Official: Volvo Concept Coupe is brand’s ‘next-generation P1800’ [w/video]

Filed under: Concept Cars, Coupe, Hybrid, Volvo, Design/Style

Volvo Concept Coupe

Volvo is calling the Concept Coupe its “next-generation P1800.”

The teasing can now officially come to an end – Volvo has released all the images, videos and details on its new Concept Coupe, and we’re intrigued. The Swedish automaker is calling the concept its “next-generation P1800,” and those are some pretty big shoes to fill. Fortunately, it’s not all talk; there are clear links to Volvo’s much-loved coupe in the concept’s shape, though we certainly wouldn’t call it ‘retro.’

Up front, T-shaped running lights bracket what the brand calls a “floating grille” with a “distinctive iron mark.” The side profile is dominated by a distinct bow that can be seen, in a slightly more mellow form, on current Volvo vehicles, and the broad-shouldered rear end is bracketed by slender C-shaped taillight clusters.

The interior, too, is unique. A handcrafted crystal gearshift lever is a highlight, as is a large touchscreen laid out in portrait (as opposed to landscape). Volvo has removed as many physical buttons as possible, which certainly creates a smooth and attractive cabin, but we’re curious to see how it all works in ergonomic terms.

The first machine that will take styling cues from the Concept Coupe will be the 2014 XC90 crossover.

“The new Volvo Concept Coupe reveals how we could shape our cars from now on. Free from the superficial surface excitement of other car brands, we add emotional value to the Volvo brand with the calm, confident beauty that is the hallmark of Scandinavian design,” says Volvo Senior Vice President of Design Thomas Ingenlath. Not exactly fightin’ words, but close.

Somewhat eyebrow-raisingly, Volvo says the first machine that will take styling cues from the Concept Coupe will be the next XC90 crossover, which is slated to hit the market in 2014. While the upright stance of a ‘ute doesn’t seem compatible with the sleek, low-slung lines of a coupe, the automaker assures in the press release below that, while “the all-new XC90 is an entirely different type of car, you will recognize the connection instantly when it is revealed next year.”

Making such design stretchability possible is Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture. Specific elements that include a “generous” dash-to-axle ratio and a hip point that is “low enough to create a low profile on a sleek sedan without compromising headroom” are cited as defining factors of the new architecture.

Volvo promises 400 hp and 443 lb-ft from the turbo- and supercharged plug-in hybrid.

A four-cylinder gasoline engine makes up half the plug-in hybrid powertrain, and Volvo promises power levels on par with current V8 engines through the use of both a turbocharger and a supercharger. Combined output from the 2.0-liter engine that powers the front wheels and the electric motor connected to the rear wheels is around 400 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque.

Scroll down for a video showing off the Volvo Concept Coupe, along with a press release that explains the design in much deeper terms.

Continue reading Volvo Concept Coupe is brand’s ‘next-generation P1800’ [w/video]

Volvo Concept Coupe is brand’s ‘next-generation P1800’ [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 21:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Cadillac Elmiraj Concept slinks in Leno’s Garage

Filed under: Concept Cars, Coupe, Videos, Cadillac, Celebrities, Design/Style, Luxury

Jay Leno, Ed Welburn and the Cadillac Elmiraj Concept

Jay Leno’s Garage has moved to Pebble Beach for the week. This time around, the affable comedian is taking a look at the Cadillac Elmiraj Concept that debuted during the Monterey car week, and is talking to General Motors vice president of global design, Ed Welburn.

There’s plenty of reminiscing about what concept cars were like when these two were kids, before a fairly deep dive into the striking Elmiraj Concept itself. Welburn shares a few anecdotes about the design process behind the two-door concept, including how his designers changed his mind on the grille design.

After bringing up the Cimarron, Leno makes a solid point that the Elmiraj would be a solid production car that could even spawn a four-door variant. We couldn’t agree more. Take a look below for the full video from Jay Leno’s Garage.

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Cadillac Elmiraj Concept slinks in Leno’s Garage originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 19:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Ford S-Max Concept previews new look, technology for Euro seven-seater

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Technology, Ford

Ford S-Max Concept showcases sharp styling, a thoughtful interior and innovative technologies.

Ford unveiled today the S-Max Concept, which comes with a new, sleek look and loaded with innovative technology, such as a heart-rate monitoring seat. But if your heart is set on a minivan sports activity vehicle (SAV) and you live in the States, don’t wait for this one – it’s a Europe-only product, and we don’t expect that to change when the next-gen S-Max is released.

The styling follows Ford’s global design language, looking a bit like an overgrown Focus hatchback with the company’s signature grille, wraparound headlamps, steeply raked windshield and curved roof line. Ford also implemented details to make the S-Max look longer and faster, such as a feature line on each side of the vehicle and muscular-looking fenders. The engine isn’t Ford’s most powerful, but the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine should be potent enough with turbocharging and other efficiency related technologies.

Ford says the new interior, which seats up to seven people, features high-quality materials and fine detailing, such as an “ultra-soft” leather wrap for the instrument panel and leather and carbon-fiber details on the seats. Ford’s Sync connectivity system with MyFord Touch makes the car a wireless hotspot, and there’s a tablet docking station for second-row occupants.

But it’s the health-related systems that have our attention. The heart-rate sensing seat records the driver’s heart rate and has the potential to respond to medical emergencies via Sync. This can range from alerting medical experts to triggering active safety systems that can take over temporarily for an incapacitated driver. The car even has a glucose monitoring system that Ford claims can detect a sleeping child having a diabetic episode in the back seat.

Take a look at the press release below for a closer look into the sharply styled, tech-forward SAV.

Continue reading Ford S-Max Concept previews new look, technology for Euro seven-seater

Ford S-Max Concept previews new look, technology for Euro seven-seater originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 00:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ETC: Aston Martin DBC Concept would be a gorgeous new direction for the brand

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Aston Martin, Design/Style

Aston Martin DBC Concept by Samir Sadikhov

The world may never see a mid-engine Aston Martin. Never, ever. Why? Because grand touring, which is and has always been what Aston Martin is about, goes about as well with a mid-engined layout as whiskey goes with wasabi. Why do you think Ferrari and Bentley, also notable GT manufacturers, keep their big, comfortable and fast vehicles with the engine in front?

That said, if Aston were to suddenly decide that it wanted a piece of the Ferrari 458 Italia or McLaren MP4-12C, we sincerely hope the resulting car would look at least half as good as this concept car, designed by Samir Sadikhov. It’s called the DBC, and it is an absolute stunner, perfectly integrating Aston Martin’s traditional design cues – look at this profile shot of the DBC alongside the DBR1 – and current styling trends with a mid-engined layout that is a dramatic departure from the long hood and short deck of the current cars.

Sadikhov isn’t some new kid on the block, though. The Azerbaijani captured second place in the Ferrari World Design Contest with his Xerzri Concept. As for the DBC, according to his website, one of his goals was to create a car with parts that “could be easily carried over into a production car.” We like the sound of that. Aston Martin, we’ll take ours with the V12 Vantage S engine mounted amidships, a six-speed manual, and British Racing Green paint. Make it so. Head over to Sadikhov’s site for a full look at the DBC Concept.

Aston Martin DBC Concept would be a gorgeous new direction for the brand originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Infiniti releases first image of premium compact Q30 Concept

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Coupe, Crossover, Hatchback, Infiniti, Luxury

Infiniti Q30 Concept

Behold, the Q30 Concept. Slated for a worldwide debut in Germany next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show, this concept previews a new entry-level premium compact that Infiniti hopes will attract younger buyers to the brand, as well as give it a competitor in a burgeoning new class that’s quickly filling up with options.

What will set the Q30 apart? Aside from a bold and aggressive design that picks up where the new Q50 and many concepts have left off, Infiniti says the shape combines elements from three bodystyles, all of which appeal to the sort of buyer it’s hoping snare. Can you guess which three? No peeking at the press release down below. Give yourself ten arbitrary points if your answer was coupe, crossover and hatchback.

Infiniti promises a ride height that will be high enough to earn crossover credentials, and we’re guessing it’s got an actual hatch back there, which leaves the coupe. Where’s the coupe in the Q30’s design? The influence of a two-door is a little more difficult to see with the naked eye, but what the Q30 shares with some four-door coupes on the market is a roofline that peaks and begins to slope back down before the B-pillar and rear set of doors.

There’s no information available yet on what powers the Q30 Concept, and hence even less about what will power the production version, but we expect to learn more more in the coming weeks leading up to this triple threat’s reveal in Frankfurt.

Continue reading Infiniti releases first image of premium compact Q30 Concept

Infiniti releases first image of premium compact Q30 Concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 01:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Teased: Volvo shows glimpses of new Concept C Coupe ahead of Frankfurt [w/video]

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Coupe, Videos, Volvo, Design/Style

Volvo Concept C Coupe teaser

Volvo has released a short teaser video for a concept car that will be unveiled on August 29 ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show. At first glance, it would appear to be nothing more than a few sketches and some words from Volvo design boss Thomas Ingenlath, but at about the 11-second mark, four images are flashed on the screen revealing the true nature of the video – the Volvo Concept C Coupe.

As Inglenlath suggests in the video, this new concept is designed to help bring more excitement to the brand’s lineup, and from what we can tell in these strategically captured shots, the company is definitely on to something. While we don’t get too much of look from any one angle, the front reveals what appears to be a concave version of Volvo’s signature grille and the side shows off a stylish greenhouse. We have to wonder, do these images confirm the identity of the mystery concept car that’s been floating around the Internet this week? In either case, our favorite view is perhaps the rear shot giving us a glimpse of the car’s name as well as its flat, wide haunches and C-shaped taillights.

Scroll down to watch the whole video, and if you don’t have a trigger-quick mouse finger, don’t worry. We made a gallery of screen shots showing the four embedded images.

Continue reading Volvo shows glimpses of new Concept C Coupe ahead of Frankfurt [w/video]

Volvo shows glimpses of new Concept C Coupe ahead of Frankfurt [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 26 Aug 2013 13:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Tata Xenon Tuff Truck Concept bows in Australia

Filed under: Concept Cars, Truck, Australia, Tata, Diesel, Off-Road

Tata Xenon Tuff Truck Concept - front three-quarter studio view

Following the cancellation of the Melbourne Motor Show, it would appear that automakers in Australia are looking for creative new ways to show off vehicles to consumers. Enter the country’s National 4×4 and Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo. India’s Tata Motors has used this weekend’s festivities to reveal an off-road concept version of its Xenon pickup called the Tata Xenon Tuff Truck Concept.

In a land where midsize trucks are still a popular segment, the Tuff Truck Concept looks like a good way to create some excitement, and it is, without a doubt, an attention-grabbing rig. As is often the way with such things, the Australian-designed Tuff Truck Concept is not intended for production, but the Oz authorities at GoAuto.com say Tata might consider building a production version in the future.

For this concept, Tata started with a standard Xenon and then fitted it with everything needed to help it traverse Australia’s rugged Outback, including features like bigger wheels with meatier tires, an intake snorkel, LED running and off-road lights and a flush rear bumper with integrated D-rings. For more wow factor, it has all been finished off with a matte gray paint color apparently borrowed from corporate cousins Jaguar and Land Rover. The menacing look was conceived of by none other than Julian Quincey, chief designer at Holden Special Vehicles, a.k.a. HSV.

Tata will launch itself in Australia on the back of the Xenon pickup, but the standard truck won’t offer all the toys seen on the Tuff Truck. However, it will feature a 2.2-liter turbodiesel offering 148 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque paired exclusively with a manual transmission. Tata is reportedly considering selling passenger cars in Oz as well, but the Nano is not expected to be a part of the program.

Tata Xenon Tuff Truck Concept bows in Australia originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Quick Spin: Infiniti Emerg-E Concept

Filed under: Concept Cars, Coupe, Hybrid, Infiniti, Quick Spins

The Infiniti Emerg-E is a two-place hybrid gasoline-electric concept that made its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. While its sleek shape and stunning styling dropped jaws, those on the green side of things immediately recognized it as a reskinned and updated Lotus 414E – itself a concept based on the Evora that debuted at the same show only two years earlier. Yet there is little wrong with a reworked, Infiniti-badged Lotus boasting 402 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, especially when it features a lightweight, all-aluminum bonded chassis beneath an attractive carbon fiber skin penned by the automaker’s Southern California design team.

The hybrid powertrain is all contained aft of the cockpit. Primary propulsion is accomplished with two electric motors, one on each rear wheel, both featuring its own single-speed transmission (this design eliminates the need for a differential and provides electronic torque vectoring control). Energy for the electric motors is stored in a 15-kWh lithium-ion battery placed behind the seats, which is chemically different from the lithium-polymer pack Lotus used in its 414E. Auxiliary propulsion comes from a Lotus-designed, all-aluminum, 1.2-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine, rated at 50 horsepower, that serves as a range-extender after the 30-mile life of the battery pack is extinguished. Teamed with an 8.1-gallon fuel tank, the combo allows the Emerg-E to cruise about 300 miles without stopping.

Offered the chance to take the Emerg-E for a quick loop around an autocross course in Southern California, I jumped at the opportunity.

Driving Notes

  • Climbing into the low-slung cockpit wasn’t overly difficult, but it did take a bit of maneuvering to clear the wide floor sills of this right-hand-drive test car. Once in place, there was decent room for my six-foot, two-inch frame, and I found the bucket racing seat comfortable. In addition to the aforementioned battery changes from the 414E and a fresh new skin, Infiniti has redesigned the cabin with a unique dashboard, instrument cluster, seats and steering wheel.
  • Despite all of the power on tap, driving the Emerg-E at low speeds was drama-free. There is no built-in creep, but a well-weighted accelerator pedal made crawling across the paddock in pure-EV mode effortless. Infiniti claims the 0-60 sprint is accomplished in 4.1 seconds, but my full-throttle launch felt a tick or two slower (the engineer sitting next to me warned that performance may be reduced as the battery was just about depleted). Other than the expected whir of the two motors, and the sound of gravel being thrown off the tires, all was silent for the first second. Then the combustion engine burst to life with a pleasing deep growl and boosted system power.
  • Braking was strong, as the Infiniti concept shares its four-piston monobloc calipers and drilled rotors with the production Evora and supplements it with a regenerative system. The pedal had a solid feel, and modulation was good. When lifting off the throttle, I didn’t note the strong drag often associated with aggressive regeneration – maybe I was concentrating too much on the first corner that was rapidly approaching.
  • Initial turn-in wasn’t as sharp as I had expected, about equal with the new C7 Corvette if a comparison is required, but the Emerg-E had no problem ripping around the tight circuit and navigating all of the cones. The center of gravity is impressively low, with most of the weight positioned slightly in front of the rear wheels, and I didn’t note any understeer through the slalom (the Pirelli P-Zero Corsa rubber gripped tenaciously). Thanks to abundant torque and instant throttle response, flinging the coupe around the old concrete runway was a pleasure. I’d prefer a little less overall weight, but I’ll take the powerful hybrid powertrain and chassis tuning just as it is – that’s a huge compliment to a concept car.
  • While the Emerg-E is an impressive little package, and the automaker has built a handful of prototypes, Infiniti has no plans to rush it into production. Consider its efficient technology nothing more than a test bed for future models as the automaker works towards introducing its first electric car.

Infiniti Emerg-E Concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Gran Turismo 6 to get exclusive concept cars from Aston, BMW, Nike and more

Filed under: Concept Cars, Motorsports, Performance, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, GM, Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, Toys/Games, Racing, SRT

Vision Gran Turismo video

Much like a real conflict, the console wars being waged between Microsoft and Sony spill into a number of different battlefields and theaters. Home to some of the fiercest fighting is the racing genre, which sees Microsoft’s Forza Motorsport series go head-to-head with Sony’s Gran Turismo series. While there’s been plenty of press about Forza, GT has just struck back with some news that we aren’t sure Turn 10 Studios and Microsoft can match.

When Gran Turismo 6 arrives on the Playstation 4 on December 6, it’s with the promise of a huge suite of free, downloadable content featuring some of the finest cars from manufacturers, design houses and brands from across the globe. The staggered release will see the free content distributed from 2013 to 2014, although it’s unclear just how many cars will be distributed in total or in each car pack.

Vision includes concepts from Alfa Romeo, Alpine, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, SRT, and Volkswagen, along with vehicles from legendary design studios like Bertone, Italdesign Giugiaro, and Zagato. Following in the footsteps of previous GT games, global brands like Nike will take part as well. Conspicuous by absence are past GT partners Citroen and Red Bull, although we doubt that this is a comprehensive list. We’re expecting plenty of surprises when DLC starts arriving.

This news is a blow to the Forza series, which while impressive in its own right (and this author’s preferred title), has seemingly struggled to have the same degree of legitimacy and exclusivity inherent in the titles from Polyphony. Gran Turismo 6 is slated for a December 6 debut. Check back here for more info and a full write-up of the new game before then. Until then, scroll down for a trailer on Vision Gran Turismo and a complete press release from Polyphony.

Continue reading Gran Turismo 6 to get exclusive concept cars from Aston, BMW, Nike and more

Gran Turismo 6 to get exclusive concept cars from Aston, BMW, Nike and more originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Monza concept opens its wings and lets us in on Opel’s future

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Coupe, Hybrid, Europe, Opel, Design/Style

Opel Monza Concept

Opel has done a lot to revitalize itself over the past few years, developing a solid product portfolio with hatchbacks, sedans, wagons, minivans and crossovers. What it’s missing, though, is a sports coupe – because, let’s face it, the Cascada cabrio hardly fits the bill.

Hopes were raised when Opel revealed it was working on a new Monza concept, reviving a nameplate borrowed from an Italian racetrack and previously used on a six-cylinder fastback version of the Senator sedan. Opel has now revealed the Monza in full, but it’s neither the sportscar we expected nor the harbinger of a new production model – much less one we could look forward to General Motors porting over as a Buick coupe, for that matter.

What you’re looking at instead is a design study that hints at the way Opel will style its cars moving forward. Sized in between the Astra and Insignia, the Monza concept has two giant gullwing doors to give access to both front and rear seats, which is probably your first clue that this is more of a show car than a pre-production prototype. Inside, the futuristic cabin features an LED projection dashboard with 3D graphics, new social interactive systems and a lot of swoopy forms and curved wood.

The concept is powered by a CNG version of the hybrid powertrain you’d find in the Opel Ampera or Chevrolet Volt, propelling a form that is more sedan than sports coupe, even if it does technically only have two doors. A successor to the original Monza it is not – let alone a replacement for the Lotus Elise-based Speedster or Pontiac Solstice-based GT that followed – but as an indicator of where Opel is heading, it looks promising. But we’ll reserve final judgement for when we see it at the Frankfurt Motor Show in a couple of weeks. For more details, check out our gallery and the official press release below.

Continue reading Monza concept opens its wings and lets us in on Opel’s future

Monza concept opens its wings and lets us in on Opel’s future originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 13:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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