Coming soon to a forecourt near you…
Concept cars are the fertile field where designers sow their seeds of inspiration. And if that sounds a bit flowery (pun intended) then I do apologize. The following is a taster of what maybe to come in the mainly-affordable cash bracket. Enjoy!
BUICK BUSINESS MINIVAN
Buick, part of General Motors, has proposed this, sounds a bit flowery unusual Business Hybrid Concept. Designed by the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC); it’s a full-size minivan which will be able to accommodate six passengers.
With styling from the 2010 LaCrosse, it features unique power sliding rear doors and no B-Pillar; an ever more popular feature. This model was designed for the Chinese business market following research and feedback. 3D instrument clusters and a multi layer information display highlight the futuristic outlook of this model and two rows of rear seats that can swivel to face each other for those on-the-move meetings.
VW XL1 (SEV) ROADSTER – DIESEL/ELECTRIC HYBRID
Going for the hybrid diesel-electric vehicles market, VW have surpassed themselves with this great looking city car XL1. Whatever a Super Effective Vehicle is, I don’t know. This beauty was unveiled at the Qatar Motor show in January 2011 and may be on the road by 2013.
The Roadster Diesel-Electric Hybrid Concept to return 260 mpg on the combined cycle to set a new benchmark for vehicle efficiency.
Now that the famous Zonda is on its final iterations, Pagani is going to get its much awaited new model the Huayra from concept to road car. Well, sometime in the next 3 years…
This 6 litre V12 Twin turbo monster named after the South American God of the Wind boasts 700 straining horses mastered by a 7 speed sequential gearbox.
So far this Aveo-replacement is General Motors’ attempt to banish memories of that badly received little runaround. Try not to think of the eponymous blue hedgehog and hope that the bold assertion that Corvette engineers are handling the ride will actually turn out to be a good thing and you’ll be fine.
For the safety conscious this concept vehicle also features no fewer than 10 airbags.
Back to the VW marque and the latest concept car of the Passat with a potential release date of 2012. This model has been made in Tennessee and if all goes to plan a VR6 six speed DSG Dual clutch transmission.
Although not my favourite marque, Hyundai does have some noticeably excellent cars. I’m hoping that the Velostar may fall into this category. From these first pictures it’s looking good.
Is it a hatchback or coupé? Neither, is my impression; it has two doors on its passenger side but only one on the driver’s side.
One big selling feature is certain to be the standard 7-inch LCD touch-screen, as well as Hyundai’s new Blue Link telematics system – basically Hyundai’s version of OnStar. Blue Link offers safety features like Automatic Crash Notification and roadside assistance, while it also enables voice text messaging, remote vehicle start, remote door opening, and plenty of other features.
Like the previous Civic, this new concept version stands a pretty good chance of going into production for the most part unchanged. This time the styling is more aggressive, with broader curves and big 19″ wheels. The front profile resembles the current coupé, with its imposing front and roguish windshield.
Since the previous Civic singlehandedly made Honda cool to the lucrative pre-35 year old market, this new model seems set to capitalise on that success.
CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1
Vice President of Chevrolet Marketing (Rick Scheidt) announced that the new Camaro concept was to be ‘the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen the name of the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history’.
Of course, today, most youngsters recognise the Camaro as the Autobot Transformer, Bumblebee and considering the almost identical looks of this model, that’s not going to be an assertion that will disappear soon. Perhaps that’s a good thing.
The new front fascia and bonnet feature air extractors, designed in tandem to create aerodynamic downforce to aid handling. American sports cars have the unfortunate, but well deserved, reputation of having poor handling and this is something the designers are intent to dispel. Time will tell.
The car’s bonnet includes a signature centre section constructed of carbon fibre and rendered in satin black finish. New rocker panels, wide tyres, 20-inch alloy wheels and exhaust tips display the car’s handling and power.
The country: Japan. The date: 19th Jan 2011. The Mazda Minagi concept was unveiled as a compact crossover SUV concept that combining Mazda’s Skyactiv technologies which aim to unite driving pleasure and outstanding environmental and safety.
Like the recent Countryman model I just can’t take the name seriously. Paceman is too close to ‘spaceman’ for comfort and conjures up the potential for Jas Mann and Babylon Zoo to resurrect their group!
This large concept car is touted as the first Sports Activity Coupé in the premium small segment of the market. Mini quotes the phrase ‘urban and masculine’ as the Paceman’s defining characteristics.
Where this model breaks with the new Mini styling tradition is the unfamiliar glass and roof treatment. As the waistline rises the flat roofline flows into a wide C-pillar that appears to be transparent. The windows appear to wrap around the car like a band of glass with the roof ‘suspended’ on top and painted in a striking, contrasting colour. This is known as the ‘helmet’ roof. The coupé-style windows taper towards the rear and the whole effect is one of a dynamic wedge shape.