Monday, April 30, 2012

BMW i8

BMW has released images and information about its i8 Concept Spyder, which follows on from the i3 and i8 concepts.

This open-top two-seater car features upwards-swiveling doors that pivot forwards around the A-pillars, a transparent glass panel at the rear and is based around the LifeDrive architecture, which fusing independent units together using a lightweight modular construction. A two-section roof is planned for less favorable conditions.

The i8 Concept Spyder has a shorter wheelbase and length than the coupe version of the original i8 Concept and features solid doors – rather than transparent doors. This, along with a more production-viable interior suggest that the i8 is now very close to reaching the market.

Aerodynamic elements include elements include front spoiler lips, AirCurtains, aeroflaps and a rear diffuser, helping to increase the car's efficiency.

The headlamps with laser light technology follow the BMW i range's U-shaped design template while a transparent V-shape opens out towards the windscreen while the transparent rear deck panel displays two electric scooters as a rather quirky addition to the package.

The interior of the Spyder comprises of plastic, carbon and leather with a color scheme of off-white and orange. The cockpit and center console has changed slightly from the Coupe, with two large displays making up the interface between the passengers, the car and its surroundings.

The central information display shows the driver the status of the hybrid system, navigation and provides the means for the driver to control the multiple connectivity functions. Another display shows typical information such as the car's speed, while a third display shows which automatic climate control setting is in use.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lincoln MKZ

Lincoln has released details and images of the production version of the Lincoln MKZ, first seen in concept form at this year's Detroit auto show.

The production MKZ is largely unchanged aside from details such as door handles and larger side mirrors, while Lincoln has retained classic design elements such as the split-wing grille, albeit with a slimmer, sportier twist.

Lincoln Design Director Max Wolff says, "The exterior's front graphic is repeated in the dramatic sweep of the new instrument panel, helping tie the interior to the exterior in a harmonious manner."

The exterior of the MKZ is characterized by its sweeping roofline which features a 4633mm2 retractable panoramic roof.

Inside, leather seating, wood and metal-toned touches feature throughout. A 10.1-inch LCD instrument cluster uses Ford's latest voice-activated SYNC technology and MyLincoln Touch, which controls navigation, cabin climate and infotainment. An 8-inch LCD touch screen displays information in color-keyed quadrants. A push-button shift gear selector on the center console keeps the instrument cluster uncluttered.

"These flowing forms – along with the open center console – create a comfortable and functional interior that particularly appeals to younger, more diverse drivers we believe will now consider Lincoln," Wolff says.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Changan Eado

The Changan Eado, a global mid-size sedan, represents not only a new product, but also on a new platform design language for the Chinese carmaker.

The Eado has been designed to expand the company into the European market, and Changan's investment into design and production follows the current trend of Chinese automakers aiming to export their models to other markets.

The Eado has been designed by Stefano Carminati and is said to combine the features of 'European fashion', 'Japanese fineness' and the needs of Chinese consumers to maximize its appeal. With the car measuring 4,620mm in length, 1,820mm in width, 1,490mm in height, with a 2,660mm wheelbase, the Eado is at the top end of the C-segment in terms of size.

its exterior design appears well-proportioned and tastefully executed in the most conventional manner, while its interior is similarly traditional, particualrly with beige color and trim but also appears to be attractive and well-specified.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fisker Atlantic prototype

The Fisker Atlantic prototype, developed under the codename Project Nina, has been officially unveiled at a special VIP event on the eve of the New York motor show.

This luxury extended-range four-door sedan, described by Fisker as a design prototype, is aimed at young families, and uses the same hybrid plug-in as the Fisker Karma.

A standout feature of the Atlantic is the rigid ‘spider' structure, which allows for a generous amount of rear headroom for a fastback car as well as maximizing the light entering the cabin while offering increased visibility to the car's surroundings. The Atlantic's long wheelbase provides extra legroom for rear passengers and increased luggage space in the trunk.

On the exterior, the Atlantic features an evolved version of the Fisker Karma signature grille with wide lines emphasizing the power dome on the good, while creases from the headlamps extend over the hood, serving to elongate the car's profile. ‘Eagle eye' headlamps allow for a better rear-view mirror presence.

To continue the theme of a sporting coupe, the rear door handles have been integrated into the C-pillars. The rear of the car is sleek with a spoiler lip on the trunk serve to improve aerodynamic performance. Advanced lighting technology means that the slim LED rear lamps split into two parts when the trunk opens.

Henrik Fisker, co-founder, Executive Chairman, and Design Director of Fisker Automotive said, "We are exceptionally proud of the Atlantic design prototype, and believe we have created another groundbreaking car that looks and will drive like nothing else on the road in this class."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet has unveiled its 2014 Impala at this year's New York auto show as the brand continues to reinvigorate its line-up.

The Impala has long and low proportions. On the fascia of the car low-profile projector-beam headlamps flow around the front corners and frame the wide grille, while a power dome sits on the hood. The sides of the Impala have sculpted coves along with a signature cue in the rear fenders, a nod to classic Impala designs.

John Cafaro, director of North America passenger car exterior design, said, "Our design team was challenged to create a new classic, but that didn't mean relying on nostalgia.

"This is very much a contemporary car, with design elements, craftsmanship and attention to detail that complement its advanced technology and performance," he added.

Inside the car the new model features a dual-cockpit interior layout, with the instrument panel moving smoothly into the door panel, while the lighting is designed to convey a sense of ambience. The instrument cluster features a 4.2-inch color display with reconfigurable features, with the eight-inch touch screen being matched with the Chevrolet MyLink system.

Fabric, Ultrasuede and perforated leather appointments are all used within the cabin with the seats designed to provide greater support than before.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Nissan 2013 Altima

The vehicle's stance is wide and despite retaining the same wheelbase as the last Altima model, it has increased its front and rear tracks by 1.4-inches and deepened the fenders by 0.8-inches each side. A new grille design and seamless bumper are also new additions.

The Altima features a longer sloping rear roofline and raised trunk as well as a more sloped A-pillar angle, lowered drip rail, a raised waistline and a raised and expanded trunk. The taillights flow from the rear into the body sides, while chrome trim and door handles finish the exterior.

The car comes with standard cloth seating with a 6-way adjustable driver's seat and a 4-way adjustable front passenger seat, a 60/40 split folding rear bench seat with an armrest, and a Piano Black interior trim with chrome finish accents.

Depending on the model, leather-appointed seats and trim, 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support, and metallic texture or wood tone trim finishers are available.

The new NissanConnectSM and Advanced Drive-Assist Display (ADAD) feature within the cockpit, with the NissanConnectSM offering Bluetooth hands-free and streaming audio connectivity, and a USB connection for iPods and other devices. The NissanConnectSM is displayed on a 7.0-inch touch-screen with 3D-effect map views, Voice Recognition, and turn-by-turn navigation integrated into the Advanced Drive-Assist Display.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

SRT Viper

The highly anticipated 2013 SRT Viper was unveiled to the world yesterday at the New York auto show, the third generation of the extrovert supercar.

The car's familiar extreme proportions have been retained with its low stance and extreme cab rearward proportions of previous Viper models. The fender 'gills' and double-bubble roof also make a return.

A carbon-fiber hood, roof, decklid and aluminum door panels make their debut on the Viper, significantly reducing the weight, while the forward-hinged hood features the redesigned Viper badge, ‘Stryker', which was chosen by the Viper Club of America. Its lamp graphics fall into line with other recent Dodge models, particularly the tail lights with their 'racetrack' outline illumination.

Changes inside are more marked in an effort to improve on the heavily-criticized quality of the previous generations. The floor pan and bulkhead have been extended approximately 90mm to offer more legroom and more rearward seat track movement.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Acura RLX

Acura held the world debut of the Acura RLX Concept at the New York auto show, which indicates the design and engineering direction for Acura's flagship sedan, set to launch at the beginning of 2013.

The RLX Concept's design continues the brand's ‘Keen Edge' design philosophy, with bodyside surfacing clearly related to the ILX we first saw in Detroit. The RLX maintaining approximately the same length as the current RL but with a wheelbase increased by 50mm while the front overhang has been reduced by the same amount.

The interior was not displayed, although the car will feature communications, navigation and infotainment via two LCD screens (one 8-inch display and one 7-inch touch screen) proving access to functions including audio, heating and cooling, navigation and voice-to-text SMS text messaging.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Infiniti LE

Infiniti's new LE Concept, a zero-emissions luxury sedan, has been unveiled at this year's New York auto show.

The LE Concept, which is approximately the same length as an the brand's G Sedan, features Infiniti design cues such as the double-arch grille, crescent-cut C-pillar and a strong shoulder line surface.

Design features such as the aluminum-alloy wheels with aero treatment, the high rear deck, rear aero diffuser and aero side fin spoilers with integrated illumination contribute to the coefficient of drag of 0.25. The front grille contains a charge port hidden under the center Infiniti emblem. The deep-skirted front fascia includes an aero fin spoiler with illumination.

The Infiniti LED headlights and taillights follow on the trend Infiniti has marked for itself on the Essence and EMERG-E concepts. The position of the rear wireless charger is indicated via special illumination while blue LED lighting tracks around the lower panels. Infiniti's EV Blue paint is used to emphasize the brand identity on the door handles and wheels.

The LE Concept's interior carries the familiar double-wave layout, which flows from the instrument panel to the center console and down the cabin sides. This layout is highlighted through the use of LED Infiniti EV Blue lighting. The center cluster features a twin display that offers the driver access features such as a range calculator. The seat and door trim design is inspired by the collar of a Japanese kimono and are covered in a suede-and-mesh fabric with violet touches and leather sides