Posts Tagged ‘concept’

2013 NAIAS: Toyota Corolla Furia Concept

January 15th, 2013 No comments

      The Toyota Corolla typically has been known as an automotive appliance. Certainly the Corolla has rarely been a masculine nameplate since the word ‘corolla’ loosely translated means ‘flower petals.’ Even so, Toyota management emphasized at the NAIAS unveiling of the Corolla Furia concept, that over 38% of the 24 million cars the brand has sold since 1968 have been Corollas. Even though the car has sold in large volumes Toyota management admitted that the Corolla has an image problem. Probably happy to allow customer s to remain ignorant about the meaning of the compact’s name, it was obvious with the reveal of the Corolla Furia that Toyota designers and engineers are working hard to change the car’s image. The Furia concept is far more aggressive in appearance than any production Corolla but it was a non-functioning mock-up without a powertrain or interior. No matter, it is refreshing to see that Toyota is working to improve the Corolla’s staid image. Read more…

2013 NAIAS: Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept

January 15th, 2013 No comments

      Volkswagen is not new to the SUV and crossover market. Having offered a relatively large Toureg since 2002 and the small Tiguan since 2007 it is somewhat surprising that VW has never offered a three row crossover under its people’s car brand. In an attempt to remedy this shortcoming VW unveiled the six-passenger CrossBlue concept. Looking alarmingly similar to Jeep’s Grand Cherokee, executives assured that the CrossBlue concept could easily be predictive of a future production model. They also assured that the future model would offer seven passenger seating replacing the concept’s middle row captain’s chairs with a bench seat. The CrossBlue is equipped with a diesel engine mated to two electric motors, a dual-clutch automatic transmission, and an electric all-wheel-drive system. VW estimates 89 mpge in combined electric mode and 35 mpg as a hybrid. This powertrain produces up to 305 horsepower and an stump-pulling 516 pound-feet of torque. At 196.3 inches long and 79.3 inches wide, VW calls this concept a midsize crossover and expects that a production version would slot between the Tiguan and Toureg in its lineup. This is a curious assessment since the Toureg only seats five and stretches about 189 inches long. Whatever the logic, we say Volkswagen has everything to gain by finally entering the seven passenger crossover segment. Read more…

2013 NAIAS: Hyundai HCD-14 Concept

January 15th, 2013 No comments

      The success of the Hyundai Genesis and Equus have been proof that skeptics of the Korean brand should sit up and take notice. Once exclusively a budget focused brand, the sales success and resale value retention of the premium Genesis and Equus have caused Hyundai to evaluate in which direction it can take its upscale offerings. Once known for frumpy and ambiguously styled sedans and crossovers, Hyundai has been on a design renaissance the last several years. The only cars avoiding this trendsetting style are the Genesis and Equus sedans. In an effort to convey the design direction of these two cars, Hyundai unveiled the HCD-14 (presumably Hyundai Concept Design number 14). This rear-wheel drive sedan features a long hood, suicide doors, and a menacing grille, leaving an impression the car rolled off the pages of a Batman Comic Book. We like the slick roofline, winged Genesis badges, and simple upright grille. Hyundai executives were clear that this car is not a thinly disguised next-generation Genesis, but rather, a design inspiration for the direction Hyundai’s premium offerings will head. Read more…

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2013 NAIAS: Lincoln MKC Concept

January 14th, 2013 No comments

      The vultures have been circling the Lincoln camp for the last few years.  The slow death of Lincoln’s companion make, Mercury, in 2011 certainly have given the critics a watchful eye. Lincoln executives hope to reverse that perception by giving journalists a peek today of the MKC concept.  The MKC is a small crossover that Lincoln hopes will capture the hearts of those in the market for a small luxury utility vehicle. Ford executives promised that the 5 door crossover is a strong hint at a future production vehicle.  We expect that this small Lincoln will be based on the platform used for the Ford Escape. With hints of Audi Q7 in the rear, and a muscular stance similar to the Range Rover Evoque, we think that Lincoln may be headed back in the right direction. The interior looks inspired by that of the new MKZ and features the distinctive pushbutton gear shift selector. While hardly groundbreaking, we think this glimpse at a future Lincoln looks promising and we dare anyone to tell us they knew it sprang from the bones of an Escape. Read more…

Chevrolet Mi-ray Concept (Design Critique)

April 12th, 2011 No comments

      Over the past fifteen years or so, automakers seem to have struggled to develop compelling forward thinking concept cars. Those concepts that were not retro in nature seem to be simply too bizarre to be attractive, or are overly obvious predictions of production models that are just around the corner. We should celebrate, then, the Chevrolet Mi-ray Concept. Read more…

NAIAS 2011: Honda Civic Concepts

January 11th, 2011 No comments

     Honda isn’t quite ready to debut the new ninth-generation Civic lineup yet, but that didn’t stop them from teasing us with mildly exaggerated coupe and sedan concepts. If you visually downsize the wheels, relocate the center exhaust tips and install an interior you’re looking at the 2012 Civic that will debut in a few short months. Read more…

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NAIAS 2011: 2012 Hyundai Veloster and Curb Concept

January 10th, 2011 No comments


      One of the few true surprises of the show was the newest production offering from Hyundai and what a delight it was. The Veloster may have a silly name but we’re convinced it’s anything but. Read more…

NAIAS 2011: MINI Paceman Concept

January 10th, 2011 No comments

     Mini is on a quest to fill as many automotive niches as it can and the Paceman Concept is the latest alteration that may or may not be destined for production. What we can tell you is that Mini’s designers used “masculine design language” and the higher ground clearance and larger dimensions of the 4-door Mini Countryman to make this the first Sports Activity Coupe, or SAC, (their words, not ours) in the small car segment. Read more…

NAIAS 2011: Toyota Prius Goes Plural

January 10th, 2011 No comments

      With sales of almost one million units since its debut in 2000, the Toyota Prius is an unqualified success and Toyota can hardly be blamed for looking at ways to expand the Prius’ appeal to new customers. Which is exactly what we saw Toyota do at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. Read more…

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NAIAS 2011: Porsche 918 RSR Concept

January 10th, 2011 No comments


     Porsche is one of the enduring leaders in motorsports and the German sports-car manufacturer chose to return to this year’s Detroit Auto Show, its first appearance in four years, to debut its most advanced racer yet. Read more…