Kawasaki ZX-770R Concept – design fantasy

August 18th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

When KTM released its X-BOW lightweight sports car it broke new ground by crossing over from being a motorbike maker to becoming a car brand as well. The X-BOW was a success, but no other motorcycle manufacturers have followed with sports cars of their own. It can’t be easy dabbling in four-wheeled machinery but the concept of motorbike styling in car form remains tempting for automotive designers.

Dutch car designer Sabino Leerentveld has made waves previously by penning the Aston Martin V12 and BMW Nazca Homage prototypes and has now turned his hand to creating the Kawasaki ZX-770R Concept pictured above.

Inspired heavily by the KTM X-BOW, Leerentveld designed this lightweight coupe with Japanese motorcycle company Kawasaki in mind. However, the ZX-770R is much larger than the X-BOW and measures 4,427mm long, 1,017mm tall and 2,073mm wide with a wheelbase of 2,710mm. Continue reading “Kawasaki ZX-770R Concept – design fantasy” »

Lotus Evora GTE concept to debut at Pebble Beach

August 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The new Lotus Evora GTE Road Car Concept will be unveiled at the Pebble Beach Conours d’Elegance event in the USA today.

This road-read concept draws inspiration from the Lotus Evora GTE race car which was developed to be successful in the new global motorsport GTE category, which includes endurance races like the Le Mans 24 Hours.

This high-strung Evora GTE Road Car concept produces around 315kW from its race-developed engine, fed through a sequential AMT racing gearbox and put to the pavement through ultra-lightweight forged alloy wheels with center-lock hubs wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tyres. Continue reading “Lotus Evora GTE concept to debut at Pebble Beach” »

Toyota Prius Plug-in charging to Frankfurt debut

August 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Eco-warriors rejoice, the production version of the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid will make its world debut at next month’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

It’s a huge launch for Toyota and the Japanese carmaker is claiming that the Prius Plug-in is the next “major milestone” in its 40-year quest for sustainable mobility. The production plug-in hybrid sedan has a freshly designed, compact lithium-ion battery that allows this latest Prius to reach a new low in minimal fuel consumption, sipping just 2.2 litres per 100 kilometers with CO2 emissions of just 49 grams per km.

The plug-in Prius isn’t a successor to the current model and Toyota will continue to focus on hybrid vehicles without a plug,. But Toyota says the Plug-in Prius is its new flagship that showcases the latest developments in hybrid-drive technology. It also says that the car’s value and incredible fuel consumption combine to make it the ultimate eco car. Continue reading “Toyota Prius Plug-in charging to Frankfurt debut” »

Sci-Fi styled ‘Flake’ concept car uses active body panels (+video)

August 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Active aerodynamics are starting to find use in top end performance-focused production vehicles, but even the latest electro-hydraulic flaps already look outdated compared to this recently revealed concept car.

Created by budding automotive designer Da Feng, the ‘Flake’ concept draws inspiration from some strange sources including the characters from the movie Cars and the ash from Feng’s cigarettes. Despite its bizarre influences, the Flake concept began three years ago at Coventry University and has now taken shape. Well, some sort of shape anyway.

Pictured is the third version of the Flake, which uses 250 active body panels, all of them controlled by mini solenoids pulling on carbon nano-tube wires. Lost already? So are we but the end result is a unique body that can lay flat to decrease drag at speed, hinge upward to slow the vehicle open up to aid cornering and increase downforce. Apparently the active body panels will also be able to collect solar power.

Just as radical are the “D-Wheels” which are constructed of 12 individual legs that extend upwards and contract downwards to fit the driving surface. Both wheels and the body structure can act as part of the suspension, giving the Flake off-road ability as well. Continue reading “Sci-Fi styled ‘Flake’ concept car uses active body panels (+video)” »

Lexus to produce striking LFA Roadster

August 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Lexus LFA coupe has established itself as one of the most coveted super cars in the world and with a production run of just 500 models this beast from the east is certainly exclusive. But when production of the LFA coupe finishes in 2013 an even rarer variant looks like it will built – the LFA Roadster.

According to recent reports in mid-2014 the LFA roadster is scheduled to debut with a price tag only the mega rich can afford. This is the first new news on the roadster since it was teased in a stunning concept version (pictured) back in 2008. Strangely, there is expected to be a one year gap between the end of LFA coupe production and the beginning of LFA roadster production.

The roadster will headline a whole gang of new or updated models Lexus plans to unleash in the coming years to help it fight key players like BMW and Mercedes-Benz in global markets. Continue reading “Lexus to produce striking LFA Roadster” »

BMW reveals i3 and i8 concept vehicles (+video)

August 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

BMW’s hotly anticipated i-brand has officially arrived with the first introduction of two concept models.

BMW has given out the first details and images of its i3 and i8 models before the concepts are shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Originally teased as the MegaCity concept, the BMW i3 electric car will be the first vehicle to be produced under the i brand and will arrive in 2013. Built for urban environments this high-tech machine uses an electric motor mounted on the rear axle for an output of 125kW with 250Nm of torque. Power will go through a single speed gearbox and the i3 will accelerate briskly from 0-100km/h in around eight seconds. Top speed is limited to 150 km/h.

BMW claims the i3′s battery pack can be charged to full in six hours and will get to 80% charge in just one hour using a standard socket. Expect details on battery capacity and range to be revealed soon. Continue reading “BMW reveals i3 and i8 concept vehicles (+video)” »

Honda reveals 2012 CR-V preview concept car

July 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

After leaked photos of Honda’s 2012 CR-V concept car reached the online world, Honda has now released official details and an image of its next-generation CR-V.

The new crossover will debut at a California show this September and be on sale in North America by the end of the year and in global markets by mid 2012.

The 2012 CR-V Concept is a pre-production model with flashy details like gloss black mouldings, but gives a clear idea of the upcoming production car.

“The 2012 CR-V Concept introduces the exterior styling for the more sophisticated and dynamic design of the upcoming production model,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda.

Rear styling is hard to judge, but Honda has said the current CR-V model’s vertical rear taillights will be retained but with a more three-dimensional style. Inside, the CR-V will feature an all-new interior with a more spacious design and lower cargo floor. Continue reading “Honda reveals 2012 CR-V preview concept car” »

Alfa Romeo releases promo video for 4C concept

July 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Alfa Romeo is getting pumped-up about its new 4C mid-engine sports coupe that could arrive in European showrooms as early as next year.

To send its fans into a frenzy the Italian carmaker has just released a new promotional video for the 4C concept car.

The production car will feature a lightweight carbon fibre body and a mid-mounted, turbocharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine with more than 150kW of power on tap. A dual-clutch gearbox will feature and will help the coupe accelerate from 0-100 km/h in less than five seconds and hit a top speed in excess of 250 km/h.

Check out the video below to find out more. Continue reading “Alfa Romeo releases promo video for 4C concept” »