Tag: prototypes

By on November 30, 2021

It’s been decades since BMW introduced a dedicated M car, so imagine our surprise when we learned the next one would be a boxy SUV. Considering the last standalone M was the ground-hugging wedge that was the M1 coupe, we have to assume M Division engineers were either trying to challenge themselves or someone higher up figured they could make more money selling a utility vehicle.

While just a concept at present, the BMW XM boasts a fairly radical design. But the manufacturer has claimed it will retain over 90 percent of the prototype’s good (?) looks when it enters into production. There’s a lot of interesting stuff here that might make it into the finished product, including the extra-thin daytime running lights that sit atop the real headlamps that have been snuck behind tinted glass. It’s a strange beast that doesn’t seem like it’s targeting the traditional M shopper and, according to BMW, that’s because it isn’t.  (Read More…)

By on September 27, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride was one of just two finished examples of the ill-fated second generation Maserati Quattroporte. Maserati envisioned a promising future for their large luxury sedan, but the company’s corporate parentage at the time had other (worse) ideas.

And this very car was fit for a king.

(Read More…)

By on September 15, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride is the second vehicle in the series designed by French coachbuilder Heuliez, and was a one-off as part of a Porsche 914 styling competition.

(Read More…)

By on June 3, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride will mark the third Jensen featured in this series. Both our prior Jensen examples were produced by the company in 1975, but for very different customers and at very different price points. The P66 seen here is one of just two prototypes ever produced, planned to launch an all-new line at Jensen. But what happened?

(Read More…)

By on March 11, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride hails from a Spanish company that made some very fast sports coupes for a very short while. Let’s find out some more about Pegaso.

(Read More…)

By on February 5, 2021

400Z

In photos obtained by japanesenstalgiccar.com,  the Nissan 400Z prototype is seen with its hood propped open, and there it is, a 400 horsepower, twin-IHI turbocharged, VR30DDTT V6 engine. First available in the Infiniti Q50 sedan, a year later in 2016 it was also in the Q60 coupe in 300 and 400 HP versions.

(Read More…)

By on November 17, 2020

2022 Honda Civic Sport. Image: Honda

We told you last week that the eleventh-generation of the Honda Civic would be shown on streaming service Twitch, and lo and it behold, it was on Tuesday night.

At least in prototype form.

(Read More…)

By on October 14, 2020

Acura MDX Prototype. Photo: Acura

The fourth-generation Acura MDX is here. Sort of.

Acura hasn’t actually launched the next MDX, but it has taken the cover off a prototype that previews the upcoming re-done crossover. There is a lot new, as we teased before, but the looks remain relatively familiar.

(Read More…)

By on September 15, 2020

Considering the dire straits Nissan currently finds itself in, I don’t think anybody felt ultra-confident that its next Z-badged performance coupe was automatically going to be a home run. I certainly did not. But then I watched Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida climb out of the prototype as he reminisced about how his first car was a Fairlady Z, noting that it was a “love at first sight” kind of deal.

It was fitting, not just because the Proto Z that debuted on Tuesday is clearly inspired by that iconic model but also because he just unveiled a car that will probably leave a lot of other young drivers feeling the exact same way.

Nissan spent a lot of time parading around Z models ahead of the debut, suggesting that the prototype would be influenced by them all. But it has become clear that the earliest models are the ones doing the heavy lifting. While the squared tail lamps floating on a black canvas covers everything up to the 300ZX, the Proto Z’s overall shape is commensurate with the original 240Z. It also happens to be quite handsome and uncluttered by a lot of the busyness found on modern-day sporting cars. (Read More…)

By on August 4, 2020

Previewed way back at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota’s (Gazoo Racing) GR Super Sport Concept now serves as the template for its next entry into 24 Hour of Le Mans, tapped for the new Hypercar Class that’s effectively replacing FIA’s World Endurance Championship LMP1. The new classification is supposed to reinvigorate the sport by mandating homologation of the wildest inductees, a practice which often leads to the most stunning performance machines ever to grace the road.

That means Toyota has to build at least 20 examples of something street legal that shares more than a handful of components with its LM racer. Rumor has it, something is already in development — and should exist well beyond the confines of what one normally thinks of when they envision Toyota products.

(Read More…)

By on July 21, 2020

Ford appears to have spent a fortune in order to convince the world that electric vehicles have nearly limitless potential.

Its latest spot promoting the Mach-E (and its current efforts to embrace battery power) include a high-powered prototype boating 1,400 horsepower and some of the most recognizable faces in motorsport attempting to challenge it — or at least help make for some quality entertainment while parodying the scientific method. The marketing campaign is so bonkers, it’s hard to be cross with the company even if Ford had taken the testing more seriously.

While physics-defying electrics aren’t new, they’ve only recently begun making appearances at Ford Motor Company. The Mach-E 1400 — developed in collaboration with RTR Vehicles — is here to drive home the message that the automaker isn’t taking electrification lightly.  (Read More…)

By on December 3, 2019

Infiniti’s Q60 Project Black S has been been flying under the radar for a while. Debuting in 2017 at the Geneva Motor Show, the model occupied an interesting space between concept and prototype. It was basically Nissan’s answer to Mercedes-AMG C 63, a question we’re still not sure anybody outside the company ever asked. But it was engrossing and curiosity grew the more Infiniti paraded it around the globe.

Unfortunately parent company Nissan shot itself in the face several times between then and now, leaving the Black to twist in the wind. Infiniti sales within its best market (the United States) haven’t looked all that healthy this year either and the marque has pulled out of Europe to focus on China. The premium Japanese brand has big aspirations, but many are wondering what it will actually be able to achieve under the current conditions. A flagship performance coupe loaded with complicated hybrid tech seems like something bean counters would be against — especially during hard times.

In August, Infiniti said it was still deciding whether to put the car into production and needed a few months to sort everything out. Development of the hybrid powertrain had been finalized and the company said it hoped to reach a decision before 2020. That time is almost up but hope remains.   (Read More…)

By on November 6, 2019

Ford’s whetting electric appetites at SEMA this week with its new Mustang Lithium prototype. Officially a one-off model for the show, the automaker said it was present to prove how utterly dope future electric performance vehicles will be. Good timing, too, as the debut of Ford’s all-electric, Mustang-inspired crossover is almost upon us.

Ignoring the timing in relation to the Mach E, it’s mildly curious that the brand would first preview the prototype at an aftermarket trade show. But it’s worth noting that the electric Mustang actually cobbles together quite a few parts from various catalogs. The manufacturer informs us that Lithium is equipped with Ford Performance’s Track Handling Pack and Brembo brakes sourced from the Shelby GT350R ⁠— though they’re the tamest inclusions by far.  (Read More…)

By on September 25, 2019

Subaru has teased the prototype for its second-generation Levorg, confirming the model will debut at the Tokyo Motor Show on October 23rd — alongside the WRX STI EJ20 Final Edition. However, it’s not the commemorative EJ20 we’re interested in. As the Levorg shares its heritage with the Legacy, Impreza, and WRX, the model will likely to preview the group’s evolved styling.

While the Viziv Performance Concept was also supposed to do that, its radical design seems a bit ambitious for the sixth-generation WRX that’s supposed to debut next year. Meanwhile, Subaru’s latest Levorg teasers appear to showcase a production adjacent automobile. Any physical changes the wagon undergoes prior to production are likely to be minor. (Read More…)

By on September 11, 2019

Naming a car is difficult. All the best predatory animals have been taken and getting creative often results in the certain parts of the world thinking you’ve intentionally named your car something hilarious. Chevrolet’s Nova is the classic example, but modern automobiles still run into trouble. Hyundai’s Kona falls on Portuguese ears as the most vulgar synonym for vagina (an oddly common theme among car monikers) and Audi’s e-Tron translates roughly into French as “turd.” It’s no wonder so many automakers simply forgo issuing real names, opting instead for an alphanumeric jumble.

When Volkswagen began previewing concept versions of its electrified ID lineup, models used a bizarre naming strategy. Maybe titles like Roomzz, Buzz, Crozz, and Vizzion sound better in German, but they didn’t play well here. VW’s solution to the problem has been to simply assign their production counterparts with a number — and it’s looking like that will be continue to be the case.

While the brand was showcasing the new ID.3 hatchback at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week, it also teased a follow-up model that will actually make its way stateside. Originally dubbed the Crozz, the car is now named simply “ID.4.”  (Read More…)

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