Feeling the need to build a segment vehicle that slots below the CR-V, both in terms of size and price, Honda showed its Urban SUV Concept at the Canadian International Auto Show. To drive home the point that they are marketing this at young’uns, Honda amped up the hyperbole while Skrillex blared out of the main speakers onstage.
In a week’s time, we’ll have an uncovered look at Hyundai’s newest concept, the HCD-14, but the silhouette should tell you all you need to know.
While not mentioned explicitly, this is Suzuki’s SX4 replacement – the
Dodge Caliber S-Cross Concept – which is all but ready for dealer showrooms for 2013.
Here’s the 2013 Lincoln MKZ, and just as many of us suspected, the Ford Fusion is the much nicer looking car. Redundancy, thy name is Em Kay Zee.
“You know,” Mark Templin of Lexus told the press, “the first time I saw this car, I was speechless.” I know I have that quote correct, because it was in the copy of the speech handed out after the press event.
Speeches about speechlessness aside, however, this is the new styling direction of Lexus. That much is obvious from the pinched grille. What else can we learn about it?
If there’s a word to describe VW’s future plans in the US, it’s “big.” There is still no specific plan to bring subcompact Polos to the US, and likely only an EV version of the new Up! city car. Even Audi is shying away from bringing more small products to the US, nixing the A1 and only supporting exports of the A2 in EV form. And according to Automotive News [sub] the next big thing for VW’s US portfolio could be a midsized CUV, built at its new Chattanooga plant and slotting between the Tiguan and Touareg. But this concept is not that CUV. According to VW, this CrossCoupe Concept is an exploration of alternative bodystyles for the compact CUV platform, more akin to a Range Rover Evoque than a mass market model… think “Tiguan CC” and you’ll be getting the idea. So, will it be built? VW sources tell Automotive News [sub] that
We won’t rule out the possibility of adding a sportier SUV to the Volkswagen lineup at some time. But the main message with the Cross Coupe is its styling, which stands for the future of SUV design at Volkswagen
You can see the evolution of VW’s new three-slat grille, further integrating the new cue into the headlights for a more cohesive fascia design. But does it work? We’ll let you be the judge of that…
With the Tokyo Auto Show nearly upon us, Honda has rolled out a few concept cars as well as the latest updates to its ASIMO robot. Honda’s newly-autonomous humanoid android can now tackle such tough tasks as kicking a ball, pouring a drink, speaking sign language and (toughest of all) listening to women. And in Honda’s version of the future, while ASIMO is manning the front lines of domestic sensitivity (or drudgery), you get to go out for a spin in a Boxster-fighting, plug-in hybrid sportscar. How much does that future not suck?
The Tokyo Auto Show is coming, which means it’s time for Japan’s automakers to roll out their weirdest, quirkiest, most Japanese designs. An electric city car apparently inspired by a CD player? Check. A 1,600 lb, super-efficient compact? Actually, the Regina Concept (above) almost looks more French than Japanese to my eyes. Finally, the Swift EV Hybrid rounds out Suzuki’s Tokyo-bound lineup. What does it all say about Suzuki’s future? One theory is that here may be an electrified Swift on the market at some point. Another holds that in the future, humans will be replaced by compact discs.
To be perfectly honest, as with so many Japanese cultural artifacts and phenomena, I’m completely baffled. Luckily our East-West relations expert Bertel Schmitt will be on hand at the Tokyo Auto Show to help us figure it all out.
Well, you know how the rest of the story goes. The automobile feel from the grace of its one true faith, and was cursed to torque steer, lifeless dynamics and it covered its shame with dull, uninspired styling. But here’s the part you may not have seen coming: Kia wants to return to the garden. With a rear-drive chassis from Hyundai’s Genesis, it’s allowing its chief designer, Peter Schreyer, to once again read from the original book of automotive appeal. And with sleek details, a long hood, and classic, cab-rearward proportions, it’s GT Concept could just win over a few believers. But if you’re feeling the spirit, beware: the GT Concept is too good for this earthly automotive plain. Though it presages the coming of two new prophets, an affordable rear-drive coupe to take on Toyota’s FT-86 and a Genesis-based flagship, this particular GT will remain in the auto-show firmament.
The open-top sports car you are referring to is a one-off fictional car that was created just for the film and is not intended for production. The only thing that we can confirm is information that our CEO has already publicly stated, that we are studying the development of a new sports model.
That development is said to be based on a “flipped” Accord chassis, with a 400 HP mid-mounted V6 and SH-AWD. And it wouldn’t be too terribly surprising if the results looked something like this concept when it starts hitting the car show circuit. In any case, Tony Stark looks nearly as at home in this as he does in an Audi R8. That alone is the most promising sign we’ve seen from Acura in some time…
It’s been a long road for Jaguar’s long-awaited sub-XK sportscar, as fans have been holding their breath for something small, tossable and decked out in Ian Callum sheet metal since the 2000 F-Type Concept. And though this C-X16 is technically a concept, it’s been approved for production and according to Autocar its supercharged V6 hybrid drivetrain is
expected to appear in other Jaguar Land Rover vehicles before the end of next year.
Unfortunately, between the hybrid drivetrain and a platform that will also be used on the next-gen XK, the C-X16 isn’t as light as the new 911 it benchmarks. I’m not a huge fan of the interior either, which Jaguar calls “1 + 1.” But with Carrera performance, high-tech toys like a KERS regenerative braking system, and about 3,500 lbs of kerb weight, the C-X16 has a lot of the things people look for in a premium sportscar. Besides, once Porsche’s “Baby Boxster” comes out, perhaps Jaguar will follow it closer to “true Roadster” territory…
Citroen has been catching our eye of late with its “anti-retro” DS line, and the Tubik Concept looks likely to keep the trend rolling. Inspired by the classic H-Type delivery van, the Tubik takes an aged aesthetic and pumps it full of futuristic French élan. Yes it’s miles from a production model, and more loaded down with more conceptual details and avant-garde styling elements than a Berlin disco, but it accomplishes two basic tasks: first, it shows how well classic French design can be adapted to a fast-changing future, and second, it shows that vans do not have to be dull, utilitarian things. In this age of dull crossovers and anonymous international design, these are accomplishments worth noting. And the Tubik is a design that’s worth remembering.
Often times concept vehicles portray an already-decided future direction. Other times, concepts are built to suggest one possibility in an ongoing debate about a model’s future. Land Rover has taken the latter approach with its new DC100 concept, telling Autocar that the Frankfurt-bound concept
builds upon essential elements of the Defender’s character and allows us to open the debate and inspire people to dream about Defenders of the future. The DC100 isn’t a production-ready concept, but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century.
Will the new Defender get an all-new version of its rugged, body-on-frame chassis, or will it move to a re-engineered version of the T5 platform that underpins the Discovery and Range Rover Sport? That’s all still to be decided as Landie navigates a sales and regulatory environment that makes life extremely difficult for old-school SUVs. And because the Defender has lost much of its developing-world market to more reliable Toyota 4x4s, I’d guess the next Defender will be a less-traditional interpretation of the original. While that’s all being hashed out ahead of the 2015 launch date, at least we have an attractive concept to go along with a compelling debate.