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Archive for the ‘concept cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Subaru Promises New Viziv Performance STI For 2018 Tokyo Auto Saloon!

While we’re just a few short days away from the official sheet pull at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon, Subaru is teasing us with a few shots of its upcoming Viziv Performance STI, giving us a sneak peek at what the six-star brand might have planned for the upcoming WRX STI. Boy racers and vape enthusiasts, take note – this is your new icon.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


Subaru Promises New Viziv Performance STI For 2018 Tokyo Auto Saloon! - image 757165
“It should be said right off the bat that Subaru has a history of releasing some seriously desirable concepts that never actually make to the production stage, so temper your lust accordingly.”

For those of you who may be unaware, the Tokyo Auto Salon is an annual car show centered on the latest and greatest performance parts, aesthetic enhancement pieces, and tech bits from the Land of the Rising Sun, bringing together tuners and aftermarket suppliers to show off their various wares to eager crowds of enthusiasts. The big makes also take advantage of the show to bring their customization and sport-oriented products directly to their target audience, hence the be-winged concept you see here.

Subaru frames this new Viziv concept as the embodiment of its “vision for the future of making cars that deliver enjoyment and peace of mind to its customers.”

For now, we’re limited to a pair of shadowy teaser image and no specs, but so far, we like what we see.

Of course, it should be said right off the bat that Subaru has a history of releasing some seriously desirable concepts that never actually make to the production stage, so temper your lust accordingly.

Now that you’ve been properly warned, this concept looks to be a sneak peek of the next-generation Subaru WRX STI. It’s a continuation of the Viziv Performance Concept that showed at the Tokyo Auto Show in October of last year, which appropriately previewed the base model WRX, and thus this latest
appears to be upgraded for additional go-faster duties courtesy of the Subaru Tecnica International, Suby’s official in-house motorsport-focused skunk works division.


Subaru Promises New Viziv Performance STI For 2018 Tokyo Auto Saloon! - image 757166
“The first image shows a chunky, geometric front end with plenty of pink undertones (STI's go-to color).”

The first image shows a chunky, geometric front end with plenty of pink undertones (STI’s go-to color). There are mean-looking C-shaped headlights, a centrally divided six-sided front intake, an extended front splitter, pronounced side skirts, and hugely flared fenders front and back, as well as small ancillary wings just above the front rims. The fascia also throws in a pink grid for the lower intakes, and we’re pretty sure there’s a sizable hood scoop lurking under that shadow.

Large wheels fill the fenders, while the side-view mirrors are pretty much non-existent, looking more like canards than actual usable mirrors. That means they are most likely used for rear-facing cameras to enhance the car’s aero. Of course, the WRX has never really been known as the most aero-friendly model, offering the same efficiency as a thrown brick, but every little bit helps.

The model should also keep its traditional four-door body style, and even though there are no actual door handles, there’s a very subtle line drawn down the rear fender, suggesting this concept is indeed still a sedan. Pop the door, and part of the fender will open with it.


Subaru Promises New Viziv Performance STI For 2018 Tokyo Auto Saloon! - image 757165
“Moving back to the topic of aero, the second image shows the STI's requisite boy racer rear wing, more pink trim, and the STI logo in big stylized letters. Because of course it does.”

Moving back to the topic of aero, the second image shows the STI’s requisite boy racer rear wing, more pink trim, and the STI logo splayed out in big stylized letters on the end cap. There’s also interconnected taillights that will undoubtedly offer additional visual width to the vehicle, set with a black mesh overlay that’s reminiscent of the insert you get in the nose. We’re also likely to see a quad-tipped exhaust system in back.

Compared to the old Viziv concept, the newer STI version is definitely bigger, bolder, and more aggressive, most likely arriving with a wider stance and extra details throughout. Look for more in-your-face aero, deeper intakes, more logos, and the like.

left
right

Note: previous Viziv Performance Concept pictured on the left, latest Viziv Performance STI concept pictured on the right.

So far, the interior of the concept is a mystery, but if we do get something, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a large touchscreen and heavily bolstered sport seats. However, it’s quite likely Subaru will keep the design study relegated to just the exterior styling.

There’s no details on the oily bits either, but hopefully that will change when the model debuts in Tokyo. Of course, we can assume symmetrical AWD for grip and a turbocharged flat-four engine for motivation.

All told, fans are chomping at the bit for more info on the next-gen WRX and WRX STI. Rumors continue to swirl, with some of the latest contending Subaru could add a hybrid powertrain to the mix. We’d also expect the new WRX and WRX STI to use the latest Global Platform underpinnings from the updated fifth-generation Impreza that dropped cover at the 2016 New York Auto Show.

In the power department, we expect the new STI to offer well over 300 ponies, with 350 feeling about right for a next-generation model. Rumors point to the 2020 model year as the most likely release date for the updated performance machine.

As a reference, the Subaru WRX STI will take on competitors like the Civic Type R, Ford Focus RS, and Volkswagen Golf R.

Look for complete details on the fresh Viziv Performance STI concept when it drops at the Tokyo Auto Saloon later this week.

References

Subaru WRX


2018 Subaru WRX STI - image 702508

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru WRX STI.


2018 Subaru WRX STI – Driven - image 722056

Read our full driven review on the 2018 Subaru WRX STI.


2018 Subaru WRX - image 700158

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru WRX.


Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 741038

Read our full review on the 2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota’s New E-Palette Concept Can Serve as an Open Platform for Developers

As part of its future autonomous mobility service, Toyota has introduced the e-Palette Concept at the Consumer Electronics Show. If you’re a fan of aesthetically pleasing concept vehicles, now’s the time to turn away because the e-Palette is anything but attractive. The concept is actually just a box on four wheels, albeit one that serves a lot of different purposes depending on who’s using it.


Toyota's New E-Palette Concept Can Serve as an Open Platform for Developers - image 756234
“Toyota sees the concept as a multi-purpose smart mobility vehicle that can be used in different ways, including as a business platform for different sorts of companies”

It may not be the most attractive concept in the world, but don’t sleep on the potential of Toyota’s e-Palette Concept. What it lacks in style, it makes up for in function. Toyota sees the concept as a multi-purpose smart mobility vehicle that can be used in different ways, including as a business platform for different sorts of companies. Whether it’s Uber using it as a ride-sharing service or Amazon using it as a parcel delivery vehicle, the e-Palette Concept is versatile enough to accommodate them. The concept’s potential look to be intriguing enough that companies like Amazon, DiDi, Mazda, Pizza Hut, and Uber have all signed up as partners in the project.

From a physical perspective, the e-Palette Concept has a body that comes in three different lengths, ranging from 13 feet to 23 feet. Its boxy design helps increase usable space in the interior, allowing a business partner to design the cabin in ways it sees fit. In the case of Uber and Didi, that could entail fitting the interior with seats for commuters whereas, in Pizza Hut’s case, it could involve creating a mobile kitchen and delivery service.


Toyota's New E-Palette Concept Can Serve as an Open Platform for Developers - image 756237
“Partner companies are also free to install their own automated driving systems and vehicle management technologies into the concept”

Partner companies are also free to install their own automated driving systems and vehicle management technologies into the concept. Once these systems are installed, Toyota steps into the picture with its Guardian technology, which acts as a “safety net” that helps ensure that the operation of the vehicle is being done properly. Toyota’s goal is to create a business ecosystem around the e-Palette Concept. Partners can also take advantage of shared data that Toyota is offering through its Big Data Center service.

The E-Palette is a fascinating interpretation of what future mobility could look. It might even have a promising future as a real product if Toyota thinks it’s worth building them. Just don’t expect that day to arrive anytime soon because feasibility tests of the concept don’t begin until 2020 in Japan. Coincidentally, that’s also the same year that Tokyo is hosting the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Coincidence? I don’t think so.


References


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.


maker logos - image 741755

Read more Toyota news.


HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience - image 749046

Read more technology news.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Teaser Hints at a Futuristic but Traditional Concept for the Detroit Auto Show

The North American International Auto Show will play host to a new Nissan concept that the Japanese automaker is now promoting through a handful of teaser videos ahead of its debut in Detroit. The first of three teasers was recently released, and to no one’s surprise, it didn’t reveal much, other than saying that the concept uses “tradition” as a “bridge to the future.” You can go in a lot of different directions speculating what this concept is, but based on what the teaser video shows, it could be a future interpretation of a traditional Nissan model. A futuristic Nissan GT-R, perhaps?


“The video did include buzz phrases like “strength used to protect” and “tradition is a bridge to the future” so these could be hints on what we can expect from this model.”

It’s hard to tell at this point what Nissan’s teasing with this teaser video. I watched it a few times already, and while I did notice hints of a traditional car — the side profile and the taillights of the concept were shown — there’s very little to go by in terms of concrete information. The video did include buzz phrases like “strength used to protect” and “tradition is a bridge to the future” so these could be hints on what we can expect from this model.

What we’re certain of is that the concept has something to do with Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility campaign. That much was clear when the campaign’s slogan flashed at the end of the video. It’s hard to imagine the concept being the Nissan IMx because that model already made its debut at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show last October. I don’t see Nissan spending thousands of Benjamins creating a teaser campaign on a concept that we already know about.


Nissan Teaser Hints at a Futuristic but Traditional Concept for the Detroit Auto Show - image 756515

That puts the onus on a new concept vehicle that will carry similar characteristics as the IMx, most notably the various tech and mobility systems that Nissan plans to install in its current and future models. If I’m a betting man — I’m not — I’m putting money on a sedan concept that will feature plenty of new-age techs similar to the ones we saw in the IMx. Whatever the case may be, the concept’s reveal will happen in Detroit in the coming weeks so we’ll have an answer soon. In the meantime, there are two more teaser videos that will drop before then. Keep an eye out for those too.

References


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 744955

Read more Nissan news.

PostHeaderIcon CES 2018 – Byton Is Promising Technology That Brands Like BMW And Mercedes Can’t Move Past The Concept Stage

Byton, an international extension of the Chinese-based Future Mobility Corporation, just debuted its very first product, pulling the sheets in front of an eager crowd at CES 2018. Framed as a near-production-ready concept dripping with innovative technology, the SUV promises a lot – but can it deliver?

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


“The Byton Concept EV is the company's very first all-electric vehicle, with a sleek new design, luxurious interior, and solid range”

The Byton Concept EV is the company’s very first all-electric vehicle, with a sleek new design, luxurious interior, and solid range. Byton hopes it will successfully “replace horsepower with digital power,” making a splash in the SUV segment for about $45,000. At 191 inches in length, 76 inches in width, and 65 inches in height, it’s significantly smaller than competitors like the Tesla Model X, but it comes with some pretty impressive tech that will definitely steal some sales – if the start-up delivers on its promises, that is.

So then, what’s the tech in question?

For starters, there are facial recognition cameras mounted on the b-pillars for “user authentication” purposes and the specification of customized settings (seat position, etc.). There’s also smart exterior lighting that will help greet the user and relay important information, such as the current charging status.

Once inside, drivers are met with an enormous screen on the dash, measuring 49 inches in length and 10 inches in height. A touch screen was placed in the steering wheel as well. Rear-view cameras are used in lieu of physical side mirrors.


CES 2018 – Byton Is Promising Technology That Brands Like BMW And Mercedes Can't Move Past The Concept Stage - image 756193
“Once inside, drivers are met with an enormous screen on the dash, measuring 49 inches in length and 10 inches in height. Byton says the SUV will come with level 3 autonomous capability at launch, with promises of reaching level 4 capability by 2020.”

It gets better. The on-board AI uses various devices to monitor the driver’s health and provide “meaningful advice,” while a video chat feature helps you connect on the go. There are individual adjustments for the front and aft seats (no static rear bench here), while the front seats will also rotate around to enhance sociability inside the cabin. Amazon provides its Alexa voice control software, and there’s a simplified gesture command system as well. An intuitive navigation system helps you find the best route from A to B, and the high levels of connectivity come courtesy of several flat antennas integrated with the roof.

Finally, Byton says the SUV will come with level 3 autonomous capability at launch, with promises of reaching level 4 capability by 2020.

All impressive stuff, no doubt about it. But the question is this – is Byton biting off more than it can chew? The company is shooting for no less than “the most advanced EV in the market as of 2019,” which is no small feat these days.


CES 2018 – Byton Is Promising Technology That Brands Like BMW And Mercedes Can't Move Past The Concept Stage - image 756185
“All impressive stuff, no doubt about it. But the question is this – is Byton biting off more than it can chew?”

Still, the basics look pretty solid, with the base model providing 250 miles per charge and 272 horsepower from a 71-kWh battery, and the higher trim doing 325 miles per charge and 476 horsepower from a 350-kWh battery. There’s also a quick-charge feature that will juice the pack with 150 miles in 20 minutes, and an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes.

We’re still a little over a year and a half before we’ll know for sure it Byton can pull this off, but if all the above-mentioned features are included when the final production version drops late 2019, it could spell success for the start-up.

References


CES 2018 – Byton Is Promising Technology That Brands Like BMW And Mercedes Can't Move Past The Concept Stage - image 756181

Read our full review on the 2019 Byton EV Concept.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Byton Concept EV

A Chinese electric car start-up called Future Mobility (FMC) is dipping its toes in the electric car market by launching car company Byton. The new automaker isn’t taking long to make its presence felt in the segment as it already has an electric mid-sized SUV that it plans to showcase at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. It all sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Exterior


2019 Byton Concept EV - image 755406
“Byton’s claim that the vehicle is roughly the same size as the Audi Q5”

We know very little about the exterior of the new Byton electric SUV other than these few teaser photos. The photos don’t reveal much, but we do see a few noteworthy elements, including what appears to be thin headlights that are made up of three large LEDs lined up horizontally. Just below them is another lighting fixture that looks to be more cosmetic than anything else. In my head, they resemble beams that extend in different directions, creating the kind of effect you normally see in a concert. A different teaser photo shows the lights emitting a green hue, but the similar treatment in the rear section of the SUV shows the lights emitting a red color. It’s unclear if this is part of Byton’s electric SUV package, but it does attract some attention.


The teaser photos don’t reveal any details on the side section of the SUV. For that, I checked out the teaser video to see what the silhouette looks like. The video shows a brief glimpse of the top section of the vehicle and the proportions suggest that there’s some legitimacy to Byton’s claim that the vehicle is roughly the same size as the Audi Q5.

Interior


2019 Byton Concept EV - image 755405
“The most prominent element is that massive infotainment screen that stretches to an absurd length of 1,250 mm, or about 49 inches, and rises up to a height of 250 mm, or almost 10 inches”

As little as we know about the Byton SUV’s exterior, we already have a clear look at what the interior looks like. The cabin looks the part of what you’d expect from a concept vehicle. The most prominent element is that massive infotainment screen that stretches to an absurd length of 1,250 mm, or about 49 inches, and rises up to a height of 250 mm, or almost 10 inches! That’s a little over four feet of infotainment screen occupying the entire length of the floating dashboard. The automaker says that this approach makes it easy for both the driver and front passenger to use the screen comfortably. Hard to argue against that sentiment.

Byton’s exuberance in using digital displays can also be found on the steering wheel where a smaller display is located right in the middle of it. We’ve seen this done in the tuning world with iPads in the middle of the wheel, but Bytone is taking it to another level. Apparently, the company thinks that the more displays in the car, the better it is for all of its occupants.


2019 Byton Concept EV - image 755407

Another teaser photo shows a large amount of interior surface dressed up in brown leather. I had my reservations when I first saw it, but I started warming up to it once I got a long look at the dashboard when it’s dressed in the good stuff. It actually looks nice. You’ll notice too that both front seats come with large armrests. I’m a fan of armrests for a number of reasons so I’m digging this small design detail. It gives the two front seats the feel of comfortable lounge chairs. At the very least, they should pass off as lounge chairs because the driver will probably have to ride in a high seating position to see over that absurdly large infotainment screen.

Drivetrain


2019 Byton Concept EV - image 755409
“The SUV will also feature accelerated charging capability, including the ability to charge 76 miles (120 km) of battery range in just 10 minutes of charging.”

From what we know at this point, the Byton electric SUV will be powered by electric motors. According to FMC president, Daniel Kirchert, the SUV will have a range of 217 miles (350 km) in standard form. There are also plans to develop a more premium variant that comes with a range of 311 miles (500 km). The SUV will also feature accelerated charging capability, including the ability to charge 76 miles (120 km) of battery range in just 10 minutes of charging.

On the side of autonomy, Byton plans to install hardware inside its electric SUV that would someday allow it to achieve Level 5 autonomy. That isn’t expected to happen when the car is launched, so expect a version similar to Tesla’s over-the-air updates to be a big part of Byton’s ability to boost the SUV’s tech abilities while it’s on-the-go.

More details about the drivetrain, including the SUV’s power output, should be revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

Conclusion


2019 Byton Concept EV - image 755412

I’ve come this far resisting the urge to bring up Faraday Future and its FF91 SUV, but I can’t keep it in anymore. The similarities are uncanny between the two companies, right down to choosing CES as the event to debut a ground-breaking, all-electric, self-driving-capable SUV. Remember, Faraday debuted the FF91 at CES two years ago and it promised a lot of the same things that we’re hearing from Byton. That’s not to say that the new start-up is going to suffer through the problems that Faraday has had since, but I can’t help but think that Byton may be trying to bite the same tree here.

That said, I will give the company some leeway to show what it’s capable of doing moving forward. That’s the only fair thing to do at this point. The concept looks promising and the ambition is there to really make a mark in a segment that’s continuing to grow by the year.

But those days of blindly championing start-up electric car markers are long gone. Now, I’m adopting a wait-and-see approach. I hope there’s something to Byton’s electric SUV because I want the company to succeed. But if it doesn’t, don’t count on me being surprised.

  • Leave it
    • * We’ve seen this song-and-dance before
    • * Exterior is still a question mark
    • * No drivetrain details

References


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Byton EV

A Chinese electric car start-up called Future Mobility (FMC) is dipping its toes in the electric car market by launching car company Byton. The new automaker isn’t taking long to make its presence felt in the segment as it already has an electric mid-sized SUV that it plans to showcase at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. It all sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Exterior


2019 Byton EV - image 755406
“Byton’s claim that the vehicle is roughly the same size as the Audi Q5”

We know very little about the exterior of the new Byton electric SUV other than these few teaser photos. The photos don’t reveal much, but we do see a few noteworthy elements, including what appears to be thin headlights that are made up of three large LEDs lined up horizontally. Just below them is another lighting fixture that looks to be more cosmetic than anything else. In my head, they resemble beams that extend in different directions, creating the kind of effect you normally see in a concert. A different teaser photo shows the lights emitting a green hue, but the similar treatment in the rear section of the SUV shows the lights emitting a red color. It’s unclear if this is part of Byton’s electric SUV package, but it does attract some attention.


The teaser photos don’t reveal any details on the side section of the SUV. For that, I checked out the teaser video to see what the silhouette looks like. The video shows a brief glimpse of the top section of the vehicle and the proportions suggest that there’s some legitimacy to Byton’s claim that the vehicle is roughly the same size as the Audi Q5.

Interior


2019 Byton EV - image 755405
“The most prominent element is that massive infotainment screen that stretches to an absurd length of 1,250 mm, or about 49 inches, and rises up to a height of 250 mm, or almost 10 inches”

As little as we know about the Byton SUV’s exterior, we already have a clear look at what the interior looks like. The cabin looks the part of what you’d expect from a concept vehicle. The most prominent element is that massive infotainment screen that stretches to an absurd length of 1,250 mm, or about 49 inches, and rises up to a height of 250 mm, or almost 10 inches! That’s a little over four feet of infotainment screen occupying the entire length of the floating dashboard. The automaker says that this approach makes it easy for both the driver and front passenger to use the screen comfortably. Hard to argue against that sentiment.

Byton’s exuberance in using digital displays can also be found on the steering wheel where a smaller display is located right in the middle of it. We’ve seen this done in the tuning world with iPads in the middle of the wheel, but Bytone is taking it to another level. Apparently, the company thinks that the more displays in the car, the better it is for all of its occupants.


2019 Byton EV - image 755407

Another teaser photo shows a large amount of interior surface dressed up in brown leather. I had my reservations when I first saw it, but I started warming up to it once I got a long look at the dashboard when it’s dressed in the good stuff. It actually looks nice. You’ll notice too that both front seats come with large armrests. I’m a fan of armrests for a number of reasons so I’m digging this small design detail. It gives the two front seats the feel of comfortable lounge chairs. At the very least, they should pass off as lounge chairs because the driver will probably have to ride in a high seating position to see over that absurdly large infotainment screen.

Drivetrain


2019 Byton EV - image 755409
“The SUV will also feature accelerated charging capability, including the ability to charge 76 miles (120 km) of battery range in just 10 minutes of charging.”

From what we know at this point, the Byton electric SUV will be powered by electric motors. According to FMC president, Daniel Kirchert, the SUV will have a range of 217 miles (350 km) in standard form. There are also plans to develop a more premium variant that comes with a range of 311 miles (500 km). The SUV will also feature accelerated charging capability, including the ability to charge 76 miles (120 km) of battery range in just 10 minutes of charging.

On the side of autonomy, Byton plans to install hardware inside its electric SUV that would someday allow it to achieve Level 5 autonomy. That isn’t expected to happen when the car is launched, so expect a version similar to Tesla’s over-the-air updates to be a big part of Byton’s ability to boost the SUV’s tech abilities while it’s on-the-go.

More details about the drivetrain, including the SUV’s power output, should be revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

Conclusion


2019 Byton EV - image 755412

I’ve come this far resisting the urge to bring up Faraday Future and its FF91 SUV, but I can’t keep it in anymore. The similarities are uncanny between the two companies, right down to choosing CES as the event to debut a ground-breaking, all-electric, self-driving-capable SUV. Remember, Faraday debuted the FF91 at CES two years ago and it promised a lot of the same things that we’re hearing from Byton. That’s not to say that the new start-up is going to suffer through the problems that Faraday has had since, but I can’t help but think that Byton may be trying to bite the same tree here.

That said, I will give the company some leeway to show what it’s capable of doing moving forward. That’s the only fair thing to do at this point. The concept looks promising and the ambition is there to really make a mark in a segment that’s continuing to grow by the year.

But those days of blindly championing start-up electric car markers are long gone. Now, I’m adopting a wait-and-see approach. I hope there’s something to Byton’s electric SUV because I want the company to succeed. But if it doesn’t, don’t count on me being surprised.

  • Leave it
    • * We’ve seen this song-and-dance before
    • * Exterior is still a question mark
    • * No drivetrain details

References


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Niro EV Concept

Launched for the 2017 model year, the Kia Niro is a subcompact crossover positioned below the popular Sportage. Previewed by a concept vehicle introduced in 2013, the Niro is built on the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq, and it’s available with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and electric motor combo, in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. A gasoline-only version isn’t on a drawing table yet, but a fully electric model is definitely underway. Already spotted testing on public roads in 2017, the Niro EV is coming to the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in concept form.

Heavily based on the production model, the electric concept is more than just a Niro with an electric motor and a battery. Kia also meddled with the exterior design and created a new lighting system for the show car. Inside the cabin, we will see a “never-seen-before human-machine interface (HMI),” which could preview an upcoming infotainment system. Most details are still under wraps, so make sure you stay tuned for an update from the Consumer Electronics Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Niro EV concept.

Exterior

  • Redesigned headlamps
  • New daytine running lights
  • Revised taillights
  • New rear bumper with LED lights
  • New side skirts
  • New wheel design
  • “Motion graphic” lighting system

2018 Kia Niro EV Concept - image 755518
“The concept comes with an "advanced new ‘motion graphic’ lighting system"”

Although the photos of the concept car are quite dark, we can spot a few essential details. For starters, it’s pretty obvious that the show car is a modified Niro. All the familiar features are there, including the headlamps and taillights, the “Tigernose” grille, and traditional crossover shape. But unlike the production model, the concept comes with an “advanced new ‘motion graphic’ lighting system.” Kia had nothing to say about it yet, but was careful enough to highlight it in the photos.

A quick glance at the headlamps reveals a new LED pattern with thin stripes around the lens and new detailing around the main bulb. The daytime running lights in the bumper are also new, now formed of a thin hockey stick-like element and a diagonal bar toward the bottom. The traditional grille was also replaced with what appears to be a display with LED dots. It’s unclear whether the graphics are customizable here but it could change depending on the drive mode selected.


2018 Kia Niro EV Concept - image 755522
“The license place recess is much wider now and looks like a sporty diffuser”

Things become a lot more interesting around back, where Kia replaced the Niro’s usual taillights with slimmer units. On top of being thinner, which gives the crossover a more aggressive stance, they also feature a new LED pattern with thin stripes around the lens and vertical bars, similar to those seen up front. The red lights in the bumper also mimic the shape of the daytime running lights. The license place recess is much wider now and looks like a sporty diffuser. Inside, there’s “Niro EV” lettering in white LED lights.

The SUV’s profile appears to be the same, but I can see a new side skirt design, new wheels, and a slightly lowered ride height.

Kia says that the “motion graphic” lighting system previews the potential for such a technologies “for market introduction in coming years.” I’ll be honest here, I can’t wait to find out what this thing is all about.

Interior

  • Likely based on production model
  • Extra apps and features
  • new human-machine interface

2017 Kia Niro - image 665043
“The concept also features a "never-seen-before" human-machine interface (HMI)”

Kia had absolutely nothing to say about the concept car’s interior, but it’s safe to assume that it won’t stray too far from the production model’s layout. Sure, Kia may add a few new features, like a custom instrument cluster with information about the electric drivetrain and additional apps for the infotainment system, but the general cabin design should remain unchanged. It could showcase new visuals like a flashy two-tone upholstery, new contrast stitching, and new materials but don’t expect anything wild.

New technology is also on the table, but don’t get your hopes up for something revolutionary. With the Niro EV already under development and testing on public roads, the concept is probably an almost production-ready vehicle. Kia did say that the concept also features a never-seen-before human-machine interface but it remains to be seen if the Korean brand will introduce something entirely new. I’ve read way too much fancy PR talk lately so I’m tempted to believe it’s something we’ve already seen in other concept car but packaged in a different way.

Drivetrain

  • Electric motor from Hyundai Ioniq
  • 28-kWh battery
  • 155-mile range
  • 118 horsepower
  • 217 pound-feet of torque

2018 Kia Niro EV Concept - image 755519
“The Niro EV could use the same drivetrain as the Hyundai Ioniq”

Kia has yet to release drivetrain information on the Niro EV concept, but it did say that it features a “highly efficient battery-electric powertrain.” However, we already know that the Niro is based on the Hyundai Ioniq, which already has an electric version, so it’s safe to assume that the Niro EV could use the same drivetrain.

Introduced in 2017, the Ioniq Electric has a single electric motor that generates 118 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a single-speed reducer transmission that’s capable of pushing the car to a top speed of 102 mph. The juice is stored in a 28-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery that promises an estimated range of 155 miles. Charging the battery to 80 percent only takes 24 minutes using a 100-kW fast charger, and an integrated in-cable control box (ICCB) allows the vehicle to charge using a standard 120-volt wall socket. These specs should be similar for the production version of the Niro EV.

Of course, the concept car could have additional output and features, but we won’t know for sure until the vehicle breaks cover at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Conclusion


2018 Kia Niro EV Concept - image 755520

The Niro EV may be just a concept car for now, but it’s pretty clear that it will become a production model soon. The vehicle was already spotted tested on public roads and it will most likely arrive by the end of 2018. With the Niro already available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, the full electric version will round out the nameplate and give Kia a solid competitor for all markets.

  • Leave it
    • * Details still under wraps

References

Kia Niro


2019 Kia Niro EV - image 742858

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Kia Niro EV.


2017 Kia Niro - image 665038

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Niro.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.


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Read more Kia news.

PostHeaderIcon Kia to Show Off its Electrified Future at CES 2018 with the Niro EV Concept

Kia will head to the Consumer Electronics Show in full force with a new all-electric concept car. The new concept is called the Niro EV, and it’s actually a model that we’ve seen recently in the wild getting some test runs under its belt. The Niro EV is unlikely to hit production anytime soon, but it does feature a slate of new technologies that Kia hopes will be introduced on production models in the coming years.


Kia to Show Off its Electrified Future at CES 2018 with the Niro EV Concept - image 755491
“We can expect the Niro EV to come with a single electric motor that produces 118 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque”

Parse through Kia’s plans for the Niro EV, and it’s clear that the concept has a bigger purpose than just being a show car. It has, in Kia’s words, a “never-before-seen” human-machine interface and a “motion graphic” lighting system, two technologies that could find their way in future production models, provided that there’s some interest behind them.

Beyond the allure of these new tech features, the Niro EV is an electric car at heart. It’s also the third model variant to carry the “Niro” nameplate, following the mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants that are already out on the market. Details about the EV version will be released at CES, though it’s likely that the concept will carry a similar electric powertrain package that’s similar to the one found inside the Hyundai Ioniq EV.


Kia to Show Off its Electrified Future at CES 2018 with the Niro EV Concept - image 755490
“Details about the EV version will be released at CES”

Should that be the case, we can expect the Niro EV to come with a single electric motor that produces 118 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque. A single-speed reducer transmission is in charge of sending power to the two front wheels while a 28-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery is responsible for delivering an estimated range of 155 miles. Since we’re talking about just a single electric motor, charging it up to 80-percent capacity will only take around 24 minutes using a 100-kW fast charger.

The arrival of the Kia Niro EV isn’t surprising since the Korean automaker has been pushing to build its lineup to include more hybrids and EV models. It already has the Soul EV in the market, and given the popularity of the Niro’s two hybrid variants, it makes sense for Kia to add an all-electric version into the mix.

References

Kia Niro


2019 Kia Niro EV - image 742858

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Kia Niro EV.


2017 Kia Niro - image 665038

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Niro.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.


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Read more Kia news.

PostHeaderIcon Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept

Infiniti has made tremendous progress in recent years, evolving from a brand that used to sell slightly more upscale Nissan model into a full-fledged luxury company that competes against the likes of Lexus and Lincoln. Come 2018, and the Japanese brand is looking to expand into new niches, including the electric car market. Set to break cover at the Detroit Auto Show, the Infiniti Q Inspiration concept previews the firm’s upcoming flagship model, alongside its new design direction. Additionally, it may be the company’s first electric model after the race-inspired Prototype 9.

With just two weeks left until Detroit kicks off, Infiniti is still keeping the details under wraps. We do have a couple of teasers to look at and a bit of info to digest, but the Q Inspiration remains pretty much a mystery for now. “It is the first manifestation of Infiniti’s new form language for an era of advanced powertrains and presents a design vision for vehicles in this segment,” the company said, hinting that the Q Inspiration will introduce a new styling language and maybe even a new flagship model.

Continue reading to learn more about the Infiniti Q Inspiration concept.

Exterior

  • Upgraded front grille
  • Thin LED headlamps
  • Aggressive vents in the hood
  • White grille
  • Sleek profile with coupe roofline
  • Slender taillights
  • Sporty rear bumper
  • No exhaust pipes

2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept - image 753889
“The grille is finished in white, just like the body, which gives the sedan a unique and upscale look”

Infiniti has yet to show the car in full, but the teaser photos give us a good look at the main features. Up front, the sedan appears to have an upgraded, larger front grille with a wide lower section, a polished logo, and extremely thin headlamps that extend into the front fenders, just above the wheel arches.

The headlamp units feature small vertical bars, which could be part of some new LED technology, while the engine hood has aggressive vents carved on each side. The grille is finished in white, just like the body, which gives the sedan a unique and upscale look.

“Around back, the Q Inspiration concept is unlike any other Infiniti built until now”

The second teaser shows both the profile and rear end of the Q Inspiration concept. And I must admit that the four-door is rather gorgeous. The side elements are clean and muscular. The beltline is set lower than usual on the doors, moving upward only as it passes above the rear haunches. The roofline is sleek and reminds me of the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Porsche Panamera. A big vents place behind the front wheel leaves a big dents in the front lower door area, giving the car a sporty look. The wheels have an intricate design and appear to blend polished aluminum with carbon-fiber inserts.

Around back, the Q Inspiration concept is unlike any other Infiniti built until now. The coupe-like roof extends into a short, raked decklid, while the thin, sculpted taillights extend across the entire width of the rear fascia. The logo on the trunk lid is back by “Infiniti” lettering below the taillights for a more luxurious look, while the bumper sports two aggressive intakes on each side. The lack of visible exhaust pipes suggests that this concept car might have an electric drivetrain.

Interior

  • Four-seat layout
  • Likely to have luxury features
  • Could preview new technology
“The teaser suggests that the cabin has four individual seats”

Infiniti had nothing to say about the concept’s interior and the teaser photos don’t provide too many hints either. All I can gather from the pictures is that the cabin has four individual seats, which will translate into enhanced comfort for rear-seat passengers. The seats also appear to have solid bolstering and wide headrests. It looks like we will have to wait for the concept to make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show to find out more, but it’s safe to assume that it will preview new tech and features that will be launched in future production models.

Drivetrain

  • Possible electric drivetrain
  • Evolution of hybrid V-6 powertrain

2017 Infiniti Prototype 9 - image 726349

Note: Infiniti Prototype 9 pictured here.

“The lack of visible exhaust pipes could mean that the Q Inspiration concept will preview an upcoming electric drivetrain”

No word on drivetrains either, although Infiniti did mention “smarter, compact drivetrains.” As mentioned earlier, the lack of visible exhaust pipes could mean that the Q Inspiration concept will preview an upcoming electric drivetrain.

The last time Infiniti showcased a battery-powered drivetrain was in the race-inspired Prototype 9. The concept was powered by a 30-kWh, high-voltage battery and a prototype electric motor rated at 148 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A development of this drivetrain sounds just right for the Q Inspiration, but it should boast a bit more oomph and use all-wheel-drive instead of an RWD system.

A hybrid drivetrain is also possible, but it remains to be seen whether Infiniti is introducing a new one or a revised version of the combo offered in the Q70. The sedan uses a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 302 horsepower and 258 pound-feet and a Nissan-made electric motor that’s good for 67 horses and 214 pound-feet. Total output is rated at 360 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of twist.

Conclusion


2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept - image 755312

At this point it’s tough to say if this show car previews a successor to the Q50 or Q70, but it could be a flagship model. It’s also possible that the Q Inspiration is a preview for a larger sedan, like the much-rumored Q90. Stay tuned for updates from the Detroit Auto Show later this month.

  • Leave it
    • * No official details yet

References


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Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


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Read more Infiniti news.

PostHeaderIcon Infiniti Teases New Concept Car for Detroit Auto Show

We’re rapidly heading toward the end of 2017, but a new auto show season is upon us with the 2018 Detroit Auto Show set to kick off on January 13. Some automakers have already announced their new cars for the year’s first event, and Infiniti just unveiled that it will bring a concept car to the Cobo Center. The vehicle doesn’t have a name yet, and most details are still under wraps, but Infiniti did say that it “previews a new generation of Infiniti vehicles” and represents the first manifestation of the company’s new design language.


Infiniti Teases New Concept Car for Detroit Auto Show - image 753971
“The new concept will demonstrate Infiniti's "artistry in the new age of autonomy and breakthrough drivetrains"”

“The new Infiniti concept car will take the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution. A shift toward smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains; we were able to create an alternative form with flowing gestures, more engaging in character and more enriching in experience. With its long cabin, balanced proportions and muscular stance, the concept heralds in a new era for Infiniti models,” said Karim Habib, the company’s design director.

The Japanese brand also mentioned that the new concept would demonstrate Infiniti’s “artistry in the new age of autonomy and breakthrough drivetrains,” which means that the vehicle will be semi or fully autonomous and feature a state-of-the-art, either hybrid or electric drivetrain.

The company also released a teaser showing some of the concept’s front end design. It appears to have an upgraded, larger front grille with a wide lower section, a polished logo, and extremely thin headlamps. Interesting styling cues include the small vertical bars on the headlamps, which could be part of some new LED technology, and the aggressive vents carved on the upper fenders, where these elements meet the front hood. The grille is finished in white, just like the body, which gives the car a unique look. At this point it’s tough to say if this show car previews a successor to the Q50 or Q70, but it could be a flagship model. But it’s not out of the question to see a preview for a larger sedan, like the much-rumored Q90.

References


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 745436

Read more Infiniti news.

PostHeaderIcon Infiniti Teases New Concept Car for Detroit Auto Show

We’re rapidly heading toward the end of 2017, but a new auto show season is upon us with the 2018 Detroit Auto Show set to kick off on January 13. Some automakers have already announced their new cars for the year’s first event, and Infiniti just unveiled that it will bring a concept car to the Cobo Center. The vehicle doesn’t have a name yet, and most details are still under wraps, but Infiniti did say that it “previews a new generation of Infiniti vehicles” and represents the first manifestation of the company’s new design language.


Infiniti Teases New Concept Car for Detroit Auto Show - image 753971
“The new concept will demonstrate Infiniti's "artistry in the new age of autonomy and breakthrough drivetrains"”

“The new Infiniti concept car will take the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution. A shift toward smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains; we were able to create an alternative form with flowing gestures, more engaging in character and more enriching in experience. With its long cabin, balanced proportions and muscular stance, the concept heralds in a new era for Infiniti models,” said Karim Habib, the company’s design director.

The Japanese brand also mentioned that the new concept would demonstrate Infiniti’s “artistry in the new age of autonomy and breakthrough drivetrains,” which means that the vehicle will be semi or fully autonomous and feature a state-of-the-art, either hybrid or electric drivetrain.

The company also released a teaser showing some of the concept’s front end design. It appears to have an upgraded, larger front grille with a wide lower section, a polished logo, and extremely thin headlamps. Interesting styling cues include the small vertical bars on the headlamps, which could be part of some new LED technology, and the aggressive vents carved on the upper fenders, where these elements meet the front hood. The grille is finished in white, just like the body, which gives the car a unique look. At this point it’s tough to say if this show car previews a successor to the Q50 or Q70, but it could be a flagship model. But it’s not out of the question to see a preview for a larger sedan, like the much-rumored Q90.

References


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 745436

Read more Infiniti news.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus LF-1 Limitless Concept Coming To Detroit as Flagship SUV

Lexus confirmed it will bring a new concept car at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in January and already released a couple of teasers. While the first image showed the rear end of a crossover with thin headlamps and a sporty tailgate, the second video gives us a glimpse at the vehicle’s front end. Described as a “flagship crossover,” the LF-1 Limitless boasts an evolution of the company’s current design language, sporting a huge “Spindle” grille and a very aggressive headlamps design. While still somewhat similar to the existing units due to the Z-shaped layout of the LED strips, the concept car also features orange lights that descend into the bumper, on the outer edges. It’s a unique look and a clear hint that Lexus is using this concept car to introduce its next-generation design language.

“Lexus didn't reveal any details outside the name, but the "flagship" description could mean that the LF-1 Limitless preview the four-generation LX”

Unfortunately, Lexus didn’t reveal any details outside the name, but the “flagship” description could mean that the LF-1 Limitless preview the four-generation LX, the company’s largest SUV. Based on the latest Toyota Land Cruiser, the third-gen LX is already ten years old as of 2017, with the latest update introduced in 2015. A complete redesign is necessary and likely to arrive in 2018, which leads me to believe that the concept car previews the new LX. The “L” in the “LF-1” name also suggests that we’re dealing with a full-size SUV. The LF-1 Limitless will be unveiled on January 15, 2018, and we’ll review the concept vehicle as soon as the official details are out.

The LX is one of Lexus’ most important crossovers. It’s been around since 1995 and went through two major redesigns until now. U.S. sales drop from almost 8,000 units in 2008 to less than 4,000 per year between 2009 and 2011, but the LX managed to move more than 5,000 examples a year in 2016 and 2017. It’s definitely a good time to build on the momentum.

References


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Renault Shows Off the Symbioz as a Working Prototype

As more and more automakers continue their push to develop electric and autonomous vehicles, a company like Renault isn’t going to let itself get behind the proceedings. The French automaker unveiled the SYMBIOZ concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show last September to showcase what it can do in this burgeoning space. The concept was first envisioned as a roadmap for the company’s future by 2030, but in the space of just three months, Renault was able to develop a new working prototype of the same concept that has cut its timetable to 2023.

“The SYMBIOZ concept is a fascinating interpretation of what the future could look like with Renault”

It’s easy to look at this news on the surface and think that it’s ground-breaking. It is in some regard, but should we really be surprised that Renault is moving its timetable a lot closer to where other automakers are at this point? Most companies are aiming for commercial applications on their autonomous driving technology between 2019 and 2021. If you look at it from that perspective, Renault is still a few years behind.

But that’s not to discount the advancements the French automaker has made. The SYMBIOZ concept is a fascinating interpretation of what the future could look like with Renault. It looks like a full-blown concept. It features plenty of cutting-edge tech features, born from collaborations between the automaker and some of the biggest tech companies in the world. LG developed the concept’s display unit, heads-up display system, and the control unit. Tomtom is responsible for the concept’s map and navigation system, and while we’re at it, the full onboard experience was developed by Ubisoft, the French video game publisher that’s responsible for Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Prince of Persia.

“In the interim, Renault plans to offer test drives of the concept to the media “to demonstrate in real-life conditions, a car that is autonomous, electric and connected."”

In the interim, Renault plans to offer test drives of the concept to the media “to demonstrate in real-life conditions, a car that is autonomous, electric and connected.” If the company is confident enough in its product to do this now, it tells you that there’s more to Renault’s plans for autonomous driving than we first thought.

It’s happening sooner than later. In my mind, that’s a good thing.

References


Renault Symbioz Is Like A Mobile Room - image 731071

Read our review on the Renault Symbioz concept.



Read more Renault news.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker

Stars Wars: The Last Jedi is hitting theaters next week, and like in year’s past, Nissan is hitching its wagon on the monolithic movie franchise. We saw the fruits of that partnership last year with the launch of the Nissan Rogue One Edition. This year, Nissan and LucasFilms are upping the ante by launching a whole fleet of Stars Wars-inspired creations, including the vehicle you see here.

This is a Nissan Titan, or at least it was until it was redesigned to look more like one of those giant AT-M6 Walker bots that the First Order deployed against the Resistance in The Force Awakens. The overall look and the details that went into creating the Titan Star Wars is a feast for the senses. We should give credit to Vehicle Effects for making this transformation. The California-based company is famous in Hollywood circles for building some of the best cars to hit the silver screen, including all the vehicles in The Fast and Furious and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises. In addition to the Titan, Vehicle Effects also created the Nissan Altima Special Forces TIE Fighter, Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren, Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer, Nissan Maxima Captain Phasma, Nissan Rogue Poe Dameron’s X-Wing with BB8, and Nissan Rogue Sport A-Wing.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Nissan Star Wars Edition

What makes the Nissan Titan Star Wars special


2018 Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker - image 750470
“The finished product looks incredible, particularly in the way some of its features are in sync with the actual parts from the AT-M6”

With respect to the other Star Wars-inspired Nissan vehicles, the Titan AT-M6 is, without question, the most elaborate creation of the fleet. According to Eric Shimp of Vehicle Effects, most of the materials that were used in this build are made from aluminum. There are also 3D-printed parts, most notably the circuit panels that we can see on the sides of the truck.

The finished product looks incredible, particularly in the way some of its features are in sync with the actual parts from the AT-M6. The hood of the truck features the top end of the walker’s head, right down to the red highlights that represent the windows of the walker. The front bumper of the Titan also gets a pair of proper blasters. Both are flanked by smaller protrusions that resemble the array of artillery that the actual AT-M6 has at its disposal. The rest of the pick-up gets wrapped in the same colors as the AT-M6, complete with black definitions that represent the natural wear-and-tear these walkers get when they’re on the battlefield.


2018 Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker - image 750464
“The rest of the pick-up gets wrapped in the same colors as the AT-M6, complete with black definitions”

The other significant feature of the Titan AT-M6 is sitting at the back, prominently placed for the whole world to see. For those who don’t know, that part there is the body of the AT-M6, and that satellite dish-looking equipment is actually the megacaliber six cannon from which it gets its name.

As elaborate as the exterior is, the Titan’s interior remains largely in stock form. The only modification in this section is the sound equipment that was installed to help recreate the effects of a stomping AT-M6 Walker. Imagine driving in your neighborhood and seeing this in your rear-view mirror. It’s a cool sight, but also not a pleasant one.

No work was done to improve the Titan’s performance capabilities. I don’t see that as an issue though because if you watched The Force Awakens, you’ll know that these AT-M6 Walkers aren’t exactly known for being fleet-footed. The absence of any power upgrades isn’t a reflection of the kind of work that Vehicle Effects put into this build. In fact, the finished vehicle reportedly weighs around 6,500 pounds. That’s 1,500 pounds in added weight to a pickup that already weighs a little over 5,000 pounds, to begin with.


2018 Nissan Titan AT-M6 Walker - image 750473
“The finished vehicle reportedly weighs around 6,500 pounds”

Don’t expect the Nissan Titan AT-M6 to somehow find itself in the classifieds anytime soon. Like the rest of the The Last Jedi-inspired Nissan models, this creation will be making the rounds of other auto shows through the first quarter of 2018. Even if the movie itself runs its course at that time, there’s no doubt that these cars will still be major attractions.

References

Nissan Titan


2017 Nissan Titan - image 665129

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Titan.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Volkswagen I.D. Crozz Concept to Hit U.S. Market in 2020

Volkswagen has made several I.D. concept vehicles over the years, but it seems one is finally in the works. The automaker’s I.D. Crozz Concept made its U.S. debut at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show after its initial debut last April at the Frankfort Motor Show. VW says the I.D. Crozz Concept will birth a production version, which will be the first of VW’s new generation of electric vehicles. What’s more, VW is promising (again) that its iconic Bus will be reborn for 2022. While hippies and Baby Boomers will approve, this isn’t the first time VW has made such a promise. Still, the Crozz seems more probable since it falls into the red-hot crossover category. VW says a total of 15 new EV vehicles are planned.

Hinrich J. Woebcken, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, says, “The I.D. CROZZ-based electric vehicle will be an affordable and stylish electric SUV.” It will be roughly the size of the 2018 Tiguan, but with a coupe-like shape. Power comes from an 83-kWh lithium-ion battery and is expected to have a 300-mile range. The part-time AWD crossover uses two electric motors – one on each axle – for a total output of 302 horsepower. VW says the Crozz will change to 80 percent in only 30 minutes using a 150-kWh DC charger. Self-driving technology is planned for 2025, too, so we could expect that to accompany the Crozz’s mid-cycle refresh. That’s just speculation, of course.

Continue reading for more on the 2020 Volkswagen I.D. Crozz Concept.

From dirty diesels to self-driving electric vehicles


Volkswagen I.D. Crozz Concept to Hit U.S. Market in 2020
- image 749096
“Volkswagen is working hard to rid itself of the soot stains from Dieselgate, and the I.D. concepts are proof of that.”

Volkswagen is working hard to rid itself of the soot stains from Dieselgate, and the I.D. concepts are proof of that. These 15 new fully electric vehicles will have zero local emissions, after all. Besides what Tesla sells, electric vehicles are battling against the SUV craze and low fuel prices. Volkswagen is hoping to sway consumers toward its EV products with snazzy features and bright lights. Literally, they’re using lights.

Walk up to the I.D. Crozz Concept, and an LED light show emanates from the badges and headlights. The doors electrically open, with the front swinging a full 90 degrees and the rear door sliding open like a minivan. The absent B-pillar and glass roof makes the cabin feel extra large and inviting.

The rest of the interior takes a futuristic, minimalistic approach. LED lights illuminate the space, an infotainment screen is basically the only interface on the dash, and the steering wheel looks like something from TRON. A digital gauge cluster resides behind the wheel in a sort of form-fitted, metallic pod behind the wheel.


Volkswagen I.D. Crozz Concept to Hit U.S. Market in 2020
- image 749099
“The electric motors work independently of each other, with electricity sent to the rear-axle motor during normal driving conditions”

The electric drivetrain is also futuristic. The electric motors work independently of each other, with electricity sent to the rear-axle motor during normal driving conditions. The driver can engage the AWD and the front motor turns on. The 101-horse front motor and 201-horse rear motor combined for a total of 302 horsepower. VW didn’t announce a torque figure but count on it being pretty high.

Of course, pricing wasn’t discussed, but Woebcken did promise the Crozz would be affordable. We’d guess it’ll start in the lower $30,000 range. Then again, 2020 is still a long ways off.

References


2017 Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ Concept - image 713927

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ Concept.


Volkswagen Tries to Impress with the CROZZ II – Because One Ugly SUV Wasn't Enough - image 730419

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen I.D. CROZZ II Concept.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon The Toyota FT-AC Concept Can Record Every Second of Your Off-Road Journey

Toyota’s new FT-AC Concept crossover is an interesting rig. It’s an off-road-ready vehicle with all-terrain tires, skid plates, LED off-road lights, recovery hooks, and massive fender flares. Toyota says its rugged aesthetics are inspired by the Land Cruiser and 4Runner – Toyota’s leading off-road SUVs. But the FT-AC Concept is more than a brawny crossover with exaggerated features. It’s a mobile camera platform ready to capture, edit, upload, and share your next outdoor adventure with all your friends.

The FT-AC boasts two infrared cameras mounted to the side mirrors. They not only capture the trail ahead but can be removed for hand-held use. And if the infrared image isn’t bright enough for your selfie, the LED off-road lights will act as a flash. The raw video and photo content is uploaded to a cloud-based storage system via the FT-AC’s Wi-Fi hotspot where users can edit and share the content through their smartphone. Yes, this is the future of connected vehicles, according to Toyota. Or at least it’s a superfluous theory.

For better or worse, the FT-AC is only a concept, and it seems Toyota has no formal plans for production. While the cameras might be outlandish, there are some really innovative features, the best of which is the built-in bike rack integrated into the rear bumper. Simply pull the center section rearward, and the bike rack expands to fit a full-size road or mountain bike – all without having some shaky aftermarket rack scuffing up the paint or rattling on the receiver hitch.

What do you think about the FT-AC? Would you want your next crossover to have cameras for uploading video content? Let us know in the comments below.

References



Read more Toyota news.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Gets A Mopar Makeover at L.A. Auto Show

Everyone knows Jeep Wranglers are extremely customizable and a vast majority of Jeep owners have done at least one upgrade or added some type of aftermarket part to their Wrangler. Jeep knows this and has really ramped up its offerings for the all-new 2018 model. The parts are hosted under the relatively new Jeep Performance Parts and the iconic Mopar brands. They will be available directly through local Jeep dealerships once the 2018 Wrangler reaches showrooms.

In an effort to demonstrate the vastness of Mopar and JPP’s parts lineup, Jeep brought two highly customized 2018 Wranglers to the L.A. Auto Show, debuting along size the production Wrangler. The four-door model is an all-out off-roader based on the Rubicon, while the two-door is a bit milder and based on the Sport. Both show the range of possibilities owners will have.

Continue reading for a detailed look at both Mopar-modified Wranglers.

Mopar-modified four-door 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon


The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Gets A Mopar Makeover at L.A. Auto Show - image 748643
“Up front, the stock Rubicon steel bumper features a Warn winch and low-rise grille guard with LED light pods”

Jeep started this concept build with a production 2018 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon coated in Mojito Green. A two-inch suspension lift and 35-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2 tires on Mopar’s 17-inch aluminum Beadlock wheels. Up front, the stock Rubicon steel bumper features a Warn winch and low-rise grille guard with LED light pods. For the first time, Mopar is now offering an engine snorkel. It raises the air intake point so no water gets into the engine during deep crossings.

Protecting the rocker panels is Mopar’s upgraded rock sliders. They are wider than before and now have a truck-bed coating for better grip when climbing in and out. Speaking of getting in, Mopar tube doors keep passengers in while giving that open-air feel. The front doors also have mounts for side mirrors – since mirrors are a legal requirement in most states.

Inside, the Wrangler’s standard Molle straps on the seatbacks provide mounting points for tons of accessories. Here, Mopar included trail bags for extra storage. Roll bar-mounted grab handles help with entry and for those harrowing, butt-puckering off-road moments. Katzkin leather seat covers have Tungsten stitching and boast the Jeep grille emblem. And since the Wrangler is meant to be used and abused, a screen protector offers protection for the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen.

Mopar-modified 2018 Jeep Wrangler Sport


The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Gets A Mopar Makeover at L.A. Auto Show - image 748649
“This Wrangler Sport concept is way more realistic as to what most Jeep owners would be doing, though it’s hardly a bare-bones rig”

This Wrangler Sport concept is way more realistic as to what most Jeep owners would be doing, though it’s hardly a bare-bones rig. The biggest upgrades are the two-inch suspension lift and 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires on Mopar’s 17-inch “Gear” wheels.

Another useful feature includes the roof basket. It mounts to the new hard top’s gutter rail designed to just such accessories. Two-inch round side steps help with loading stuff up top while giving some protection to the body, but not nearly as much as the purpose-built rock sliders on the other Wrangler. Jeep also offers bicycle, ski, and snowboard racks.

The exterior is giving a cool graphics package with a Moab-themed design on the door and a stylized American flag on the hood. The grille is also blacked out for an added touch. LED light pods on the bumper and on the A-pillars help light the way. The interior is reworked with Katzkin leather seats featuring the seven-slot grille logo. Yeah, it’s clear Jeep is proud of its logo.

Ready for A-pillar Accessories


The 2018 Jeep Wrangler Gets A Mopar Makeover at L.A. Auto Show - image 748644

An interesting design feature baked into the new 2018 Wrangler is its A-pillar base. The exposed bolt heads offer a structural mounting point for accessories like the light pods seen here and whatever the aftermarket can dream up. Remove the bolts and the painted body panel is removable for access to more mounting points. Jeep definitely understands its customers use the A-pillars for adding extra equipment. Hopefully, those LED light pods don’t interfere with the fold-down windshield. Even so, some aftermarket company will develop a solution. That’s the beauty of the Wrangler and its fiercely loyal community.

References

2018 Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 742104

Read our full review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the JK-gen 2017 Jeep Wrangler


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars

The Los Angeles Auto Show is the perfect occasion for carmakers to launch their late-in-the-year models for the U.S. market, but Nissan decided to go with something different in 2017. Having signed a collaboration with Lucasfilm for the upcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” movie, the Japanese automaker unveiled no fewer than six Star Wars-themed concept cars. Each of them is based on characters and crafts from the upcoming film, set to debut on December 15, and are built around Nissan’s most popular models in the U.S., the Rogue, Rogue Sport, Altima, and Maxima.

The vehicles were developed at the Lucasfilm studios, where artists penned everything from the design, colors, textures, and graphics, all inspired by the Star Wars franchise. The sketches were then brought to life using hydro-dipped graphics and aged exterior design to show simulated use in battle. Don’t worry; you won’t be seeing any flying Nissans in the movie, but also don’t expect any of these concepts to make it into production. Let’s have a closer look at each of them below.

Continue reading for the full story.

Nissan Altima Special Forces TIE Fighter


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748034

The first car on the list is based on the strike fighter used by the First Order’s elite pilots. It features a multi-paned windshield, special wheel covers, all sorts of weapons front and rear, and a custom paint job with an offset red stripe.

Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748047

This vehicle looks much more sinister than the previous one, and that’s because it was designed to mimic Kylo Ren’s black and silver face mark. The V-motion grille was rebuilt from a single block of milled aluminum, while the new lower spoiler appears to be taken off a full-fledged race car. The headlamps have red signature lighting that matches the underbody lighting. Both pulse at random to mimic Kylo Ren’s crossguard lightsaber.

Nissan Maxima Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748031

Also inspired by Kylo Ren, this sedan is finished in black and equipped with red lighting in the bumper, as well as inside the cabin. It has two massive wings on each side, which are fitted with laser cannons and missile launchers. It also has sound effects pulled directly from the movie, but no video (or audio) is available yet.

Nissan Maxima Captain Phasma


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748041

The Captain Phasma sedan sports an interesting livery with a gloss-black upper half and a high-gloss silver lower half, separated by a red stripe. The front end was designed to mimic the mask of the female character and makes the sedan look like an armored vehicle. The six little vents on the lower front doors make for a particularly interesting detail that somewhat reminds me of GTE-spec race cars with side-exiting exhausts pipes.

Nissan Rogue Poe Dameron’s X-wing with BB-8


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748043

Moving over to crossovers, this Rogue recreates the X-wing that leads the New Republic Starfleet. It has four massive wings, illuminating thrusters, and four laser cannons. On the roof, Nissan added
BB-8 astromech droid with functioning lights, motion, and sound. A rugged tire and wheel package complete the look and turns the crossover into a vehicle ready for battle.

Nissan Rogue Sport A-wing


Nissan Brings Star Wars to L.A. with Six Wild-Looking Concept Cars - image 748048

Not as aggressive as the X-wing, the A-wing is closer to the standard-spec Rogue Sport. Just ignore the dual thrusters and the roof-mounted fins, and it looks like a regular crossover with a two-tone paint job with battle scars. However, the illuminated thrusters and the laser cannons mounted on the rear fenders give it a proper Star Wars-inspired look.

References

Nissan Rogue


2017 Nissan Rogue Sport - image 700934

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Rogue.


2017 Nissan Rogue - image 687967

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport.

Nissan Altima


2014 - 2015 Nissan Altima - image 546926

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Altima.

Nissan Maxima


2016 - 2017 Nissan Maxima - image 625125

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Maxima.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept

About the best means of transportation on snow-covered mountain trails is a Snowcat – those machines that cross between a tank and snowmobile. The only problem is luxury or that vast lack thereof. Well, GMC now has an answer for this frigid conundrum. Meet the 2018 GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept.

This one-off monster is basically a Sierra 2500 with a ton of upgrades, but its foundation is familiar. The truck runs the new-for-2017 6.6-liter Duramax turbodiesel V-8 with a stump-pulling 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque. The Alison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission and two-speed transfer case are responsible for shifting gears while five people can ride in the leather-lined crew cab. Naturally, GMC started the concept build with a Sierra Denali, meaning nearly every available feature and amenity comes standard. Oh, and of course heated seats and a heated steering wheel are included.

Keep reading for the rest of GMC’s upgrades.

Continue reading for more information.

What makes the GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept special


2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept - image 747407
“The large inner wheel turns the rubber tracks while smaller caster wheels contour to the ground while keeping the track tight”

Quite obviously, those treads are the biggest change to this 2018 Sierra 2500HD Denali. They’re from a company called Mattracks and chances are good you’ve heard of them and seen their tracks before. This particular setup is Mattracks’ 150 Series Tracks and have that added touch of GMC red, matching the GMC logo. The Mattracks bolt right to the truck’s hubs. The large inner wheel turns the rubber tracks while smaller caster wheels contour to the ground while keeping the track tight. The extra wide and long footprint provide all the traction needed to scale slippery slopes.

The 2018 Sierra 2500HD Denali is also fitted with the All Terrain X suspension upgrade available from the factory. This includes shocks and springs tuned for off-roading while still capable of hauling 2,513 pounds in the bed or towing up to 13,500 pounds on a fifth-wheel hitch. Just don’t expect to be towing with those Mattracks. The All Terrain X package also adds the front bumper guard, the bed-mounted sports bar, and tubular side steps.


2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD All Mountain Concept - image 747403
“The 2018 Sierra 2500HD Denali is also fitted with the All Terrain X suspension upgrade available from the factory”

Other upgrades include the custom body wrap with loud graphics, LED off-road lights that illuminate the undercarriage, a 30-inch LED light bar for better forward visibility, Thule snowboard racks, and a soft tonneau cover that rolls up for access to the cargo bed. Inside the cab, the stereo system has been upgraded with an amp and a Dual Pod Speaker kit from Kicker.

GMC built this rig in conjunction with Vail Resorts; a big-time report company focused on mountain and ski getaways. The truck will be on display at Vail Mountain in Vail, Colorado through this winter season.

What do you think? Would you like to power through some powder at the local ski slopes? Let us know in the comments below.

References

GMC Sierra


2017 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD - image 678252

Read our full review on the 2018 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD.


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

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.

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