Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Opel/Vauxhall RAK

Opel/Vauxhall has released images of the RAK e concept prior to its unveiling at the Frankfurt motor show next week. Billed as a car that ‘could revolutionize urban transport', it's clear that the company is thinking along similar lines to Volkswagen (Nils) and Audi (Urban Concept). Frankfurt's shaping up to offer a feast of these new single or tandem seat concept vehicles that conceptually sit in between a scooter and a small car.

The RAK e is a two-seat, battery-powered electric vehicle that has been inspired by Opel/Vauxhall's range-extended electric car, the Ampera. It is capable of a 60-mile range and a top speed of 75mph. The company is promoting the vehicle as offering a fun driving experience, thanks to the tandem seat arrangement and low curb weight (said to be around one-third of that of an average small car).

Opel/Vauxhall is still being tight-lipped about the vehicle at present, but says that further details will be revealed when the vehicle is revealed at the Frankfurt show next Tuesday.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Eterniti Hemera

Eterniti Motors, the new British boutique manufacturer, today released further details of its prototype super-SUV, the Hemera.

The Hemera is essentially a heavily re-worked Porsche Cayenne, which features a ‘limousine-like rear cabin' that boasts a plethora of luxury additions such as Maybach-esque twin electric reclining seats, an iPad for each passenger and a drinks chiller.

The carbon-composite bodied SUV will be hand-built in London and aims to deliver ‘considerable' driver appeal in addition to its limousine moniker which, according to Eterniti, offer customers the option of being chauffeured as well as being driven.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Seat IBL

Seat has unveiled its new IBL saloon and sports coupe crossover concept car, announcing that it is the next evolution of its design DNA.

While the exterior of the IBL is understated, much emphasis has been placed on the design of the interior. Technology within the car displays information in three programs – ‘Travel' for relaxed driving, ‘Sport' for concentrated driving or ‘Efficiency' for focused fuel-efficiency of the plug-in hybrid drive.

A central secondary display is dedicated to the communications and information systems. The navigation system links with Google Earth and real-time traffic information to decide the most efficient route, with the information systems accessed through two touch pads located on the steering wheel spokes. The cockpit is very much driver-orientated, with the main display behind the steering wheel being able to program according to the driver's preferences.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Honda Civic

Honda has released the first images of its new Civic ahead of its launch today at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show.

The Civic's flowing exterior design is said to have been inspired by the ‘blended wing body' airplane, in which the wings and fuselage blend into one entity for improved performance.

The designers have kept the sporty and advanced elements of the car's character but have adapted them to emphasize the dynamism of the new Civic. Most of the body components of the car have been redesigned, improving the design of the interior while keeping the level of space available within the cabin.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Subaru XV

Subaru has revealed the new XV at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show, taking the company into the compact crossover segment for the first time.

Like its concept precursor, the XV features a hexagonal grille and 'hawk eye' headlamps, designed to emphasize the vehicle's brand identity. Alloy wheels and cut-away cladding also aim to give the car a distinctive feel. The front and rear corners of the bumpers are equipped with special edges, designed to improve fuel efficiency and enhance aerodynamics.

The new crossover's interior is designed to allow the passengers plenty of room, with a spacious cargo area and enlarging of the door's opening dimensions allowing for better ease of access. The interior is made up of leather, metal, and cloth in an effort to draw attention to the stylish nature of the car. The Multi-Function Display (MFD) gives the driver and passengers information, with higher specification models containing a large 4.3-inch full-color screen catering for all infotainment needs.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Maserati Kubang

Maserati today unveiled its new Kubang sport luxury SUV, the Italian brands's first foray into the segment. The Kubang, making its debut at the Frankfurt motor show, is said to be the forerunner of the future Maserati range.

Previously revealed in concept form at the 2003 Detroit motor show, Maserati claims the production version of the Kubang maintains the main features of its concept precursor, such as the style, engine, suspensions, brakes, handling and performance.

The manufacturer has for years been producing sedans, coupes and two or four-seater convertibles, but the Kubang is the first of its kind to be created by Maserati. It aims to enlarge its product range and appeal to different sections of society.

Friday, October 7, 2011


BMW has revealed a new electric scooter concept, the Concept e, at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show as part of BMW Motorrad's focus on issues of individual single-track mobility.

The Concept e, which was presented alongside BMW's electric i3 and i8 vehicles, is designed to convey the importance that BMW sees in the emotional dialogue between the rider and the vehicle. The Concept e is immediately recognizable as a BMW motorcycle, with the ‘split face' running from the upper trim section to above the front wheel cover. The front and rear side trim sections are finished in 'light white' to contrast starkly the ‘black chrome light' and ‘black chrome dark' used on the upper trim section and side sills respectively. The design of the light alloy wheels is designed to link the Concept e to the BMW i cars.

The Concept e contains two video cameras in the rear light cluster casing, replacing rear mirrors by displaying all activity behind the rider on two LCD monitors located in the cockpit. Other information including vehicle speed is shown on a digital display in the cockpit, which BMW Motorrad has reduced to contain the bare minimum of equipment.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mercedes-Benz F125

Mercedes today revealed the F125 concept at the Frankfurt motor show. Claimed to represent ‘a radical reinterpretation of a sports sedan', the new car is also said to preview the next generation S-Class.

Created in close collaboration between the technical research and development departments, as well as the Advanced Design Studios in Sindelfingen and Carlsbad, CA, Mercedes says the exterior design of the F125 is a further development of the company's current design strategy, with organic use of body surfaces, a cab-forward stance and short overhangs. "The real power lies in the elegant, muscular winds and the wheels," says Mercedes-Benz Head of Design Gorden Wagener. "The wheels symbolize electric motors with terminals and coils, and make the drive concept visually tangible as well."

Two gull-wing doors allow access to the cabin, which is further facilitated through the lack of a B-pillar. Developed at the Mercedes-Benz Design Centre in Como, Italy, the assymetrical interior design is said to follow the examples of nature. It is divided into two halves and the contrasts are visually underlined by the color scheme: dark in the front left and light in the right rear. The 17-inch display in the front passenger area is controlled by hand-gestures.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fisker Surf

Fisker has unveiled its new eco-friendly plug-in hybrid Surf vehicle at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show.

The Surf, which the company claims is the world's first electric luxury/sports automobile, follows up the Fisker Karma's electric vehicle with extended range, but has additional cargo capacity and load carrying capabilities. The Surf weighs in at only 66 pounds more than the Karma sedan, despite increased glass and bodywork.

This is Fisker's latest addition to its Karma platform, in which the manufacturer hopes to create a new market niche. The Surf is due to be released worldwide in time for the 2013 model year.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gordon Murray Teewave AR.1

Gordon Murray Designs has announced the latest addition to its range of electric vehicles in the form of a two-seat sports car. Following on from the diminutive T.25 city car, the Teewave AR.1 is an all-electric roadster that features a carbon monocoque chassis, designed in such a way that it can be applied to a variety of vehicle types.

The AR.1 sports car was designed in close collaboration with Toray Industries, a Japanese carbon fiber specialist. The extensive application of the composite material results in the car weighing in at 400kg less than the Tesla Roadster.

Speaking of the achievements of the AR.1 Professor Murray said: "The resultant vehicle weight of just 850Kg achieved using Toray's carbon fiber once again proves that performance through light weight is the most efficient and environmentally-friendly way to achieve power to weight targets."