Tag: prototype

By on November 12, 2021

2023 Acura Integra Prototype

Last night’s unveiling of the new Integra in L.A. wasn’t a surprise, given the number of teasers released by Acura over the last few weeks. There was a general consensus it would be a four-door hatchback of some ilk, and would very likely share many parts with other members of the House of Honda.

The 2023 Integra (technically a prototype but we all know that 99.9 percent of this vehicle will make production) did indeed appear as a four-door hatch – thankfully not as a tall-riding crossover – complete with a turbocharged engine and manual transmission. This didn’t stop keyboard warriors bleating from the depth of their parent’s basement that “ThIs Iz NoT a ReEl AcUrA” thanks to the 2023’s abundance of doors compared to the 3rd-gen coupe everyone remembers.

Here’s a newsflash for all those nimrods: The Integra has always been available with four doors.

(Read More…)

By on October 4, 2021

Honda has previewed the upcoming Civic Type R, now that it has prototypes testing at the Nürburgring. Knowing that the public would soon be seeing leaked photos of the model whizzing around the Rhineland, the manufacture has offered up some flattering images of it wearing a minimal amount of camouflage.

While the paint scheme still manages to break up its lines, this is probably the best look we’ll be getting of the model until the production version is ready to be revealed. For all intents and purposes, this is the 2022 Honda Civic Type R. (Read More…)

By on August 7, 2020

gm

The Cadillac Lyriq’s final production form remains unknown, but the “show car” revealed late Thursday is said to be a fairly close representation of the real thing. That show car is also not far removed from a conceptual rendering released in January 2019, previewing a vehicle that will enter production in late 2022 as a 2023 model.

A lot can happen in the span of more than three and a half years: Buzz can wear off, unreleased products can grow outdated, rivals can catch up. Imagine if Chrysler’s “Suddenly, it’s 1960” collection of 1957 creations were first teased in early 1953.

Cadillac’s betting that the Lyriq’s attributes will remain fresh come roll-out time, and that could very well prove true. (Read More…)

By on January 7, 2020

Sony

When it comes to forward-thinking concept vehicles, “vision” ranks among the most popular words used by automakers to convey their futuristic aspirations to the general public. Among real-world production models, the letter “S” best signifies a vehicle either at the top or bottom of its game. There’s no in-between when it comes to S; it’s either Sport, or base.

So it’s forgivable if the reader finds the name bestowed on a prototype vehicle launched Monday night at the Consumer Electronics Show to be both generic and instantly forgettable. But the Vision-S is real, and it was built by a company best known for putting music in the hands of the teeming masses, not cars. (Read More…)

By on June 18, 2019

This year’s 24 Hours of LeMans was expectedly dominated by the two LMP1 entries from Toyota, but it wasn’t the expected car that won. LMP2 had a huge battle of its own, American-based IMSA teams challenged in GTE Pro, and the heartfelt GTE Am win changed after the end of the race.

After dominating for nearly the whole race and resetting the track record, the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway, and Jose Maria Lopez came in with a down tire. Upon going back out, they realized that the tire pressure sensor system was reporting the incorrect tire’s pressure and they had to come in once again. Driving the entire track with a low tire cost them dearly. (Read More…)

By on March 30, 2017

A striking neo-classic, the 1985 Armaretta

Initially, I drove to Penmar Golf Course expecting to find a Rolls-Royce.

My partner Leslie (a fine car spotter herself and the originator of the “Parked in Drive” name) mentioned seeing a swoopy car with a “flying lady” radiator mascot parked there for sale. When I pulled into the parking lot and saw this tan-on-brown behemoth, it was clear the Rolls was gone, replaced by something far more fascinating.

All the typical cues — separate fenders, landau top, whitewall tires — indicating a classic car also placed it in that most self-contradictory of categories: “Neo-Classic.” The coupe’s “bustle-back” trunk initially reminded me of the last Cadillac design approved by Bill Mitchell, the second-generation Cadillac Seville (which, in turn, took inspiration from the mid-1930s “Razor Edge” Bentley), and gave me a useful spread of dates to search: 1980-1985.

(Read More…)

By on January 30, 2017

Rolex 24 Cadillac Victory

Cadillac took a definite “more is more” approach for its return to prototype racing. By handing over its engineering masterpiece, the V8 DPi-V.R, to the distinguished Wayne Taylor Racing, LeMans veteran Massimiliano “Max” Angelelli, and NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon, it assured itself the one-two victory at the Rolex 24 in Daytona.

However, despite an ideal finish, it wasn’t a perfect day for the team. (Read More…)

By on January 6, 2016

2016 BMW i8 Hybrid Exterior Front

“Looks like sex, goes like stink” is the usual supercar mantra, but BMW’s guru was humming a different tune when penning the i8.

You see, the i8 isn’t just a sexy car with “butterfly doors.” It’s also a production prototype of sorts styled after BMW’s 2009 Vision EfficientDynamics concept.

Most supercars have exotic engines with high cylinder counts and drink premium gasoline at an alarming rate. BMW’s mission with the i8 was to make an efficient supercar and at the same time production-test technologies that will trickle down to its higher volume cars over time.

The i8’s efficiency is the key to understanding this sexy German. The i8 isn’t the best handling supercar, or even the best handling BMW. Neither is it the fastest BMW, the most luxurious BMW, or (oddly enough) the most efficient BMW. Instead, the i8 delivers M235i like lateral grip, M4 like acceleration, fuel economy that bests the 320i by a few miles per gallon and lines so sexy I got a thumbs up from a passing F430.

This isn’t your average sports car.

(Read More…)

By on July 26, 2014

I’m honored to say that we have a few members of the B&B who are involved with Ford Australia, but sadly, Neil Trickey isn’t one of them.

(Read More…)

By on November 8, 2013

Solid Concepts, a 3D Printing services company, has announced that it has successfully manufactured a functioning 3D printed metal gun. To produce the more than 30 parts needed to assemble a classic 1911 design, Solid Concepts used a 3D printing process that deposits powdered metals that are then sintered with a laser. The result is metal parts that are hard enough to withstand the stresses and high pressures found in a firearm. The gun is made from 33 17-4 stainless steel and Inconel 625 and has successfully fired 50 rounds. Even the carbon-fiber filled nylon hand grip was 3D printed, using “selective laser sintering”. Solid Concepts says that the project proves the viability of 3D printing of metal parts for commercial applications. (Read More…)

By on August 4, 2011

For the first time since the days of the 912, Porsche will be selling cars with a boxer-four engine. This new engine will power everything from the forthcoming “Baby Boxster” to the next generation of Boxster and Cayman, likely differentiated by different states of turbocharged tune. Here, a mule of the next-gen Cayman (released in Europe next year), which is growing to accommodate the new entry-level model, shows off the sweet sound of its new turbocharged 2.5 liter four-banger, which is rumored to put out 365 HP in “S” trim. And by “sweet sounds” I mean, it sounds a lot nicer than the 2.5 liter boxer in my girlfriend’s Impreza… although some of our more discriminating readers might feel that it’s still not up to Porsche standards. What say you?

By on July 11, 2011

With a new generation of BMW 3-Series on the way, you expect to see plenty of photos of it testing on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife. What you don’t expect to see: photos of it being towed through the “Green Hell.” According to Auto Motor und Sport, this prototype’s breakdown on the ‘ring is “unusual at this stage of development,” but the German publication notes that the defect that caused it is unknown. They simply write that, in the midst of a test drive, the next-gen Dreier “ran out of breath.”  Hopefully the boys at BMW will be able to suss out the problem before the new Dreier launches in Europe next year… nobody likes to see a car like the 3-Series making its way through the Nürburgring on a trailer.

By on July 17, 2010

Finally something tangible out of the Toyota/Tesla-hookup: Tesla and Toyota will build an electric version of Toyota’s RAV4 compact crossover.  According to a communiqué by Toyota, the two companies signed an agreement to that effect. The E-RAV4 is supposed to be available in the United States in 2012. So fast? Well, it’s as simple as combining the Toyota RAV4 model with a Tesla electric powertrain, says Toyota. The first prototype has already been built and is now undergoing testing. Tesla will “produce and deliver a fleet of prototypes to Toyota for evaluation within this year.” (Read More…)

By on June 12, 2010

When Toyota announced their share purchase / NUMMI deal with Tesla, the greenies rejoiced, the skeptics said it’s just an elegant way to unload NUMMI. Toyota said they are mildly interested in Tesla, in a venture capital kind of way. As in: here is some money and a factory we no longer need. Would be great if something comes of it. Well, they will actually build a car together. Not the Model S as many thought. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s build a prototype first. (Read More…)

By on April 27, 2010

Deutsche Straßen sind nicht der Nürburgring.

But there I go, quoting German Minister of Transportation Peter Ramsauer out of context, and in the original. Herr Ramsauer’s rebuke comes on news of a late-night crash involving a future Mercedes ML Class prototype, that resulted in the death of a 26-year old man over the weekend. The crash took place on a stretch of non-speed-limited autobahn between Singen and Stuttgart, favored by Mercedes and Porsche for high-speed testing. Apparently the victim had been involved in a minor accident and was trying to exit his vehicle (stalled in the left lane, according to Der Spiegel) when the Mercedes test mule slammed into his car, killing him instantly. The 52-year old test driver is under investigation for negligent homicide.

(Read More…)

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