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Subaru BRZ STI Concept unveiled

Subaru BRZ STI Concept

Set to make an official debut at the upcoming 2011 L.A. Auto Show, the Subaru BRZ STI Concept has been unveiled this week and as you probably know this by now it is based on the new platform that the automaker developed with Toyota.

Subaru BRZ STI Concept

This attractive coupe measures 166.7 inches in length, 70.9 inches in width and 50.4 inches in height, while the wheelbase stands at 101.2 inches. The BRZ STI Concept has a 2 + 2 seating layout so the passengers seating in the back probably won’t get a lot of room for the legs.

Subaru BRZ STI Concept

Design-wise, the concept adopts a low & blade-like bonnet which means that the engine has been installed as low as possible. It has been developed with short & rear overhangs while at the front it has a hexagonal grille and a pair of hawk eye headlights along with fin-shaped fog lamps which to be honest I don’t really like.

Subaru BRZ STI Concept

Anyway, it also has a front-mounted lower spoiler, a massive rear wing which also isn’t very attractive, but its job is to provide more downforce on the rear axle. The car also has a rear diffuser, along with polished stainless steel quad tailpipes, wide rear fender flares, and a vented rear bumper. We should also mention that the roof of the BRZ STI Concept is made from carbon fiber to lower the curb weight of the car.

Subaru BRZ STI Concept

The concept is motivated by a naturally-aspirated, 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter Boxer engine that powers the rear wheels. This is a brand new engine that Subaru has developed and it’s linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox. We don’t know the output of the engine or if it will get a turbocharger in the future. The car rides on 18-inch rims with 215/45R18 tires in the front and 225/45R18 tires for the rear wheels. The stopping power is guaranteed by the Brembo brakes on all four corners.

Subaru BRZ STI Concept

The production version of this Subaru BRZ STI Concept will be launched in the spring of 2012 and it will become the first mass-produced sports car that has a front-mounted Boxer engine and a rear-wheel drive configuration. The coupe will be built on the same platform as the one used for the Toyota FT-86 and the Scion FR-S, but it will be significantly different than the other two, probably with more oomph under the hood.

Source: Subaru via ZerCustoms

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Nissan working on EV expansion

Nissan e-NT400 Atlas Concept

You probably know how popular the Nissan Leaf is, but you probably haven’t heard that the Japanese automaker is planning on making its entire fleet green in the years to come. This is what the company said last week during the 2011 Tokyo Truck Show where they’ve unveiled a bunch of all-electric commercial plug-in vehicles.

At the event they brought the NV200 Vanette Taxi that is set from 2013 to form the backbone of the NYC taxi fleet. Even though they haven’t shown an EV version of the NV200, they’ll be doing this quite soon if we were to believe the statement made by Hideto Murakami who is the company’s Corporate Vice President.

A few weeks ago, Nissan has signed a deal with Mitsubishi to sell a rebadged version of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV-derived commercial van for the JDM (Japanese domestic market). This doesn’t end the list of small & electric commercial vehicles that Nissan wants to produce because at the aforementioned Tokyo Truck Show they also exhibited an all-electric concept delivery truck known as the e-NT400 Atlas Concept (pictured). The vehicle was built by using a lot of the components that have been developed for the Leaf model. Nissan says that using the Japanese JCo08 mode, the truck is able to provide a range of 62 miles.

Aside from this, Nissan also brought two trucks at the show, both of which used big battery packs for extra functionality when the truck is stationary. The first of the two is a refrigerated truck that is able to keep the refrigerated delivers cool without being necessary for the engine to run at all times. By using a big lithium-ion battery pack, a very efficient AC is able to keep the load area of the truck cool for several hours while the truck is stationary.

The other model is the Atlas F24 Power Supply Truck which is motivated by a single gasoline engine and comes with 72-kWh battery packs that have been developed also for the Leaf. These are capable of providing backup emergency power to run a 20-person office or a whole neighborhood for several hours.

Source: Nissan via Green Car Reports

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1969 Holden Hurricane Brought Back To Life

1969 Holden Hurricane

Pop quiz: which is the first concept car ever made by Holden? The answer would be this cool 1969 Hurricane which was also known as the RD001. The General Motors-owned Australian automaker launched the concept at the 1969 Melbourne Motor Show and it had an experimental V8 4.2-liter engine that was able to develop 258 hp (262 PS / 193 kW). The most interesting thing about it was its cabin which was accessed by a canopy top that was hydraulically operated and it opened over the front wheels.

1969 Holden Hurricane

Aside from this and the great looks, the Holden Hurricane had a few tech goodies that made it into a production model only decades later. Some of these features include a rear-view camera as well as an automated route finder named Pathfinder which used magnets embedded along roadways for guiding the driver. It can be considered as being the precursor of today’s satellite navigation systems (GPS).

A group of engineers and designers from Holden have restored the concept to its original luster and it will be exhibited this weekend at the Motorclassica auto show which will be organized in the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building.

Source: General Motors via WCF

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Chevrolet EN-V Concept Revealed

Chevrolet EN-V Concept

Earlier this week, General Motors unveiled the Chevrolet EN-V Concept which is the company’s way of saying that their working on developing a safe, zero-emissions, connected personal transportation vehicle. In the months to come, this odd looking vehicle will take part in various demonstrations in several cities from all over the world.

EN-V stands for Electric Networked-Vehicle and this Chevy is a two-seat EV that was designed especially for city use. It has Wi-Fi communication, climate control and a satellite navigation system.

Fitted with lithium-ion batteries, the vehicle should be able to provide a range of up to 40 km on a single charge, which General Motors thinks that it’s enough for most city drives. I for one consider that anything less than 100 km is not acceptable.

The vehicle is drivable both manually and autonomously thanks to the implementation of a clever system that integrates the GPS and car-to-car communication.

Source: General Motors via ZerCustoms

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PSA Reveals VELV Concept

PSA Peugeot Citroen VELV

At this year’s ADEME innovation forum, PSA Peugeot Citroen unveiled a funky concept by the name of VELV. It has been developed by a consortium of companies from France and it is an EV that packs an 8.5 kWh lithium-ion battery and a 27 hp (27 PS / 20 kW) electric motor.

PSA Peugeot Citroen VELV

The concept has a curb weight of 1,433 lb (650 kg) and is able to reach a maximum speed of 68 mph (110 km/h) while on a single charge it can be driven for up to 62 miles (100 km).

PSA Peugeot Citroen VELV

Although they refused to mention whether this will turn into a production version later on, PSA did mentioned that the concept was envisioned for rental car companies and corporate fleets.

Source: PSA Peugeot Citroen via WCF

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Top 10 Concepts At Frankfurt Motor Show

It was one of the best editions of the Frankfurt Motor Show ever, where aside from brand new production-version cars, we also so some cool and exciting concepts. Here are ten of the most interesting that were exhibited at the show:

VW NILS

Let’s start with something green and talk about the VW NILS, the automaker’s vision of a personal urban mobility for 2030. It features an aluminum spaceframe and has an F1-inspired one-seat configuration. This EV weighs only 460 kg and comes with an electric motor that produces 34 hp and 96 lb.-ft of torque, along with a 5.3 kWh lithium-ion battery. The car can be driven for up to 40 miles and charging the battery pack takes about two hours.

Kia GT

One of the most surprising concepts was the Kia GT, which will turn out into a production model in 2013. The one shown in Frankfurt was motivated by a V6 3.3-liter gasoline power unit that developed 390 hp and 394 lb.-ft. The engine is linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that sends the power to the back wheels.

Jaguar C-X16

Perhaps the most beautiful of them all, the Jaguar C-X16 is a rear-wheel drive two-seater coupe that packs a hybrid powertrain. Under that exquisite hood is a V6 3.0-liter engine that generates 375 hp and 332 lb.-ft, mated to an 8-speed transmission with an incorporated electric motor generator which draws its power from the 1.6 kWh battery, generating 95 PS and 173 lb.-ft. The concept needs 4.4 seconds to do the 0-62 mph sprint, en route to a top speed of 186 mph (300 km/h). On electric mode it can be driven for up to 50 miles (88 km) while the CO2 emissions are of 165 g/km.

Citroen Tubik

From beautiful we move to extremely odd – the Citroen Tubik is the modern version of the TUB and Type H light vans and offers enough room for nine passengers which sit on the three rows of seats. Inside it has a big semi-circular TV and high definition surround sound. The Tubik benefits from a four-wheel drive configuration and is motivated by PSA’s Hybrid4 technology consisting of a diesel engine located in the front and an electric motor at the back. The car rides on massive 22-inch wheels which are covered by low-resistance tires.

VW Beetle R

The new generation of the Beetle was launched a couple of months ago and VW has given us a glimpse on how the hot R version of the model will look like. Covered by a “serious grey” paint finish, the car has flared wheel arches along with revised front & rear bumpers. At the bag we find a big spoiler and dual-chrome tailpipes. The production version is expected to get the engine of the Golf R or the Scirocco R.

Rimac Concept_One

Another beautiful car revealed at Frankfurt comes from Croatia. The Rimac Concept_One comes with a lightweight carbon fiber body, an all-wheel drive system and carbon ceramic brakes. This one is also an electric vehicle and has a 92 kWh battery pack that powers the four electric motors that manage to generate a combined output of 1074 hp and 2802 lb.-ft. It weighs 3638 lb and is able to do the 0-62 mph sprint in 2.8 seconds, before reaching a maximum speed of 190 mph. With the batteries full, the car offers a range of up to 373 miles.

Opel RAK e

A very futurist concept is the Opel RAK e that was advertised as being a cheap urban commuter that can accommodate two people. It is a battery-operated car that features exposed wheels and benefits from a steel spaceframe structure that hides underneath synthetic material. The car weighs 837 lbs and is motivated by an electric motor that has a peak output of 49 hp while the continuous one is 14 hp. It is fed by the 5 kWh battery which needs about three hours for a full charge. Once fully charged, the car can be driven for up to 62 miles.

Audi Urban Concept

It seems that urban concepts were in trend this year at Frankfurt because Audi brought one too, which they simply called the Urban Concept. They unveiled both the coupe and spyder versions, featuring a carbon fiber monocoque and a curb weight of less than 500 kg. It is powered by a brushless electric motor that has 15 kWh which powers the rear wheels. It draws its necessary from the lithium-ion battery and offers a range of up to 37 miles. It should offer roughly the same performances as a supermini.

Mercedes-Benz Concept B-Class E-CELL PLUS

Mercedes-Benz revealed its Concept B-Class E-CELL PLUS, which is a plug-in hybrid that features an electric motor that offers 134 hp which is able to guarantee a continuous output of 94 hp. The traditional gasoline engine produces 67 hp while the gearbox has been developed especially for the concept. CO2 emissions stand at only 32 g/km and the range is estimated at 373 miles, while only on electric mode it can be driven for up to 62 miles.

Land Rover Defender DC100

We end with the very cool Land Rover Defender DC100 that is an interesting speedster-style open-top vehicle which features cut-down screens and a twin-humped fastback tonneau. It has been fitted with huge 22-inch alloy wheels and has a 3+3 seating configuration, which reminds us of the original Land Rovers. It has a 2.0-liter engine and is mated to an eight-speed gearbox. Needless to say, it has an all-wheel drive system, along with the latest generation of the Terrain Response system. On its roof we find solar panels. The production version is set to debut in 2015.

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Ford E-Bike Concept Goes Official

Ford E-Bike Concept

The Frankfurt Motor Show is where most of all the car manufacturers out there gather to exhibit their latest models. Ford is one of them and aside from bringing their share of new or updated vehicle, for this year’s edition they unveiled an interesting bike.

Ford E-Bike Concept

Dubbed the E-Bike, it is a concept of an electric bike that is made from aluminum and carbon which allows it to weigh only 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs). It has been fitted with a 350 W electric motor located in the front wheel hub which is fed by a 340Wh lithium-ion accumulator installed inside the frame. It comes with planet gears and is capable of travelling up to 15.53 mph (25 km/h). With the battery full, the Ford E-Bike concept provides a range of 53 miles (85 km).

Ford E-Bike Concept

No word about a possible production version but we sure hope that the Blue Oval will launch it as it looks great and seems very well-thought. Let’s just hope that if they do launch it, the price tag won’t be inflated.

Source: Ford via WCF

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Alfa Romeo 4C Concept Makes An Appearance In Frankfurt

Alfa Romeo 4C Concept

For the second time this year after the Geneva Motor Show, Alfa’s superb 4C Concept has been brought to the Frankfurt Motor Show, this time wearing a “Fluid Metal” metallic silver paint, whereas the one in Geneva had a red finish and looked better in my humble opinion.

Alfa Romeo 4C Concept

The Italian automaker Alfa Romeo mentioned that a production version will be launched in 2012. Under the hood it will be a 1.7-liter turbocharged engine that will probably output about 232 hp, which will be enough to propel the 2-seater, mid-engined sports cars to 62 mph in “under five seconds”, on its way to a maximum speed “of over 250 km/h”.

Alfa Romeo 4C Concept

The car benefits from a double-wishbone suspension in the front while the back packs a MacPherson struts configuration. The weight distribution of the car is 40:60 and it will get the “DNA” technology which is capable of controlling the throttle response, suspension and steering settings.

Alfa Romeo 4C Concept

In related news, Alfa Romeo’s returned to the United States has been delayed once again, this time for late 2013. The Giulia sedan and wagon will go into production sometime in 2014, instead of 2013, as previously stated by Alfa’s owner Fiat. In addition, the possibility of launching an SUV is also not certain at the moment, because Fiat doesn’t know where to build it. At first, they though to make it in Italy, but they’ve changed their minds due to questions of cost. Now, they are thinking about producing it in North America as costs there are significantly lower. A final decision regarding the possibility of production an SUV will be made towards the end of this month. We’ll keep you posted.

Source: Alfa Romeo via Autocar

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BMW 1-Series Concept Unveiled In Frankfurt

BMW 1-Series Concept

A hot concept based on the 1-Series was revealed by BMW last week at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It was developed by the company’s Performance Accessories branch in collaboration with the hot M division. Standing alongside the regular version, this interesting concept has 19-inch alloys, an uprated suspension, beefier brakes as well as tweaked exhaust parts.

BMW 1-Series Concept

Other than that, it has been fitted with an aggressive bodykit, a carbon fiber wing mirror detailing, striped decals and a rear diffuser. Inside the cabin, this BMW 1-Series concept has yellow trim highlights, custom floor mats, lots of leather and carbon fiber detailing.

The power kits developed by BMW Performance can be installed in the 135i and the 335i. Modifying the management system of the engine, it lifts the power of the 3.0-liter to 326 hp, which is 20 hp more.

Source: BMW via Autocar

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Frankfurt Motor Show – Smart ForVision

Smart ForVision

Last week at the Frankfurt Motor Show the German automaker Smart showed us how one of their models could look in the future by revealing the cool ForVision concept. They collaborated with BASF for this vehicle which can be considered the pinnacle of advanced technology and a lightweight design.

Smart ForVision

It doesn’t have a regular roof like we have on our cars, instead it that one features transparent organic solar cells that are capable of generating enough power in order “to power the multimedia components” even in low lighting conditions. These cells also feature organic light-emitting diodes that provide light inside the cabin if one of the doors is opened.

Smart ForVision

In addition, the wheels are also special as they are made out of plastic and have a curb weight of only 6.6 pounds (3 kg). Other than that, the Smart ForVision has carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy resin doors, infrared-reflecting film on the windows to keep the cabin nice and cool even when exposed to direct sunlight, along with plastic seats that have lightweight cushions and built-in heating and cooling elements.

No word about what’s under the hood but most likely it has the same powertrain as the ForTwo Electric Drive model.

Source: Smart via WCF

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Frankfurt Motor Show – Audi Urban Concept

Audi Urban Concept

A bunch of urban concept vehicles have been unveiled this week at Frankfurt and the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer decided to join in by revealing the Urban Concept, in both coupe and spyder variants. It is the result of a development study conducted by a team of in-house engineers, designers as well as electrical experts to play around with new styling ideas, an ultra lightweight construction, small car packaging as well as driveline efficiency.

Audi Urban Concept

From the looks of it, we can easily say that it combines some of the cues of bubble cars like the Messerschmitt Kabinenroller with a more modern aerospace design. Both of the concepts have a common central tub to which the German automaker says that they have linked a race car-style pushrod suspension which offers support for outboard mounted 21-inch alloys.

Audi Urban Concept

The coupe variant of the concept has a canopy that automatically retracts back in order to reveal a two-seat cabin that has staggered steering. As far as the spyder version is concerned, it has a cut down windscreen as well as partial side windows which make the car look a little bit like the E-Tron spyder concept.

Audi Urban Concept

Both cars measure 3,200 mm in length, 1,700 mm in width, while being 1,200 mm tall, which makes them 505 mm longer, 140 mm wider and 340 mm lower than the tiny Smart ForTwo Electric Drive. The concepts benefit from a carbon fiber monocoque and have a curb weight of less than 500 kg, which is 50% less than the company’s smallest model at the moment, the A1 (1.2 TFSI).

Audi Urban Concept

The Urban Concept is motivated by a brushless electric motor that has 15 kWh and has been installed at the back, powering the rear wheels. The necessary energy is drawn from the lithium-ion battery pack, which offers a range between 31 and 37 miles (50 and 60 km). Performance-wise, Audi has described it as being on par with current superminis, capable of doing the 0-62 mph sprint in 6.3 seconds, en route to a limited top speed of 62 mph (100 km/h).

Source: Audi via Autocar

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Opel’s Cool RAK e Concept Revealed In Frankfurt

Opel RAK e Concept

One of the coolest concepts shown this week during the Frankfurt Show is Opel’s RAK e, which has been developed as a budget-friendly urban commuter that has a two-seat configuration. Although this is a concept, the German automaker mentioned that the vehicle has “production potential”, but I don’t think they will be bold enough to launch this one, at least not in the following years.

Opel RAK e Concept

Anyway, it is a battery-operated car(?) that rides on exposed wheels and it is based on a steel spaceframe structure hiding underneath synthetic material. Although most concepts have exotic materials, Opel decided to fit its RAK e with normal ones in order to keep the costs down to a minimum. It weighs 837 lbs (380 kg), which is approximately 176 lbs (80 kg) less than the Volkswagen NILS concept we’ve talked about earlier this week.

Opel RAK e Concept

The concept is approximately three meters long and 1,190 mm tall, accommodating the driver (obviously) and the passenger in a tandem configuration. It is motivated by an electric motor that has a peak output of 36.5 kW (49 hp) and a continuous one of 10.5 kW (14 hp). It draws the necessary energy from the 5 kWh battery pack which needs three hours to reach its full capacity.  The range can be of up to 62 miles (100 km) and it will cost you about $1.37 (1 Euro) to plug it in.

Opel RAK e Concept

The company also stated that the car is capable of doing the 0-62 mph sprint in less than 13 seconds while its top speed is 75 mph (120 km/h). In addition, if driven every year for 6,200 miles (10,000 km) the concept’s energy consumption would be of about 525 kWh.

Source: Opel via Carscoop

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VW Shows Beetle R Concept In Frankfurt

VW Beetle R Concept

Ever since the new generation of the VW Beetle was launched rumors regarding a possible R version emerged. We now know that the German automaker is working hard on a hotter version of its funky model as for this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show they brought this concept which looks pretty much like a production version.

The fastest Beetle in the current lineup is the one powered by the 2.0 TFSI engine that fires 197 hp. Although VW didn’t say anything about the performance figures for this concept, they did mention that these should be roughly the same with the ones of the Scirocco R (261 hp) and the Golf R (266 hp).

VW Beetle R Concept

Wearing a “serious grey” paintwork, the VW Beetle R Concept rides on a set of alloys that are bigger than the ones found on the aforementioned R versions of the Golf and Scirocco. It has flared wheel arches while the front and rear bumpers have been updated. The front bumper has three air intakes while the one in the back incorporates a diffuser. Also at the back is a bigger spoiler, along with a couple of dual-chrome tailpipes.

Inside the cabin, this concept comes with sports seats wrapped around in black Nappa leather, as well as upgraded door sill plates, brushed aluminum pedal caps and an instrument cluster that is specifically styled for the company’s R models.

Source: Volkswagen via Autocar

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Frankfurt Motor Show – Ssangyong XIV-1 Concept

Ssangyong XIV-1 Concept

One of the many concepts that were revealed this week during the Frankfurt Motor Show is this SsangYong XIV-1. The car measures 4,140 mm in length, 1,830 in width and it is 1,590 mm tall, while the wheelbase is 2,600 mm. One of the cool features of this concept would have to be the opposite-opening rear doors that look great.

Ssangyong XIV-1 Concept

The car is motivated by a 1.6-liter gasoline engine or a 1.6-liter diesel, but unfortunately we don’t have any details about the specifications of these power units. We do know that SsangYong is seriously thinking about rolling out a production version out of this concept which should go head-to-head with other cars in the CUV segment, like the Land Rover Evoque.

Ssangyong XIV-1 Concept

Source: SsangYong

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Citroen Shocks Frankfurt Crowd With Tubik Concept

Citroen Tubik

One of the most radical vehicles unveiled this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show is Citroen’s Tubik. They drawn their inspiration for this model from the TUB and Type H light vans developed by the French automaker for more than four decades starting with 1939. The car measures 4,800 mm long, 2,080 mm wide and it is 2,050 mm tall. It has enough room to carry up to nine passengers that will sit across three rows of seats.

Citroen Tubik

The interior cabin benefits from an adjustable modular seating arrangement and it has been designed as a “lounge-style cocoon”, featuring a leather floor, felt seats and ambient lighting. Other than that, it sports a huge semi-circular TV screen as well as hi-def surround sound.

Citroen Tubik

The doors of the Citroen Tubik open along the entire side of the van in order to permit access to both the front and rear. The automaker says that the cockpit is based on a so-called “cyclotron” that groups the seats, steering wheel, pedal assembly and the head-up display in a cool circular arrangement. The driver of the vehicle is recognized via the fingerprint recognition system.

Citroen Tubik

The car is motivated by a 4WD drivetrain and is powered by PSA’s Hybrid4 technology that includes a diesel engine in the front and an electric motor that drives the back wheels. Speaking of the rims, they measure 22 inches and are wrapped around in low-resistance rubbers. The Tubik also has the company’s Hydractive suspension technology. Once the car reaches high speeds, it will automatically sit lower in order to improve the aerodynamics. Citroen mentioned that the van’s CO2 emissions are roughly the same as the ones of a regular sedan.

Source: Citroen via Autocar

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