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Tokyo Motor Show – Honda EV-STER

Honda EV-STER

For this year’s edition of the Tokyo Motor Show, the local automaker Honda decided to bring the EV-STER sports car concept which is rumored to be the spiritual successor of the Beat model that was discontinued back in 1996.

Honda EV-STER

It is an attractive EV rear-wheel drive two-seater convertible that features a lot of lightweight materials in order to keep weight down as much as possible and increase performance at the same time. Combining the use of lightweight components with diminutive dimensions – as the car measures only 3,570mm long – the car is able to do the 0-62 mph sprint in only 5 seconds and it can be driven for distances of up to 99 miles (160 km) on a single charge.

Honda EV-STER

The power of the Honda EV-STER is provided by a 10 kWh lithium-ion battery that has a maximum output of 79 hp (58 kW). Charging the battery from a regular 240V source will take approximately three hours.

Honda EV-STER

Source: Honda via AutoBlog

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Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV revealed in Tokyo

Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II

Back in 2009 at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Japanese automaker Mitsubishi unveiled the Concept PX-MiEV. Two years later at the same venue, they’ve unveiled the second generation of the concept which is believed to preview the looks and probably an alternative powertrain option for the upcoming new generation of the Outlander.

Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II

Design-wise, we notice some mild styling changes in comparison to the first model, like the bigger mirrors, higher roofline, more conventional alloys and also more production-ready bumper and lights designs.

Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II

The company ditched the 1.6-liter gasoline power unit of the first concept and installed a 2.0-liter MIVEC unit that generates 94 hp (70 kW). It also has a couple of electric motors located at the front and back that can deliver 80 hp (60 kW) each. The batteries of the Concept PX-MiEV can be charged by the engine, through braking, or they can be refilled via a standard house plug.

Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II

The SUV adopts Mitsubishi’s newly developed twin-motor, four-wheel-drive system which is linked to the Lancer Evolution X’s S-AWC advanced traction control system, also known as Super-All Wheel Control.

Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II

According to Mitsubishi, the car can be driven for a distance of up to 31 miles (50 km) on electric mode, and when using both the traditional gasoline engine and the electric power it has a range of up to 498 miles (800 km).

Source: Mitsubishi via Carscoop

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2012 Nissan Leaf Nismo announced

Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept

At this year’s edition of the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota unveiled the Nismo version of the 2012 Leaf which can be considered as a cross between the regular Leaf and the Nismo RC race car we’ve talked about a few weeks ago.

Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept

The car show in Tokyo was riding on 18-inch black-painted alloys and had a full sports bodykit with blue LED under-body lightning and a white paintwork. However, there’s more to this car than just look, because in an interview given by Andy Palmer – who is the company’s executive vice president for planning – the car will have 10% more power in comparison to the standard version. He added that the car is scheduled to go on sale towards the end of next year.

Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept

10% more power means that the Leaf’s current 80 kilowatt motor will go up to 88 kilowatts, which would probably make it almost one second quicker in the 0-62 mph sprint time.

Source: Nissan via Green Car Reports

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Nissan brings food truck concepts to L.A. show

Nissan unveiled at this year’s edition of the L.A. auto show two food truck concepts based on the NV models. One of them is for grilled cheese while the other is for ice-cream sandwiches. Both of them have custom fold-out serving windows, full exterior graphics and work counters.

The trucks were developed in collaboration with Coolhaus Truck and The Grilled Cheese Truck.

Source: Nissan via Inside Line

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Volkswagen launches eT! Concept in L.A.

Volkswagen eT!

At VW’s stand at the Los Angeles Auto Show there is a very interesting all-electric van called the eT! It was developed as a research project to figure out the viability of electric-only logistics and transport. The van is motivated by electric wheel-hub motors in order to improve space inside the cabin.

Volkswagen eT!

One of the most interesting things about the eT! would have to be its passenger sliding door that also covers access to the front passenger seat. This door has been designed in such a way so that it is meant for the convenience of delivery drivers so that they are able to access the van’s curb side.

Volkswagen eT!

It also has some interesting and useful self-driving features which allow the driver to call the car to follow him down a street while making deliveries. Some of the functions that come with the eT! include “come to me” and “follow me”. On the front passenger side of the Volkswagen eT! there’s a joystick which allows the van to be driven from that seat.

Volkswagen eT!

Dr. Rudolf Krebs who is the Group Manager for Electric Traction at VW said that this car won’t make it as a production model very soon, but nevertheless it gives us a clue about how could a future mail & package delivery vehicle could look like.

Source: Volkswagen via ZerCustoms

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Subaru BRZ Concept STI revealed in L.A.

Subaru BRZ Concept STI

Yet another concept version of the highly anticipated BRZ model has been introduced. This time we’re talking about the STI concept which was unveiled this week at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. The production model is expected to make its debut on November 30 during the Tokyo Motor Show, before going on sale in spring 2012.

Subaru BRZ Concept STI

As most of you know this by now, the Subaru BRZ is the outcome of the partnership Subaru made with Toyota, and it is a sister model to Toyota’s FT-86 and Scion’s FR-S. All three rear-wheel drive coupes use the same platform and mechanical hardware, including Subaru’s flat-four 2.0-liter engine and the D-4S direct injection technology from Toyota.

Subaru BRZ Concept STI

The horsepower of the Subaru BRZ will be sent to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual gearbox, but we don’t know if the car will get also a 6-speed automatic gearbox, as the one that the Toyota FT-86 will have.

Subaru BRZ Concept STI

The model show in L.A. this week is the STI version which adopts a more aggressive body kit, including here a larger rear spoiler, a lower front spoiler and a carbon fiber roof. The prototype is wearing the traditional Subaru STI blue and comes with 18-inch multispoke alloys wrapped around in 215/45R18 for the front wheels and 225/45R18 for the rear ones.

Subaru BRZ Concept STI

Source: Subaru

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5-door Ford Fiesta ST Concept launched in L.A.

Ford Fiesta ST Concept

Back in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Ford brought the three-door concept version of the Fiesta ST and now they’ve unveiled the five-door variant at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Even though we are dealing with a concept, the production version will look pretty much the same when it will come out.

Ford Fiesta ST Concept

The three-door version has borrowed a lot of the styling cues from its five-door sibling, like the 17-inch alloys, widened wheel arches, a bunch of aerodynamic enhancements, a new front end and a lowered suspension.

Ford Fiesta ST Concept

This concept is motivated by a 4-cylinder turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine that produces 180 hp and a peak torque of 177 lb.-ft. The entire horsepower is sent to the wheels in the front via a 6-speed manual transmission.

Ford Fiesta ST Concept

Source: Ford

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Buick LaCrosse GL Concept unveiled in L.A.

Buick LaCrosse GL Concept

Based on the 2012 LaCrosse sedan model, Buick has unveiled this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show a concept study which is nothing more than a luxed-up version of the regular version. The LaCrosse GL Concept comes with a cabernet red paint along with brushed and tinted chrome accents for the front grille, deck lid and door handles, along with around the windows, headlights and taillights. It rides on 20-inch alloys that have a satin finish.

Buick LaCrosse GL Concept

Inside the cabin we find French-stitched leather surface while the instrument panel, doors and seats are wearing caramel chocochino colors. The instrument cluster also features some metal accents, while the steering wheel has a bespoke wood trim that was also used for the door panels and the dashboard. Metal accents can also be seen on the center stack controls while the suede headline is finished in chocochino.

Buick LaCrosse GL Concept

Source: Buick

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VW Beetle R Concept unveiled in L.A.

VW Beetle R Concept

Even though VW says that this is only a concept, most likely the production version will look just about the same. At this year’s edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show, the German automaker Volkswagen has brought the Beetle R Concept, a car that was developed by the same engineers who were in charge of the Scirocco R and the Golf R models.

VW Beetle R Concept

As a reminder, the Beetle Turbo is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that generates 200 hp, but VW said that this power unit can easily pump out at least 60-70 hp more. The car is based on the third generation of the Beetle and it has a 30mm wider front bumper, 20-inch Talladega 5-spoke alloy wheels, 15mm widened wheel arches and beefier blue R brake calipers. At the back there’s a rear wing, four tail pipes and a diffuser.

VW Beetle R Concept

Moving inside the cabin of the VW Beetle R Concept we find a bunch of glossy black accents for the dashboard, aluminum pedals, bucket sport seats wrapped around in Nappa leather, along with redesigned instruments.

VW Beetle R Concept

Source: Volkswagen via Carscoop

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Mitsubishi Concept PX MiEV II announced

Mitsubishi Concept PX MiEV II

At this year’s edition of the Tokyo Auto Show, the Japanese automaker Mitsubishi will bring the Concept PX MiEV II which is a plug-in hybrid mid-size SUV that the carmaker says that it will be capable of offering a long cruising distance.

The car is powered by a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter MIVEC gasoline engine and two permanent magnet synchronous electric motors. Each of these motors powers one axle and they are good for 60 kW, while the traditional engine generates 70 kW. On electricity alone, the SUV can be driven for a distance of up to 50 km while in hybrid mode it can travel for 800 km. The car’s combined fuel consumption is rated at 1.6 liters / 100 km (60 km/liter).

Mitsubishi Concept PX MiEV II

The Mitsubishi Concept PX MiEV II uses the Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) traction control system that become popular after it was introduced in the Evolution X. This S-AWC system is mated to a twin-motor 4WD system and Mitsu says that it offers the car excellent handling capabilities.

Mitsubishi Concept PX MiEV II

This SUV measures 4660 mm in length, 1830 mm in width and 1680 mm in height. At the moment, this is only a concept but it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the Japanese carmaker will put it into production in the years to come.

Source: Mitsubishi via ZerCustoms

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Suzuki Regina set to make an official debut in Tokyo

Suzuki Regina

What we have here in this article is the Regina concept which previews a new city car that will be slotted below the Swift in Suzuki’s lineup. The car will make an appearance later on this month at the Tokyo Motor Show which will be organized at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba City, Japan.

Suzuki Regina

According to Suzuki, the Regina weighs only 1,609 pounds (730 kg) and has a drag coefficient 10% less than the current models in this segment. Even though that this concept doesn’t have a powertrain, the carmaker has mentioned that with a conventional gasoline engine, the Regina is able to return 72.3 mpg (3.1 liters / 100 km or 32 km/lt in the JC08 test cycle), while the CO2 emissions would be of 70 g/km.

Suzuki Regina

This concept reminds us of the original Citroen DS and it measures 3,550 mm long, 1,630 mm wide and 1,430 mm tall, while the wheelbase measures 2,425 mm. The interior cabin has enough room for four people which sit in a very minimalistic ambiance dominated by various shades of green.

Suzuki Regina

Source: Suzuki

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Suzuki Q-Concept heading to Tokyo Motor Show

Suzuki Q-Concept

One of the most interesting concepts that we will get to see at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show will be this Q-Concept developed by Suzuki which looks a lot like a toy. We’re dealing with a very small city car that measures only 2,500 mm long, 1,300 mm wide and it is 1,650 mm tall.

Suzuki Q-Concept

According to the Japanese automaker, the car offers “an entirely new kind of mobility” while inside the cabin it can seat two people in a tandem configuration, but the rear seat can be removed for more cargo room.

Suzuki Q-Concept

The tiny concept is motivated by an electric motor that allows the car to hit a top speed of 37 mph (60 km/h) while the driving range is up to 31 miles (50 km).

Suzuki Q-Concept

Source: Suzuki

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Subaru previews next-gen Legacy with Advanced Tourer Concept

Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept

With this Advanced Tourer Concept, Subaru is giving us a glimpse on how the future generation of the Legacy model will look like. This interesting concept is set to make its official debut on November 30th at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept

From what we can tell by looking at these photos, the car will feature a very aggressive front end that will have an updated version of the company’s grille, along with a pair of angular headlights. As for the cabin, the concept has polished aluminum and wood surfaces, along with a leather trim and a full glass sunroof. The most interesting feature of the interior would have to be the TV monitor installed inside the steering wheel which shows GPS information and it also has access to the Internet.

Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept

The Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept also benefits from the automaker’s crash avoidance system that includes two cameras which are installed above the rear view mirror. These cameras can monitor traffic conditions and they can detect cyclists and pedestrians.

Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept

Under the hood we find a glimpse of the car maker’s future engine lineup, as Subaru has downsized its 2.0 and 2.5-liter boxer turbos in order to create a more efficient and cleaner 1.6-liter turbo which is linked to an electric motor. We don’t have any specifications about the output, but the company’s engineers have mentioned that this powertrain can be configured to produce up to 262 hp (for the 2.5-liter turbo variant).

At low speeds for a limited distance the car can be driven in electric-only mode, and it comes with an updated version of the automaker’s symmetrical AWD system that sends the power to all four wheels.

Source: Subaru via Auto Express

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Top five concepts that never reached the production line

Over the last five decades, we have seen thousands of concepts; some deserved to reach the production line while others remained only as a concept for good reasons. In this article we will talk about five of the concepts that should have spawned a production version.

Mercedes-Benz C111

We begin with the Mercedes-Benz C111 concept which is one of the coolest cars ever made by the German automaker, featuring those very exciting gull-wing doors. Unfortunately, the financial situation of the 70s for MB didn’t allow them to produce this car, which is a real shame. We can only hope that they will revitalize this concept and launch a modern production version of the C111.

Citroen GT Concept

If you love the Gran Turismo 5 video game, you certainly have heard about the Citroen GT concept which was made especially for the game. The French car maker said that they’ll probably make a few units of the concept but I wouldn’t hold my breath. This has to be one of the most attractive supercars ever made. Too bad we won’t see it on the streets.

SAAB Aero X

Saab is having a really difficult time at staying alive these days and it would be a real shame if they had to shut down the facilities. Anyway, they too have rolled a few interesting concepts and one of them is the Aero X. Maybe after they will get back on their feet they will launch a production version as the car has tremendous potential and certainly there would be a lot of interested buyers who want to try something different, something Swedish.

Chevrolet Corvette Four-Rotor

If you are old enough to have lived through the 70s, you most likely have heard about the Chevrolet Corvette Four-Rotor concept which had a drag coefficient of only 0.325, something that cars launched two decades later weren’t able to achieve. The car never made it because of the world’s first energy crisis.

Jeep Hurricane

Unveiled back in 2005 at the Detroit Motor Show, the Jeep Hurricane had a one-piece body which was mostly made from carbon fiber. Both the driver and the passenger enter the vehicle over bulkheads on each side. The concept had a MillenWorks-designed four-wheel steering system which allowed the car to move sideways, literally. The chassis was connected to the underside of the car by the skid plate which was an aluminum spine.

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Ford Fiesta ST Concept heading to L.A. Auto Show

Ford Fiesta ST Concept

At this year’s edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Blue Oval company will bring the Fiesta ST Concept that previews the production model which is going to be sold globally. It will be just about the same concept that we’ve seen back in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show and the production version is scheduled to be released sometime next year.

Ford Fiesta ST Concept

The Fiesta ST Concept will be featuring a 4-cylinder EcoBoost 1.4-liter engine with 177 hp (180 PS / 132 kW) and 177 lb.-ft (240 Nm) of torque. The power unit will be mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox that will allow the car to do the 0-62 mph sprint in less than 7 seconds, on its way to a maximum speed of more than 137 mph (220 km/h).

Ford Fiesta ST Concept

Source: Ford via WCF

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