vehicle will have features like an ergonomic cockpit inspired by jet fighters and helicopters, a high powered clean-diesel engine capable of running on biodiesel (40 percent improvement in fuel efficiency), integrated external and internal surveillance capabilities, radar, LoJack, an automatic license plate recognition system, radiation and biological threat detectors and 360 degree, high conspicuity built-in LED emergency lighting. In addition, the ‘E7’ will get Carbon’s On-board Rapid Command Architecture (ORCA) with a large touch-screen main display and a separate touch screen keyboard providing world-class data communication and human-machine interface.

You have to admit, this is a very interesting project and it really got our attention, so stay tuned, as we’ll let you know once we have more info. Meanwhile, check out more photos and a video after the jump. (more…)

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2008 Paris Special: Nissan Nuvu Concept

The Nissan Nuvu concept made its world debut at this year’s Paris Motor Show and it shows Nissan’s ‘new view’ (new view, nuvu, get it?) on urban transportation. The electric car concept is only 3 meters long and has an interesting 2+1 seating: 2 regular seats and a third one that can be folded down when required, and which has a center section made from hardwearing netting that allows cool or warm air to circulate around the occupant’s body. Nissan says that, before deciding on this seating model, they made a research which showed that for 90 percent of the time, people who drive in the city, do it alone, five percent of the time there was one passenger and four percent of the time there were two passengers. This is actually pretty interesting.

According to Nissan, the Nuvu is more than a concept, a fully working mobile test bed for much of the technology that will be used in Nissan’s production EV to be launched in 2010. This is one reason they didn’t release full info about the technology behind the Nuvu. What we do know is that the electric motor has a driving range of 125 km (approx 78 miles) and top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). It’s laminated lithium-ion batteries are developed in cooperation with NEC Group, and a quick charge from empty to full takes between 10 to 20 minutes while a full charge should take between three to four hours from a domestic 220v socket. The Nuvu also uses a set of solar panels, that Nissan claims help save the equivalent of one full overnight charge each month.

Read more info about the Nissan Nuvu concept in the official press release, and then check out the photos we took at the Paris show. Enjoy!

Photo Gallery: Nissan Nuvu Concept at the Paris Motor Show


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2008 Paris Special: Peugeot RC HYmotion4 Concept

The Peugeot RC HYmotion4 is a four doors, four seats and four wheel drive coupe, that follows the two RC concepts presented back in 2002 and the 908 RC concept that made its debut two years ago, at the 2006 Paris Motor Show. Though, as expected, the concept will never make it into production, it previews several technologies Peugeot plans on introducing on its production vehicles. The powertrain features a 1.6 litre THP engine ?tted at the rear of the vehicle, combined with a 95 hp (70 kW) electric motor (powered by “lithium-ion” batteries recharged by an energy recovery system which operates during both deceleration and braking). The end result is a maximum power of 313 hp (230 kW), a fuel consumption of 4.5 litres/100 km (52.2 US mpg) and CO2 emissions in the combined cycle of only 109 g/km, or zero in electric only drive mode. However, though we’re talking about a hybrid, the performance figures are pretty impressive: 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds, 80 to 120 km/h (50 – 75 mph) in just 3.0 seconds.

One thing I didn’t like about the Peugeot RC HYmotion4 Concept was the fact that its design kinda looks like the Audi R8, don’t you think? And here are the photos we took in Paris. Enjoy!

Photo Gallery: Peugeot RC HYmotion4 Concept at the Paris Motor Show


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2008 Paris Special: The fascinating Mercedes Benz Concept FASCINATION

At the Paris show, the main attraction at the Mercedes Benz stand was, no doubt about it, the Mercedes Benz Concept FASCINATION, which is incredibly…fascinating. The concept gives a fresh look to the ‘shooting break’ vehicle category with a very elegant look and extremely luxurious interior. The car is based on the E-Class platform, being powered by a new 2.2 liter four-cylinder diesel engine, which features BlueTEC technology and delivers 204 hp (150 kW).

But, as we said before, the coolest thing about this concept is its exterior styling and luxurious interior. The Concept FASCINATION features a large panoramic glass roof, materials, such as leather, wood and aluminium (inspired by the world of equestrianism) thick, dark leather covering the aluminium centre console which extends from the front to the rear, sporty, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with a wooden rim. The folding wooden floor of the load compartment reveals two compartments containing two sets of binoculars as well as a high-quality digital camera, while the centre of the load compartment is occupied by a folding smoked glass table which rises out of the floor at the touch of a button to reveal a compartment housing a humidor and a refrigerated compartment for drinks and champagne flutes.

Overall, the Mercedes Benz Concept FASCINATION is a beautiful concept, that really makes you dream. You can read more about it in the official press release. And here are the photos we took in Paris:

Photo Gallery: Mercedes Benz Concept FASCINATION at the Paris Motor Show


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