By on April 30, 2016

2015 Mini 4-door and 2-door

Mini needs a fifth core model that stays true to the brand’s heritage while drawing in more customers, but the man in charge of the brand doesn’t like sedans.

Unless a previously unknown model crawls out of Mini’s history, one side of the dilemma will have to give up ground.

Ralph Mahler, Mini’s vice-president of product development, sparked sedan rumors earlier this month when he said a conventional four-door makes good business sense, especially in the U.S. and Asia. His boss doesn’t disagree, but hates the idea. (Read More…)

By on April 13, 2016

CU-ICAR/Toyota uBox concept (Image: Toyota)

It’s a bit like Scooby-Doo meets A Clockwork Orange.

Graduate students at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) spent two years working with Toyota to create the ideal vehicle for the next age demographic to leap into the car-buying fray: Generation Z.

No, we’re not talking about some stodgy Millennial born in 1985, with his cardigans and Dodge Journey. Generation Z refers to the cohort born in the late 1990s (at the earliest) onward, and these are the people automakers are going to start targeting right … about … now.

(Read More…)

By on April 7, 2016

Ed Welburn with Buick Avista concept (Photo: Steve Fecht for Buick)

After realizing the American Dream as head of General Motors’ design division, Ed Welburn announced today that he’ll retire on July 1 after being with the automaker for 44 years.

Welburn, 65, headed GM Design since 2003 and Global Design since 2004, leading the teams who crafted the models that led the automaker out of bankruptcy — among them, the Buick LaCrosse and Enclave, Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, and Cadillac CTS.

(Read More…)

By on March 25, 2016

Genesis New York concept at NYIAS

It was the end of the first day at the New York International Auto Show, a time when most “journalists” would normally have stopped doing anything that resembled work. Yet there we all were, assembled out in the hallway of Javits Convention Center, of all places, holding our glass bottles of Voss water and waiting to see what was hiding underneath the long blanket on the right side of the stage.

It’s at this point that most of the articles you’ve already read about the Genesis New York Concept start giving you the entire historical background of Hyundai, and the Genesis models, blah blah blah. I give you more credit than that. I know that you already know that the Hyundai Genesis sedan was a legitimate contender in its segment (especially you, BTSR).

The difference now is that everybody else seems to know that not only does the Genesis brand seem to be able to survive, they’re prepared to hit some towering home runs.

(Read More…)

By on March 10, 2016

Jeep® Trailcat Concept (Images: © 2015 FCA US LLC)

In anticipation of the 50th Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, Jeep turned its best and brightest designers loose and created seven concept vehicles you’ll probably never drive.

But you can gaze, and you can dream.

These rolling showcases for Jeep and Mopar performance parts crop up annually in advance of the off-road love-in (March 19 – 27), but this year Jeep delved deep into the history file to celebrate its 75th birthday.

We’ll highlight the standouts after the break. (Read More…)

By on February 28, 2016

Leaked Honda Civic hatchback concept rear 3/4

The Honda Civic hatchback concept that will debut at this week’s 2016 Geneva Motor Show will wear an aggressive-looking body, according to images leaked by Carscoops.

The five-door bodystyle hasn’t turned the acclaimed 10th-generation Civic into an ugly duckling. The sloping roofline transitions smoothly into the rear liftgate, which incorporates taillights identical to those of the Civic sedan.

(Read More…)

By on January 8, 2016

Detroit Concept Teaser #2

Kia announced Friday that its upcoming concept, to debut at the North American International Auto Show next week, will be named Telluride — continuing the long, illustrious history of vehicles being named after places in the state of Colorado.

If you buy vehicles based on solely their names and currently own a Chrysler Aspen, this is your next luxury SUV.

(Read More…)

By on November 19, 2015

1957ChryslerDiablo_01_1500

From the late 1940s into the 1960s, Chrysler had most of its high profile concept and show cars fabricated by Ghia in Italy. Chrysler liked how the Italians did high quality work at prices far below what union labor would have cost them in Detroit, and Ghia liked the work and the revenue as Italy was rebuilding after World War II.

The relationship was mutually beneficial in more ways than just financial. Styling and technical ideas flowed in both directions between Highland Park and Turin. Giovanni Savonuzzi scaled down Chrysler design chief Virgil Exner Sr.’s Chrysler D’Elegance concept into Volkswagen’s Karmann Ghia. Exner, for his part, was perfectly happy to put Chrysler corporation nameplates on concepts that originated at Ghia. (Read More…)

By on June 11, 2015

 

The 2015 Easter Jeep Safari "Chief" is an homage to the full-size Cherokees of the 1970s.

The 2015 Easter Jeep Safari “Chief” is an homage to the full-size Cherokees of the 1970s.

Jeep has this whole concept car thing figured out.

Whereas most manufacturers use concept cars as a glimpse into the near future (or not, See “NSX, Acura”), Jeep makes weird-ass, proof of bad-ass concepts like this Chief, a 2012 “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” Wrangler turned surf-weirdo-baby blue-SUV that goes to show how much lead Jeep designer Mark Allen has nothing to do all day.

(Allen once told me his job with the Wrangler is done every year when nothing changes and that’s how it should be.)

(Read More…)

By on May 27, 2015

Toyota i Road and Other Car in Grenoble

Coming to the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota is set to bring a three-seater open-wheel concept based on the Lotus Seven which could see production.

(Read More…)

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