Tag Archive | "concept"

Concept Cars – Has The World Gone Mad?


Soon, very soon now, the motor show season will kick start the Autumn and Winter months, bringing some light into our damp darkness. One feature that is sure to be of interest this year is just how mad some of the concept cars will be.

Concepts – often the result of years of research – are a way of introducing styling changes and possible future developments to the waiting world. In reality, the final production models will not look much like them at all.

Car designers are allowed free rein to come up with new ideas and the copywriters will have sharpened their quills to ensure that the greatest amount of florid hyperbole can be written into the smallest spaces on the page. Vehicles that are futuristic, wacky and just plain bananas are usually the result. The Citroen Cactus (pictured) is a case in point. This concept has ‘air bumps’ on the side to help minimise damage in the event of a minor shunt.

CAC21 Concept Cars   Has The World Gone Mad?It is crucial that all concept cars are given daft names. Presumably there is a point to it but who knows what it is? When Citroen were questioned about calling a car Cactus they got a bit prickly about it. (Only kidding! Citroen people are very nice!). Also, in today’s environmentally friendly world, the cars have to be clean and efficient. The aforementioned Cactus has an Hybrid-Air system. This is an innovative combination of tried and tested technologies: a petrol engine, a unit to store energy in the form of compressed air, a hydraulic motor-pump assembly and an automatic transmission working with an epicyclic gear train. Well done if you understand that but this technology could well be featuring in the brand’s vehicles from 2016.

If manufacturers are prepared to spend a pretty penny developing these cars then they make sure they make as much of them as possible. This usually results in the motor being loaded to the roofline with the very latest techno-gadgets and safety features. They will be bursting with touch screen technology and the appalling named ‘infotainment centres’. Whatever happened to radios? Now it seems it is possible to connect with the entire world and probably NASA as well. Houston, we have a puncture.

No news yet on what advances the car makers are planning to stop children destroying the back seats of cars or of special cloaking devices which makes the cars invisible to traffic wardens. These are the answers that motorists want yet they remain a distant dream. And they call it progress.

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BMW Will Woo Drivers With The “i” Brand


First images of BMW’s new plug-in hybrid concept roadster have been released. Nice, isn’t it? BMW hope to woo us with the “i” brand in the coming years, appealing to our love of technology and our sense of responsibility. It will all start with the i3 city car in 2013, so not so far off. It is hoped that the final version of the i8 coupe will be launched late in 2014 with the Spyder version (pictured) to follow soon after. The idea is for a convincing sports car with the running costs of a city car. Outstanding!

The i8 Concept Spyder is a plug-in hybrid, powered by an eDrive drive- train which combines a high performance electric motor with a turbocharged, three-cylinder petrol engine. The lithium-ion batteries are stowed centrally for the benefit of weight distribution, and can be charged quickly from a domestic power socket.

This remarkable car benefits from using a 131bhp electric motor to drive the front wheels and a 223bhp turbo three-cylinder petrol engine to deliver power to the rear; both motors have been developed in house by the company. The car’s light weight coupled with the combined power of 354 horses will ensure startling acceleration and a high but limited top speed whilst delivering, so BMW claim, 94mpg. It’s remarkable, isn’t it, what the motor industry has achieved in a couple of decades. Cars we desired so much just a few short years ago now seem to belong to the stone age.

Lucky owners will be able to plug it into a domestic socket and recharge it in less than two hours. In electric only mode the car will be capable of only about 19 miles but that isn’t really the point of a hybrid, is it? By all accounts the interior is just as compelling as the exterior. Understandably, BMW are bigging this range up and, with the current crop of contributions from other manufacturers, the race for alternative power is really heating up.

Looking at the wonderful design aesthetics I doubt many of you would say no to one of these. The chance to continue with your sports driving whilst achieving nearly 100mpg is a compelling reason to want this car. Snags? Well, yes, and you’ve probably already thought of it. A figure being bandied about is £80,000. Still want one though. Probably best to start saving now, wouldn‘t you say?

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