Believe it or not we’re about to enter the fifth month of 2012 and with that means that we’ve already had a handful of big auto shows come and go this year. Here’s a top-10 list of come of the cool concept cars that debuted this year .
Acura took the wraps off the Acura NSX concept at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. This wasn’t the first time that we’ve seen an NSX concept, since the original NSX was discontinued, but this time the NSX concept you see here is a direct preview of the next NSX. The NSX concept not only previewed the future design of Acura’s supercar, but also gave us our first look at its new hybrid system which pairs two electric motors that power the front wheels with a 3.5L V6 and another electric motor that power the rear wheels. Acura expects the new NSX to show up in showrooms within the next three years.
Could Infiniti be mulling a new halo supercar for the brand? Although Infiniti has not confirmed any production plans, Infiniti’s Emerg-E concept that debuted in Geneva, could be a preview of an Infiniti hybrid supercar. The Emerg-E concept was powered by two mid-mounted electric motors that put out a combined 402 horsepower and a 1.2L three-cylinder range extender engine. The concept can also reach 0-60 mph in four seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph. The range extender engine kicks in when the battery runs out of power, giving the concept a 300 mile range.
Lexus gave the world a preview of its future design language with the LF-LC hybrid sports coupe concept in Detroit. The 2+2 sport coupe was designed at the automaker’s Calty design studio in Newport Beach, CA. It’s sexy shape and Lexus spindle grille continued the design theme of models like the Lexus CT and GS. Lexus did not provide any details about the hybrid power train, but Lexus is reportedly thinking about building the LF-LC concept based on the positive feedback its received.
Lincoln has been a sore spot in Ford’s lineup for years with the luxury brand continually failing to steal away buyers from other brands like Cadillac. Up until now its recent designs have been uninspiring, but Lincoln is hoping to change that with the all-new 2013 MKZ midsize sedan, which was unveiled in concept form in Detroit. The MKZ was designed in Lincoln’s new independent design studio and shows off Lincoln’s new styling direction. At the New York Auto Show earlier this month, Lincoln unveiled the production version of the 2013 MKZ, which looks pretty close to the concept. According to Lincoln, “The new Lincoln MKZ represents the future of Lincoln in both style and substance.”
At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Hyundai unveiled the i-oniq hybrid concept that not only featured a new hybrid powertrain, but also featured an evolution of Hyundai’s current “fluidic sculpture” design language. The concept was powered by a 107 horsepower electric motor and a lithium-ion battery. When the lithium-ion battery runs out of juice, a 1.0L range extender engine kicks in to provide even more range. Hyundai estimates that the concept can travel up to 75 miles on electricity alone, but combined with the range extender engine, the concept has a total range of 435 miles.
Toyota unveiled the quirky FT-Bh hybrid concept at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Toyota gave its engineers the task of getting the best possible fuel economy and lowest emissions from the new concept. The engineers focused on five key areas: reduced weight, lower driving resistance (including aerodynamic and tire performance), improved powertrain efficiency, thermal energy management and electricity savings. The result is a concept car that is longer than a Toyota Yaris, but is 25 percent lighter. The FT-Bh concept is powered by a hybrid system with a 1.0L two-cylinder engine. According to Toyota the FT-Bh concept gets 134.5 mpg on the European driving cycle.
Infiniti is scheduled to get a new electric vehicle that will share some of its mechanicals from the Nissan Leaf, but unlike the Leaf, Infiniti’s EV will be far sportier making it worthy of the Infiniti badge. Infiniti provided a preview of its new electric sedan with the LE Electric Sedan concept, which is about 85% of what the production model will look in two years. Infiniti states that rather than create an electric vehicle with luxury features and an Infiniti badge, the automaker placed an emphasis on designing a pure Infiniti with the brand’s philosophy of Inspired Performance. The LE concept is powered by a 130 horsepower electric motor and has a range of 100 miles on a single charge.
This month Mercedes-Benz is bringing the Concept Style Coupe to the Beijing Motor Show. It’s already been reported that Mercedes-Benz is working on a new four-door coupe that will be smaller than the current CLS. The Concept Style Coupe is preview of the new four-door coupe that will be longer and lower than the current C-Class sedan. The Concept Style Coupe pulls styling cues from the CLS and the new A-Class. It’s powered by a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 208 horsepower and a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The concept features all-wheel-drive, but when the production model is released in early 2013, entry level models will feature front-wheel-drive.
Toyota unveiled what it sees as the future of mobility with the NS4 Advanced Plug-in Hybrid concept at the Detroit Auto Show. According to Toyota, the NS4 is Toyota’s vision for future mobility with with an emphasis on connectivity and the human interface. The NS4 concept is powered by a next-generation Hybrid Synergy Drive plug-in system that is smaller and lighter than the system currently used in the Prius plug-in hybrid. It also has improved overall fuel economy, better acceleration and longer all-electric range. The NS4 also signaled a new design direction for Toyota, which is hoping to design vehicles that create more of an emotional connection with customers.
GM unveiled the “youth-oriented” Chevy 130R concept car at the Detroit Auto Show that was designed to appeal to the desires of the next-generation of car buyers. The 130R coupe concept featured an upright profile like the BMW 1 Series. Painted in red with matte anodized gold wheels, the Code 130R featured Chevy heritage performance-inspired styling like an aggressive front fascia, Chevy fender flares, a straight body side and the Chevy crossflag emblem. The rear-wheel-drive 130R concept is powered by a turbocharged 1.4L engine with 150 horsepower. According to GM thanks to its eAssist technology, the 130R concept gets up to 40 MPG.
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