CarShowz.com had some awesome t-shirts designed for 2012. To purchase yours visit the CarShowz.com store by clicking here.
CarShowz.com had some awesome t-shirts designed for 2012. To purchase yours visit the CarShowz.com store by clicking here.
Although the 2011 auto show circuit initially focused mostly on new production debuts, concept cars began to come out of the proverbial woodwork as the year progressed. Venues like Geneva, Frankfurt, Tokyo, and L.A. brought us dozens of show cars that sent jaws hurdling towards the floor and left us babbling to this very day. Here are ten that we’ll still be talking about come 2012.
Considering most of Alfa’s future product plans are hinged on small and midsize passenger cars, along with a handful of crossovers, the development of a small, midengine sports coupe is a refreshing break from normalcy. The 4C’s taut, curvaceous lines had Alfisti swooning in the aisles, but the fact it was designed to be a light, sporty, affordable package caught the attention of enthusiasts around the globe. A 230-hp turbocharged I-4 reportedly offers about 230 hp, and may rocket the 1900-pound car from 0-62 mph in about 43.5 seconds. We’re delighted to see Alfa pursue such a project, and ecstatic to learn that it’s currently being developed into a production model. Here’s hoping Alfa’s U.S. renaissance finally gets off the ground in time to bring the 4C stateside.
The latest XJ may be the latest step in Jaguar’s ongoing design renaissance, but is it possible to style a Jaguar sedan that’s familiar, yet not full-tilt retro? Perhaps so, as evidenced by Bertone’s B99 concept, which was unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The proportions and smooth lines scream XJ, as does the roofline and C-pillar shape. Attractive, yes; ready for production? Far from it. Jaguar, firmly entrenched in its own design renaissance, views the B99 as pleasant homage, noting “we are not offended by it or against it – it is just not for us.” Pity.
Eight years have passed since the introduction of the Sixteen concept, but Cadillac’s still toying with the idea of a large, ultra-premium flagship model. The Ciel, which debuted at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, managed to attract plenty of attention, and it’s easy to see why. It’s interesting to see how Cadillac’s past and future converge: yes, it’s a large luxo-barge with an interior that absolutely oozes old-school luxury, but it’s also powered by a turbocharged V-6 mated with a hybrid system. Could a large, luxurious Caddy like this be in our future? As we did in 2003, we’ll keep our fingers crossed…
If this is truly a look at the future of Ford’s design language – and Ford insists it is – then we’re looking forward to the future. We can write off certain features like the scissor-hinged doors and feather-sized mirrors as conceptual flights of fancy, but the car’s form – an evolution of Ford’s current design theme – will influence production cars down the road. Rumor has it the forthcoming 2013 Fusion/ Mondeo bears a close resemblance to this car, especially in the front clip.
A smaller Jaguar sports car, designed to slot in just beneath the XJ, has been a long time coming – but if the finished product looks as good as the C-X16 concept unveiled in Frankfurt, it’ll be worth the wait. Seeing as Jaguar deems the show car “a production prototype,” it likely will. Engineers packed the car with an advanced KERS-like hybrid driveline, but it’s the shape that serves as the conversation piece. Although it echoes the XJ and XF in certain areas, the entire package is far more aggressive when viewed in person – perfect for a sporty little coupe like this.
By now, it’s no surprise that Kia, under the guiding hand of chief designer Peter Schreyer, continues to crank out some stupendous designs. Even so, the stunning GT concept managed to catch us off guard at the Frankfurt show in September. Its slick, low-slung form is unlike any other Kia product to date; instead, it perpetually elicited comparisons to vintage sports cars and Italian gran turismos. That exterior proved so stunning, few bystanders paid attention to the direct-injection, turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 nestled underhood, nor the sumptuous bronze-on-black interior design,.Truly, this is the one Kia design that adheres to the company’s mantra: it truly has the power to surprise.
We’re not sure why ever previous stab at a subcompact Benz had to be so tall; so upright; so dorky – but we are thankful that tradition, which spans two generations of A-Class models, is about to draw to a close. The Concept A-Class, which we first saw in New York, is a far cry from every model to previously bear the name. Despite riding on a new front-drive platform, the rakish roofline and long hood almost gave it the feel of the rear-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series hatchback. It’s an attractive car – and, judging by the latest round of spy photos, a thinly-disguised look at the forthcoming production model.
Does a fixed roof make Porsche’s 918 Spyder concept any less gorgeous? As we discovered upon seeing the 918 RSR concept in Detroit, the answer to that question is a resounding “no.” The RSR, which hints at a competitive future for the forthcoming 918 production car, is nothing short of breathtaking. Although the roofline, rear deck, and paint scheme recall the company’s former prototype racers (notably the 908 and 917), the tech packed beneath the surface is undoubtedly modern. A 563-hp, 3.4-liter V-8 – derived from the RS Spyder racer – is paired with an evolution of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid’s KERS system. Electricity generated under deceleration can be sent to a pair of motors coupled to the front wheels, rendering the car a 767-hp, all-wheel-drive monster. Forget NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow; we’re hoping the future of racing looks an awful lot like the RSR.
Victor Mueller’s brash plans for his little Swedish automaker are perhaps best exemplified with the PhoeniX concept, which debuted in Geneva. Said to be a preview of Saab’s new platform design – and, perhaps, the next-gen 9-3 – the PhoeniX was styled by former Pininfarina and Bertone wunderkind Jason Castriota. Apart from a nose reminiscent of the Aero X concept and a roofline evoking the urSaab prototype, the sleek two-door coupe bore little resemblance to any past or present Saab. The tapered rear hatch was further accented by wild, arching buttresses that dramatically flared away from the greenhouse. It was certainly one of the most flamboyant concepts to come from a major global automaker this past year — or, at the very least, from a global automaker that may not live to see 2012.
This isn’t Volkswagen’s first stab at a retro people mover shaped after the venerable Type 2, but it is a different twist on reincarnating the Microbus. While VW’s 1998 Bus concept envisioned a traditional 7-passenger minivan, the Bulli – which looks a bit like a first generation Transporter at ¾ scale – is a small, five-passenger subcompact MPV. While press photos left us a little cold, the Bulli is far more personable in viewed in person. The two-tone paint, bold nose emblem are blatantly retro, even if the overall form factor isn’t a carbon copy of the original. The interior is considerably modern (note the iPad-driven control panel), but little cues scattered about (i.e. the faux bulkhead on the front seatbacks) still trigger flashbacks. A very clever design – and, if approved for production, the Bulli could prove a very clever competitor to the likes of the Scion xB and the GMC Granite
An outing of luxury sportscar enthusiasts in Japan ended in an expensive freeway pileup — smashing a stunning eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini and two Mercedes likely worth more than $1 million together.
Police officers investigate wrecked luxury cars at the site of a traffic accident on the Chugoku Expressway in Shimonoseki, southwestern Japan in this December 4, 2011 photo taken by Kyodo. Ten people were slightly injured in the pile up involving eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini, two Mercedes-Benz and two Japanese cars, according to the police. A group of luxury sports car fans were believed to be driving together when the accident occurred, local media reported.
Picture taken December 4, 2011. Digital masking of license plate from source. Mandatory Credit REUTERS/Kyodo (JAPAN – Tags: TRANSPORT DISASTER SOCIETY WEALTH TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. MANDATORY CREDIT. YES
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Danica Patrick will pay tribute to the memory of two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon with a special paint scheme on the hood of her NASCAR Nationwide Series car at Texas.
Patrick, who is moving full-time to NASCAR next season, is racing Saturday for the first time since the IndyCar Series finale at Las Vegas three weeks ago. That’s when Wheldon was killed in a fiery 15-car crash.
“It was nice to be able to get in the car, but it was really nice to just have a couple of weeks off, and create some space between that weekend and those emotions,” Patrick said after practice Friday.
The hood of Patrick’s No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet this weekend will have an enlarged Lionheart Knight image like the one Wheldon had on the back of his helmets.
“It feels comforting, in a way, to be honest. I kind of feel like I have a little angel,” Patrick said. “When they pop the hood open to work on the car, that’s all I have to stare at while I’m sitting in my car waiting for changes. It’s a cool thing.”
Patrick also will wear a specially designed helmet honoring Wheldon, and it will be auctioned after the race for the Dan Wheldon Memorial Fund. She also is donating her prize money this weekend to the fund.
A 2007 IndyCar race at Texas was promoted by track officials as “Rumble at the Speedway” because it came a week after a pit road confrontation at Milwaukee when Patrick grabbed Wheldon’s arm, voiced her complaint about their on-track collision and pushed him as he started to walk away without responding to her.
At the end of the prerace introduction of drivers, the ding of a bell preceded an announcement asking if everybody was ready for the rumble. The theme music from “Rocky” was played.
Two years earlier, Wheldon came to Texas after his first Indianapolis 500 victory, the same race when Patrick finished fourth. On race day in Texas, with so much attention on Patrick, Wheldon went to the drivers’ meeting wearing a T-shirt that read – Actually “Won” The Indy 500.
That was part of the competitive spirit between the two drivers, who got along fine.
Patrick was teammates on the Rahal Letterman Racing team with Paul Dana when the rookie driver got killed in a warmup session at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2006.
“As a result, we stopped doing morning warmups like that. That was a good change,” Patrick said.
She’s optimistic that safety improvements will come from this latest tragedy.
“It’s terrible, and it’s nothing anybody wants to happen,” she said. “Hopefully, everyone can learn and be better for it, and be safer from it.”
Patrick said she has always felt safer in NASCAR than in the open-wheel cars with open cockpits.
“That doesn’t mean there can’t be big accidents and things that can happen,” she said. “Being covered like that, there is definitely a level of comfort, so I’m pleased to have a roof over my head this weekend.”
Still, she insisted that nothing has changed her feelings about the possibility of driving in the Indy 500 again.
“Yeah, absolutely I’d love to do Indy,” she said. “It’s the greatest race in the world. I have so many feelings, emotions and memories and I still feel like I have memories to create.”
Getting caught by a speed or red light camera is never fun. And now it may be less fun for more drivers – a new speed camera is on the horizon that can capture multiple vehicles across multiple lanes of traffic.
Peak Gains Systems’ latest product is the CORDON multi-target Photo Radar System. The company’s latest and greatest speed camera has the ability to monitor up to 32 vehicles across four lanes of traffic, regardless if they’re moving towards or away from the camera. It captures a wide-angle image to capture multiple targets, records license plates and vehicle speeds, and saves a close-up image of the offending vehicle and its license plate. Vehicles traveling below the posted speed are tagged with a green mark; vehicles in appropriate speed ranges receive a yellow mark; and vehicles above appropriate range are flagged in red.
The CORDON isn’t objectionably large, and can be mounted on any stable object including overhead signs or a construction sign trailer or speed trailer. It can also determine bus and taxi lane violations through license plate recognition. It includes GPS/GLONNAS navigation to record location of violations. Data is stored on an encrypted SD card and can be streamed live to law enforcement officers.
The device goes on sale in the U.S. in 2012. Not all municipalities use speed cameras and some that do can only issue a ticket if the driver’s face can clearly be seen – something the CORDON doesn’t try to do in the demo video below. Still, for those afraid of Big Brother’s automated speed traps, seeing the CORDON in action may drive your paranoia to a new level.
Source: The Consumerist, Peak Gain Systems Inc, YouTube, http://rumors.automobilemag.com
That’s what happened to the gentleman in the following video, who fell victim to a prank orchestrated by his wife and BMW of . According to his wife, he doesn’t give her as much attention as he does his BMW, a standard, white 3 Series. So she nominated her husband for “The BMW Switch,” the automaker’s promotional prank where they swap out someone’s BMW that looks the same but is higher up the totem pole. In this case, his standard BMW was replaced with a 3 Series decked out with performance bits. All of it was caught on tape, which includes a candid-camera low-blow insult to his wife. Find out what else happened and other expletives shouted in the video below.
Source: BMW Asia, http://rumors.automobilemag.com
Chevy’s new sub-compact is starting to roll into showrooms and now they are getting the word out with its “Let’s Do This” ad campaign. The first part of the ad blitz is the one you’ll probably want to pay attention to if you want to win a free Sonic. Starting on October 15, Chevy will launch the contest on www.letsdothis.com. From there you will find challenges to perform, document, and share on the website; Doing so will allow you to accumulate points and badges.
“We believe Sonic will attract youthful customers who are eager to have new experiences, such as tasting foods from five different countries in five days or simply giving blood, but in a vampire costume,” said Kevin Mayer, director of Chevrolet advertising and sales promotion. “This campaign will help our customers celebrate some of the experiences that make life interesting.”
Beyond that, Chevy will advertise the Sonic through traditional channels including television commercials showcasing the Sonic’s adventure. One spot has the Sonic skydiving. Finally, Chevy will advertise via Pandora and two video clips on www.FunnyorDie.com.
Source: GM, http://rumors.automobilemag.com
In a perfect world, station wagons and speed would not be mutually exclusive concepts. If the auto market doesn’t offer you a wagon that goes like stink, sometimes you just have to build one yourself. One Volvo owner has done just that by swapping a twin-turbo inline-six from a Toyota Supra into an early-model 240 wagon.
The car featured in the video is a burgundy 1975 Volvo 245 station wagon, complete with factory roof rack and early dual-round headlamps. We first see a shot of the wagon in stock form. The next time we see it, it’s sporting a twin-turbo 3.0-liter 2JZ I-6 out of a ‘90s-era Supra Turbo. To show off its new power, the wagon drifts effortlessly around a warehouse.
The driver then decides to take the Volvo out on the highway, on the hunt for worthy and willing challengers. The Franken-wagon eventually comes across something interesting – a 500-hp E60-generation BMW M5. Check out the video below to see which car manages to come in first in this impromptu race.
Source: YouTube, http://rumors.automobilemag.com
An illicit high-stakes race across the country featuring 200 drivers and tons of incredible supercars.
Intrigued? Check out the video above which shows you why you’re racing for your life in Need For Speed The Run!
Jack is up against a field of the most notorious racers ever assembled, all battling for a $25 million dollar prize. The police are hot on his tracks, as are the men who want him dead!
As a bonus, keep your eye out for unannounced cars and environments in the video!
Most men have a specific dream car that they have dreamt of one day owning since they were a child and I’d be willing to bet a lot of them are Lamborghini’s. While more often than not, this dream remains a dream, as the average Lambo costs about $200-$300 thousand. More specifically, the Lamborghini Aventador will cost you at least $400,000. So while the average man can’t exactly afford such a luxury, you would think a model of a Lamborghini Aventador could help ease the pain. Au contraire my friend.
This miniature ride was created by Robert Gülpen, a seasoned model car crafter and former mechanical engineer, over the course of 500 long and grueling hours. It’s a 1:8 scale model of its larger 2011′s Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 version yet, 12 times the price. A few factors contributing to the steep rate are the full carbon fiber body it encompasses, almost $3 million in diamond seats, steering wheel and headlights and gold and platinum rims.
Looking closely at the picture of the model, you can see the seam down the middle of the car, where the carbon fiber panels are matched up in opposite directions, creating a triangular pattern. The life size, drivable version also features a carbon fiber monocoque which allows for strength and flexibility.
Sotheby’s plans on holding an auction in December in either Dubai or New York with a starting price of $4.7 million. Until then, the baby Lamborghini will be on display at Germany’s Frankfurt Auto Show on September 25, behind bulletproof glass and electronic safeguards. It is also said, that a buyer can get it directly from Gülpen, for $6 million if they cant wait until the auction.
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