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Archive for the ‘concept cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Audi TT Clubsport Concept Turbo: Blast from the Past!!

Audi has launched the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The TT Clubsport provides a strong reminisce of the Audi 90 IMSA GTO from the 1980’s. Lots of parts for this car have been drawn from Audi Sport Performance Parts. Audi has managed to garner enough attention at the SEMA show with its visually appealing looks.

Let’s find out more about it.

Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept Details


Audi TT Clubsport Concept Turbo: Blast from the Past!! - image 744094

The Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept comes equipped with 2.5-liter, electrically assisted, turbocharged, five-cylinder engine that generates an impressive 600 horsepower; 200 horsepower more than the standard offering. This helps the TT attain naught to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 193 mph.

The TT is 5.5 inches wider, thanks to the widened wings. The TT also comes packed with a huge racing fender and a manually adjustable carbon fiber rear spoiler.
The TT has been fused with various parts from the Audi Sport Performance Parts, such as the light-weight 20-inch wheels, an adjustable suspension, and an exhaust system developed with Akrapovic.

Author’s Take


2015 Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Technology Concept - image 630048

The TT has created roars before and has taken it up by a notch with the TT Clubsport Turbo Concept. Audi also introduced the Audi Sports Parts for the TT RS and R8 V10 models at the SEMA show. Audi has done an incredible job with the TT and definitely gave it a nostalgic touch. We’re still waiting on more details for this concept, but until we get them, you can check out the 2015 Audi TT Clubsport Concept.

References

Audi TT


2015 Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Technology Concept - image 630061

Read our full review on the 2015 Audi TT Clubsport Concept.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Lamborghini Terzo Millennio Concept

2017 Lamborghini Terzo Millennio Concept

Just when you think that you have the auto industry all figured out, it still finds a way to make you question what you know. Very few automakers are as good at doing that as Lamborghini, and after bearing witness to the madness that is the Terzo Millennia Concept, I might as well just throw my hands up and admit defeat. I don’t know enough to know what Lamborghini knows because, if I did, I would’ve seen the Terzo Millennio Concept coming a while ago. But nothing prepares you for this kind of presentation, especially when the Italian automaker is involved. You just sit back, be amazed, and try not to piss yourself in the process.

The narrative surrounding the Terzo Millennio Concept is a pretty straightforward one. The concept is a joint creation by Lamborghini and some smart folks from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was created to showcase the future of the Raging Bull, or rather, the possibilities of what can happen in automotive design and engineering when smart people work together for a common purpose. History hasn’t always been kind to this innovative bullishness, but if there’s one automaker that has proven to be adept at bringing state-of-the-art tech to life, no matter how ridiculous they may be, it’s Lamborghini. All that is why the Terzo Millennio Concept is so intriguing beyond the fact that it proudly wears the iconic Sant’Agata Bull badge. The concept may be defined by tech offerings that don’t exist yet, but that’s not to say they can’t happen, especially when Lamborghini’s involved.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Lamborghini Terzo Millenio Concept.

  • Designed to be the super sports car of the third millennium
  • Futuristic technology
  • Body panels contain energy accumulation system, health monitoring, and self-healing technology
  • Four motors
  • Each wheel is designed around a motor to keep the body and powertrain separate
  • Four-wheel torque control, dynamic body control system
  • New architecture is said to “perfect airflow”
  • Shorter hood a first for Lambo
  • New lighting layout compared to traditional DNA
  • The true embodiment of future Lamborghini vehicles

Exterior


2017 Lamborghini Terzo Millennio Concept - image 743134
“The concept is outlandish in so many ways, yet it’s no accident that it looks the way it does.”

Where do I even begin? I suppose the obvious place to start is the “Terzo Millennio” name, which basically means “Third Millennium.” It’s no accident that Lamborghini opted for that monicker since CEO Stefano Domenicali himself referred to the concept as “the future of the super sports car for the third millennium.”

One look at the Terzo Millennio, and it’s easy to see the reference. The concept is outlandish in so many ways, yet it’s no accident that it looks the way it does. There’s a purpose behind every aerodynamic detail to the car, from the massive LMP1-style wheel arches, the short hood, the expansive windshield, to all the carbon fiber panels that seemingly protrude on all sections of the concept from just about every direction.

The front section has hints of Lamborghini’s styling DNA, but there are some new aspects to it too. For one, I haven’t seen a Lamborghini with that kind lighting configuration before. The shortened hood is another new approach, and it is a little jarring to see the windshield extend all the way to the same level as the headlights. It’s also worth noting how close to the ground the concept is. At least that’s one feature that you can expect to remain in concept form.


2017 Lamborghini Terzo Millennio Concept - image 743127
“Panels deemed unnecessary have been stripped out in the name of making the concept as light as possible”

Move to the side, and you’ll see one of the defining design traits of the Terzo Milennio. Panels deemed unnecessary have been stripped out in the name of making the concept as light as possible. You’ll see in a few angles that the traditional intakes in front of the rear wheels have been taken out completely. The result is a completely exposed section that gives the wind another area to blast through unimpeded. The concept also features two gills on each side – another nod to the unbridled focus on aerodynamics. It’s a similar story in the rear of the concept, though if I may be granted an opinion, this is my favorite section of the Terzo MIllenio. The stance alone is perfect. It’s brutish and elegant at the same time, kind of like how you’d describe a massive bull with muscles bulging from every body part but still moves with the grace that we humans can only dream of. It’s beautiful. It’s spectacular. It’s a work of art.

Here’s the really interesting part about the Terzo Millenio. I’ve rambled on about its design attributes, but I’ve yet to get to the defining element of the concept. Those body panels that make up the body of the concept aren’t just standard carbon fiber panels. They also store the concept’s power source. Yes, you read that right. The body panels themselves contain the batteries, specifically carbon fiber nanotubes that are malleable enough to to be shaped in such a way that they can be thin enough to be sandwiched in layers of carbon fiber, thus preventing the possibility of future Lambo owners getting electrocuted.


2017 Lamborghini Terzo Millennio Concept - image 743128

And, you thought the Lamborghini Terzo Millennio was your typical run-of-the-mill concept? Well, guess again.

Interior

There’s not much to talk as far as the interior is concerned. What we do know at this point is that the concept only comes with two seats since, you know, weight savings. Other than that, there’s plenty to speculate on what kind of cabin the concept has. Knowing Lamborghini, I imagine something of a never-seen-before set-up that relies on some kind of advanced AI interface with enough futuristic mumbo-jumbo to make George Jetson proud.

Drivetrain


2017 Lamborghini Terzo Millennio Concept - image 743164
“The concept uses four electric motors, housed at each of the four wheels”

If you’re dreaming about numbers, then continue to dream because neither Lamborghini nor MIT have any concrete power figures attached to the Terzo Millennio. Not that it matters because horsepower should be the least of our concern anyway. What’s important is the tech that comes with the concept, and as I mentioned earlier, it’s a doozy.

There are still elements about the drivetrain that speak to our language. One is the use of four electric motors, housed at each of the four wheels. Another is the use of advanced supercapacitors, something that Lamborghini has already fiddled with in the current Aventador.

But it wouldn’t be a Lamborghini concept without the inclusion of mind-blowing technology. This is where those body panels come into the equation. The idea is that instead of installing a clunky battery pack in the car – that’s added weight, among other perceived nuisances – the energy storage are built into the body panels of the car through that carbon fiber sandwiching process I alluded to earlier. Having this energy source in the body of the car not only helps in generating high amounts of power for the car, but also assists it through fast recharging, effective regeneration of kinetic energy, and slow degradation of the battery pack itself.


2017 Lamborghini Terzo Millennio Concept - image 743140
“Lamborghini says that the concept will be able to monitor its carbon fiber structure and detect if there are any issues to any of its panels”

The technology itself is a definite shot into the future, but it isn’t without its real-world issues, one of which is the physical integrity of the carbon fiber. As durable as it is, it’s no vibranium, so there is a possibility that the material cracks or even breaks, especially when it’s subjected to a good amount of electricity literally flowing inside of it. To address that, Lambo and MIT are looking at a tech feature that essentially lets the carbon fiber material heal by itself.

I won’t blame any of you if your eyebrows start trending upwards, but this is still a concept so the thin line between reality is fantasy is understandably a lot more blurred than it should be. In any event, Lamborghini says that the concept will be able to monitor its carbon fiber structure – there’s that AI technology I’m predicting – and detect if there are any issues to any of its panels, be it cracked, or completely broken. In these instances, the Italian automaker literally said that “micro-channels filled with healing chemistries” will do the repairs by themselves. I don’t know what micro-channels are, and I’m pretty sure that the phrase “healing chemistries” is a good source of chuckles, but the possibilities are pretty fascinating, provided that you open your imagination.

In other words, when the world’s greatest minds collaborate on a concept like the Lamborghini Terzo Millenio, we’re going to need to give them some latitude on some of the crazy stuff.

Conclusion


2017 Lamborghini Terzo Millennio Concept - image 743128

There’s a lot to like about the Lamborghini Terzo Millennia, but as with most concept vehicles like this, it’s hard to really gauge its effectiveness. Most of what Lamborghini and MIT created speak to an automotive future that doesn’t exist yet or, at best, is at least still in its embryonic stage. It’s hard to tell if these features will ever come to pass, let alone turn into something meaningful in the future. These are discussions for another time, though credit should still go to Lamborghini for already looking into future automotive technology.

As far as how the concept looks, well, just look at it. It’s the embodiment of what it means to take pride in the Lamborghini name. Fearsome, brutish, and classy all at the same time. That’s the kind of concept we expect from the Italian automaker. Safe to say that it’s reassuring to know that the company hasn’t lost its touch in this regard.

  • Leave it
    • Some tech features are too outlandish to even think about
    • Can Lamborghini develop these techs for future application?
    • Don’t expect a production model anytime soon, maybe ever.

PostHeaderIcon Can The Toyota R-Tuned C-HR Beat The Honda Civic Type R’s FWD Lap Record At The Nurburgring?

2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned Concept

When you build a custom version of an SUV and later on claim it to be the “fastest of its kind,” the rationale after that is to go to a race track and validate your boasts. To his credit, that’s what Dan Gardner of Dan Gardner Spec wants to do with the race-spec, 600-horsepower Toyota C-HR, provided that Toyota allows him to do it.

At the moment, Gardner says that the Japanese automaker has no plans for the R-Tuned C-HR past its SEMA showcase so it’s anybody’s guess where the power-packed SUV will show up next. That said, if Gardner had his way, it’d be at the Nurburgring where it can properly stretch its legs and make a run at the current FWD lap record of the Honda Civic Type R that the Honda hot hatch set in April 2017 with a time of 7:43.8. Not only does Gardner believe that the R-Tuned C-HR can beat the Civic Type R’s lap time, but he actually has “no doubt” that it can do it if given the opportunity to do so. That’s not to say that it can take the record away from the Civic Type R. The R-Tuned C-HR isn’t a production car so it wouldn’t be eligible for the record to begin with. But Gardner still wants to do it, if only to let the world know that there’s truth to his “fastest SUV” claims. Considering what amount of aftermarket tuning the C-HR was subjected to, I’m prepared to believe him regardless of whether or not the SUV does hit the ‘Ring.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

The R-Tuned C-HR is not a car you’d want to mess with


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741807

On the surface, the Toyota R-Tuned C-HR has a chance to not only break the Honda Civic Type R’s record but to smash it completely to smithereens. It certainly doesn’t look like a standard C-HR anymore. It’s dripping from head to toe with aerodynamic bits. It’s been stripped down so that non-essential items don’t add unnecessary weight. It’s even been tuned to produce 600 horsepower, all thanks to the addition of a DG-Spec Garrett turbo compressor that’s responsible for breathing an extra 23 psi into the cylinders. The result is an SUV that packs more power than a Porsche 911 Turbo S.

Speaking of the Porsche 911, the R-Tuned C-HR proved its prowess during a recent run at Willow Springs, where it posted a lap time of 1:25.22. That’s a faster time around the track than the Porsche 911 GT3 and the Lamborghini Aventador.

Clearly, Gardner and his crew at Dan Gardner Spec built a powerhouse in the R-Tuned C-HR. It’s even more impressive when you consider just how much work the tuning house put into turning it into what Gardner refers to as a “supercar killer.” More than just the significant increase in power, Dan Gardner Spec also worked on the SUV’s handling characteristics, which is arguably one of its most weakest points. All told, the tuning shop spent close to 10,000 hours to complete the transformation and, for what it’s worth, the result validated all those hours spent turning the otherwise mundane C-HR into a legitimate powerhouse on wheels.

Can it beat the Honda Civic Type R’s record lap time in the ‘Ring?


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741806

I firmly believe that it can, but that’s just my opinion of it. And, I’m certainly not dismissing the Civic Type R either. The hot hatch doesn’t just own the Nurburgring lap time record for a FWD car. It also holds that same title in some of the world’s most notable race tracks, including Silverstone, Spa, Monza, Estoril, and the Hungaroring.

Gardner’s firm started the build late last year, and he estimated that it took a total of around 10,000 hours. Although there are no plans for the C-HR R-Tuned after SEMA, Gardner said he would love to take the car to the Nordschleife for a lap record bid there.

But, I’m taking Dan Gardner’s side on this one. I think the R-Tuned C-HR has the mechanical and technical chops to post a faster lap time than the Civic Type R. I don’t have any facts to back up my position, just a strong belief that an SUV that’s as stripped down as the Toyota with close to double the power output will be able to lap the Nurburgring quicker than the Civic Type R’s record lap for an FWD machine.

Here’s to hoping that Toyota gives it the green light to make the trip to the ‘Ring. I’d love to be proven right – or wrong.

References

Toyota C-HR


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741805

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned.

Honda Civic


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719374

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

PostHeaderIcon Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept

2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept

Raise your hands if you feel a little hoodwinked by Infiniti and its Q60 Red Alpha Concept. I know I have my hands in the air because I expected something completely different from this concept. But, that’s the beauty of the auto industry. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, it gives us a car like the Q60 Red Alpha. I don’t think I’m the only one who thought that the concept would be a traditional go-faster iteration of the performance coupe. You know, something along the lines of the Q50 Eau Rouge with some extra luxury offerings thrown in for good measure.

Instead, Infiniti went a completely different direction in achieving the same goal. There may be a significant power and performance increase, but any hints of wood or carbon fiber trim are not just in short supply, they’re non-existent, to begin with. What we do get is a gutted interior with a roll cage in the back, Mickey Thompson drag racing tires, and a racing parachute in the back. A racing parachute! Did anybody see that coming? Granted, the concept does also come with a range of performance parts that will be available in the future for Red Sport 400 versions of the Q50 and Q60. We can at least look forward to that. But everything else about the Q60 Red Alpha speaks about a car that’s been heavily modified for one purpose: drag racing. I will admit though that I’m a little curious on how it’s going to fare on a drag strip, even if it’s something that I completely did not expect.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept

Exterior

  • Matte Red paint finish
  • Mickey Thompson drag racing tires
  • Bogart Racing wheels
  • Carbon fiber rear wing
  • Racing parachute

2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept - image 742577
“In essence, this concept isn’t so much about aerodynamic bits being added to the car as much as it is about the new equipment it’s actually carrying”

Boy, oh boy, where do I even start? On the one hand, the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept still looks like a Q60. The front end still looks the same though it does get somewhat of a more sculpted bumper. The striking headlights are still the same. The front grille is still the same. The sloping hood is still the same too. It’s a similar story in the side and rear sections of the coupe, at least when you disregard the accessories that were fitted into the Q60 by Infiniti and AMS Performance.

In essence, this concept isn’t so much about aerodynamic bits being added to the car as much as it is about the new equipment it’s actually carrying. Let’s start with the wheels because no Q60 coupe will sit on a set of
Bogart Racing wheels and Mickey Thompson drag racing tires unless there’s a purpose behind it. The adjustable carbon fiber wing could be an exception, except that it’s been bolted in at such a weird angle that it makes you think once again that there’s a reason behind why it looks the way it does.


2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept - image 742578
“And then there’s the racing parachute”

Not only does the wing cover the taillight, but opening the trunk with that thing looks complicated unless Infiniti and AMS Performance designed it in a way that the trunk becomes an afterthought. And then there’s the racing parachute. Obviously, there’s no explanation needed for its inclusion because from the way the concept was prepared, it’s not something that you’d be driving to Whole Foods, but something you’re more likely to see in a drag strip.

Interior

  • Carbon fiber racing seats
  • Harness bar

2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept - image 742583
“Infiniti actually went the opposite direction for this coupe, preparing the cabin in such a way that it becomes more race-focused than it once was”

Apparently, there’s not a lot going on in the interior of the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept, at least if your concern is what kind of new luxury upgrades it has. Infiniti actually went the opposite direction for this coupe, preparing the cabin in such a way that it becomes more race-focused than it once was. There are no clear photos of the interior, but I can at least make out the presence of a harness bar at the back of the front seats. Speaking of which, the seats themselves are now of the carbon fiber bucket seat variety, specifically added to not just shed some pounds off of the car’s total weight, but also to serve its new purpose as a full-fledged drag racer. It’s unclear as to how the dashboard and the center console look like but, if it the same philosophy applies, I don’t expect to see too much in the way of luxury trims and accents in those areas of the interior.

Drivetrain

  • Red Alpha Intercoolers
  • Red Alpha Intakes with Dry Media Filters
  • High Flow Exhaust Downpipes
  • Red Alpha Catback Exhaust System
  • Red Alpha ECU Calibration
  • High Capacity Overflow Tank
  • High Capacity Red Alpha Center Heat Exchanger

2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept - image 742576
“The Q60 Red Alpha Concept has around 467 horsepower and 452 pound-feet of torque at its disposal”

As surprising as the intent was of presenting the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept as a coupe fit to drag race, there’s nothing surprising about the work that was done under its hood, especially since AMS Performance is involved. For those who are unaware, AMS Performance is responsible for some of the sickest and gaudiest aftermarket programs in the business today. This is the same tuner that was responsible for the 2,500-horsepower Nissan GT-R Alpha G R35. If there’s a tuner that knows how to crank up a car’s power and performance abilities, it’s AMS Performance.

And as expected, it did just that to the Infiniti Q60, which benefits from a long list of upgrades to its 3.0-liter V-6 engine, including the addition of new intercoolers, intakes with dry media filters high-flow exhaust downpipes, a high capacity heat exchanger, and the age-old ECU tuning kit. All together, it’s been reported that the Q60 Red Alpha Concept has around 467 horsepower and 452 pound-feet of torque at its disposal. The numbers have yet to be finalized though because Infiniti hasn’t confirmed – or denied – the exact power of the Q60 Red Alpha. What it did say is that the work of AMS Performance on the engine helped increase the latter’s output by 29 percent from its standard output of 400 ponies and 350 pound-feet of torque. Do the math on that and the numbers mentioned above ware the fact ones that come as a result of this extensive engine upgrade.


2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept - image 742585

I actually expected a little bit more owing to AMS Performance’s involvement in the creation of the concept, but I’ll let it pass on account of Infiniti’s plan to actually offer some of the products at its dealerships in North America. Likewise, AMS distributors will also get their hands on some of these upgrades in the near future. Either way, I do think that there’s still a lot more to the Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept than meets the eye. I can’t place my finger what the purpose there is in the creation of the Q60 Red Alpha, but rest assured, I’m all ears to learn more about it.

Conclusion


2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Alpha Concept - image 742575

This is a bit of pickle, isn’t it? Personally, I’m impressed that Infiniti and AMS Performance were able to turn the Q60 Coupe into a full-spec racer with drag racing credentials. That’s a difficult task in of itself, but it’s even more impressive when you consider that the Q60 Coupe isn’t exactly the first performance car you’ll think of as far as getting a drag racing makeover is concerned.

That said, I don’t really know what the plans are for the concept beyond using it as a showcase of the new engine upgrades that Infiniti and AMS Performance cooked up for the former’s existing lineup of coupes and sedans. Is there a bigger play involved here, one that’s going to conclude with the Q60 Red Alpha becoming the kind of performance car that makes the whole auto world stand up and take notice? Or is this the extent of the what the concept is all about? The answers should hopefully come soon enough because at this point, it’s hard to see what the real purpose of the Q60 Red Alpha Concept really is. I suppose it’s a mixture of a lot of different things, but I still don’t know if it’s going to be anything more than what’s been presented by Infiniti.

  • Leave it
    • The whole point still escapes me
    • No clue on whether the concept will turn into a production model
    • I like the Q50 Eau Rouge much better

References

Infiniti Q60


2017 Infiniti Q60 Coupe - image 661437

Read our full review on the 2017 Infiniti Q60.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon NASCAR Champ Truex Jr. Designs All-Black Toyota Camry for SEMA

Toyota got really busy for the 2017 SEMA Show and its lineup for this year’s event included a handful of bespoke Camry sedans designed by NASCAR drivers. Among those who created their own race-inspired Camry was Martin Truex Jr., who recently clinched the Sprint Cup title behind the wheel of his NASCAR-spec Camry. Built as a homage to his track-prepped car, the production Camry was modified with help from Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Center (MTC) and Misfit Industries.

Much like the race car he used this season, the SEMA-bound Camry is finished in black. But the color is far from being a Toyota palette standard. Crafted by Misfit after going through six different shades, the final paint is covered with a satin top coat for a unique, nearly matte look. What’s more, all existing chrome trim was refinished in durable cobalt Cerakote, which turned the exterior of the Camry completely black. The wheels, which are based on those of Truex Jr.’s race car are also finished in black. But NASCAR’s new champion didn’t stop at new paint, trim, and wheels. The Camry also sports a front splitter, a ducktail spoiler with visible rivets, and a new diffuser with redesigned exhaust pipes with three holes on each side.

The interior matches the sober look of the exterior with black leather with black stitching on the seats and Truex Jr.’s initials stitched on the headrests. Under the skin, the Camry gained an AEM intake system, a TRD exhaust, a custom Tein coilover suspension for lowered ride height and bigger brakes from StopTech. The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric high-performance tires also add to the sedan’s improved performance.

Needless to say, Truex Jr.’s options for this Camry are a bit too serious as far as exterior updates go, but I must admit I would like to see this package offered on a limited-edition model. High-performance features and black matte paint are the perfect combination if you like subtle looks on beefed-up cars. Of course, a few engine upgrades would be nice too. What do you think? Let me know in the comments section.

References

Toyota Camry


2018 Toyota Camry - image 703838

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Camry.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept

2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept

Folks like to modify their rides for a variety of reasons. Some like to add a dash of personalized style, while others want to enhance the vehicle’s natural talents. However, some of the most interesting results come from the desire to take a vehicle out of its comfort zone, and as a result, create the unexpected. The Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept is a great example of something from that third category. While the Silverado is best known for its ability to haul goods, Chevy decided to see what would happen if it built a Silverado that could also haul ass. As such, this 2018 model gets a boatload of extra power thanks to a new concept supercharger system that ramps up output from the truck’s 5.3-liter V-8 engine by more than 100 horsepower. Of course, while gobs of extra power is always appreciated, a well-rounded build needs the complementary gear to go with it, and the Silverado Performance Concept delivers with additional performance parts, styling upgrades, and more.

Making its debut at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Silverado Performance Concept joins roughly 20 other factory-backed Chevy models in attendance to entice both builders and enthusiasts alike with Bow Tie-styled goodness. Read on for the details on this go-faster truck.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept.

What Makes The Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept Special

  • Concept supercharger adds more than 100 horsepower
  • Blower is based on the Camaro ZL1 and Corvette Z06
  • Big Brembo brakes in front
  • 22-inch wheels
  • Breathing support mods
  • Custom exterior graphics
  • Black badges and trim
  • Carbon fiber gauges
  • Performance Data Logger

Wait, It’s A Blown Silverado?


2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept - image 741741
“Under the hood we find a brand-new supercharger stuffing the stock 5.3-liter V-8 with enough boost to produce more than 100 extra horsepower.”

You heard right. The big news with this concept is what’s going on under the hood, where we find a brand-new supercharger stuffing the stock 5.3-liter V-8 with enough boost to produce more than 100 extra horsepower. Although Chevy didn’t give us specific figures, we know that the V-8 Silverado makes 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque from the factory, so it’s probably safe to assume as much as 460 horses and nearly 480 pound-feet of torque from this concept. In stock form, the 0-to-60 mph sprint takes 7.2 seconds, and we’re guessing the blower cuts that down to the high-five-second range.

That’s a huge jump in output and performance, but we’re not surprised. Chevy says the supercharger system is based on the same blower you get on the LT4-equipped Camaro ZL1 and Corvette Z06, even utilizing an intercooler system to keep the incoming air nice and chilly.


2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept - image 741737
“That’s a huge jump in output and performance, but we’re not surprised. Chevy says the supercharger system is based on the same blower you get with the Camaro ZL1.”

To help put it all to the pavement, the Performance Concept gets 22-inch performance-oriented tires, which are mounted on custom aluminum wheels painted in a unique hue. Under the front rollers are new brakes from Brembo, rocking six-piston calipers finished in red.

Supporting the superchargers is a new cold-air intake, as well as a cat-back exhaust with a polished tip. This last bit left us a bit surprised, as we would have expected a full-length exhaust upgrade to make the most of the blower, but hey – 100 horsepower is still 100 horsepower.

What’s Going On With The Exterior?


2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept - image 741739

To help it look the part of a tuned performance machine, this concept Silverado gets a new Satin Steel Gray paint job. Adding extra lines and muscly sinews is a restyled lower fascia up front, plus new air ducts and a new hood. The grille surrounds and bumper were also repainted to match the color of the body.

Complimentary details include darker accents for the window moldings and various body emblems, as well as smoked coverings for the headlights and taillights. You’ll also find custom exterior graphics and a tri-fold tonneau cover.

Looks Pretty Good!


2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept - image 741738

We agree, and the good stuff continues inside where the steering wheel is covered in black suede and gets the requisite performance red stripe. The concept also uses carbon fiber gauges from the Z71, as well as an LCD competition-style dash logger so you can put some numbers to your extra performance.

And, being a truck, there’s some practicality-oriented gear as well, including all-weather floor liners and a storage organizer under the rear seat.

We didn’t get any photos of the interior, but it sounds like it’s got the right stuff to impress.

References

Chevrolet Silverado


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 648480

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Titan XD Snow Plow Package Is Ready for a White Christmas

Recent U.S. winters have had greater than average snowfall, and it seems that the upcoming cold season won’t be any different. Nissan is doing something about it, though, by offering the Titan XD with snow plow and all the accessories needed to turn the pickup truck into a reliable, commercial or personal snow remover. Called the Snow Plow Prep Package, this special winter upgrade was showcased at the 2017 SEMA Show and will become available this fall.

The bundle includes snow plows from five leading manufacturers, so you get to choose between Boss, Fisher, Meyer, SnowEx, and Western. The package also comes with higher capacity front springs that increase front gross axle weight rating (GAWR) capacity by from 4,325 to 4,900 pounds). This allows fitment of snow plows on all three body configurations of the Titan XD (Single Cab, King Cab, and Crew Cab). It’s worth mentioning that the heavy-duty springs aren’t anything new, being already available for the Titan XD with the Heavy Duty GAWR Package, which makes vehicles equipped with that package snow plow-capable.

All these vehicles are powered by the massive, 5.6-liter V-8 engine rated at 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to move large quantities of snow off anything from neighborhood alleys to interstate highways. There’s no word as to how much the Snow Plow Prep Package costs, but commercial buyers will benefit from a $500 Nissan Upfit Allowance to help defer the cost of the equipment.

References

Nissan Titan


2016 Nissan Titan XD - image 610121

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Titan XD.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Camry Rowdy Edition II

2018 Toyota Camry Rowdy Edition II

One of the best-selling sedans in the United States in recent decades, the Camry is known mainly for its solid quality, good bang for the buck, and excellent reliability. It was never among the best looking vehicles in its niche and needless to say, Toyota received a lot of heat for that. This changed with the latest-generation Camry, which arrived with a decidedly sportier exterior design that borrows a few cues from the premium Lexus brand. The new styling was immediately transferred onto the NASCAR race car, which was used by four different teams and driven by more than 15 drivers during the 2017 season. Among them is Kyle Busch, who designed a custom Camry for the 2017 SEMA Show.

In second place in the Sprint Cup standings as of November 1, Busch teamed up with Chuck Gafrarar of Chuck G Fabrication, who collaborated with NASCAR race teams since 2002, to give already eye-catching sedan a bit of a twist design-wise. Busch also delved into the Toyota parts bin for performance-enhancing upgrades and called his creation the “Rowdy Edition II.” If you’re not familiar with the term, Busch uses the nickname “Rowdy” after Days of Thunder character Rowdy Burns. He’s actually nicknamed “Shrub,” as the younger brother of Kurt Busch (a shrub is a smaller bush, get it?), but let’s face it, the Camry Shrub Edition doesn’t sound as appealing.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota
Camry Busch.

What makes the Toyota
Camry Busch special

  • Standard black paint
  • Chrome roof and front grille accents
  • NASCAR-inspired Ducktail spoiler
  • “Rowdy” badges
  • Soft leather upholstery
  • Chrome and carbon-fiber trim
  • Red contrast stitching
  • AEM cold-air intake
  • TRD exhaust system

2018 Toyota Camry Rowdy Edition II - image 741839
“The roof, and front bumper trim are finished in chrome, which provides a great contrast with the black exterior”

Despite being modded by a NASCAR driver, this Toyota Camry is not significantly more aggressive than the production model. Sure, it has just enough features to stand out, but it’s more like the kind of sedan Kyle Busch would drive to the supermarket rather than a track-prepped four-door. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting take on the sleek, new Camry. Although Busch decided to go with the factory black paint instead of a fancy hue, the A-pillars, the roof, and front bumper trim are finished in chrome, which provides a great contrast with the dark appearance of the car.

The only significant change to the production form of the new Camry is the custom, ducktail-style spoiler on the trunk lid. The element is obviously inspired from NACAR and has visible mounting rivets. The exterior is rounded off by oval “Rowdy Edition II” badges on the trunk lid and front doors.


2018 Toyota Camry Rowdy Edition II - image 741846
“Busch updated the interior too, adding smooth leather instead of the Camry's standard upholstery”

Busch updated the interior too, adding smooth leather instead of the Camry’s standard upholstery. The sedan also has brushed-metal trim on the dashboard, center console, and door panels, as well as silver accents on the seats. The contrast created with the overall black cabin is similar to the exterior. However, the interior sports an additional splash of color through the red stitching and the red “Rowdy” lettering and stripes on the seats. The sedan also features carbon-fiber trim, which is rather unusual for a Camry.

As far as performance updates go, Busch kept things simple and added just an AEM intake and a TRD exhaust. So there aren’t any horsepower and acceleration gains, but it’s likely that the sedan now has a more aggressive exhaust note.

Although not as spectacular as other SEMA Show concepts, the Rowdy Edition II is one of those cars that blends flashy and motorsport-inspired elements in a subtle and cool way. I’d definitely like to see this show car make it into production as a limited-edition model for NASCAR fans.

References

Toyota Camry


2018 Toyota Camry - image 703838

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Camry.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept

While SEMA certainly has plenty to offer when it comes builds that are low and fast, the annual vehicle modification extravaganza also offers loads of rough-and-ready off-roaders, many of which are rocking big suspension and the right stuff to tackle whatever Mother Nature has in store. The Chevy Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept is one good example, which looks to add to the Bow Tie’s already impressive performance truck cred as one part in a duo of custom Colorado concepts. Unlike its desert-running counterpart, the AEV focuses more on overland capability, adding robust off-roading exterior protection, enormous 35-inch tires (plus the requisite suspension lift), and even a fridge in case you get hungry while stomping around the great outdoors.

And that’s about right, considering AEV stands for American Expedition Vehicles, a private Montana-based manufacturer that’s been making comprehensive off-roader packages for the past two decades. “Our collaboration taught us that Colorado makes a great platform for building an off-road truck that can take you as far out as you want to go, safely,” says AEV’s founder, Dave Harriton. Read on for the specifics on what that claim entails.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept.

What Makes The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept Special

  • 35-inch BF Goodrich tires
  • AEV off-roading exterior protection
  • Plenty of overland gear
  • ARB refrigerator and freezer
  • 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel
  • Big suspension upgrades
  • Custom Multimatic DSSVTM shocks

Looks Pretty Serious…


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept - image 741882

It most definitely is. Like any proper off-roading truck, the AEV Concept mounts some seriously impressive tires and wheels, with 35-inch BF Goodrich KM2 mud and terrain rubber wrapped around AEV’s custom DualSport beadlock wheels. Complementing the wheel and tire package are new bumpers front and rear, once again customized by AEV for superlative off-roading performance, plus the necessary high-clearance fender flares. Thick underbody protection, including a rear differential cover, keeps all the vital components safe from wayward bits of terrain.

Out in back is an Expedition bed rack, an indispensable component considering how much gear this thing is packing (more on that in a bit). Finishing off the exterior upgrades is LED lighting, both front and back.

You Said Something About Gear?


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept - image 741883

Yeah, and there’s a lot of it. Check out the above-pictured panel mounted just behind the driver’s side taillight – it looks like it offers all kinds of amenities, such as an external source of electricity, a source for water, and an air compressor.

Chevy also says the AEV concept comes with aluminum storage cases from Equipt and a James Baroud USA awning for the bed, plus NATO-style fuel cans for extra go-juice in reserve. Recovery shackles, a Hi-Lift jack, a Warn 9.5XP-S winch, and MAXTRAX recovery devices were also added. Finally, an ARB refrigerator and freezer keeps the rations fresh and tasty.

What About The Hard Bits And Oily Stuff?


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept - image 742243

You probably noticed that high-rise snorkel snaking its way up the passenger-side A-pillar. In addition to blessing the AEV Concept with additional water wading capability, the tube directs fresh air to a 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel powerplant under the hood. No word on whether or not the engine gets a tune or additional performance mods, but in stock form it creates 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept - image 741881

Much more impressive than the engine is the suspension set-up, which utilizes a comprehensive Chevrolet Performance system incorporating plunging front half-shafts, stiffer high-angle tie rods, front and rear jounce shocks, and a high-angle upper ball joint. There’s also an anti-wrap link and long-travel rear leaf spring. Custom Multimatic DSSVTM shocks finish it off.

All told, this thing is an overlanding beast. Impressive stuff all around.

References

Chevrolet Colorado


2017 Chevrolet Colorado - image 686537

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado.


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695944

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Cadenza Obsidian

2017 Kia Cadenza Obsidian Concept

For the 2017 SEMA Show, Kia teamed up with iconic custom car builder West Coast Customs for two unique versions of its existing production models. One is based on the awesome Stinger GT, which will arrive in the U.S. for the 2018 model year, while the second one is based on the Cadenza, the company’s second-largest offering in North America. Called the Cadenza Obsidian, the concept car brings together features usually found on luxury cars and flashy color accents that define most aftermarket builds.

In typical West Coast Customs fashion, the Cadenza gained a custom paint job with contrasting highlights and a new set of wheels. Inside, the sedan became a tad more luxurious thanks to soft leather and hand-stitched suede. To top it off, the tuning firm added dark window tint and a lowered suspension for a gangster look. It definitely looks like something Kia should put into production in limited numbers, but I don’t think it’s going to happen very soon. But keep reading to see what makes the Cadenza Obsidian a cool sedan.

What makes the Kia Cadenza Obsidian special

  • Custom metallic black paint
  • Cosmic Copper accents
  • Bespoke 20-inch wheels
  • Dark window tint
  • Hand-stitched suede dashboard
  • Leather seats with suede inserts
  • Suede door panels
  • Premium sound system with booming subwoofer
  • Lowered suspension
  • Stiffened sport springs

2017 Kia Cadenza Obsidian - image 741795
“The black paint doesn't make the car stand out as much, but the copper accents do the job well”

A quick look at the car’s exterior is enough to notice that we’re not dealing with a regular Cadenza. Sure, the custom metallic black paint doesn’t stand out as much as West Coast Customs would want, but the copper accents do the job well. Up front, the gold-like color adorns the “tiger nose” grille and extends under the headlamps to complement the lower LED stripes. The foglamp trim in the bumper is finished in the same color for a proper contrast.

More Cosmic Copper highlights can be seen on the sides, as both the window trim and the door handles are painted in this flashy hue. Same goes for the side skirt insert, while the custom 20-inch, gloss-black Keen wheels have similar detailing on each spoke. The ultra-dark ceramic window tint makes the copper trim stand out even more while keeping the cabin out of sight. Around back, there’s gold detailing on the trunk lid and above the taillights and on the exhaust pipes.


2017 Kia Cadenza Obsidian - image 741800
“The cabin was upgraded with soft leather, suede inserts, and a premium sound system”

Inside the cabin, the sedan was upgraded to a hand-stitched suede dashboard top panel and brown leather seats with suede inserts. Matching brown suede was used on the door panels for a consistent look. West Coast Customs also added a Harmon Kardon 630-watt premium sound system and a booming integrated subwoofer. This one’s for the audiophiles!

The drivetrain carries over from the production model, so power is probably supplied by the 3.3-liter V-6 engine rated at 290 horsepower. There is a lowered suspension with stiffened sport springs under the skin, but no other performance features have been added. But, given the fact that the Cadenza is by no means a sporty sedan by default, it’s a good setup for a show car.

References

Kia Cadenza


2017 Kia Cadenza - image 670466

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Cadenza.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood

2018 Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood

Racing analyst and former Top Gear USA presenter Rutledge Wood is known for his affinity with plaid t-shirts. He’s also known for having a deep-seated passion for the automotive industry. So, when Toyota was looking for individuals to take the lead in building custom Toyota Camrys for the 2017 SEMA Auto Show, Wood’s name inevitably turned up. So Toyota tapped him to work on his own custom version of the Camry, and the result is a car that reflects the man’s boisterous personality.

I’m not one to pass judgment on something I know little about at this point, but I can tell all of you that Wood’s work on the Camry is the most impactful of the bunch. It’s certainly the most colorful of all the custom Camry’s we’re seeing at SEMA, and the story and the process behind its creation involves the use of certain techniques that you can expect from someone like Rutledge Wood. He may be the only non-NASCAR driver to get a chance at customizing a Camry for this year’s SEMA, but all told, Wood vindicates Toyota’s decision to tap him with a creation that has as much going for it as some of the Camrys that were customized by actual NASCAR racers.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Toyota Camry by Rutledge Wood

What makes the Toyota Camry Rutledge special

  • ”Blurple” paint finish
  • 3D-printed body panels
  • 20-piece body kit
  • 20-inch Rose Gold Rotiform wheels
  • Continental ExtremeContact tires
  • Baseball glove leather interior
  • Focal sound system
  • Megan Racing suspension kit
  • Wilwood Dynalite brakes
  • Custom floor mats with cartoon caricature of Rutledge Wood

Not a NASCAR racer? Not a problem


2018 Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood - image 741820
“The car’s exterior certainly looks at home at SEMA”

So what if Rutledge Wood isn’t a NASCAR driver? I get it that all other custom-built Camrys at SEMA came at the hands of guys like Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez, and Kyle Busch, but when it comes to building a SEMA-worthy Camry, you don’t need a racing license to get the job done. And for what it’s worth, Wood’s Camry is, in my opinion, the flashiest of the lot, owing to its aerospace inspiration. The car’s exterior certainly looks at home at SEMA, thanks in large part to eye-catching aftermarket body panels that were created through the process of 3D printing by Real-Time Automotive Solutions. The result is that a lot of the significant body panels of the Camry are now 3D-printed, including the hood, front and rear bumpers, rocker panels, headlight buckets, and the rear diffuser.


2018 Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood - image 742081
“There’s also a new set of 20-inch three-piece custom Rose Gold wheels from Rotiform”

In addition to getting these panels literally recreated, Wood’s build also features a 20-piece custom widebody kit with most of the items located in the Camry’s quarter sections. There’s also a new set of 20-inch three-piece custom Rose Gold wheels from Rotiform, all of which are wrapped in Continental ExtremeContact tires measuring 275/30R20 in the front and 285/30R20 at the back. All these modifications on the exterior make way for one of the real showcase pieces of this particular Camry build. Officially, the paint finish on the Camry is called “Blurple.” It’s easy to see, though, that it’s some kind of mix of blue and purple. Wood sought the help of PPG and Crew to create this paint cocktail, and the result is striking, to say the least.

Batter up in the cabin!


2018 Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood - image 741824
“The interior gets re-upholstered with a baseball glove-like leather treatment”

Just as the body of this Camry is flashy, so too is the interior. Personally, I don’t know if Wood was inspired by this incredible World Series, but it does look that way with the interior getting re-upholstered with a baseball glove-like leather treatment, complete with contrast stitching. Photos of the Camry’s interior show significant use of the leather as most of the cabin’s surface is covered in the material. Less conspicuous from a visual standpoint is the Focal sound system, though if you look closely, you will notice that the floor mats actually feature a cartoon caricature of Wood and his glorious flowing beard.

No engine upgrades, but no matter…


2018 Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood - image 741821
“Expect the Rutledge Wood Toyota Camry to feature any one of the sedan’s engine options”

There are no engine upgrades to speak of here so at the very least, expect the Rutledge Wood Toyota Camry to feature any one of the sedan’s engine options. The base engine is a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder that spits out 178 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. The other gas-powered engine option is a 3.5-liter six-cylinder that produces 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Regardless of which engine is sitting underneath that Blurple hood, the program does include a new suspension kit from Megan Racing and new brakes from Wilwood Dynalite.

Overall, this is a Toyota Camry build that actually looks a lot better than what I expected. It may not have the NASCAR racer DNA that other Camrys have, but Wood did well for himself by not only giving the Camry a unique and personable look but also by doing it through processes that we don’t get to see enough in the aftermarket scene.

References

Toyota Camry


2018 Toyota Camry - image 703838

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Camry.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota C-HR R-Tuned

2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned Concept

SEMA is a place where the imagination reigns supreme, an event that celebrates the weird, the wild, and the most extreme that the automotive industry can muster. Case in point – this performance version of Toyota’s funky C-HR (Coupe High-Rider) compact utility vehicle. Believe it or not, this thing is so performance-oriented Toyota is claiming it as the “world’s quickest CUV.” Backing that boast is a lap time of 1 minute, 25.22 seconds at the Willow Springs International Raceway in Southern California. Quoting figures plucked from fastestlaps.com, Toyota says that time makes the CH-R R-Tuned quicker than such incredible sports machines like the Nissan GT-R Nismo, McLaren 650 S Spyder, and Porsche 911 GT3. That’s some rather heavy-hitting company for a humble subcompact crossover, but it’s got the R-Tuned has the upgrades to match. Long story short, this thing is stripped and race-ready, rocking 600 turbocharged ponies, exotic suspension components, and very effective aero.

Offered as a follow-up to the Sienna R-Tuned build that Toyota brought to SEMA back in 2015, the C-HR R-Tuned was created by Southern California speed specialists Dan Gardner Spec (DG-Spec for short), the same folks who turned wrenches on the hot-to-trot Sienna R-Tuned. This latest creation is even more over the top, and clear evidence that with enough dedication, you can make anything blisteringly quick – exactly the approach we want to see at SEMA.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota C-HR R-Tuned.

What Makes The Toyota C-HR R-Tuned Special

  • 300 pounds of downforce at speed
  • Carbon fiber bits shave weight
  • Several hundred pounds lighter than stock
  • Turbocharged 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder
  • 23 psi of boost
  • 600 horsepower
  • Still FWD
  • Triple adjustable dampers
  • Extensive on-track development

That’s One Mean-Looking CUV!


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741806
“This isn’t just some glossy show queen built to look the part of a racer”

We wholeheartedly agree. This isn’t just some glossy show queen built to look the part of a racer – it’s really got the good stuff to make it a true terror on the track. To help it stick, DG-Spec added a variety of new aerodynamic components to the exterior. These include a new front air dam, side air dams, a new front splitter (complete with adjustable downforce levels), and a large rear wing with a gurney flap.

We think the components look great, adding even more zeal to the already aggressive looking CH-R’s stock styling. Even more impressive is how effective the components are at pushing the CUV into the pavement, producing upwards of 300 pounds of downforce when traveling over 100 mph.

Sounds Like Race Car Stuff…


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741812
“The Toyota CH-R R-Tuned is a hardcore lap killer, stripped of all comforts that might hamper it in its quest for speed”

That’s because it is. The Toyota CH-R R-Tuned is a hardcore lap killer, stripped of all comforts that might hamper it in its quest for speed.

As such, the interior was totally stripped behind the front seats, with bare blue metal seen as the prevailing material. That made it easier to install the extensive roll cage, Corbeau race bucket seats, and fire suppression system, while also adding some much-needed lightness.

Speaking of weight, DG-Spec also swapped in a good deal of carbon fiber for the build, including a new vented hood from Kaminari. All told, the R-Tuned sheds several hundred pounds over its stock siblings.

But What About The Power?


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741810
“Under the hood you’ll find a new 2.4-liter Toyota 2AZ-FE engine, which comes stuffed with forged internals from Dezod”

Oh, it’s got power and plenty of it. Take a peek under the hood, and you’ll find a new 2.4-liter Toyota 2AZ-FE engine, which comes stuffed with forged internals from Dezod to keep it sturdy, as well as a titanium and Inconel valvetrain to help it spin to new heights.

That enormous compressor you see mounted front and center is a custom DG-Spec snail from Garrett, breathing an extra 23 psi into the cylinders. It’s enough to raise peak power to an astounding 600 ponies, besting the stock C-HR’s 2.0-liter by more than 450 horsepower. Oh yeah, baby.

A five-speed Toyota E-Series manual gearbox was installed for cog-swap duties, replacing the stock CVT unit as the obvious choice for the application. Incredibly, this thing is still FWD, and it makes the most of the available grip with an OS Giken limited-slip differential.

That’s A Lot Of Output…


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741807
“The Toyota C-HR R-Tuned has what it needs to turn it all into speed”

Indeed it is, but the Toyota C-HR R-Tuned has what it needs to turn it all into speed. The suspension upgrades are as stout as you’ll find on the engine, mounting triple-adjustable DG-Spec Motion Control dampers with remote reservoirs in the corners, which come complete with a full complement of supporting mods.

The lightweight 18-inch wheels are wrapped in Toyo Proxes RR tires, sized at 275/35. Under the rollers, you’ll find the Brembo logo for the big brakes, throwing in 14-inch rotors in front clamped by 4-pot calipers with monobloc billet aluminum construction.

So You’re Saying It’s Quick?


2017 Toyota C-HR R-Tuned - image 741811
“The Toyota C-HR saw extensive development at Willow Springs, and that’s refreshing to see at SEMA.”

Very quick. The Toyota C-HR saw extensive development at Willow Springs, with tons of performance data accumulated over the course of 10 test sessions. And that’s refreshing to see at SEMA, where we often see builds that are no more than a rough assemblage of parts thrown together with an eye for looking good, rather than performance potential. A show queen, this is not.

“The C-HR R-Tuned has been to the track every month since we started the project late last year. It’s probably been subjected to more real-world tests than just about any car built for SEMA,” says DG-Spec’s owner, Dan Gardner. We believe him.

“It’s not just a show concept but a track-worthy performance vehicle,” he adds, “and I can’t wait to see what people at SEMA and beyond think!”

We approve.

References

Toyota CH-R


2018 Toyota C-HR - image 696121

Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota CH-R.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body

Unveiled for the 2018 model year, the Kia Stinger not only proved that the Korean brand had what it takes to give the German companies a run for their money but also signaled its intent to become more active in the high-performance market with the GT model. Powered by a high-revving V-6 with more than 350 horsepower and sporting an aggressive design, the Stinger GT could mean trouble for the likes of the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63. With the sedan just a couple of months away from arriving at U.S. dealerships, Kia paired up with iconic customization shop West Coast Customs for a unique take on the Stinger GT.

Displayed alongside other modified Kia models at the 2017 SEMA Show, this bespoke Stinger GT stands out thanks to a sporty-looking wide body kit and an array of carbon-fiber body parts. It also has a customized interior and a lowered ride height, demonstrating that the sedan has plenty of potential for aftermarket add-ons. Whether Kia is planning some sort of body upgrade in the future remains a mystery, but there’s been a lot of talk about a higher performance Stinger GT. Until we find out more, let’s have a closer look at this widebody version of the sedan.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Stinger GT Wide Body.

What makes the Kia Stinger GT Wide Body special

  • Inspired by racing GT cars from the 1970s
  • Wide body kit
  • Carbon-fiber front splitter
  • Carbon-fiber side skirts
  • New diffuser with quad-pipe exhaust
  • 21-inch wheels
  • Pearl blue metallic paint
  • Blue seat piping
  • Hand-stitched leather dash panel
  • Alcantara steering wheel
  • Lowered suspension

    2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body - image 741791
    “The Stinger GT isn't as wide as a full-fledged race car, but it definitely stands out when compared to the production model”
  • Kia says that the widebody model is inspired by racing GT cars from the 1970s, which probably explains the wider fenders. The 1970s was a cool era for production-based race cars, many of them featuring extreme aerodynamics and impressively wide fender flares. Granted, the Stinger GT isn’t as wide as a full-fledged race car, but it definitely stands out when compared to the production model – especially since the Stinger GT has a rather narrow waist. But, changes don’t stop to wider fenders designed to accommodate fatter tires.

    The sedan also received a carbon-fiber aerodynamic kit that includes a big splitter below the front fender, side skirt extensions, and a sportier rear diffuser with a quad-exhaust pipe layout. It also rides of large, 21-inch forged wheels wrapped in high-performance tires. The rollers are quite flashy by finish and design, but this doesn’t come as a surprise given that the project was made in cooperation with West Coast Customers. The revised exterior is rounded off by a pearl blue metallic paint that works great with the chrome and black accents.


    2018 Kia Stinger GT Wide Body - image 741789
    “Inside the cabin, West Coast Customs added custom blue leather seat piping to match the exterior paint”

    Inside the cabin, West Coast Customs added custom blue leather seat piping to match the exterior paint and a distinct, hand-stitched gray leather dash panel. The steering wheel was wrapped in Alcantara for a motorsport-inspired loo, while the center console received gloss black.

    As far as drivetrain upgrades go, West Coast Customs didn’t do much beyond lowering the suspension by 1.4 inches up front and 1.2 inches to the rear. The engine remained unchanged, so this show car uses the same twin-turbo, 3.3-liter V-6 rated at 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic moves all that power to the wheels. In all, it’s an interesting project that shows what you can do with the already appealing Kia Stinger GT.

    References

    Kia Stinger


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700374

    Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.


    2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

    Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

    PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger GT Federation

    Brembo Brakes

    South Korean automaker Kia just introduced the hot-to-trot Stinger GT five-door earlier this year at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, with sales slated to kick off in December of this year. When it was introduced, enthusiasts just about wet their pants with delight, and for good reason. Not only does it look fantastic, but it’s got the performance credentials to back the aesthetic. And that makes the speedy mid-size luxury machine a fantastic fit for the customized glitz and gloss of the annual SEMA show. As such, Kia is introducing a variety of bespoke examples, including this tasteful rendition you see before you. Upgrades include a few body mods, new paint, minor engine enhancements, and complementary suspension pieces.

    SEMA attendees will have a chance to experience the Kia Stinger’s cornering prowess first hand on an autocross course, as Kia will be offering ride-alongs with professional drifters at the show. Meanwhile, those of us admiring from afar can gaze upon customized offerings like the GT Federation and anticipate a forthcoming deluge of parts and accessories, which Kia acknowledges as confirmation of its move towards further performance offerings. In fact, Kia says interested buyers will be able to pick up these performance parts via specific suppliers following the car’s launch. Read on for the details.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Stinger GT Federation.

    What Makes The Kia Stinger GT Federation Special

    • Mild build
    • Cream Orange paint
    • Minor body mods
    • Breathing upgrades for engine
    • Lower suspension

    2018 Kia Stinger GT Federation - image 741781
    “The GT Federation manages to make improvements without any radical changes”

    When we first saw the Kia Stinger GT, we were impressed. We liked the sporty body style, with its wide, low stance, aggressive fascia, large wheels and low-profile tires, and copious cuts and vents spread tip to tail. To this solid foundation, the GT Federation manages to make improvements without any radical changes.

    As you can see, the aesthetic differences are few but effective. New body pieces include a new rear spoiler, a new rear diffuser, and new hood vents, all from the California-based parts supplier Air Design USA. There’s also a new front lip spoiler, and the whole thing is slathered in an eye-catching shade of Cream Orange paint. Just in time for Halloween, too.

    Lest it gain the ignominious title of “all show, no go,” the GT Federation also delves under the hood for its list of upgrades, adding a new intake from K&N, and a new high-flow exhaust from Borla. Making its appearance in the rear, the Borla pipes terminate in a quartet of tips in the new diffuser.


    2018 Kia Stinger GT Federation - image 741777
    “All told, the new breathing mods help to liberate approximately 15 horses from the otherwise stock twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 powerplant.”

    All told, the new breathing mods help to liberate approximately 15 horses from the otherwise stock twin-turbo 3.3-liter V-6 powerplant, with peak output coming to around 380 horsepower total. And yeah, we would have loved it if the stock snails got tossed for bigger boost makers, but that would mean it would need the supporting mods to go with it.

    As is, this is a mild build, down to the suspension parts, which include new lowering springs from Eibach, as well as larger anti-roll bars. Rounding it off are impressive 20-inch wheels from TSW, with Falken providing the tires.

    All in all, it’s a good-looking piece of kit, and should provide anyone interesting in buying and modifying a Stinger of their own with a good idea where to start.

    References

    Kia Stinger


    2018 Kia Stinger - image 700374

    Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.


    2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

    Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

    PostHeaderIcon Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

    2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

    Subaru just revealed its latest ultra-sleek concept model at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the Viziv Performance (Viziv is shorthand for “Vision for Innovation”), this Scooby is the latest in a series of concept cars to bear the Viziv name, rocking an aggressive exterior and tons of speedy visual cues. This is also the very first four-door sedan to come from the concept line, which can only mean one thing – this is what Subaru’s designers imagine for the next WRX. The emphasis is on driving fun and attention-grabbing details, both of which the Viziv Performance manages to accomplish, at least on paper. So then, what does it say about the brand’s favorite rally star? Read on for details.

    Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept.

    Exterior

    • Design is all angles and chiseled geometry
    • Flared fenders and carbon bits
    • Longer, lower, and wider than a WRX

    Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740445
    “It’s all angles and chiseled geometry, an amalgamation of black and silver that manages to mate sportiness and futuristic vibes in a single, exciting package. ”

    As is the case with most concept cars, the Subaru Viziv Performance Concept’s greatest strength lies in its exterior design. It’s all angles and chiseled geometry, an amalgamation of black and silver that manages to mate sportiness and futuristic vibes in a single, exciting package.

    Subaru says the aesthetic uses the “Dynamic x Solid” design philosophy, with inspiration drawn from the brand’s most “iconic” models. These include the Legacy, Impreza, and WRX, symbolizing “superior Subaru driving performance.”

    The look is mean and low and wide, with flared fenders adding a good deal of aggression to the whole package. As is expected of just about every performance model on the market these days, carbon fiber makes a cameo appearance, finding its way to the bumpers, fenders, and roof, which adds a tasty composite weave to offset the brighter silver body panels.

    In back, the rear diffuser seems to divide the tail in half, occupying the lower section of the car with even more angles and further motorsport-inspired goodness. A large center stop lamp also enhances the performance cues, while the upper taillights stretch from fender to fender, adding to the car’s natural visual width. The rear diffuser also houses a quartet of rounded exhaust pipes, set at an angle that brings the car even closer to the ground visually.


    Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740442
    “The rear diffuser seems to divide the tail in half, occupying the lower section of the car with even more angles and further motorsport-inspired goodness.”

    In the nose, the Subaru Viziv Performance Concept gets a six-sided, three-dimensional grille that looks similar in shape to the current WRX grille, albeit a bit larger and with a cool-looking lighting element along the surround. Below the central intake are aero elements finished in black, while “hawkeye” headlight housings take up positions on the periphery.

    Subaru says many of these visual cues are meant to mimic that ballsy powertrain and drivetrain under the hood, with the headlights giving a nod to the boxer engine design and the flared fenders added as a nod to the symmetrical AWD system.

    “Subaru says many of these visual cues are meant to mimic that ballsy powertrain and drivetrain under the hood.”

    The requisite hood scoop finishes it, mounted towards the windshield and finished in black.

    Interestingly, Subaru gave us a complete breakdown of the Viziv Performance Concept’s exterior dimensions, and naturally, we should compare them to the current WRX to see if we can glean any sizing changes planned for the upcoming WRX. You can check out the specifics below, but long story short, the Viziv is a bit longer, much wider, and a little lower – all to be expected from a showy concept car, but perhaps it’s telling of what’s to come for Suby’s most beloved performance model.

    2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept 2017 Subaru WRX
    Length (Inches) 182.3 180.9
    Width (Inches) 76.8 70.7
    Height (Inches) 56.3 inches 58.1
    Wheelbase (Inches) 107.5 104.3

    Interior

    • Large touchscreen in the dash
    • Seats up to 5 passengers
    • Next-generation driver assist tech

    Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 700140
    Interior from 2018 Subaru WRX shown here.
    “If we were to venture a guess about the details, we’d argue the redesigned interior of the 2017 Subaru Impreza would probably provide a few hints as to the upcoming WRX’s cabin.”

    While Subaru declined to provide tons of details on the Viziv Performance Concept’s interior layout design, the automaker did mention that seating capacity was capped at 5 passengers, much like the current-generation Impreza and WRX. What’s more, we can pick out what appears to be a large digital infotainment screen in the center console.

    Sounds about right, but if we were to venture a guess about the details, we’d argue the redesigned interior of the 2017 Subaru Impreza would probably provide a few hints. Six-sided shapes for the cluster gauge and upper instrumentation readout echo the shape of the grille, while a three-spoke, multi-function steering wheel gets grippy hand bolsters and some nice contrast stitching. Further contrast stitching is added to the dash, while a large touchscreen takes up residence in the center console.

    “we can assume it’ll get stuff like advanced adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, smart automatic transmission shifting, and similar features”

    Not terribly exciting stuff, we know. That said, the Viziv does offer up some tasty tidbits on possible technology features Subaru has in the works. Basically, the automaker foresees ever-greater autonomous driving assist integration in the near future, and in response, the Viziv comes with the next-generation EyeSight system, the brand’s branded tech suite meant to enhance both driving enjoyment and peace of mind.

    Incorporating both radar and GPS systems, we can assume it’ll get stuff like advanced adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, smart automatic transmission shifting, and similar features, all of which should make the next WRX both more efficient and safer. Look for Subaru to introduce this next-gen system into its production lineup sometime around 2020.

    Drivetrain

    • Boxer engine configuration
    • Likely the same turbo 2.0-liter as the current WRX
    • Large 20-inch wheels

    Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 722070
    2.5-liter from 2017 Subaru WRX shown here.

    Once again, Subaru seems a bit cagey when it comes to revealing details on the Viziv Performance Concept’s engine configuration, but in all honesty, we can pretty much tell exactly what it’s got going under that hood scoop without any official confirmation.

    For starters, Subaru admits to using the traditional boxer engine configuration, a platform the Six Star brand has “honed over more than five decades of development.” In the current WRX, this amounts to a turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter flat-four powerplant, hewn from aluminum and able to produce upwards of 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Routing the power to the ground is a six-speed manual transmission, as well as the same standard symmetrical AWD system Subaru is famous for.

    “Subaru says the Viziv Performance uses its traditional boxer engine configuration, which, in the current WRX, produces upwards of 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.”

    All told, expect nearly identical performance numbers as before, with around 5 seconds required in the 0-to-60 mph sprint and a top speed of 144 mph.

    Interestingly, Subaru says the concept’s tire size is measured at 245/40R20, a huge upgrade over the standard WRX’s 17-inch rollers. If carried into production, it would be the biggest wheels the WRX has ever got from the factory by a long shot.

    Conclusion


    Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740442

    All told, the Viziv is an exciting look at one of our all-time favorite performance vehicles, the Subaru WRX. While we would have liked it if Subaru dropped us a few more hints on what to expect from the drivetrain and powertrain (odds are it’ll look more or less identical to the current model), we think the exterior styling is a solid step forward for the brand.

    “Any and all hope that the concept’s aesthetic might make it to production should be tempered with the fact that Subaru has a nasty habit of offering up gorgeous designs that never actually get put to use. ”

    That said, any and all hope that the concept’s aesthetic might make it to production should be tempered with the fact that Subaru has a nasty habit of offering up gorgeous designs that never actually get put to use. Take for example the Impreza 5-Door Concept that dropped in 2015 at the last Tokyo Motor Show. We loved it, as did most other enthusiasts, but in the end, the production version just didn’t have the same flair or snap to it. Or you could take the Impreza Sedan Concept from the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, or the XV Concept from the Geneva Motor Show in 2016… the list goes on and on.

    Either way, we like the look. Just maybe put it to good use this time, eh Suby?

    • Leave it
      • Production version will likely look way different
      • No interior design details
      • No specs on the engine and drivetrain likely means carryovers for both

    References

    Subaru WRX


    2018 Subaru WRX - image 700160

    Read our full review of the 2018 Subaru WRX

    Subaru



    Read the latest Subaru news

    PostHeaderIcon Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

    2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

    Subaru just revealed its latest ultra-sleek concept model at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the Viziv Performance (Viziv is shorthand for “Vision for Innovation”), this Scooby is the latest in a series of concept cars to bear the Viziv name, rocking an aggressive exterior and tons of speedy visual cues. This is also the very first four-door sedan to come from the concept line, which can only mean one thing – this is what Subaru’s designers imagine for the next WRX. The emphasis is on driving fun and attention-grabbing details, both of which the Viziv Performance manages to accomplish, at least on paper. So then, what does it say about the brand’s favorite rally star? Read on for details.

    Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept.

    Exterior

    • Design is all angles and chiseled geometry
    • Flared fenders and carbon bits
    • Longer, lower, and wider than a WRX

    Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740445
    “It’s all angles and chiseled geometry, an amalgamation of black and silver that manages to mate sportiness and futuristic vibes in a single, exciting package. ”

    As is the case with most concept cars, the Subaru Viziv Performance Concept’s greatest strength lies in its exterior design. It’s all angles and chiseled geometry, an amalgamation of black and silver that manages to mate sportiness and futuristic vibes in a single, exciting package.

    Subaru says the aesthetic uses the “Dynamic x Solid” design philosophy, with inspiration drawn from the brand’s most “iconic” models. These include the Legacy, Impreza, and WRX, symbolizing “superior Subaru driving performance.”

    The look is mean and low and wide, with flared fenders adding a good deal of aggression to the whole package. As is expected of just about every performance model on the market these days, carbon fiber makes a cameo appearance, finding its way to the bumpers, fenders, and roof, which adds a tasty composite weave to offset the brighter silver body panels.

    In back, the rear diffuser seems to divide the tail in half, occupying the lower section of the car with even more angles and further motorsport-inspired goodness. A large center stop lamp also enhances the performance cues, while the upper taillights stretch from fender to fender, adding to the car’s natural visual width. The rear diffuser also houses a quartet of rounded exhaust pipes, set at an angle that brings the car even closer to the ground visually.


    Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740442
    “The rear diffuser seems to divide the tail in half, occupying the lower section of the car with even more angles and further motorsport-inspired goodness.”

    In the nose, the Subaru Viziv Performance Concept gets a six-sided, three-dimensional grille that looks similar in shape to the current WRX grille, albeit a bit larger and with a cool-looking lighting element along the surround. Below the central intake are aero elements finished in black, while “hawkeye” headlight housings take up positions on the periphery.

    Subaru says many of these visual cues are meant to mimic that ballsy powertrain and drivetrain under the hood, with the headlights giving a nod to the boxer engine design and the flared fenders added as a nod to the symmetrical AWD system.

    “Subaru says many of these visual cues are meant to mimic that ballsy powertrain and drivetrain under the hood.”

    The requisite hood scoop finishes it, mounted towards the windshield and finished in black.

    Interestingly, Subaru gave us a complete breakdown of the Viziv Performance Concept’s exterior dimensions, and naturally, we should compare them to the current WRX to see if we can glean any sizing changes planned for the upcoming WRX. You can check out the specifics below, but long story short, the Viziv is a bit longer, much wider, and a little lower – all to be expected from a showy concept car, but perhaps it’s telling of what’s to come for Suby’s most beloved performance model.

    2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept 2017 Subaru WRX
    Length (Inches) 182.3 180.9
    Width (Inches) 76.8 70.7
    Height (Inches) 56.3 inches 58.1
    Wheelbase (Inches) 107.5 104.3

    Interior

    • Large touchscreen in the dash
    • Seats up to 5 passengers
    • Next-generation driver assist tech

    Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 700140
    Interior from 2018 Subaru WRX shown here.
    “If we were to venture a guess about the details, we’d argue the redesigned interior of the 2017 Subaru Impreza would probably provide a few hints as to the upcoming WRX’s cabin.”

    While Subaru declined to provide tons of details on the Viziv Performance Concept’s interior layout design, the automaker did mention that seating capacity was capped at 5 passengers, much like the current-generation Impreza and WRX. What’s more, we can pick out what appears to be a large digital infotainment screen in the center console.

    Sounds about right, but if we were to venture a guess about the details, we’d argue the redesigned interior of the 2017 Subaru Impreza would probably provide a few hints. Six-sided shapes for the cluster gauge and upper instrumentation readout echo the shape of the grille, while a three-spoke, multi-function steering wheel gets grippy hand bolsters and some nice contrast stitching. Further contrast stitching is added to the dash, while a large touchscreen takes up residence in the center console.

    “we can assume it’ll get stuff like advanced adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, smart automatic transmission shifting, and similar features”

    Not terribly exciting stuff, we know. That said, the Viziv does offer up some tasty tidbits on possible technology features Subaru has in the works. Basically, the automaker foresees ever-greater autonomous driving assist integration in the near future, and in response, the Viziv comes with the next-generation EyeSight system, the brand’s branded tech suite meant to enhance both driving enjoyment and peace of mind.

    Incorporating both radar and GPS systems, we can assume it’ll get stuff like advanced adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, smart automatic transmission shifting, and similar features, all of which should make the next WRX both more efficient and safer. Look for Subaru to introduce this next-gen system into its production lineup sometime around 2020.

    Drivetrain

    • Boxer engine configuration
    • Likely the same turbo 2.0-liter as the current WRX
    • Large 20-inch wheels

    Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 722070
    2.5-liter from 2017 Subaru WRX shown here.

    Once again, Subaru seems a bit cagey when it comes to revealing details on the Viziv Performance Concept’s engine configuration, but in all honesty, we can pretty much tell exactly what it’s got going under that hood scoop without any official confirmation.

    For starters, Subaru admits to using the traditional boxer engine configuration, a platform the Six Star brand has “honed over more than five decades of development.” In the current WRX, this amounts to a turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter flat-four powerplant, hewn from aluminum and able to produce upwards of 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Routing the power to the ground is a six-speed manual transmission, as well as the same standard symmetrical AWD system Subaru is famous for.

    “Subaru says the Viziv Performance uses its traditional boxer engine configuration, which, in the current WRX, produces upwards of 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.”

    All told, expect nearly identical performance numbers as before, with around 5 seconds required in the 0-to-60 mph sprint and a top speed of 144 mph.

    Interestingly, Subaru says the concept’s tire size is measured at 245/40R20, a huge upgrade over the standard WRX’s 17-inch rollers. If carried into production, it would be the biggest wheels the WRX has ever got from the factory by a long shot.

    Conclusion


    Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740442

    All told, the Viziv is an exciting look at one of our all-time favorite performance vehicles, the Subaru WRX. While we would have liked it if Subaru dropped us a few more hints on what to expect from the drivetrain and powertrain (odds are it’ll look more or less identical to the current model), we think the exterior styling is a solid step forward for the brand.

    “Any and all hope that the concept’s aesthetic might make it to production should be tempered with the fact that Subaru has a nasty habit of offering up gorgeous designs that never actually get put to use. ”

    That said, any and all hope that the concept’s aesthetic might make it to production should be tempered with the fact that Subaru has a nasty habit of offering up gorgeous designs that never actually get put to use. Take for example the Impreza 5-Door Concept that dropped in 2015 at the last Tokyo Motor Show. We loved it, as did most other enthusiasts, but in the end, the production version just didn’t have the same flair or snap to it. Or you could take the Impreza Sedan Concept from the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, or the XV Concept from the Geneva Motor Show in 2016… the list goes on and on.

    Either way, we like the look. Just maybe put it to good use this time, eh Suby?

    • Leave it
      • Production version will likely look way different
      • No interior design details
      • No specs on the engine and drivetrain likely means carryovers for both

    References

    Subaru WRX


    2018 Subaru WRX - image 700160

    Read our full review of the 2018 Subaru WRX

    Subaru



    Read the latest Subaru news

    PostHeaderIcon Honda Sports EV Concept

    When Honda debuted the Urban EV Concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show, I was quick to scrutinize the brand for building something so weird, but as I looked at it more, it began to grow on me. And, it’s a good thing it did because that thing is slated for production for the European market sometime in 2019. And, to really top it off, Honda showed up to the 2017 Tokyo Auto Show with a sports car that looks quite familiar – the Honda Sports EV Concept. Following suit with the previous concept, it carries the same general styling cues in a futuristic but feasible package. Of course, it’s a sports car, so it doesn’t have that love seat up front, but it is quite sporty for what it is, and it could just as easily shift into production thanks to being built upon the same platform used for the last concept.

    Unlike the last concept, however, we have next to no information. And, Honda didn’t even take the time to release interior shots of the concept either. We can tell that it has that massive display screen and that it’s missing the couch, but outside of that, we can’t see much. But, that doesn’t mean that this little battery-powered sports car should be overlooked. Out of all the EV sports car concepts we’ve seen, this is the one we really want to see become a reality, so let’s take a good look and see what’s crackalackin.

    Exterior

    • Smooth body
    • lightweight
    • Compact and nimble

    2017 Honda Sports EV Concept - image 740626
    “The contrast between the white and the black is just what the doctor ordered.”

    If you’re thinking that this thing looks kind of like a funky Hot Wheels car, well, I couldn’t really blame you because it kind of does. But, at the same time, it also has a bit of a sporty nature to it. When I first looked at it, I had the same reaction I did with that funky little Urban EV Concept – “what the hell is Honda thinking” – but the more I looked at it, explored its lines, made love to its curves with my eyes, I realized that I wouldn’t be upset at all if Honda sent this thing rolling into dealers. In fact, I’d be pretty damn happy and would be one of the first in line with a big dumb smile on my face waiting to sign over an arm, a leg, and a testicle to own one. Range-anxiety and ICE sole be damned, this thing is freaking cool. It’s got the modern but circular headlights that point back to the original Civic, and it’s got those muscular front wheel arches that just scream sports car. That big illuminated G in the center of the nose is quite attractive too – kind of like it’s saying “yeah, that’s right; I’m a Honda.” In a world where everyone, including Honda, has gone overboard with the sharp body lines, massive fake vents, and over-styling, the Sports EV (and the Urban EV, for that matter) are a breath of fresh air.


    2017 Honda Sports EV Concept - image 740625

    The side profile is dominated… well, wait. It isn’t dominated by anything, and that’s the beauty of it. Sure, there are big wheels, but they aren’t too big, and they wear thick enough rubber that they don’t look stupid. I doubt those cameras will make into production until regulations change, but some sporty little chrome mirrors would look pretty good hanging on the doors, don’t you think? It’s hard to see, but there are door handles that sit flush with the doors and the way that roof slants down at the B-Pillar, then widens as it hits the rear quarters is something that should rewrite the book of future car design. Honda did tint the windows here to keep folks from getting too good a look inside, but you have to admit, blacking out the windows adds quite the stylish touch too, doesn’t it?


    2017 Honda Sports EV Concept - image 740630
    “That smooth rear bumper is as fresh as it is simple”

    Around back, the bubbly look of the body, and the extent of that all-glass roof is painfully obvious and sexy at the same time. The body wraps around the class like a blanket around a newborn baby, and the contrast between the white and the black is just what the doctor ordered. That smooth rear bumper is as fresh as it is simple and those square taillights that carried over from the original concept really seem to fit in well. Just like its bigger brother, the front and rear displays can be programmed to display messages. All told, it’s sporty and attractive and is certainly what I expect future cars from Honda to actually look like. The question now is whether or not Honda can put something like this into production. I certainly hope so.

    Interior

    • Probably a two-seater
    • Two seats mean decent cargo room

    Does Honda's Urban EV Concept Prove that Honda has no Idea what it is Doing? - image 731196
    Interior from Honda Urban EV Concept shown here
    “there could be a few gauges to measure G-force, acceleration, pitch, and battery life.”

    Honda didn’t take the liberty to release shots of the Sports EV Concept’s interior, but considering the fact that it is based on the Urban EV Concept, we have a pretty good idea. When you look at the outside, you can see that massive screen stretching across the dash. There’s no telling what size it is, but it seems to be at least 30-inches wide and about 10-12 inches tall. Since this is a sports car concept and not an urban lounge-mobile, there’s not going to be a couch behind the wheel, but instead, a pair of supportive racing seats. If Honda doesn’t go aftermarket, it will most definitely tap into Acura for seats similar to those found in the new NSX.

    “I suspect the car would be a two-seater as it’s a rather small sports car”

    Of course, this thing is all-electric, so what you see is really what you get. There isn’t a need for huge gauge clusters or anything of that nature. However, there could be a few gauges to measure G-force, acceleration, pitch, and battery life. These could be positioned in the face of the dash below the screen where there’s simple wood trim in the EV concept. In production form, I would expect to see some carbon fiber here for the sports car because, well, it’s a sports car. Instead of plush carpeting, I would expect to seat carbon floorboards or even Alcantara layered floors. The side view screens on the door trim panels will carry over, but I would expect there to be a better sound system as sports cars gotta have that good sound too.

    I suspect the car would be a two-seater as it’s a rather small sports car and trying to fit someone in the back would certainly be difficult. On the plus side, however, that means there should be plenty of room in the rear hatch. And, to top it off, the car does feature that massive glass roof, just like the Urban EV, so those riding up front get a pretty gnarly view of the sky at night.

    Drivetrain

    • Potential for 300+ horsepower
    • Could get AWD
    • Could see 60mph in three seconds

    2017 Honda Sports EV Concept - image 740628
    “Honda will likely position the battery across the length of the floor between the two axles.”

    What’s “Under the Hood” is actually a complete mystery. Honda didn’t even divulge details about the Urban EV’s drivetrain, and it sure didn’t spill the beans about this concept either. Of course, that wouldn’t matter considering one is meant for lounging and chillin while another is meant to bend corners and tear up those straightaways. So what could be lurking under that sweet, sexy, rounded body that makes this an “according-to-Hoyle” sports car?

    Well, first of all, Honda will likely position the battery across the length of the floor between the two axles. This will be a high-density lightweight battery that also takes advantage of Honda’s new Power Manager Concept to keep things as efficient as possible. As far as motors go, Honda has a couple of options:

    Front Motor Setup


    2017 Honda Sports EV Concept - image 740629
    “The setup could include a single, 300-horsepower motor or dual 170-horsepower motors for a total output around 340 ponies.”

    If Honda wanted this thing to be front-wheel drive only, and that is kind of Honda’s calling card, then Honda could position a rather powerful motor up front while the battery can be positioned just to the rear a bit to provide the perfect offset for as close to a 50:50 weight distribution as possible. Honda could also move the battery further to the rear, and place two motors that are a little less powerful but deliver equal amounts of power. This would allow the onboard computers to adjust torque delivery as needed to combat over-and understeer with ease. Again, the more weight put up front, the further to the rear the battery needs to be. A setup like this could include a single, 300-horsepower motor or dual 170-horsepower motors for a total output around 340 ponies. I would prefer the latter – not only because it’s more powerful but because torque distribution on demand is where it’s at in the sports car world.

    Rear Motor Setup

    Much like the front-motor setup described above. A rear motor setup could work the same way. A single 300-horsepower motor could turn both wheels with the battery positioned just a bit toward the front axle. Or Honda could go the preferred way and use a dual motor setup with more power and torque vectoring. Now, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that, as a sports car, this thing almost needs to be rear-wheel drive, so we all really hope this thing ends up as rear wheel drive if it ends up in production. But, there’s another approach that could prove fatal to other models in the compact sports car segment.

    All-Wheel Drive

    If Honda really wanted to set the market on fire, it would bring this thing into production with AWD as standard equipment. Not only would that make it one mean little sports car, but it would offer something that cars like the Mazda Miata, Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86, and even the Audi TT can’t – power to all four wheels. Honda could do it with a two motor setup, or it could go with a motor for each wheel. The latter would be preferred as it would offer some serious torque vectoring possibilities and some amazing spirited driving. Both setups would allow the battery to be positioned right in the middle for a near-50:50 weight distribution, but they would have to be powerful enough to handle the extra weight.

    Range Woes

    The biggest problem with an all-electric sports car such as this is its size. Yeah, they are fun to drive, but when you’re relying on battery power alone, your supply of go-juice is limited. I speculated that something like the Urban EV would have around 150 miles of range, which wouldn’t be bad for a vehicle of its caliber. But, a sports car needs a little more. Honda needs to be able to deliver at least 250 miles with this car for it to really pose a threat to anything else on the market – gas or electric. With this thing potentially available by the turn of the decade, Honda could be one of the first to put a true EV sports car this small on the market – one with decent range and power.

    “Hopefully, those lightweight, high-density batteries will be good enough to get the job done.”

    But, and that’s a big but, Honda has to do it right. The biggest limitation here is the car’s size. You can only fit so big of a battery in the floor. Of course, Honda could use the space in the front and rear for auxiliary batteries that would help increase range, but it would have to maintain a pretty even weight distribution and still can’t be too heavy, or this sports car is going to be a slug. When we’re talking about battery power, the heavier it is, the harder it is to go, the more power you need.

    That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Hopefully, those lightweight, high-density batteries will be good enough to get the job done. Even at 200 miles, that would be ok, but 250 would be better. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Conclusion


    2017 Honda Sports EV Concept - image 740631

    In the past, I have voiced very strong opinions against automakers going EV with all of their models. I’ve spoken out against it every way I can, even arguing that the ICE essentially has a soul and the lack of that wonderful combustion would, in turn, leave a hole in our hearts that cannot be replaced. Now, I’m looking at this car, and all I can think of is that this is the electric sports car that we really need. Hell, it’s the electric sports car that we really want. It’s small enough to be very maneuverable and has the opportunity to be potent enough to really pose a real threat to some great names that are already on the market. For now, this car is just a concept, but like the Urban EV, it could become a reality in the next few years. And that, my friends, is a very cool thing.

    • Leave it
      • May not get very good range
      • Could end up being expensive
      • No guarantee of production yet

    PostHeaderIcon Yamaha Cross Hub Concept

    2017 Yamaha Cross Hub Concept

    Yamaha is well known for building fun stuff like motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, outboard engines for boats, and even the occasional musical instrument or two. Now, the Japanese mega-corporation is toying with entering the compact pickup market with this, the Cross Hub Concept. It’s unique in just about every way, from its seating configuration to its cargo bed. Sadly, the project seems a bit too “concept” to make production anytime soon.

    The Cross Hub Concept made its debut at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show and is billed as a lifestyle car for those splitting time between city life and the great outdoors. Yamaha says it’s “just the right size” and is designed for on-road and off-road maneuverability while still having room for “other Yamaha recreational products.” So far, this is the furthest Yamaha has gotten to building a road-going, four-wheeled vehicle. Of course, there was the time it developed and built high-strung V-6 and V-8 engines for the first three generations of Ford Taurus SHOs, and technically some of its side-by-side UTVs are road-legal, but you won’t find any rolling down the interstate. The Cross Hub, on the other hand, promises to be road-ready and built for fun.

    Continue reading for more information.

    Exterior

    • Outlandish design
    • Innovative cargo bed
    • Looks like nothing else

    2017 Yamaha Cross Hub Concept - image 740663
    “The most interesting part is where the bubble-like cab meets the cargo bed”

    Calling it different would be the understatement of 2017. The Cross Hub Concept looks like nothing else because it’s a clean-sheet design. It’s like Yamaha raised a group of whiz-kid engineers in a closed environment, never showing them photos of a pickup truck and then asked them to design one with minimal instruction.

    The most interesting part is where the bubble-like cab meets the cargo bed. The cab rounds off, enclosing itself completely separate from the bed and its satin-silver roll bar support. The cab and bed look like two separate units that have come together – like how the Starship Enterprise (NCC1701-D for you nerds out there) is designed to separate its saucer from the stardrive section.


    2017 Yamaha Cross Hub Concept - image 740674
    “The Cross Hub’s front looks like a mix between one of Yamaha’s UTVs and a Ford Edsel”

    The Cross Hub’s front looks like a mix between one of Yamaha’s UTVs and a Ford Edsel. Three different lighting elements mixed with horizontal and vertical lines give the Cross Hub a busy look. Then again, it sort of works for this thing.

    Like a mullet in 1985, the Cross Hub’s party is kept out back. Its cargo bed is designed to carry a Yamaha dirtbike diagonally. The tailgate extends the bed but does not keep loose items from falling out when latched since it’s not solid. The tailgate actually fits around the curved bed floor when lowered. Even more interesting, the top of the tailgate has secondary taillights for when its lowered. As for the wood planks in the bed floor, Yamaha says it choose wood as a tie-in to its line of jet boats.

    Interior

    • Diamond-shaped seating layout
    • Driver controls are orange
    • Wood flooring

    2017 Yamaha Cross Hub Concept - image 740664
    “The interior has a diamond-shaped layout with the driver in the middle, almost like the McLaren F1”

    As unconventional as the exterior is, things remain just as strange inside the Cross Hub Concept. The interior has a diamond-shaped layout with the driver in the middle, almost like the McLaren F1 but with an extra seat behind the driver. A U-shaped steering wheel wrapped in orange suede matches the orange driver’s seat and gauge cluster binnacle. The small screens on the dash display vehicle info and entertainment features, while the digital dash gives the driver an unobstructed view of vital stats. The orange, gray, and black interior also has aluminum fixtures like the door pulls, foot pedals, and dash supports. And like the cargo bed, the floor is wood.

    Though it’s not the most practical interior ever conceived, it is certainly interesting and a big departure from anything we’ve recently seen. You’ve got to give Yamaha credit for that.

    Drivetrain

    • Likely powered by four-cylinder engine
    • Most likely 4WD
    • Turbocharged

    2017 Yamaha Cross Hub Concept - image 740670
    “There is no mention of what powers this Yamaha”

    Sadly, Yamaha did not make mention of the Cross Hub Concept’s drivetrain – likely because this is merely a design concept. Should something this size actually make production, Yamaha should be fully capable of designing and building its own drivetrain components. A turbocharged four-cylinder would do the trick nicely, so Yamaha could easily massage and tweak one of its many engines to fit the bill. The Cross Hub looks like it would be 4WD. Developing that system shouldn’t be harder than beefing up the 4WD systems it uses on its side-by-side UTVs. We’d bet on front-mounted, transverse four-cylinder with at least a six-speed automatic transmission and 4WD or AWD. Perhaps a hybrid powertrain could be added, too, though that would be new ground for Yamaha engineers.

    Conclusion


    2017 Yamaha Cross Hub Concept - image 740665

    We’ve seen some strange concept vehicles over the years, but none seem as outlandish as this – especially considering it comes from a company that doesn’t build road-going cars or pickups. Yamaha is well known for being an ultra-diverse company, having its fingers in just about everything imaginable, so it’s not surprising to see the company think about a utilitarian, compact pickup made to transport its other products.

    If Yamaha can make professional-level musical instruments, jet boats, and UTVs, it can surely make a truck. Of course, getting into the pickup wars isn’t an easy thing to do, especially in North America. As such, Yamaha might stick to Asian or European markets with the Cross Hub – should it even produce it in the first place.

    What do you think? Should Yamaha build the Cross Hub? What do you think of the design? Let us know in the comments below.

    • Leave it
      • Very outlandish
      • No powertrain details
      • Not likely to happen

    References


    Yamaha Sports Ride Coupe Concept - image 653307

    Read our full review on the 2015 Yamaha Sports Ride Coupe Concept.


    2017 Tokyo Motor Show – Visitor's Guide - image 737628

    Read more Tokyo Motor Show news.

    PostHeaderIcon Lexus LS+ Concept

    2017 Lexus LS+ Concept

    The fifth-generation Lexus LS just hit the market this year, but the Japanese automaker is already looking ahead into the future with a new concept for its flagship sedan that’s heavy on state-of-the-art technology. The concept is called the LS+, and if you were thinking it to be outlandish in the typical Lexus concept fashion, then you’d be right. The LS+ Concept is a feast for the senses in more ways than one.

    We already have an idea of how Lexus does concept vehicles. The NX Concept from a few years ago blasted our expectations through the roof, and it’s nice to see that Toyota’s premium brand isn’t letting up. This car, Lexus says, is going to be a showcase of what the LS could look like down the road. It’s not a certainty that this blueprint will be put to use in the future, but as far as giving us a taste of what could come, then it hits all the right spots. It looks the part of a futuristic concept though more important than that are the litany of tech features that it comes with, including the curiously named “Highway Teammate” automated driving technology that brings autonomous driving tech to life. That’s just one of the technology goodies we can expect from the LS+ Concept, so expect a whole lot more now that the full-sized beauty is sitting pretty at the Tokyo Motor Show.

    Continue after the jump to read more about the Lexus LS+ Concept

    Exterior

    • Laser light technology
    • Spindle front grille with mechanized shutters
    • Side-view cameras
    • 22-inch wheels

    2017 Lexus LS+ Concept - image 740689
    “The thing that you’ll immediately notice is how Lexus designers were able to combine current design elements with new visual features that are culled from improved technology”

    If this is what the Lexus LS is going to look like in the future, then sign me up. Of course, Lexus has shown a penchant for designing some of the most incredible concepts that I’ve seen in recent years, so it’s nothing out of the ordinary that its vision for the future of the LS flagship sedan follows in that tradition. At first glance, . Take the massive spindle grille for example. Lexus already employs that feature in its current lineup but it still plays a prominent part in the overall look of the concept. Here’s the new-age rub, though. The grille itself incorporates what looks to be a mechanized shutter that does double-duty by helping with cooling the car’s internal parts and boosting the sedan’s overall aerodynamic flow.

    The boomerang-like headlights are also similar in design from the current LS but, like the spindle grille, there’s more to it than meets the eye, specifically the illumination. Turns out, laser technology will be a big part of Lexus’ future, as is probably the case too with a lot of automakers down the road. Not only does it guarantee much better illumination than what we’re used to these days, but it’s a clear step in the right direction towards improving road safety for everyone involved. Then there’s the use of cameras instead of conventional side mirrors. It’s not a new “concept” but everyone’s doing it too. What’s a bit surprising is that the concept sits on massive 22-inch alloy wheels, much bigger than the 20-inch wheels the current LS uses.


    2017 Lexus LS+ Concept - image 740684

    Overall though, the exterior of LS+ Concept is solid work from Lexus designers. The whole shape of the body is consistent with what we know the LS to be, so it’s good that the designers didn’t go too out of the box with its presentation. It’s imposing in its own right, but not at all intimidating. That’s what you want a flagship sedan to look like.

    Interior

    • Inspiration from Japanese design
    • Should have leather interior
    • Should have wood trim
    • Ambient lighting

    2018 Lexus LS 500 - image 700564
    Interior from 2018 Lexus LS500 shown here
    “The heavy inspiration on Japanese design has been a hallmark of Lexus for years so there’s no reason to think that the future LS will adopt a similar design philosophy”

    The interior of the Lexus LS+ Concept is trickier to get a hold off because judging by how blacked-out those windows are, it appears that there’s very little there to talk about. Some concepts adopt this approach so it’s nothing that we’re not used to. That said, we can still speculate on what the concept’s cabin could look like.

    Personally, I don’t think the interior will be a far departure from what the current LS already has. That’s a good thing because the cabin of the current LS is one of the cleanest ones in its segment. The heavy inspiration on Japanese design has been a hallmark of Lexus for years so there’s no reason to think that the future LS will adopt a similar design philosophy. Fine leather should be a gimme. Same thing with ambient lighting and some kind massage feature on the seats. These are hallmarks of Lexus’ Japan-style cabin treatment and I’m all for getting all those things – maybe even more – on the future LS sedan.

    As far as tech features go, the expectation is that Lexus is going to take a massive leap from what it has on the table now. A navigation display should still be in the mix, but it could cater to a number of new tech items in the future, including the aforementioned “Highway Teammate” technology that effectively puts a fully functioning autonomous system in place for the LS sedan.

    Drivetrain

    • Highway Teammate autonomous driving technology
    • Data tech system
    • Could be all-electric
    • Could have 354-horsepower drivetrain from LS500h

    2017 Lexus LS+ Concept - image 740685
    “Lexus LS+ Concept is going to adopt autonomous driving technology using its Highway Teammate system”

    The only thing we know about the Lexus LS+ Concept is that it’s going to adopt autonomous driving technology using its Highway Teammate system. This technology essentially gives the luxury sedan full autonomous driving capabilities to navigate around specific road conditions, including merging, lane changes, and diverging. It’s also tipped to be smart enough to keep the sedan in its lane, a safe distance from the car in front.

    Coinciding with the use of Highway Teammate is the concept’s ability to communicate with a data center, allowing the system’s software to be updated on the fly. It’s something that Tesla is already doing with its fleet of models so if Lexus is going to get that level, it’s going to need to have it’s own architecture in place if it’s going to fully adapt autonomous driving technology in the future.


    2017 Lexus LS+ Concept - image 740688
    “The likeliest candidate is a fully-electric set-up, though a hybrid shouldn’t be dismissed either”

    Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess what kind of drivetrain the future LS could have. The likeliest candidate is a fully-electric set-up, though a hybrid shouldn’t be dismissed either. If it does end up being the latter, Lexus can point to the setup of the current LS 500h, which makes use of a 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline engine and a couple of electric motors. Total output is rated at 354 horsepower, giving the LS enough boost to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.

    Is it possible that the future LS will have a gas-engine? I’d say yes, though, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lexus goes fully hybrid and electric in the future.

    Conclusion


    2017 Lexus LS+ Concept - image 740687

    I’m always intrigued every time Lexus comes out with a concept vehicle. It’s arguably one of the best at it and if you’re not a believer, look up some of the past Lexus concepts from the last few years. The LS+ Concept fits into that mold because it not only looks the part of a futuristic concept, but it also looks like something that Lexus will eventually turn into a production car in the future. Those are always the best kind of concepts to begin with so I’m expecting big things out of the LS+ down the road. Don’t expect it to happen anytime soon though because the LS just got its fifth-gen model rolling.

    But for the future? You bet I’m looking forward to it.

    • Leave it
      • Not happening anytime soon
      • How much of it will be adapted to future LS models is a good question
      • Not enough details on the interior and drivetrain

    References

    Lexus LS


    2018 Lexus LS 500 - image 702643

    Read our review of the 2018 Lexus LS500

    Lexus


    2011 Lexus LF-A - image 328640

    Read the latest Lexus news

    PostHeaderIcon Mazda Vision Coupe Concept

    2017 Mazda Vision Concept

    Mazda has had quite a few good years since 2012, introducing not only a very appealing design language but also a solid lineup of crossovers and SUVs. In addition, it came up with two wild Vision concepts, one that pays tribute to the Le Mans-winning 787B and one that previews a successor to the iconic RX-7 and a new-generation rotary engine. But it appears that the Japanese firm isn’t stopping here. At the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda unveiled the Vision Coupe, a sleek four-door that may become the company’s larger sedan yet.

    Based on the RX-Vision design-wise, the Vision Coupe is unlike any other Mazda we’ve seen on the road. Not only larger than the Mazda 6, it also has a decidedly sporty attitude and a coupe-like roof that reminds of the Mercedes-Benz CLS, the car that started this whole trend. And while there’s no official word on what Mazda will do with this concept, a full-size sedan is very likely in the future. With Mazda having offered such a model for only a few years in the 1980s and 1990s (remember the 929?), a full-size sedan would be a big deal for the Japanese automaker. But until we find out more about that, let’s take a closer look at Mazda’s most exciting sedan yet.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda Vision Coupe.

    Exterior

  • Four-door coupe body style
  • Based on RX-Vision concept
  • Aggressive front fascia
  • Sleek roofline
  • Quad exhaust layout
  • Previews Mazda’s very own Mercedes CLS?

    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740429
    “The Vision Coupe appears to be based on the sleek RX-Vision”
  • The fact that this four-door concept is called the Vision Coupe may seem a bit confusing, but it all goes away when you look at the car’s profile and notice the sleek roofline. And it’s actually not that weird since some automakers have already used similar descriptions. For instance, Mercedes-Benz lists both the CLS and CLA as coupes, despite having four-door layouts. Four-door coupes are becoming increasingly popular nowadays, not to mention that traditional sedans are becoming increasingly sportier by looks. So Mazda is basically trying to adapt to this trend, at least in the concept car world.

    Now talking about the “Vision” badge, it’s provides a strong connection to another Mazda concept, the RX-Vision from 2016. And it’s not just the name. A quick comparison reveals that the four-door is actually based on the RX-Vision, even though a lot of element have been toned down for a more production-friendly look. Some elements may vary, but these concepts have a lot in common.


    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740425
    “When seen from the side, this concept looks like a four-door version of the RX-Vision”

    Up front, we can see the same long engine hood and pointy nose. The hood itself has similar creases toward the fenders, but the center section is more elegant and lacks the previous concept’s vents. The grille is actually almost identical in terms of shape and size, but that’s not surprising given that it is an important part of Mazda’s current design language. Even the bumper is similar, but with less aggressive vents and splitter. It’s the headlamps are significantly different. Although placed in similar carvings in the body, the have a simple round LED unit and miss the fancy strips seen on the RX-Vision.

    When seen from the side, this concept looks like a four-door version of the RX-Vision. The fenders and beltline are identical. The doors are obviously different since Mazda had to stick a pair in only a slightly longer wheelbase, but again, everything seems to be have been design on the same sheet of paper. Other features that stand out besides the extra rear door is the less aggressive side skirts and the chrome trim on the lower front door (the RX-Vision has on the upper front fender).


    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740430
    “The rear features a heavily raked rear glass, a short decklid, and a quad-exhaust layout”

    The rear is of similar design too, with a heavily raked rear glass and a short decklid. The trunklid opening seems to the different and there’s no movable wing, but the arched edge of the decklid simulates a spoiler. The RX-Vision’s quad-taillight layout was replaced by a simpler pair of round units, but everything else is pretty much the same. Below, we can see a revised diffuser with four exhaust pipes for a sporty look.

    In many ways, the Vision Coupe reminds me a bit of the Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 concept. It must be the long hood and the same of the nose, but otherwise I’m aware that they are very different cars. Still, we could say that the Vision Coupe is Mazda’s very own Maybach.


    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740885

    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740886

    As an interesting note, Mazda says that the Vision Coupe name pays homage to its “tradition of design elegance represented by coupe models like the Mazda R360, Mazda’s first passenger car, and the Mazda Luce Rotary, also known as the Mazda R130.” While there’s nothing wrong with looking back on designs from the past, I must point out that the R360 wasn’t exactly elegant. This 1960s kei car was small and bubbly, having a rather tall roof compared to the length and stance of the body. The Luce R130 built between 1969 and 1972, on the other hand, was quite the elegant, sporty coupe with an European twist to its design. See them both below and judge for yourself.

    Interior

    • Clean and simple interior layout
    • Premium features
    • Leather dash, seats, and door panels
    • Genuine wood veneer
    • Contrast stitching
    • Brushed aluminum trim

    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740436
    “Despite the "Concept" badge, this four-door is actually as production-ready as they get”

    Mazda didn’t have anything to say about the Vision Coupe’s interior, but it did release a batch of photos. And despite the “Concept” badge, this four-door is actually as production-ready as they get. Sure, it’s a bit too fancy compared to existing Mazda production sedans, including the Mazda 6, but everything in this cabin is definitely doable.

    Due to the similarities of Vision Coupe and RX-Vision on the outside, I can’t help but compare the too on the inside as well. somewhat surprisingly, they’re pretty different. The dashboard, for instance, is a brand-new design. Whereas the RX-Vision has a smooth and simple passenger-side area, the Vision Coupe has a layered dash with a secondary display in addition to that in the center stack.


    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740438
    “The cabin seems oriented toward businessmen or drivers in need of a fancier ride”

    The more sober looking instrument cluster and the round-bottom steering wheel are also hints that Mazda is aiming for a different public with this one. Whereas the RX-Vision is going for the RX-7 fanbase that loves sporty coupes, this one is oriented toward businessmen or drivers in need of a fancier ride. And the Vision Coupe is quite luxurious for a Mazda. Nearly every surface of the dashboard is draped in leather, while the door panels bring together two types of hide, one with contrast stitching, piano black trim and what appears to be authentic wood veneer.

    The seats and the steering wheel are also wrapped in leather, again with contrast stitching, while the center console combines it with more wood veneer. The attention to detail is also visible in the instrument cluster, which has premium-look gauges, while the steering wheel has a vintage inspired look with a leather center section and brushed aluminum. It’s by far the prettiest production-ready interior Mazda has created so far and I do hope upcoming cars will get something similar.

    Drivetrain

    • Likely to use familiar four-cylinder powerplants
    • Rotary engine?
    • Production model could get a hybrid

    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740432
    “If it goes into production, the sedan will probably use the four-cylinder engines available in other models”

    There’s absolutely no word as to what lurks under the Vision Coupe’s long hood, but it deosn’t really matter since it’s just a concept car. I’m tempted to say that the four-door could share underpinnings with the RX-Vision based on the fact that they’re similar size- and design-wise, but it’s already official that the RX was showcased with a rotary engine in mind. So there is a possibility that Mazda may want to use its new-generation Wankel unit in just one model, at least for a couple of years.

    All told, if this sleek four-door goes into production, it will probably use the four-cylinder engines available in other models. A hybrid should also be on the table, but it’s way too early to discuss. And given that Mazda chose to not talk about the sedan’s drivetrain, it’s safe to assume that it was created to only showcase a new body style and an updated design language.

    Conclusion


    2017 Mazda Vision Coupe Concept - image 740427

    While it may not be as exciting as the RX-Vision — the hype over this concept is obvious since it previews a spiritual successor to the iconic RX-7 — the Vision Coupe deserves a lot of credit for being a novelty for the Japanese automaker. And I’m talking about side and market placement here, because the Vision Coupe seems to be larger than the Mazda 6, which technically makes it a full-size sedan. Mazda ignored this segment since day one — except for a few years in the late 1980s and early 1990s when it sold the 929 — so the Vision Coupe is spectacular in the sense that it points toward the company’s intentions to join the full-size market. It could also mean that Mazda may want to join the premium segment, but until the carmaker makes an official statement about it, I can only speculate. But it’s definitely a sign of things to come, be it a larger sedan or a new design language, and it’s all good news.

    • Leave it
      • Production plans unknown
      • No drivetrain or tech information

    References


    2016 Mazda RX-VISION Concept - image 653156

    Read our full review on the 2016 Mazda RX-Vision Concept.


    2015 Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo - image 600220

    Read our full review on the 2015 Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo.


    2017 Nissan IMx - image 740404

    Read more Tokyo Motor Show news.

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    2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CAMARO SS RS AUTOMATIC 20" WHEELS 20K MILES #105619 Texas Direct Auto
    $26,530.00
    End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 15:15:00 PST
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    1952 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1952 Chevy Pickup Truck
    $14,000.00 (0 Bids)
    End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:13:36 PST
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    2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 S/C AUTO LEATHER NAV HUD 20'S 29K #800633 Texas Direct
    $37,480.00
    End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 18:15:00 PST
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    2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS 2016 Chevy Camaro 2SS "Chicago Blackhawks Edition"
    $49,000.00 (0 Bids)
    End Date: Tuesday Nov-21-2017 13:34:35 PST
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    2015 Chevrolet Corvette 3LZ 2015 Corvette Z06 (Z07 package)
    $60,300.00 (33 Bids)
    End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 10:43:24 PST
    Buy It Now for only: $68,500.00
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    1951 Chevrolet Other Pickups Deluxe 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup truck, Patina Deluxe Cab Original Survivor
    $10,300.00 (28 Bids)
    End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 9:19:33 PST
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    2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Convertible 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 CONVERTIBLE AUTO 8K MI #119209 Texas Direct
    $44,230.00
    End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 12:30:00 PST
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    2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6 speed FAST AND FURIOUS,no reserve
    $22,600.00 (37 Bids)
    End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 18:46:57 PST
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    2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE GRAND SPORT 2LT RED LEATHER NAV 1K #101720 Texas Direct Auto
    $43,100.00 (111 Bids)
    End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 14:32:37 PST
    Buy It Now for only: $64,880.00
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    2015 Ford Mustang Premium GT 2015 ford mustang gt premium BY OWNER
    $27,900.00
    End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 11:45:00 PST
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    1967 Chevrolet C-10 HORT BOX RESTORED V8 MANUAL PS PB DISC HOT ROD 71 72 stepside STREET ROD 69
    $5,000.00 (1 Bid)
    End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:02:01 PST
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    2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 5.2L 6-SPEED TECH NAV 2K #522266 Texas Direct
    $5,400.00 (4 Bids)
    End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 12:14:27 PST
    Buy It Now for only: $52,230.00
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    2004 Chevrolet Other Pickups 2004 Chevy Colorado truck 5 speed manual transmission
    $1,900.00
    End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 13:58:19 PST
    Buy It Now for only: $1,900.00
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    1957 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1957 Chevy 3100 Chevy 4X4 Pickup Restomod Short bed
    $14,201.01 (13 Bids)
    End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 19:29:41 PST
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    1991 Ford Mustang GT 1991 Mustang 5.0 GT
    $8,500.00
    End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 17:11:46 PST
    Buy It Now for only: $8,500.00
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    2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium Like New 2015 Mustang GT Premium *2100 Miles, Recaro Seats, Loaded!
    $34,500.00
    End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 15:35:40 PST
    Buy It Now for only: $34,500.00
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    1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 1967 Marina Blue 427 Convertible
    $50,100.67 (5 Bids)
    End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 18:43:21 PST
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    2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 20800 Miles Black 2D Coupe 5.0L V8 Ti-VCT 6-Speed A
    $18,998.00 (0 Bids)
    End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:14:19 PST
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    1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1969 Camaro RS SS 396 4-Speed Black Frame-Off Restored
    $27,600.00 (23 Bids)
    End Date: Tuesday Nov-28-2017 14:30:00 PST
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    2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2SS RS NAV Extras SLP TVS2300 Supercharger
    $29,995.00
    End Date: Thursday Dec-7-2017 13:58:59 PST
    Buy It Now for only: $29,995.00
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    2014 Chevrolet Corvette 3 LT 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible, Z51, 3 LT, Nightrace Blue with Blue Top
    $25,200.00 (9 Bids)
    End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 17:48:00 PST
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    1968 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 1968 Ford Mustang Factory GT Coupe 302 J-code w/ Powersteering
    $9,230.00 (32 Bids)
    End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 19:02:35 PST
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