The Dodge Charger III concept car hails from 1969. Press materials of the day highlighted its "jet-aircraft-type canopy, swing-away steering wheel, elevating bucket seats, and spoiler-type air-brake flaps." We wish we knew what "elevating bucket seats" were all about, but the notion sounds fascinating.
Two questions: When was the last time you heard "Vauxhall" and "sports car" in the same sentence? And what does Pontiac need in order to justify financing the production of its own Solstice sports car?
This aggressive roadster design study may hold the answer to both. True, Vauxhall has its rebadged version of the Opel Speedster (which is, in turn, a kind of reworked Lotus Elise), but that's an Opel, first and foremost. General Motors introduced the VX Lightning concept at an English hotel as part of Vauxhall's 100th-birthday celebration.
Making its world debut in Tokyo, Mitsubishi's Se-Ro concept is a roomy and versatile vehicle that can be used as a durable mobile hobby shop or cozy home away from home. Promising to add spice to a humdrum daily existence, Se-Ro's soft shape fuses a futuristic airship look together with a sense of sweet nostalgia by combining trendy burnished aluminum and tall-boy proportions with retro curvy styling. High-set expansive windows provide privacy while also allowing abundant visibility from within.
Saab's Swedish jet aircraft heritage is the theme of the Aero-X, a concept that bows at the Geneva show in March. The two-seat sport coupe features a cockpit canopy in place of conventional doors. A 400-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 powers all four wheels and operates on 100-percent ethanol bio-fuel. GM has been struggling to keep its Swedish automaker distinctive, despite increased platform sharing. Saab says the Aero-X is inspired by aviation (Saab has built aircraft using Volvo engines) and Scandinavian brand heritage.
It's hard to imagine Toyota-rich, powerful, profitable-worrying about anything. In truth, Toyota worries about everything. That's the difference between the company that's about to become the world's number-one automaker and...General Motors. And the wild-looking coupe you see here, the FT-HS Hybrid Sports Concept, is an especially worrisome car for Toyota.
Buick truly is a success story in China. The brand's LaCrosse and new Holden Statesman-based Park Avenue competes in the chauffer-driven market with stretch wheelbase Audi A6Ls and BMW 5 Series. General Motors, a leader in this burgeoning market, long ago established a design center here. So this was the natural place for Buick to introduce its latest design language in the form of the Riviera concept.
It's called Furai, and designer Franz von Holzhausen says it's supposed to look like streamers fluttering in the wind. It's the fifth concept in Mazda's Nagare (flow) series and the visual realization of zoom zoom. If you say so, Franz.But then the car comes roaring down Laguna Seca's pit lane. I can't find the words. It looks so...so...bitchin! I've regressed to sputtering seventh-grade superlatives.
Audi likes to use the Lake Worther Tour, held annually in southern Austria at the end of May, as a place to show off some fresh ideas. Last year, the automaker brought out the radically styled TT Clubsport Concept. Bowing this year is the A3 Clubsport Concept, a rehash of the not-for-U.S. A3 three-door that would drive any Eurotuner green, or perhaps red, with envy.
Audi is clearly proud of its Sportback philosophy, which it defines as "the sporting elegance of a coupe, the versatility of a five-door model, sophisticated technology and pronounced sportiness."First applied to the Audi A3, and more recently on its A1 Sportback concept seen at the 2008 Paris show, the Four Ring brand's latest Sportback-inspired intrepretation -- the Audi Sportback Concept unveiled at the 2009 Detroit show -- is by far the most luxurious and daring of its five-door efforts to date and no doubt serves as a thinly-veiled concept version of the soon-to-arrive Audi A7.
BMW's design department has been working overtime lately. Just last month, the German automaker unveiled its M1 Homage Concept at the Villa d'Este Concours on the shores of Lake Como, Italy. Now, Munich has officially taken the wraps off of a new design study called the GINA Light Visionary Model, a creation BMW says shouldn't be thought of as "just another concept car," but rather "a whole new approach to automotive design.
Hyundai's Hybrid Blue Drive system operates on a principle similar to Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive, wherein the gasoline engine is mated to an electric motor that reduces the load on the engine, increasing efficiency. In this case, Hyundai's 228-hp Theta II 2.4L inline four-cylinder engine is mated to a 30 kW electric motor that can get the vehicle moving from a stop and provide extra power for accelerating and passing.
The Ryuga (pronounced "ree-yoo-ga," Japanese for gracious flow) is Mazda's second concept in a series of three it plans to debut this auto show season. The first was the Nagare that debuted in L.A., and the last will be unveiled in March at the Geneva show. The Ryuga, however, is here today and stands as a more developed concept than the Nagare, which was a pure exterior design study with no powertrain or interior.
New NSX or not new NSX? That's the question Acura posed with the latest in its new style concept series — the Advanced Sports Car Concept. Front-mounted V10, SUPER HANDLING ALL WHEEL DRIVE and carbon-ceramic brakes, quad exhaust and integrated rear diffusers all communicate its HIGH PERFORMANCE POTENTIAL. Seriously, read the press release.
When Citroen created the GTbyCitroen for the folks over at Polyphony, the intention was to build a design showcase to hype up Gran Turismo 5 at the Paris Motor Show, nothing more. However, with all of the buzz and positive feedback that ensued from the car's unveiling, the marketing guys over at Citroen are now seeing the GT as a viable profit for a very limited production run.In a recent terview with Autocar, Citroen president incent Besson stated, "We are now thinking of a limited run, possibly as many as 20 units." While no price and spec sheet has been eleased, Besson did leak that the GT would most likely have a GM or Ford V8 transplanted into the engine bay.
The FYK concept car was developed by Norwegian company Aetek, in conjunction with and sponsored by Statoil. The FYK was designed to highlight natural and hydrogen gas powered environmentally friendly vehicles.Statoil provide the fuel for the FYK concept car. They see the natural and hydrogen gas mixture called NaturalHy (HCNG) which consists of 8-20% hydrogen, 92-80% compressed natural gas to be a commercially viable step towards a future potential all-hydrogen market.
Urban Mobility & Accessibility) prototype which was revealed in April 2009 is a vehicle developed through a technology collaboration between Segway and American automotive manufacturer General Motors.The Segway P.U.M.A is a vehicle which attempts to predict the future of urban transport over short to medium distances. The P.U.M.A. values less over more; taking up less space, using less energy, produced more efficiently with fewer parts, creating fewer emissions during production and operation, all while offering more enjoyment, productivity, and connectivity. It could allow people to travel around cities more quickly, safely, quietly and cleanly - and at a lower total cost.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is the replacement supercar for the Mercedes-Benz Mclaren SLR. However unlike the SLR which was futuristic in its design, the SLS AMG is distinctly retro and uses the 1955 300SL for inspiration - including the trademark 'gullwing' doors. However both the SLR and SLS share the same mid-front engine layout and the passenger compartment is pushed to the rear of the car."Mercedes-Benz is presenting an exhilarating super sports car in the guise of the new SLS AMG, which is bound to set the pulses of all car enthusiasts racing that extra bit faster.
The MG RV8 is a concept created by Ernesto Rodriguez - an Art Center College of Design graduate - as a new vehicle for the Chinese owned MG brand.
The objective of the project was to restore MG as a genuine British icon. The challenge was of course, how to accomplish that when the company is now Chinese. Rodriquez's clever solution was to split the manufacturing into two separate steps. Firstly the basic structure of the car, a "body in white" is built in China.
The Jason Castriota designed Bertone Mantide was one of the vehicles displayed at the 2009 Shanghai Auto Show. Before its unveiling the Mantide concept had been teased for several weeks under the codename "Project M" and a series of images, videos and vague press releases had been circulated by Stile Bertone in order to whip up interest in the concept.The Bertone Mantide is based on the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - an outstanding car to begin with, and features the same 638 horsepower, supercharged, 6.2 litre V8 driving the rear wheels.
The Audi ASQ concept is an advanced futuristic design created by Hongik University Transport Design graduate Juyoung Kim. The ASQ has been designed for the year 2040 and a world where the worst-case global warming predictions have materialized and the sea levels have risen dramatically due to the melting of the polar ice caps.The Audi ASQ concept is equipped to deal with the rise in water levels due to its ability to travel both on land and water. It even has submersible capabilities.
The Zender Progetto Cinque was a design study for a possible Alfa Romeo model based on the existing Alfa Romeo 75 floorplan. The Progetto Cinque concept (Project Five in Italian) consisted of a fiberglass body laid over an unmodified Alfa 75 chassis. As it was a concept the Progetto Cinque did without side windows or roof.
The YES! Clubsport (Young Engineers Sportscar) was a car born from the ideas of two student engineers at Cologne Technical College, Herbert Funke and Philipp Will. With the aid of designer Oliver Schweizer, the man responsible for the cars styling, the YES! Clubsport was created. The YES! Clubsport recieved praise on its introduction at the Frankfurt Motor Show and went into limited production. The YES! Clubsport ceased production in 2006 when it was replaced by the YES! Roadster 3.2.
The Yamaha OX99-11 was a supercar designed by IAD, an English engineering consultancy, and Yamaha subsidiary Ypsilon Technology.
While the Yamaha OX99-11 was originally slated to appear in 1994, the roots of the OX99-11 project began in 1989 when Yamaha began competing in Formula One, later this spawned the desire to create a supercar based on Formula One technology.
The X Works Automotive X1 Concept sports car went on display at the 2007 Autosports International Show in Birmingham, England.
The X1 is the first offering from the company and has been in development for 30 months. It was designed by Andrew Borrowman and Sean Prendergast, who, between the two, have experience at Rover, Panther Cars and Grand Prix Engineering Services. They have also run their own composites company designing and manufacturing for the likes of Prodrive (see Prodrive P2), Alvis and JCB.
The W3 Triposto is a striking creation developed by a father and son team consisting of Clyde and Hugh Kwok, an engineering professor and professional racing driver respectively.The Canadian based company uses a Porsche 911 donor car for the majority of drivetrain components, usually older models from the 90's are used however most 911 models can be catered for.
The success of the Wiesmann Roadster which was based on a combination of classic design and state-of-the-art engineering Wiesmann to develop a new hardtop sports car on the foundations of the Roadster, the result was the Wiesmann GT.The two-seater Wiesmann GT coupé was first introduced at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show. Basic data used to develop the new car was gathered by the Wiesmann Racing GT, which was used as a experimental vehicle under extreme conditions during the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in 2002.
The W12 Coupe was an evolution of Volkswagen's W12 Concept launched in 1997. The W12 coupe was shown at the 2001 Tokyo Motorshow. The W12 Coupe broke the world 24 hour endurance record at the Nardo test track a week before the Tokyo show. An unmodified W12 drove for 24 hours at an average speed of 185.45 mph (295.24 km/h) beating the old record by 7.5 mph (12 km/h ). The total distance covered by the W12 was an impressive 4402.8 miles (7085.7 kilometres) .
The Vision SZR is the production model of Vision Industries K2 project. Vision Industries is a California based supercar manufacturer. The Vision SZR produces 600 to 650 horsepower from a choice of two engines, a 500 cubic inch V8 or a 6.1 liter V12.
The electric two seater Venturi Fetish is the first car in a new model range planned for the previously troubled sports car company.
The body is comprised of carbon fiber panels with scissor doors covering a carbon and aluminium honeycomb chassis with extruded aluminium front and rear sections.
The batteries, 100 of them, make up 1/3 of the Fetish's overall weight (1099 kgs).Because of the nature of electric motors all 162 lb ft of torque is available from zero rpm, meaning power is delivered literally instantly.
The Vector M12 was a vehicle designed by the America-based Vector Aeromotive Corporation, and was the first vehicle produced after the company was bought by the Indonesian company Megatech.The Vector M12 could be considered a basic redesign to the Vector WX-3, which was never released to the public due to the Megatech buyout. Among many small changes to the vehicle's design, was one fundamental change to the drivetrain. A 5.7 litre Lamborghini V12 engine, which produced 492 horsepower and 425 lb-ft (576 N-m) of torque at 5200 rpm was chosen to power the car.
The Vauxhall VXR8 took over where the Monaro VXR left off. The biggest difference between the two cars is that the VXR8 has four doors whereas the Monaro is a 2-door coupe. Both cars are powered by the same 6.0-liter V8, but revisions to the engine have made it even more efficient in the VXR8.In the Vauxhall VXR8 this unit develops 420 bhp @ 6000rpm and 406 lb-ft of torque @ 4400rpm. The power is sent to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual gearbox, an automatic transmission is available at extra cost. Equipped with the manual transmission the VXR8 is able to hit 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds.
The number of specialty car models and derivatives on the worldwide car markets is increasing. Cars are made for even more narrowly limited target groups, and therefore the number of small series cars is increasing.Unusual and unique body styling is typical for these vehicles. Advanced light-weight materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber are often utilized. The yearly production volumes start from some thousands of units. The big challenge for the OEMs is to serve well the customers looking for individuality, without disturbing the efficiency of higher volume production.
The ULF Sensor, designed by Ulf Bolumlid, is available in two versions, the GTR a street version, and the Superlight a racing version that is capable of speeds over 186mph.To keep the weight down and provide strength carbon fiber is used for the body and parts of the interior of the ULF Sensor GTR.The chassis of the ULF Sensor holds the mid-mounted 450 horsepower engine.
Two versions of the car are available the T400R which has a 400 bhp 4 litre engine and the ultimate T440R. The engine of the T440R is a derivative of TVR's own Speed Six engine but has been extensively developed in order to produce a huge 440 bhp. It is bigger than any other TVR six cylinder engine at 4.2 litres and has a raft of high tech motorsport componentry. 60 mph is attained in under 4 seconds but it is from there to its top speed of 215 mph that the T440R really leaves the competition standing. To cope with all that power, the car has not just a new chassis, but a new type of chassis.
The first Toyota Supra's appeared in Japan in 1978, and production continued until 2002, with the car undergoing three major revisions culminating in the Mk IV twin turbo Toyota Supra of 1993 - 2002.The Mark IV Toyota Supra was offered with two different engine options; a naturally aspirated 2JZ-GE, 3.0 litre, straight 6 with 220 horsepower and 210 ft/lbs of torque, and a 2JZ-GTE 3.0 litre twin turbocharged straight 6 with 320 horsepower and 315 ft/lbs of torque.
The Tommy Kaira ZZII was a sports car design which was purchased by Autobacs shortly after it was first shown.
The ZZII was based on the same aluminium chassis as the popular Tommy Kaira ZZ giving the car superb handling characteristics. The styling of the ZZII was however far superior to its predecessor and the ZZII is possibly one of the most attractive designs ever to come from a small scale company.
The Tesla Roadster is an all-electric powered sports car from California based automaker Tesla.
The attractive little roadster is reminiscent of the Lotus Elise, and so it should be since the body design of the Tesla Roadster was formed by a collaborative effort between Tesla and Barney Hatt, Principal Designer at the Lotus Design Studio in England.
The SR08 is the product of Barcelona-based automotive company Sunred. A prototype of the Sunred SR08 was unveiled at the 2007 Barcelona motor show.
The SR08 is intended for use in FIA GT1 racing, and to homologate the car for racing 10 road going cars will be produced.The Sunred SR08 features a carbon fiber monocoque body measuring 5 m long by 105 cm high. Suspension is handled by adjustable Ohlins shocks and the braking is done by carbon-ceramic 380mm discs grabbed by six-piston calipers.
Netherlands based manufacturer Spyker chose the 2009 Geneva Motor Show as the venue to unveil the C8 Aileron, a second generation sports car from the company which has been producing high-end sports cars since 2000.Victor R. Muller, Spyker Cars' founder and Chief Executive Officer said of the car. "The C8 Aileron's design is heavily inspired by Spyker's aviation heritage, as was the case with all previous models, but with a clear emphasis on the second-generation aircraft propulsion: the turbine rather than the propeller that adorned so many elements of the first-generation cars. Similarly the "Aileron" name pays tribute to that aviation heritage.
The bizarrely styled Spada Codatronca was styled by Italian design house Spadaconcept, and is built by another Italian company, UK Garage.
The design of the Spada Codatronca was influenced by the styling of the 1965 Alfa Romeo TZ, it also featured a high centre spine running to the rear of the car, the feature was called the "Kamm tail coda tronca" design - hence the new cars name.
The Schuppan 962 CR was designed by Australian Racedriver Vern Schuppan in 1994. The cars were built in High Wycombe, England by Modena Racing (modena Wycombe). Only 5 Cars were made in 1994 but 50 were planned, for 2 500 000 $ each.The 962CR was mid-engine, rear-wheel drive vehicle. Powering the car is a 3.3 Litre Type-935 Flat-6 featuring twin KKK turbochargers giving 600 hp mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.
The Salica GT from Bristol, England based Salica Cars is a mid-engined sports car and the first model from the manufacturer. Salica Cars are better know for modifying and upgrading Noble sports cars.Two engine options are available for the Salica GT. Buyers have the choice between a normally aspirated 3.5 litre V6 developing 400 bhp, or a twin turbo 3.5 litre V6 which makes 500 bhp. The engine is mated to a Graziano 6 speed manual transmission with a choice of three final drive rations. A 6 speed sequential transmission is also available for racing use.
The Porsche 997 based RUF RGT was inspired by the 1973 Carrera RS. The RGT features Porsche's 3.8 litre naturally aspirated flat-6 cylinder engine. It is equipped with dry-sump lubrication with a separate oil tank to ensure a reliable oil supply for the engine even at high cornering speeds.The RUF RGT is fitted with Bilstein sports suspension set up for both road and track use.
Launched in 2004, the design of the Radical SR4 Clubsport was inspired by the Le Mans-winning Bentley, designed by Peter Elleray, who is also responsible for overseeing Radical's SR9 LMP2 Le mans Prototype. For road use, the Radical SR4's suspension can be raised, and a kit comprising of lighting, hand brake, front luggage compartment, catalytic converter and road tyres fitted.
Quaife, a UK-based automotive and motorcycle transmission maker, revealed the Quaife R4-GTS in 1999. The V8-powered four-wheel-drive GT racing car was released onto the racetrack in 1999, shortly after the unveiling of the road-going version.
The Porsche 911 GT1 was a racing car designed for competition in the GT1 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans but it was also sold as a road car for homologation purposes.
The Porsche 911 GT1 was first revealed in 1995, and its first race was in 1996. While it carries the '911' designation, this is slightly misleading as the 911 GT1 shares very little with the regular Porsche 911. The GT1's floorpan comes from the 956/962 Group C racer, and the mid-mounted 3.2 litre engine was far more powerful and sophisticated than the units found in the standard Porsche 911 (993) of the same era.
The Pontiac Solstice Coupe is a natural development of the Solstice Roadster. However, for drivers still wanting an open-air experience, the coupe also features a removable roof panel, fully opening the cockpit to the sky."Today's Solstice is the top-selling roadster in the U.S., and we believe this new model has even broader appeal," said Jim Bunnell, Buick-Pontiac-GMC general manager. "The coupe has all the design cues and pleasing performance of the original roadster, and is an all-season alternative for people who enjoy open-air driving.
Originally designed in in 1993 as a concept car, the Pilgrim Minotaur is now available as a road and race car.
The box section chassis is designed to accomodate a 5.7 litre Chevrolet V8. Pilgrim Cars Ltd is based in the UK.
The Perana Z-One is a South African supercar styled by the famous Italian design firm Zagato.
The Perana name is well known amongst performance car fans in South Africa as the name was given to a range of Ford vehicles tuned by Basil Green Motors in Johannesburg back in the 70s and 80s.
The Pagani Zonda R which was revealed at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show is the ultimate Zonda model, a final swan song before the new car arrives (currently codenamed the C9).Only 16 Pagani Zonda R supercars will be produced, and by making the R for the track only Pagani have managed to skip out all the engineering hurdles and compromises needed to make it road legal. 15 of these cars will be offered for sale with the remaining unit staying with Pagani.