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Honda reveals NeuV smart car and self-balancing motorcycle

The highlight of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show may be based on some of these keywords---connectivity, integration and partnership. Just like in the previous year, you’ve probably heard and read a lot about automation. But for Honda, 2017 comes with all of these along with mobility, cloud, robotics and AI technology.

Honda this year introduced two amazing concepts at CES under the company’s new Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem. One is a “self-levelling motorcycle” while the other one is a highly intelligent two-seater electric vehicle.

By now, you must have been aware that the “Riding Assist” motorcycle features a technology that always keeps it steady. But instead of incorporating the usual gyroscopic elements, the self-balancing bike uses Honda’s UNI-CUB personal mobility concept. The UNI-CUB concept lets the driver take control of the speed and direction of the motorcycle just by the movement of his bodyweight.

For the most part of the show, Honda has delighted this year’s attendees with its concept EV. The NeuV (or New electric urban vehicle) is a small two-seater car with self-driving technology. Honda’s 74hp EV can run up to 200 miles on a full charge and can practically go about on its own. Thus, it is also useful for “ride-sharing” or making side profits for the owner. At the same time, the NeuV can sell back its unused power supply at the electricity grid if the owner has not been using it for a while.

The NeuV is also “emotional” as it can sense your emotions and play the right music playlist to suit your current mood. How’s that? Since it comes equipped with HANA, (otherwise known as Honda Automated Network Assistant) the car instinctively adapts to your behavior, decision and feelings. HANA was developed in cooperation with SoftBank, a tech company from Japan. Aside from the 2.0 kWh battery pack, the NeuV is packed with other amazing goodies such as an electric skateboard and a full-width touch screen monitor.

Going back to CES, Honda revealed a concept technology that will keep the road safer and more organized. The “Safe Swarm” concept has been using a new technology based on how fishes behave in the same environment.

Come to think of it, if we have to put Honda’s concepts altogether, maybe it would be easier to achieve full autonomy in the near future. In line with this event, Honda has announced that its Developer Studio will be collaborating with Dreamworks Animation and Visa. Together with Honda Silicon Valley Labs Xcellerator, this new partnership will aid the company and other startups in developing their products.

The highlight of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show may be based on some of these keywords---connectivity, integration and partnership. Just like in the previous year, you’ve probably heard and read a lot about automation. But for Honda, 2017 comes with all of these along with mobility, cloud, robotics and AI technology.

Honda this year introduced two amazing concepts at CES under the company’s new Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem. One is a “self-levelling motorcycle” while the other one is a highly intelligent two-seater electric vehicle.

By now, you must have been aware that the “Riding Assist” motorcycle features a technology that always keeps it steady. But instead of incorporating the usual gyroscopic elements, the self-balancing bike uses Honda’s UNI-CUB personal mobility concept. The UNI-CUB concept lets the driver take control of the speed and direction of the motorcycle just by the movement of his bodyweight.

Read the entire article Honda reveals NeuV smart car and self-balancing motorcycle

Lexus brings luxury to the waters with one-off Sport Yacht Concept

It is a Lexus on water. Lexus has been known as one of the big names in the global luxury sector of the automotive industry. Its expertise in building luxurious yet still dynamic vehicles has allowed Lexus to create intimately premium vehicles on land. Just recently, Lexus has shown that its expertise and elegance could also be taken to the water – with the unveiling of the one-off Sport Yacht Concept, which is currently on display at Di Lido Island on Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach.

Designed by the Toyota Marine Department in Japan and built by the Marquis-Carver Yacht Group in the United States, this one-off Sport Yacht Concept shows off Lexus’ premium styling and power as adapted for maritime use. Easily noticeable is the beautiful dolphin-like shape of the Lexus Sport Yacht Concept, making it very suitable for a short cruise on the sea.

This sports yacht concept boasts of distinct CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) construction, allowing it to be around 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs) lighter than a similar yacht made from FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic). Its design – particularly on the lower hull – allows the Sports Yacht Concept to further reduce water resistance while enhancing its handling when cruising at higher speeds.

Unlike typical sports yachts, the 12.7-meter long (42- feet) Lexus Sport Yacht Concept features a rounded bow and a curvy deck without the pulpit. The grayish silver color of the hull extends to the bow, and forms a narrow division for the copper-like finish of the deck. The choice of colors and their placement on the Sport Yacht Concept add to the sporting yet luxurious character of this one-off creation for Lexus.

Likewise, another fascinating feature is the luxurious cabin of the Sport Yacht Concept that features a captain’s power adjustable chair and a pair of three-seat sofa below deck – all wrapped in white Lexus leather. The captain gets to enjoy an array of nice instruments as highlighted by a color touchscreen – located at the helm – that allows him or her to monitor as well as control onboard systems.

This touchscreen displays GPS navigation, digital charts, entertainment systems as well as surface radar and underwater sonar. The captain’s chair features armrests that could be folded out to serve as jump seats. Meanwhile, the lower deck accommodates the sofa, an entertainment system, a small galley and a bathroom with shower.

Serving as the core of the Lexus Sport Yacht Concept are two 5.0-liter V8 gasoline engines derived from the 2UR GSE high-performance engine that also powers the Lexus LC 500, RC F coupe and the GS F sport sedan. Each of these V8 develops over 440 hp, allowing the driving the Lexus Sport Yacht Concept to cruise as fast 49 mph (43 knots).

It is a Lexus on water. Lexus has been known as one of the big names in the global luxury sector of the automotive industry. Its expertise in building luxurious yet still dynamic vehicles has allowed Lexus to create intimately premium vehicles on land. Just recently, Lexus has shown that its expertise and elegance could also be taken to the water – with the unveiling of the one-off Sport Yacht Concept, which is currently on display at Di Lido Island on Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach.

Designed by the Toyota Marine Department in Japan and built by the Marquis-Carver Yacht Group in the United States, this one-off Sport Yacht Concept shows off Lexus’ premium styling and power as adapted for maritime use. Easily noticeable is the beautiful dolphin-like shape of the Lexus Sport Yacht Concept, making it very suitable for a short cruise on the sea.

This sports yacht concept boasts of distinct CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) construction, allowing it to be around 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs) lighter than a similar yacht made from FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic). Its design – particularly on the lower hull – allows the Sports Yacht Concept to further reduce water resistance while enhancing its handling when cruising at higher speeds.

Read the entire article Lexus brings luxury to the waters with one-off Sport Yacht Concept

Toyota Concept-i is a futuristic driver-friendly autonomous car-companion

For those who love driving, future autonomous cars should be like the Toyota Concept-i that is drawing in a multitude of visitors at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is an autonomous car, and yet it has been designed for the driver.

We are not just referring about the appearance of the Toyota Concept-i, but the vehicle as a whole. However, the Concept-i boasts of an appearance that is outrageously futuristic but it is still something you would want to parade on the streets.

You shouldn’t be surprised at the revolutionary design of the Toyota Concept-i. After, the man behind its design is the Ian Cartabiano, studio chief designer at Toyota’s Calty design facility in California. If you could remember, Cartabiano is the same man that penned the design of the stunning Lexus LF-LC concept coupe. This concept coupe eventually became the LC500, which means the Concept-i could also become an actual car, pending the full development of related and pertinent technologies.

But there is much more that the Toyota Concept-i autonomous car could offer than its futuristic exterior looks – friendly artificial intelligence that serves as the driver’s companion instead of being just a high-tech tool. Toyota foresees the future autonomous car as something that doesn’t deprive the driver of the joy of driving.

Although the Toyota Concept-i could drive by itself if desired, it could also be manually piloted by a human driver, but with the help of advanced safety and driving systems. The presence of a steering wheel as well as accelerator and brake pedals indicates the goal of the Toyota Concept-i as car-companion for the driver of the future. Yes, the Toyota Concept-i aims to help make driving technology human.

To this end, Toyota even gave a human name for the AI agent for the Toyota Concept-i – Yui. Yui employs a next-generation user interface as a platform, and is visually represented by a two-dimensional animated avatar on the dashboard. Yui doesn’t only makes of driving patterns and schedules to accompany the driver on his journeys. It also leverages multiple technologies to measure the driver’s emotion, mapping it against where and when he or she travels.

Yui also leverages advanced automated technologies to improve driving safety; monitoring driver attention and road conditions, and thereby increases automated driving support as needed. Yui employs sound and light – as well as touch – to interact with occupants of the Toyota Concept-i. This explains the lack of screens on the central console, as Yui would only reveal information when and where it is needed.

Interestingly, the door panels of the Toyota Concept-i would greet the driver and passenger as they approach the car. The front bonnet of the concept helps tell whether the car is manually driven (green) or in automated mode (purple). The rear end also provides text and signals to communicate any hazards.

For those who love driving, future autonomous cars should be like the Toyota Concept-i that is drawing in a multitude of visitors at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is an autonomous car, and yet it has been designed for the driver.

We are not just referring about the appearance of the Toyota Concept-i, but the vehicle as a whole. However, the Concept-i boasts of an appearance that is outrageously futuristic but it is still something you would want to parade on the streets.

You shouldn’t be surprised at the revolutionary design of the Toyota Concept-i. After, the man behind its design is the Ian Cartabiano, studio chief designer at Toyota’s Calty design facility in California. If you could remember, Cartabiano is the same man that penned the design of the stunning Lexus LF-LC concept coupe. This concept coupe eventually became the LC500, which means the Concept-i could also become an actual car, pending the full development of related and pertinent technologies.

Read the entire article Toyota Concept-i is a futuristic driver-friendly autonomous car-companion

2017 NAIAS: Audi Q8 Concept steals the show

Undoubtedly the most surprising and first biggest entry in this year’s NAIAS is Audi’s full-size coupe SUV concept. The Audi Q8 Concept is the company’s first venture into the segment after the Q7, which will soon be ready for production by 2018. According to Audi, the Q8 concept bears the traditional SUV’s functionality with the coupe’s sexy and sporty styling cues. And that’s exactly how we see it.

Given the Q8’s “coupe-like” design, it’s hard to imagine how Audi has managed to come up with enough space for the passengers. But then it could also be because of its long wheelbase that measures 3.0 metres. Either way, the cabin space looks very impressive.

The Q8’s powertrain uses a lithium battery with 104 prismatic cells. This battery pack comes with a 17.9kWh capacity by up to 37 miles electric range or a total of 621 miles of range. Though still a concept model, the Q8 has employed the production drive system’s hybrid technologies. In fact, Audi has equipped the coupe-SUV with a 443hp 3.0-litre turbocharged engine, electric motor and 8-speed automatic gearbox. As a result, the 516.3lb-ft of torque Audi Q8 can accelerate from 0-62mph in under 5.2 seconds with a top speed of up to 155mph.

The new concept is equipped with 23-inch alloy wheels and 305/35 set of tyres. To provide the coupe SUV with better dynamics and stability, Audi has been using the Quattro all-wheel drive system. This actually sends the power from the hybrid system to its four wheels for optimum control.

For its interiors, the new SUV now has the latest version of Audi’s virtual cockpit with higher resolution and more functional features. It is designed with 4 individual seats complete with head restraints and side bolsters for better comfort.

The ergonomically enhanced MMI infotainment screen now comes with horizontal interface for easier controls. Audi has also come up with the latest head-up display that is much larger than most traditional displays offered by other brands. This would help the driver navigate the road ahead as he can now see the information laid out systematically in front of him.

Above all, the new SUV is also light on fuel as it can only consume only as much as 2.3 litres of gasoline per 100 kilometres. But there’s more to say about the Q8; it comes with Audi’s new “predictive efficiency assistant”. This technology is used for the “route data” as well as the “Car-To-X” communications to help improve the powertrain’s performance. That way, drivers can make use of this function either by selecting “energy recuperation”, “coast” or “boost” mode for optimum efficiency.

Undoubtedly the most surprising and first biggest entry in this year’s NAIAS is Audi’s full-size coupe SUV concept. The Audi Q8 Concept is the company’s first venture into the segment after the Q7, which will soon be ready for production by 2018. According to Audi, the Q8 concept bears the traditional SUV’s functionality with the coupe’s sexy and sporty styling cues. And that’s exactly how we see it.

Given the Q8’s “coupe-like” design, it’s hard to imagine how Audi has managed to come up with enough space for the passengers. But then it could also be because of its long wheelbase that measures 3.0 metres. Either way, the cabin space looks very impressive.

The Q8’s powertrain uses a lithium battery with 104 prismatic cells. This battery pack comes with a 17.9kWh capacity by up to 37 miles electric range or a total of 621 miles of range. Though still a concept model, the Q8 has employed the production drive system’s hybrid technologies. In fact, Audi has equipped the coupe-SUV with a 443hp 3.0-litre turbocharged engine, electric motor and 8-speed automatic gearbox. As a result, the 516.3lb-ft of torque Audi Q8 can accelerate from 0-62mph in under 5.2 seconds with a top speed of up to 155mph.

Read the entire article 2017 NAIAS: Audi Q8 Concept steals the show

With the Vmotion 2.0 Concept, Nissan hopes to show the future of its Intelligent Mobility technology and what direction its sedan design is headed. This concept vehicle was revealed by the brand through a press conference conducted during the 2017 North American International Auto Show held in Detroit.

The Vmotion 2.0 shows a good combination of an emotional design with an excellent sense of style. It offers enough room on the inside with features designed for comfort and technological systems integrated to it.

Overall length of the Vmotion 2.0 is at 191.3 in. (4,860 mm), making it shorter compared to the Altima. Meanwhile, the wheelbase measuring 112.2 in. (2,850 mm) is actually longer than the Altima, and even the Maxima. Excluding door mirrors, width is at 74.4 in. (1,890 mm), meaning it is lower than many of the brand’s sedans. The height of 54.3 in. (1,380 mm) gives it an appearance that exudes style.

Considering that Nissan wanted to focus on the technology and style, there is no word yet on what powertrain will be equipped in the Vmotion 2.0. The only thing confirmed is that this concept vehicle will be fitted with the brand’s latest autonomous-driving technology known as the ProPilot.

One of the things this system can do is navigate the roads without the need for any human intervention. For other drivers, it is easy to know that the ProPilot has been activated as both the emblem in the front and the diffuser in the rear light up.

With the Vmotion 2.0 Concept, Nissan hopes to show the future of its Intelligent Mobility technology and what direction its sedan design is headed. This concept vehicle was revealed by the brand through a press conference conducted during the 2017 North American International Auto Show held in Detroit.

The Vmotion 2.0 shows a good combination of an emotional design with an excellent sense of style. It offers enough room on the inside with features designed for comfort and technological systems integrated to it.

Overall length of the Vmotion 2.0 is at 191.3 in. (4,860 mm), making it shorter compared to the Altima. Meanwhile, the wheelbase measuring 112.2 in. (2,850 mm) is actually longer than the Altima, and even the Maxima. Excluding door mirrors, width is at 74.4 in. (1,890 mm), meaning it is lower than many of the brand’s sedans. The height of 54.3 in. (1,380 mm) gives it an appearance that exudes style.

Read the entire article Nissan presents Vmotion 2.0 Concept during 2017 Detroit Auto Show

Since every car brand seems so be heading to an autonomous future, automakers like Volkswagen AG won’t want to be left out of the game. Just this week, Volkswagen’s much anticipated electric microbus concept was finally unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

Imagine an all-wheel drive mini bus that seats eight passengers and comes with a 270-mile driving cycle. These are what Volkswagen designers had in mind when they penned the futuristic ID Buzz Concept. But to some, this idea is nothing new, especially if you could recall last year’s Volkswagen’s Budd-e concept.

First off, the futuristic ID Buzz has the original concept’s autonomous driving capabilities and all-electric powertrain. Since the two basically share more than a few similarities, the latest concept EV also bears the same 22-inch Galvano Gray Metallic alloy wheels, slim tail lamps, LED headlights as well as the all-glowing Volkswagen logo.

Surprisingly, the cabin is much roomier than what you would expect. VW ID Buzz is designed with shorter overhangs both for the front and back, therefore, maximizing the wheelbase to create a more spacious interior. Due to this, the ID Buzz has enough room for up to eight people.

Once the “Pilot mode” is activated, anyone on board (including the driver) could be a passenger. To enhance this experience, the steering wheel retracts on its own to provide more space at the driver’s side.

What’s even more exciting is that Volkswagen created a soft ambience for the cabin by including wooden floor panels and LED ambient lighting technology. It is also equipped with the most hi-tech head-up display, portable tablet and side cameras for the touch-sensitive steering wheel.

Power comes from a pair of electric motors wherein one is installed at the back and the other one is in front. This allows Volkswagen’s 369 hp all-wheel drive EV to run from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds as well as to reach a top speed of up to 99mph.

In addition, the ID Buzz is packed with a large 111-kWh battery pack that can last up to 600 kilometres based on the NEDC. Volkswagen, on the other hand, has estimated it to extend up to 270 miles. By using the fast charger, one can recharge the battery by up to 80% in as short as thirty minutes.

From the exterior, the minivan features a two-tone paint in “Cyber Yellow Pearl Effect” and “Metallic Silver”. Just by these, Volkswagen’s newest technological concept could be considered a work of art.

As the German automaker continues to pursue bigger plans particularly for the upcoming “Together – Strategy 2025”, perhaps we will be seeing more of these concepts come true in real life. With this new ID concept “buzzing on its way”, it does look like there’s no stopping Volkswagen as its gets ready for an electrified, autonomous future.

Since every car brand seems so be heading to an autonomous future, automakers like Volkswagen AG won’t want to be left out of the game. Just this week, Volkswagen’s much anticipated electric microbus concept was finally unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

Imagine an all-wheel drive mini bus that seats eight passengers and comes with a 270-mile driving cycle. These are what Volkswagen designers had in mind when they penned the futuristic ID Buzz Concept. But to some, this idea is nothing new, especially if you could recall last year’s Volkswagen’s Budd-e concept.

First off, the futuristic ID Buzz has the original concept’s autonomous driving capabilities and all-electric powertrain. Since the two basically share more than a few similarities, the latest concept EV also bears the same 22-inch Galvano Gray Metallic alloy wheels, slim tail lamps, LED headlights as well as the all-glowing Volkswagen logo.

Read the entire article NAIAS 2017: Volkswagen unveils I.D. Buzz Concept

When Vauxhall-Opel unveiled its rear-wheel drive GT Concept at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March, it became an instant star, with auto journalists even praising the study for its overall design. However, whether Opel would be able to bring the GT Concept coupe into production remains a big question, as the carmaker seems to be stuck in the planning phase.

According to the Vauxhall-Opel chairman Karl-Thomas Neumann, the carmaker really wants to build the GT Concept, but hasn’t decided yet on the approach to take. He added that Vauxhall-Opel is not reviewing different directions that could be taken with regards to the GT Concept. However, the company needs to be fast, since – as it believes – the GT Concept’s design appeal could only last for two more years.

Neumann disclosed that the main problem lies with the platform that would underpin the production version of the GT Concept. As a rear-wheel drive model, the production version GT Concept has to be underpinned by a rear-wheel drive platform. It has to be since if the production version has to retain the elegant proportions of the concept. But there is a problem. As Neumann admitted after the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, Vauxhall-Opel has no rear-wheel drive platform.

Neumann is considering two solutions for this. First, Vauxhall-Opel could create a “parts bins” rear-wheel drive platform. Second, Vauxhall-Opel could borrow an off-the-shelf (readily available) rear-wheel drive platform. However, creating a new rwd platform is costly, and parent General Motors would refuse to allocate lots of money to create such architecture. Spending so much money for rear-wheel drive architecture wouldn’t make a good business case, and if Neumann tries to push it with GM’s top executives, he risks having the GT Concept shelved.

On the other hand, Neumann could try to enter into a partnership to borrow a readily available rear-wheel drive platform. One possible partner is SAIC, which already has a partnership deal with GM in China.

A direct descendant of the Opel GT and the Monza Concept, the new Opel GT Concept is revolutionary take on the carmaker’s sculptural design philosophy -- avant-garde yet puristic. The Opel GT Concept features the large doors with the integrated side windows showing seamless transition from glass to painted surfaces. It features no door handles and no exterior door mirrors.

The doors can be opened just by pressing the touchpad integrated in the red signature line of the roof. Since the GT Concept features a front mid-engine, its center of gravity is low and central, making it ideal for sporty handling and cornering. It is powered by a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers 145 hp (107 kW) of output and 205 Nm of torque. Thanks to its low weight of below 1,000 kilograms, the GT Concept could accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in less than eight seconds and go on to reach a top speed of 215 km/h.

When Vauxhall-Opel unveiled its rear-wheel drive GT Concept at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March, it became an instant star, with auto journalists even praising the study for its overall design. However, whether Opel would be able to bring the GT Concept coupe into production remains a big question, as the carmaker seems to be stuck in the planning phase.

According to the Vauxhall-Opel chairman Karl-Thomas Neumann, the carmaker really wants to build the GT Concept, but hasn’t decided yet on the approach to take. He added that Vauxhall-Opel is not reviewing different directions that could be taken with regards to the GT Concept. However, the company needs to be fast, since – as it believes – the GT Concept’s design appeal could only last for two more years.

Neumann disclosed that the main problem lies with the platform that would underpin the production version of the GT Concept. As a rear-wheel drive model, the production version GT Concept has to be underpinned by a rear-wheel drive platform. It has to be since if the production version has to retain the elegant proportions of the concept. But there is a problem. As Neumann admitted after the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, Vauxhall-Opel has no rear-wheel drive platform.

Read the entire article Opel still on the planning stages for the production version of GT Concept

2017 is a very busy year for BMW. The German automotive brand this week exhibits the “i-Inside Future” sculpture concept. Now happening at Consumer Electronics Show, it is also at this event that they are introducing the self-driving 5 Series but let’s save that for another write-up. For now, let’s have a closer look at what the “i-Inside future” concept is all about.

Expect the most advanced BMW interior as you take a peek into the “i-InsideFuture”. Wow. The designers this year not only added autonomous mobility into their car, but they also created this highly futuristic HoloActive Touch that will put any touchscreen to shame.

The HoloActive system features a holographic interface to use for communication, infotainment system and navigation. BMW equipped its new product with the most advanced gesture control that turns the centre console into a floating display. This basically works along with a camera that monitors the movement of your fingertips. After which, a pulse or vibration is emitted from an ultrasonic source every time an input is made.

BMW’s HoloActive Touch offers more convenience, so there’s no need to lean forward to control the interface. The floating display appears just when you need it and will fade automatically once you’re through. Since the concept is intended to run with fully autonomous features, the “i-Inside” is mostly made for comfort, convenience and connectivity.

Audio and music can be enjoyed with BMW’s “Sound Curtain,” which has its speakers embedded within the headrests. With BMW’s advanced digital technology, everything is curated to your own taste. Aside from keeping a record of your personal schedule, it can store different playlists that passengers can listen to privately.

The backseat passengers meanwhile can take advantage of the foldable widescreen monitor to connect their device or to use for video streaming. In addition, this headliner display turns into a cozy ambient lighting system when not in use. It is also possible to be equipped with the most premium video stream subscription, Microsoft Cortana assistance and automatic sunshades.

The enhanced connectivity lets its passengers connect with the vehicle whether it’s their smartwatch, tablet device or mobile phone. Given the car’s autonomous capabilities, passengers can read a book, play games, watch a TV show or a full-length movie. In short, they can do whatever pleases them.

Interestingly, the sculpture on display is literally a sculpture. It’s not even a concept vehicle to start with ---since there is no set of wheels to speak of. But it truly represents BMW’s future when it comes to mobility and electrification. Check it out.

2017 is a very busy year for BMW. The German automotive brand this week exhibits the “i-Inside Future” sculpture concept. Now happening at Consumer Electronics Show, it is also at this event that they are introducing the self-driving 5 Series but let’s save that for another write-up. For now, let’s have a closer look at what the “i-Inside future” concept is all about.

Expect the most advanced BMW interior as you take a peek into the “i-InsideFuture”. Wow. The designers this year not only added autonomous mobility into their car, but they also created this highly futuristic HoloActive Touch that will put any touchscreen to shame.

The HoloActive system features a holographic interface to use for communication, infotainment system and navigation. BMW equipped its new product with the most advanced gesture control that turns the centre console into a floating display. This basically works along with a camera that monitors the movement of your fingertips. After which, a pulse or vibration is emitted from an ultrasonic source every time an input is made.

Read the entire article BMW reveals i-Inside Future at 2017 Consumer Electronics Show

After showing us the QX Sport Inspiration, Infiniti will be showcasing the QX50 Concept crossover this 2017. The upcoming 2017 Detroit Auto Show slated this January will give us a good view of Infiniti’s next crossover model. Even if it’s still a concept, the QX50 is more feasible for production as compared with the previously launched QX Sport Inspiration they brought over at Beijing and Paris auto show last year.

As for the new new Infiniti QX50 Concept, the latest luxury crossover is more stylish than the QX50 currently in the market. This can be seen on the newly enhanced double arch mesh grille design in chrome finish as well as the crossover’s intersecting lines and creases. The roofline meanwhile goes all the way to the rear with an angled rear window that provides better aerodynamics and styling.

Another interesting element on the new crossover concept is the cabin-forward stance that gives the QX50 a more commanding presence on the road. It also has a pair of metal skid plates on both sides for an off-road appeal.

The luxury marque has already hinted that the next QX50 could come with their latest VC-Turbo engine. If that’s the case, the new crossover will have a 268hp, 2.0 litre turbocharged inline four cylinder that’s capable of spewing up to 288lb-ft of torque. However, unlike other V6 powered engines, it will be twenty - seven per cent more efficient when it comes to fuel consumption.

The concept will be featuring “ProPilot” or what Nissan and Infiniti consider as semi-autonomous driving technology. With this innovative driving system, drivers no longer need to engage or interact with the vehicle when navigating intersections. It would be good to note that the driver-assist system does not offer fully autonomous features. The ProPilot still lets the driver be in control of the vehicle but it can be useful when stuck in traffic.

Infiniti declared that the semi-autonomous system is in fact ready for production but will be enhanced further for its upcoming production models. They know how Infiniti car owners and those who own other luxury cars are leaning towards self-driving technology. This has been proven based on a recent survey. As a matter of fact, Nissan (Infiniti’s parent company) is already considering this in the next 4 or 5 years.

Overall, the new QX50 is a highly promising concept. Aside from low fuel consumption, it offers more space, a cool design and the latest technology.

After showing us the QX Sport Inspiration, Infiniti will be showcasing the QX50 Concept crossover this 2017. The upcoming 2017 Detroit Auto Show slated this January will give us a good view of Infiniti’s next crossover model. Even if it’s still a concept, the QX50 is more feasible for production as compared with the previously launched QX Sport Inspiration they brought over at Beijing and Paris auto show last year.

As for the new new Infiniti QX50 Concept, the latest luxury crossover is more stylish than the QX50 currently in the market. This can be seen on the newly enhanced double arch mesh grille design in chrome finish as well as the crossover’s intersecting lines and creases. The roofline meanwhile goes all the way to the rear with an angled rear window that provides better aerodynamics and styling.

Another interesting element on the new crossover concept is the cabin-forward stance that gives the QX50 a more commanding presence on the road. It also has a pair of metal skid plates on both sides for an off-road appeal.

Read the entire article 2018 Infiniti QX50 Concept will debut at NAIAS 2017

Some might be disappointed to not be able to hear or see anything new from FCA at the upcoming 2017 Detroit Auto Show. However, this doesn’t mean that FCA doesn’t have anything fresh to present to the public. In fact, FCA will be taking the veils off its all-electric Chrysler Portal autonomous concept at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Chrysler Portal is basically an all-electric SUV that shares some physical similarities with the brand’s other electric crossover – the new Chevrolet Bolt EV. However, the exterior of the Chrysler Portal is laden with a number of eccentric design elements. For instance, the Portal concept features an uncanny nose with a front bumper that has a central hole, which possibly contains the front sensor or camera used for its autonomous driving system. Unlike other SUVs, the Chrysler Portal concept is provided with doors that open sideways. The doors for the front passengers slide forwards while those for the rear occupants slide backwards. Overall, the exterior of the Chevrolet Portal features compact packaging.

The most amazing part of the new Chrysler Portal concept is its 180-cubic-foot interior. As its name suggest, the concept serves as a portal that serves as a perfect transition from home to work – and vice versa -- as a third space. In addition, the concept serves as portal that connects the driver to the passengers and vice versa; and the occupants to the vehicle and its surroundings.

This means that the Chrysler Portal concept would be laden with emerging and future technologies that would help its occupants achieve a whole new level of engagement whenever they are seated inside this self-driving concept. To achieve this, FCA User Experience (UX) team is working with an internal UX Tiger team from the Panasonic Automotive Advanced Engineering function to determine and select the most appropriate technologies for the new Chrysler Portal to enable it to become a third space between home and work.

Ralph Gilles, Head of FCA Global Design remarked that the Chrysler Portal concept is a social hub that up to six occupants could enjoy. He added that the Chrysler Portal is designed to target the so-called millennials who are transitioning into family mode. These millennials regard technology not just as a tool but as part of their lives. Among the technologies employed in the Chrysler Portal are facial recognition and user authentication technology, thereby bringing personalization to the next level. Facial recognition could detect who is in the Portal and the SUV would automatically configure settings according to the preferences of that occupant.

Designed to perform SAE Level 3 autonomous driving, the Chrysler Portal concept is powered by a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that allows electric SUV to travel up to 250 miles (402 kilometers) on single charge.

Some might be disappointed to not be able to hear or see anything new from FCA at the upcoming 2017 Detroit Auto Show. However, this doesn’t mean that FCA doesn’t have anything fresh to present to the public. In fact, FCA will be taking the veils off its all-electric Chrysler Portal autonomous concept at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Chrysler Portal is basically an all-electric SUV that shares some physical similarities with the brand’s other electric crossover – the new Chevrolet Bolt EV. However, the exterior of the Chrysler Portal is laden with a number of eccentric design elements. For instance, the Portal concept features an uncanny nose with a front bumper that has a central hole, which possibly contains the front sensor or camera used for its autonomous driving system. Unlike other SUVs, the Chrysler Portal concept is provided with doors that open sideways. The doors for the front passengers slide forwards while those for the rear occupants slide backwards. Overall, the exterior of the Chevrolet Portal features compact packaging.

The most amazing part of the new Chrysler Portal concept is its 180-cubic-foot interior. As its name suggest, the concept serves as a portal that serves as a perfect transition from home to work – and vice versa -- as a third space. In addition, the concept serves as portal that connects the driver to the passengers and vice versa; and the occupants to the vehicle and its surroundings.

Read the entire article All-electric self-driving Chrysler Portal Concept will appear at 2017 CES

In 2015, Audi announced that it plans to launch in 2019 its new Q8 flagship SUV, as part of its plans to provide a solid foundation for its growth path. Now, Audi is inching closer to that plan as it disclosed its intentions to unveil a concept of the Q8 SUV at the upcoming 2017 North American International Auto Show (a.k.a. Detroit Auto Show) on January 9 to 22.

According to the German premium carmaker, the Audi Q8 Concept is a near-production study representing a fusion of the emotional styling of a coupé and the roominess of an SUV. The carmaker said the Audi Q8 concept would be a key to a new segment in the full-size SUV category.

So far, Audi has provided two official renders of the new Audi Q8 concept – one showing the front end while the other parades the side profile (although it is a bit shadowy) of the SUV prototype. These two renderings are aimed at spicing things up and increasing the excitement leading up to the official unveiling of the Audi Q8 concept at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

When Audi announced in 2015 its plans to introduce the new Q8 SUV in 2019, the premium carmaker also said it was working on its first full-electric SUV, which would be a rival for the Tesla Model X crossover. That would be the e-tron SUV – sans any specific model designation – as confirmed by Audi chairman and chief executive Rupert Stadler. Interestingly, the render of the Q8 Concept’s front end shows the “e-tron” lettering on the front number. This could mean that the Audi Q8 Concept would be an all-electric SUV or an electric version of the Q8 is also on the way.

As the frontend render shows, Audi Q8 Concept features an evolution of Audi’s octagonal single-frame – with 3D sculpting -- that is now wider than those seen on the carmaker’s current production vehicles. This grille is bordered by chrome frame with Audi’s four-ring logo – also in chrome – positioned centrally on the upper section of the grille. Both sides of the bumper are home to large air vents. Meanwhile, the other rendering shows the Audi Q8 Concept donning flared shoulders above the wheels as well as a flat and wide C-pillar. Of course, the side profile of the Audi Q8 Concept reveals its coupe-like proportions yet it has a high-ride configuration typical of SUVs.

According to Marc Lichte, Head of Design at Audi, the Audi Q8 concept is the carmaker’s new top honcho within its Q model line thanks to its design that strongly exudes both prestige and sportiness.

As for further details about the new Audi Q8 Concept, these will be known once the German brand officially unveils it at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

In 2015, Audi announced that it plans to launch in 2019 its new Q8 flagship SUV, as part of its plans to provide a solid foundation for its growth path. Now, Audi is inching closer to that plan as it disclosed its intentions to unveil a concept of the Q8 SUV at the upcoming 2017 North American International Auto Show (a.k.a. Detroit Auto Show) on January 9 to 22.

According to the German premium carmaker, the Audi Q8 Concept is a near-production study representing a fusion of the emotional styling of a coupé and the roominess of an SUV. The carmaker said the Audi Q8 concept would be a key to a new segment in the full-size SUV category.

So far, Audi has provided two official renders of the new Audi Q8 concept – one showing the front end while the other parades the side profile (although it is a bit shadowy) of the SUV prototype. These two renderings are aimed at spicing things up and increasing the excitement leading up to the official unveiling of the Audi Q8 concept at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.

Read the entire article Audi Q8 Concept debuts at 2017 Detroit Auto Show

Every time Swiss think tank and renowned mobility Rinspeed unveils a new concept, it always brings a unique excitement to anyone who sees it.

After all, their creations have been outrageous but are still within this world. Now, at the upcoming 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Rinspeed is unveiling another concept vehicle that is entirely unique from what we have seen so far – the Rinspeed Oasis concept.

Essentially, the Rinspeed Oasis Concept is an electric vehicle in a hatchback form powered by two in-wheel electric motors with torque vectoring that have been sourced from ZF. However, that is not what makes the Rinspeed Oasis concept a unique and outrageous vehicle. While full of technologies – most of them now existing – the fascinating thing about the Rinspeed Oasis concept is how it employs them to ensure that its user-passengers could relax while on the move and be able to do things usually not viable in today’s passenger cars.

Just like its name suggests, the concept serves an oasis in the urban desert. How? Here are some of the things that make the Rinspeed Oasis concept shockingly interesting.

First, the Rinspeed Oasis Concept, if the user wills it, could become a self-driving vehicle. Once the user has had enough of being a driver, he or she could become the passenger and enjoy doing things as such. The steering wheel – also sourced from ZF – could be folded flat and turned into a keyboard with two cupholders. This allows the user to get into the work mode while on the move, complete with Office productivity software as well as Skype video telephony with live translation.

Second, the Rinspeed Oasis is equipped with Harman LIVS technologies (Life-Enhancing Intelligent Vehicle Solutions) that allow its users to be a step ahead, with a personal assistant always available to help them. Whether they want to book a reservation in a restaurant or needing to an alternate route, users just need to speak or make a gesture through a slightly curved 5K widescreen display spanning across the width of the vehicle. This display shows the most pertinent information, including the images of what is behind Oasis. Audio comes courtesy of a 24-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

Third, the Rinspeed Oasis has an actual oasis inside. Located just behind the 5K widescreen display is a mini garden where users could grow their small plants. Instead of moving through roads where cars surrounding you are the only things you can see, there’s this tiny green scenery. It allows users to relax better inside.

Fourth, interior comfort and functionality have never been this relaxing. It doesn’t seem like you are inside a car. You feel like you’re in your own living room with the presence of armchairs, sideboard and TV as complemented by the use of natural, functional leather from Strähle+Hess and textiles with bright edging highlights from Stahl. Futuristic retractable air vents and a multi-purpose storage box are also provided, thanks to Dr. Schneider Unternehmensgruppe. Even the floor of the Rinspeed Oasis is made from wood, courtesy of MeisterWerke.

These are just some of the details and features of the Rinspeed Oasis. To better see and learn more about this exciting concept from Rinspeed, you could visit Harman’s booth at the 2017 CES Las Vegas (January 4 to 7, 2017). It would be also be showcased at ZF’s display at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show on January 9 to 22, 2017.

Every time Swiss think tank and renowned mobility Rinspeed unveils a new concept, it always brings a unique excitement to anyone who sees it.

After all, their creations have been outrageous but are still within this world. Now, at the upcoming 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Rinspeed is unveiling another concept vehicle that is entirely unique from what we have seen so far – the Rinspeed Oasis concept.

Essentially, the Rinspeed Oasis Concept is an electric vehicle in a hatchback form powered by two in-wheel electric motors with torque vectoring that have been sourced from ZF. However, that is not what makes the Rinspeed Oasis concept a unique and outrageous vehicle. While full of technologies – most of them now existing – the fascinating thing about the Rinspeed Oasis concept is how it employs them to ensure that its user-passengers could relax while on the move and be able to do things usually not viable in today’s passenger cars.

Read the entire article Rinspeed offers refreshing self-driven mobility solution through Oasis Concept

What better way to create something eccentric than to collaborate with yet another brilliant mind. And that is exactly what happened when Pawel Wisniewski and his pal, Jans Slapins, brainstormed to create a quite unusual car. These buddies were watching a drag race between a Lamborghini and a Rat Rod when a debate ensued between them followed by their realization that there were different elements on both designs which they loved and hated.

You see, both men are designers which means they have a vast imagination of everything and anything. They used their brilliance and creativity, and set out on a new project to combine all of their favorite elements from each car. The result? An extreme interpretation of the best of both worlds (or cars, for that matter).

Creating the Lamborghini Rat Rod came naturally for the two. Combine a sketch specialist like Pawel Wisniewski and a 3D modeler in the likes of Jans Slapins, and you get yourself the one of the most amazing designs that looks like a crossbreed of Tron and Mad Max: Fury Road or a 1930 remake of the Batmobile. Pawel mainly worked on the vehicle’s outline, but both designers were involved in creating each of its elements. They took inspiration from various Formula 1 cars and from the Plymouth Cuda, the Vought F4U Corsair, and a rather unusual inspiration: a 1960s refrigerator.

Pawel and Jans wanted the finished model to make use of the most advanced engineering there could possibly be, so they set out to give it a pushrod actuated suspension and a rather usual hydraulic drive system that functioned so that it reduced the car’s weight and fit four adult passengers into the car.

For those who are unfamiliar with what a “rat rod” (or “rat rodding”) is, here’s a quick tutorial. Rat rodding actually refers to a school of designs that pay homage to American hot rods which were particularly famous in the Forties up to the Sixties. These designs featured unfinished, bare-bones aesthetics and were often minimalist designs with big V8 engines.

Now, back to this Lamborghini Rat Rod, it comes with a twin-turbo Small Block V8 engine, in true rat rod spirit, and it is connected to a sequential six-speed transmission. Its central chassis-cell makes extensive use of carbon fiber. To achieve a 50/50 weight distribution, its low-mounted engine is pushed as far back as it can go making it all possible.

The surprises don’t end there, well not yet. The vehicle is fitted with interesting wheels with built-in brake rotors, and it’s not something you’d see everyday. It is quite a unique design feature and it actually looks pretty awesome on the Lamborghini Rat Rod.

Sadly, there are no plans to put a fully functional Lamborghini Rat Rod into production. But really, they should. It’s awesome, it’s unique and it’s the right combination of eccentricity and style. Maybe someday when room-sized 3D printers are capable to create fully functional vehicles, then we’d be able to witness the magnificence of the Lamborghini Rat Rod. Until then, we’ll have to make do with our imagination.

What better way to create something eccentric than to collaborate with yet another brilliant mind. And that is exactly what happened when Pawel Wisniewski and his pal, Jans Slapins, brainstormed to create a quite unusual car. These buddies were watching a drag race between a Lamborghini and a Rat Rod when a debate ensued between them followed by their realization that there were different elements on both designs which they loved and hated.

You see, both men are designers which means they have a vast imagination of everything and anything. They used their brilliance and creativity, and set out on a new project to combine all of their favorite elements from each car. The result? An extreme interpretation of the best of both worlds (or cars, for that matter).

Creating the Lamborghini Rat Rod came naturally for the two. Combine a sketch specialist like Pawel Wisniewski and a 3D modeler in the likes of Jans Slapins, and you get yourself the one of the most amazing designs that looks like a crossbreed of Tron and Mad Max: Fury Road or a 1930 remake of the Batmobile. Pawel mainly worked on the vehicle’s outline, but both designers were involved in creating each of its elements. They took inspiration from various Formula 1 cars and from the Plymouth Cuda, the Vought F4U Corsair, and a rather unusual inspiration: a 1960s refrigerator.

Read the entire article Lamborghini Rat Rod Looks So Good You'd Wish It Was Fully Functional

After we caught a glimpse of the revamped Amarok, VW Australia once again wants to give its ute a sinister look inspired by the Mad Max movie franchise. The “Korama” as they call it is a special edition SUV made entirely to promote the new Amarok.

Decked in military camouflage, the concept vehicle was designed by the same guy behind the cars featured in the sci-fi fantasy film. Its Mad Max: Fury Road-inspired get-up is built to encourage Aussie customers to buy the new model.

The extraordinary Amarok concept seems to be wearing a complete battle gear with its new body. The folks at Volkswagen Australia made sure that it gets all the attention after the extreme facelift that lasted for only five weeks. They assigned professional drivers to man the vehicle and take it to different places, which eventually piqued the interests of the onlookers.

It quickly became viral since Volkswagen’s unique ad campaign has also sparked the curiosity of the local media. In connection to this, Volkswagen Australia also provided test drives to further impress its audience and to see what the “wolf in another wolf’s clothing” has in store for them.

The one-off Korama is among Volkswagen’s marketing campaign for its so-called V6 Amarok facelift. At least seven thousand customers have already placed their orders before the new Amarok becomes available at the Australian dealerships.

The Amarok features a 224 hp 3.0 litre V6 turbo diesel engine and boasts up to 406lb-ft of torque. On top of that, the new model comes with a 20hp overboost function.

Following the “Naked Ute” campaign’s successful online launch, the “Mad Max-treated” Amarok was also seen first in social media. The “teasers” that surfaced on the Internet are of course part of the marketing scheme. Apparently, the Korama was promoted under the same agency in Sydney that promoted the Naked ute.

As expected, speculations arose regarding the nature of the SUV. Some even thought it came from China and labelled it as another rip-off vehicle of some sort. While others have thought that it’s the latest Prado model.

Nevertheless, we think they did a great job by coming up with a sequel to the very successful Naked Ute campaign. Obviously, they’ve spent a lot of money for this advertising strategy to work. And boy they did it so well. But still, we think they couldn’t have done it without the man from the Mad Max behind the scene.

After we caught a glimpse of the revamped Amarok, VW Australia once again wants to give its ute a sinister look inspired by the Mad Max movie franchise. The “Korama” as they call it is a special edition SUV made entirely to promote the new Amarok.

Decked in military camouflage, the concept vehicle was designed by the same guy behind the cars featured in the sci-fi fantasy film. Its Mad Max: Fury Road-inspired get-up is built to encourage Aussie customers to buy the new model.

The extraordinary Amarok concept seems to be wearing a complete battle gear with its new body. The folks at Volkswagen Australia made sure that it gets all the attention after the extreme facelift that lasted for only five weeks. They assigned professional drivers to man the vehicle and take it to different places, which eventually piqued the interests of the onlookers.

Read the entire article VW reveals Mad Max Korama costume for its new Amarok

Autonomous cars are slowly but surely gaining more appeal among drivers around the world. While a complete self-driving system has yet to be launched, carmakers have been finding ways to make sure it would be plausible and viable in the near future.

Now, Audi is showcasing at the Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) in Barcelona, Spain (December 5 to 10, 2016) a new technology that it believes would be one of the keys for autonomous cars – a self-learning system that could intelligently park by itself. Developed by Audi subsidiary Audi Electronics Venture (AEV), this technology is showcased through an Audi Q2 small crossover – more specifically a 1:8 scale model car – that could develop intelligent parking strategies. In a sense, this model car called the “Audi Q2 deep learning concept” is able to learn through trial and error. How does this concept achieve that?

Of course, there is a lot of sensing involved. The Audi Q2 deep learning concept is installed with sensor technology that makes use of two mono cameras – one mounted on the front facing forward and another fitted on the posterior facing rearward. In addition, this sensor technology makes use of 10 ultrasonic sensors installed around the Audi Q2 deep learning concept. These two cameras and ultrasonic sensors transmit data to a central on-board computer that in turn translates these data into control signals for steering and the electric motor.

To demonstrate the ability of the Audi Q2 deep learning concept, Audi featured an area that measures 3 meters x 3 meters, representing a parking area. Without any outside interference, the Audi Q2 deep learning concept autonomously tries to look for a suitable parking space (marked by a metal frame). Here, the Audi Q2 deep learning concept will first – through its sensors – ascertain its current position in relation to the parking space. Then, the model’s central on-board computer will then calculate how the Audi Q2 deep learning concept would drive – in a safe manner – to the selected parking space. As needed, the Audi Q2 deep learning concept would maneuver forward or in reverse, steering accordingly until it has safely parked in the intended space. Amazing, isn’t it?

But what is more amazing is what underpins this ability self-parking ability – something that Audi called as “deep reinforcement learning” or what we call learning through trial and error. Every successful maneuvers and actions of the Audi Q2 deep learning concept is being recorded autonomously by an algorithm logs successful actions, thereby gaining more knowledge through experience. Then, this algorithm refines the parking strategy for the Audi Q2 deep learning concept. Take note that this is a continuous process, which means that the more the system learns, the more it could tackle harder parking maneuvers.

Audi Electronics Venture – based in Gaimersheim, Germany –plans to transfer this technology to a real Audi car. The carmaker, meanwhile, plans to employ this system in 2017 in the central driver assistance controller (zFAS) in the next generation of the Audi A8.

Autonomous cars are slowly but surely gaining more appeal among drivers around the world. While a complete self-driving system has yet to be launched, carmakers have been finding ways to make sure it would be plausible and viable in the near future.

Now, Audi is showcasing at the Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) in Barcelona, Spain (December 5 to 10, 2016) a new technology that it believes would be one of the keys for autonomous cars – a self-learning system that could intelligently park by itself. Developed by Audi subsidiary Audi Electronics Venture (AEV), this technology is showcased through an Audi Q2 small crossover – more specifically a 1:8 scale model car – that could develop intelligent parking strategies. In a sense, this model car called the “Audi Q2 deep learning concept” is able to learn through trial and error. How does this concept achieve that?

Of course, there is a lot of sensing involved. The Audi Q2 deep learning concept is installed with sensor technology that makes use of two mono cameras – one mounted on the front facing forward and another fitted on the posterior facing rearward. In addition, this sensor technology makes use of 10 ultrasonic sensors installed around the Audi Q2 deep learning concept. These two cameras and ultrasonic sensors transmit data to a central on-board computer that in turn translates these data into control signals for steering and the electric motor.

Read the entire article Audi Q2 ‘deep learning concept’ explores possibility of self-learning intelligent parking technology

It is not uncommon for companies in the automotive world to revive a certain nameplate, especially if it has earned some iconic or legendary status or if it has gained some historical prominence. For instance, Porsche revived the 911R from the 1960s and the 718 from the 1950s. Ferrari brought back the Tdf nameplate from a special model designed to compete in the Tour de France auto race. Lincoln also revived the Continental nameplate while MINI gave a new lease on life to the Seven nameplate – as a special edition model – which is the very first MINI launched in 1959.

What about the Mercedes-Benz 540K? Well, there have been no signs that Mercedes is willing to revive this nameplate. However, there could be “secret” discussions about reviving the Mercedes 540K within the German premium carmaker. So far, there have been no substantial reports yet. But we believe that with enough support from customers, the Mercedes 540K could come back to life.

What is exciting about the Mercedes 540K? Designed by Friedrich Geiger and produced completely between 1936 and 1944, the Mercedes 540K is offered as a two-seater cabriolet, four seater coupé and a seven seater limousine. Its name was derived from the displacement of its engine, a 5,401-cc straight-8 powerplant as aspirated by twin pressurized updraft carburetors for 115 hp (86 kW) of output. Interestingly, a Roots supercharger was employed that could momentarily increase power to 180 hp (130 kW) of output with a top speed of 170 km/h (110 mph).

The Mercedes-Benz 540K was regarded as the finest car made in the interwar period, and was the preferred vehicle among the elite. In fact, 12 special extended wheelbase versions of the Mercedes 540K were developed for the Nazi hierarchy, featuring an armor plate and were heavier than their typical counterparts. Marshall Hermann Goering also owned a 540Ks, a special edition of the 540K. This car was then possessed by the United States and took part in a victory bond tour across the country.

Interestingly, a graphic designer from Poznan, Poland, has created a modern concept based on the Mercedes 540K and posted it in his account on Behance, an online platform that allows creative professionals across different industries and companies to showcase as well as discover creative work. Creative designer Bartlomiej Tarnowski’s modern take is dubbed the Mercedes-Benz 540K Concept 2016.

Wrapped in copper-like finish, this design concept featured a menacing front end with a black huge grille and Mercedes’ three-star logo – likewise in black -- positioned on the center. Able to accommodate two occupants, this Mercedes-Benz 540K Concept 2016 features a coupe-like appearance but with the dynamic and imposing presence of an SUV. Its front wheels deviate to outside the front bonnet while a spare tire is cleverly accommodated on the rear.

Well, when compared to the classic Mercedes 540K, the concept seemed to be more menacing than elegant. It looks like it’s ready to devour other vehicles on the road, instead of classily and gracefully announcing the arrival of an important passenger. On the upside, the concept offers a whole new take on the Mercedes-Benz 540K.

It is not uncommon for companies in the automotive world to revive a certain nameplate, especially if it has earned some iconic or legendary status or if it has gained some historical prominence. For instance, Porsche revived the 911R from the 1960s and the 718 from the 1950s. Ferrari brought back the Tdf nameplate from a special model designed to compete in the Tour de France auto race. Lincoln also revived the Continental nameplate while MINI gave a new lease on life to the Seven nameplate – as a special edition model – which is the very first MINI launched in 1959.

What about the Mercedes-Benz 540K? Well, there have been no signs that Mercedes is willing to revive this nameplate. However, there could be “secret” discussions about reviving the Mercedes 540K within the German premium carmaker. So far, there have been no substantial reports yet. But we believe that with enough support from customers, the Mercedes 540K could come back to life.

What is exciting about the Mercedes 540K? Designed by Friedrich Geiger and produced completely between 1936 and 1944, the Mercedes 540K is offered as a two-seater cabriolet, four seater coupé and a seven seater limousine. Its name was derived from the displacement of its engine, a 5,401-cc straight-8 powerplant as aspirated by twin pressurized updraft carburetors for 115 hp (86 kW) of output. Interestingly, a Roots supercharger was employed that could momentarily increase power to 180 hp (130 kW) of output with a top speed of 170 km/h (110 mph).

Read the entire article Take stock of Polish designer’s Mercedes-Benz 540K Concept

Buick is looking forward to how everyone responds to its own take on the future of mobility after taking the wraps off its new Buick Velite Concept at the 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show. This new concept features a beautiful and innovative crossover body accentuated by an elegant interior. Powered by a high-performance plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain, the new Buick Velite Concept displayed at the 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show provides a preview of Buick future electrified models that will be marketed under its Buick Blue strategy.

The concept’s name -- Velite – was first used on a roadster concept designed by Buick and built by Gruppo Bertone and unveiled at the 2004 New York International Show. If your knowledge of history is a bit rusty, Velite is a group of elite soldiers of the French Army under the direct command of Napoleon I as imperial guard. Now, Buick rehashed the moniker to name its latest creation, the Velite Concept.

Buick’s new Velite Concept was developed by the Shanghai-based Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), which is an engineering and design joint venture between General Motors and SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. In developing the Velite Concept, PATAC leveraged GM’s global resources and took inspiration from water and traditional Chinese culture. Its aerodynamic crossover body features flowing lines as well as sculpted curves – thereby conveying Buick’s new design language. Its front end features a wing-shaped front grille flanked by sleek intelligent matrix LED headlights. Its interior, meanwhile, makes use of recycled materials and features induction ambient lighting and a panoramic sunroof.

Serving as the core of the Buick Velite Concept is a PHEV powertrain that employs GM’s new-generation modular intelligent electric drive system with a high-performance modular lithium-ion battery pack. To optimize performance and economy in any driving condition, the Velite Concept is provided with an improved electric drive unit and intelligent controls. Interestingly, the Velite Concept comes with a 360-degree intelligent traffic induction system that is supported by sensors on its body. This system allows for several important vehicle functions like high-speed adaptive cruise control and low-speed automatic driving, as well as hazard warning, lane and safety distance keep assist. Night vision is also enabled by the 360-degree intelligent traffic induction system.

Let’s just hope that when launched, the production version of the Velite Concept will not be toned down to be just a Chinese version of the Chevrolet Volt but with a Buick badge.

Displayed along with the Buick Velite Concept at the 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show are the new generations of the Buick GL8 and GL8 Avenir minivans. The new GL8 Avenir is the first model under Buick’s Avenir sub-brand.

Buick is looking forward to how everyone responds to its own take on the future of mobility after taking the wraps off its new Buick Velite Concept at the 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show. This new concept features a beautiful and innovative crossover body accentuated by an elegant interior. Powered by a high-performance plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain, the new Buick Velite Concept displayed at the 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show provides a preview of Buick future electrified models that will be marketed under its Buick Blue strategy.

The concept’s name -- Velite – was first used on a roadster concept designed by Buick and built by Gruppo Bertone and unveiled at the 2004 New York International Show. If your knowledge of history is a bit rusty, Velite is a group of elite soldiers of the French Army under the direct command of Napoleon I as imperial guard. Now, Buick rehashed the moniker to name its latest creation, the Velite Concept.

Buick’s new Velite Concept was developed by the Shanghai-based Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), which is an engineering and design joint venture between General Motors and SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. In developing the Velite Concept, PATAC leveraged GM’s global resources and took inspiration from water and traditional Chinese culture. Its aerodynamic crossover body features flowing lines as well as sculpted curves – thereby conveying Buick’s new design language. Its front end features a wing-shaped front grille flanked by sleek intelligent matrix LED headlights. Its interior, meanwhile, makes use of recycled materials and features induction ambient lighting and a panoramic sunroof.

Read the entire article Buick unveils Velite Concept with PHEV powertrain at 2016 Guangzhou Motor Show

It is undeniable that sports utility vehicles are now a thing these past few years until. We could see carmaker from around the world starting to offer SUVs of their own, hoping to get a good chunk of the growing market for these vehicles. Subaru already has the Outback and Forester on its lineup. However, the arrival of larger SUVs on the market has customers – those looking for a more spacious ride – has been clamoring for a larger SUV model from Subaru.

It seems Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), manufacturer of Subaru vehicles, has heard this clamor. In fact, it is now unveiling Subaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. This concept provides a glimpse into what Subaru’s future mid-size SUV could look like and how large could it get. This should cater to customers who feel that the Outback and Forester are providing not enough space for their needs and wants.

According to Subaru, three-row VIZIV-7 SUV Concept demonstrates the size direction of the new three-row midsize Subaru SUVs that would arrive in North America in early 2018. Takeshi Tachimori, corporate executive vice president for Fuji Heavy Industries, quipped that the next three-row SUV from Subaru will be the brand’s biggest Subaru vehicle ever.

So, how large is the Subaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept being shown at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show? Well, as provided for by the carmaker, Subaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept has a wheelbase of around 2,990 mm. In terms of body dimensions, this new concept measures 5,200 mm (204.7 inches) in length, 2,030 mm in width and 1,830 mm in height. Overall height is 1,860 mm if we include the concept’s roof rail into the measurement.

When compared to other midsized SUVs, the Subaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept – at 5,200 mm (204.7 inches) in length – is longer than the Chevrolet Tahoe (5,179 mm or 203.9 inches) and the Volkswagen Atlas (5,037 mm or 198.3 inches). It is also much longer than the Subaru Outback, which length is pegged at 4,816 mm (189.6 inches).

However, Fuji Heavy Industries has yet to disclose other details about the Subaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept. Aside from having a bold exterior, imposing stance and aggressive front end (thanks to Subaru’s DYNAMIC x SOLID design philosophy), not much is known about the interior, the suspension and powertrain of this SUV concept. For now, all we know that it sports a large front grille flanked by headlights with bracket-shaped LEDs as running lights. It also sports muscular fenders with an arching shoulder liner flowing upward to the D-pillar. At the rear, the Subaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept features a running LED strip that links the taillights.

It is undeniable that sports utility vehicles are now a thing these past few years until. We could see carmaker from around the world starting to offer SUVs of their own, hoping to get a good chunk of the growing market for these vehicles. Subaru already has the Outback and Forester on its lineup. However, the arrival of larger SUVs on the market has customers – those looking for a more spacious ride – has been clamoring for a larger SUV model from Subaru.

It seems Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), manufacturer of Subaru vehicles, has heard this clamor. In fact, it is now unveiling Subaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. This concept provides a glimpse into what Subaru’s future mid-size SUV could look like and how large could it get. This should cater to customers who feel that the Outback and Forester are providing not enough space for their needs and wants.

According to Subaru, three-row VIZIV-7 SUV Concept demonstrates the size direction of the new three-row midsize Subaru SUVs that would arrive in North America in early 2018. Takeshi Tachimori, corporate executive vice president for Fuji Heavy Industries, quipped that the next three-row SUV from Subaru will be the brand’s biggest Subaru vehicle ever.

Read the entire article Subaru takes the wraps off VIZIV-7 SUV Concept at 2016 LA Auto Show

Many fans have been wondering whether Renault is going to create another sport car. It has been two decades since Renault produced its Spider sports car – which was discontinued in 1999 – and the carmaker has yet to find a suitable replacement for this small sports car.

It cannot be denied that Renault – through its Renault Sports unit – provided the auto market with fast and stunning hatchbacks. On the other hand, Renault’s Alpine has been left in charge of developing a new sport car. In fact, Alpine’s sports car – in production form – was spotted recently. But it seems that people are still hoping that Renault itself would go back to producing sports car.

That should not be surprising considering that Renault has been involved in high-level motorsports. This is the irony of Renault’s position – it manufactures engines for high-level racing cars, and yet it does not have its own sports vehicle. If there is one true sports car that Renault managed to create a breakthrough, it was the Sport Spider.

Back in the 1990s, Renault was Formula One's leading engine supplier and was instrumental for four Driver's and six Constructor's championships in this era. Yet, at that time, its road car offerings include no performance models. While Renault had the Clio Williams and the Alpine A610, it had no sports car of its own. That is, until the Spider came into concept and work commenced.

First unveiled as a concept at the 1995 Geneva Motor Show, the Renault Spider quickly etched a name for itself. Its launch proved stunning, as people saw it as a race car-like vehicle with no windscreen and a bare interior. That was expected, as the Renault Spider was not only intended as a road-going sports car, but also as a racing unit in a one-make series organized by the French carmaker.

In addition, other specs of the Sport Spider showed that it was really derived from motorsport. First off, the Sport Spider was underpinned by a welded aluminum box chassis with composite plastic body panels. It was powered by Clio Williams' two-liter engine producing 148 bhp.

This engine was mated to five-speed transmission. Soon, windscreen versions were produced. Although fewer than 2,000 units of the Sport Spider were built, this sports car introduced the Renault Sport badge to world. Regrettably, after its scrapping in 1999, the Sport Spider was Renault’s last true sports car.

With Alpine now in the midst of developing and creating its new sports car, many are wondering whether parent Renault would follow suit. Something of this level is not hard for Renault, especially with its own expertise and know-how both in road going cars and motorsports. In fact, there have been quite a few designs – like the one by created by Behance designer Monholo Oumar – that would likely be the basis for Renault’s newest venture.

Many fans have been wondering whether Renault is going to create another sport car. It has been two decades since Renault produced its Spider sports car – which was discontinued in 1999 – and the carmaker has yet to find a suitable replacement for this small sports car.

It cannot be denied that Renault – through its Renault Sports unit – provided the auto market with fast and stunning hatchbacks. On the other hand, Renault’s Alpine has been left in charge of developing a new sport car. In fact, Alpine’s sports car – in production form – was spotted recently. But it seems that people are still hoping that Renault itself would go back to producing sports car.

That should not be surprising considering that Renault has been involved in high-level motorsports. This is the irony of Renault’s position – it manufactures engines for high-level racing cars, and yet it does not have its own sports vehicle. If there is one true sports car that Renault managed to create a breakthrough, it was the Sport Spider.

Read the entire article Artist renders new Renault Spider Concept, our jaws drop!

Only this year, the auto show in Detroit gave us a sneak preview of the Acura Precision sedan’s exterior concept. And now, Acura is presenting a cockpit version of the concept sedan at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. With the new cabin's enhanced technologies, the Precision Cockpit will bring us one step ahead into the future.

Because of the infotainment system’s complex digital instrument panels, controlling the navigation app, weather information or even the audio control tend to bring more challenge. Most especially for the driver. This is why Acura developed an independent touch pad with “Absolute Positioning” plus two separate zones for the viewing screen. Okay. So Audi is the number one when it comes to premium infotainment technology, but we think Acura also deserves a chance.

Other brands have similar infotainment clusters anyway. There is Lexus, Cadillac, Land Rover and Jaguar just to name a few. Going back to the subject, Acura’s Precision Cockpit features a 12.3-inch monitor. The different display of information can be found either on the dashboard or at the instrument cluster. The very intuitive screen technology can sense the surrounding and displays information in case there are pedestrians or cars.

Its colours also adjust when set in semi-autonomous mode wherein the colour changes to orange, red, blue or white. The infotainment’s operating system is based on Android OS technology. Therefore, it has a safe access to the latest content, data and mobile apps. The two zone monitor can help the driver adjust the settings in the audio, map, navigation screen or even serve as an extension for mobile phone.

Absolute Positioning works like a laptop and is designed with the benefits of a remote interface and a touch screen’s accuracy. The responsive “touch pad” is used for scrolling down what’s on the monitor or by tapping the “shortcuts” below the screen. Again, the ubiquitous touchpad steals the spotlight. If there’s more, the centre console houses the touch pad for the centre display.

Acura has probably got this idea from Audi, BMW or Lexus. Either way, we think Acura only wants us to have the most “convenient” features available. Technology as we know, has long been developed to make life less complicated. In line with this, Acura is also showcasing the RLX concept with autonomous driving features. Acura has equipped the sedan with cameras, sensors, GPS, lidars and radars.

Aside from these, the RLX comes with a much powerful computer that can process tons of data. This would allow the vehicle to drive with almost no human touch. Overall, the Precision Cockpit cabin design shows great promise. We’re hoping to see this for real in the not so distant future.

Only this year, the auto show in Detroit gave us a sneak preview of the Acura Precision sedan’s exterior concept. And now, Acura is presenting a cockpit version of the concept sedan at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. With the new cabin's enhanced technologies, the Precision Cockpit will bring us one step ahead into the future.

Because of the infotainment system’s complex digital instrument panels, controlling the navigation app, weather information or even the audio control tend to bring more challenge. Most especially for the driver. This is why Acura developed an independent touch pad with “Absolute Positioning” plus two separate zones for the viewing screen. Okay. So Audi is the number one when it comes to premium infotainment technology, but we think Acura also deserves a chance.

Other brands have similar infotainment clusters anyway. There is Lexus, Cadillac, Land Rover and Jaguar just to name a few. Going back to the subject, Acura’s Precision Cockpit features a 12.3-inch monitor. The different display of information can be found either on the dashboard or at the instrument cluster. The very intuitive screen technology can sense the surrounding and displays information in case there are pedestrians or cars.

Read the entire article Acura brings highly promising Precision Cockpit Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show
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