At the 2014 Beijing Auto Show, Audi took the covers off an all-new show car called the Audi TT offroad concept. It’s an enigmatic jumble of the Audi TT’s name, the jacked-up stance of the A6 Allroad, and the “offroad” title thrown in for good measure. Add to that the fact Audi are calling it an “all-new sports car” – while simultaneously saying it has the utility of a compact SUV – and you can see why it’s so confusing. It seems that with the Audi TT offroad concept the company are trying to cover every conceivable category of vehicle with just one car.
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, one of the top dogs of Audi Technical Development was a little clearer on the concept’s role, stating that it was: “A glimpse of how we might imagine a new model in a future TT family”. If that’s true, then the Audi TT offroad concept is more than likely a preview of a four-door version of the TT – forget the increased ride height and ruggedized wheel arch extensions, they’re just for the show car.
Powering the Audi TT offroad concept is a plug-in rechargeable hybrid drivetrain which produces an impressive 400 horsepower and 480 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque. With that, the concept is able to accelerate from 0-62 mph (100km/h) in 5.2 seconds, and continue on until the electronic limiter kicks in a 155 mph. In addition the concept can travel for up to 30 miles (50 km) on electric power alone.
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Unveiled at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show, the Nissan Lannia concept is a stylish yet practical family sedan designed in China, and created to appeal to Chinese tastes. Nissan say the concept is specifically aimed at the “Post 80s” Chinese generation who want something a bit more individualistic. The concept is clearly a development of the Nissan Friend-Me show car from last year.
The Nissan Lannia concept was styled at the company’s Chinese design facility in Beijing, and is mainly focused on appealing to prospective buyers in within the country. Although as Nissan’s Chief Planning Officer Andy Palmer pointed out, it could ultimately end up in worldwide markets.
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BMW chose the 2014 Beijing Auto Show to unveil their latest concept vehicle. Called the BMW Vision Future Luxury, the concept is a super luxurious, technologically advanced vehicle designed to provide a hint at what future flagship cars from the company might look like. Hint: The next 7-Series.
The BMW Vision Future Luxury concept is long, wide and surprisingly low-slung. It certainly has a presence about it. And in a good way. Not like the fugly current 7-Series. It ticks all the right boxes in terms of exterior design. Interestingly BMW say the shape of the BMW Vision Future Luxury concept was ultimately decided the old-school way, with clay models, not computers.
Up front the BMW Vision Future Luxury has of course the trademark BMW kidney grilles. However these have been enlarged significantly, while at the same time the headlights have shrunk down to little slit-like eyes.
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At the 2014 Beijing Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled the Golf R 400 Concept. The current VW Golf R production model manages to produce 300 horsepower, channeling the power to all four wheels, and posting a 0-60 mph time of just 4.9 seconds. But the Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept is designed to show just how much potential the car has.
The Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept was developed by Volkswagen R GmbH – the brand’s sports car manufacturer. It is powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged 400 horsepower engine derived from the racing unit used in the WRC car. The transmission is a six-speed dual-clutch DSG unit with a manual option – or it can be shifted using paddles behind the steering wheel. The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system with a Haldex 5 coupling which acts as a central differential lock, this system is so quick it is activated even before wheel slip occurs. The result is a hatchback which can hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.9 seconds.
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The Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV was one of the most highly anticipated concept vehicles to go on display at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show. The sporty-looking SUV concept is a fairly accurate preview of a production model due out in the not too distant future. Mercedes haven’t explicitly confirmed the new model yet, but any time they develop a concept which has a production-ready feel about it, it appears in the showrooms a couple of years later.
The Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV’s main, and possibly sole, competitor is the BMW X6. Both models are basically SUVs but with a more stylish and less practical roofline. Like the X6, the Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV is a big ol’ vehicle. It’s nearly 16 feet (5 metres) long and 6 feet (2.2 metres) wide. The 22-inch wheels are wrapped in tires which look far more suited to road duty than any serious off-road excursions.
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The Amphicruiser is an all-wheel-drive amphibious vehicle built by Dutch Amfibious Transport (DAT). The Amphicruiser is based on a custom-built chassis and powered by a 4.2 litre engine from a Toyota Land Cruiser. Many of the Amphicruiser’s components have also been lifted from the Land Cruiser to ease the construction process and reduce costs.
The Amphicruiser has a very rugged, practical look about it. DAT say that they haven’t sacrificed any of the vehicle’s off-road ability by making it amphibious. It’s equally at home on the road, off the road, or in the water.
The Amphicruiser is powered by the Toyota engine on both land and in the water. When out of the wet stuff, the engine drives all four wheels. When in the water, at the push of a button, the power is diverted from the wheels and to a jet drive system. In the water the Amphicruiser has a respectable top speed of 8 mph. Not quick. But pretty good for something which can drive itself into and out of the water.
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It’s been 25 years since Mazda gave the world the MX-5 Miata. An affordable, reliable, fun sports car wrapped up in an easy to maintain and upgrade front-engined, rear-wheel-drive package. It was, is, and probably will be for some time yet, the benchmark affordable two-seat sports car.
To mark the last quarter of a century of production, and nearly 1 million cars built. Mazda have developed a limited edition version of the roadster called the Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition is based on the 160 horsepower 2.0 litre version of the car. It features a power retractable hard top and will be available with either a 6-speed manual or an automatic transmission.
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The Audi exclusive RS 7 dynamic edition – lower case letters intentional – is a limited edition version of the high-performance RS 7 model. The car will make its world debut at the 2014 New York Motor Show later today.
The Audi exclusive RS 7 dynamic edition features several of the personalization options which are offered through the Audi exclusive program. On the New York show car this means crimson red contrasting stitching, carbon fiber trim and a sportier suspension setup.
The exterior of the Audi exclusive RS 7 dynamic edition also features 21-inch gloss-black wheels, behind which hide bright red brake calipers complete with RS 7 logos. Up front is a carbon fiber splitter, while at the rear is a carbon fiber air diffuser.
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The Texaco Doodlebug was a peculiar-looking Diamond T tanker truck designed and built in the 1930s. It was an experiment in streamlining – a design style that was proving popular at the time. The Texaco Doodlebug was designed by Norman Bel Geddes, and the specially fabricated bodies were constructed by Heil Co in Alabama. It was based on a Diamond T truck chassis.
The Texaco Doodlebug featured a rear-mounted six-cylinder engine. The drivetrain position meant the cab was more spacious and could be located lower down than in a conventional truck. Interestingly, because the engine was at the opposite end of the vehicle and the driver couldn’t hear it, the Doodlebug had a small microphone in the engine bay connected to a speaker in the cab which allowed the driver listen out for when to make a gear change!
The Texaco Doodlebug came about after the company hired the Bel Geddes design firm to refresh their entire brand and give it a more contemporary style. Updates included changes to the Texaco logo, gas station architecture and even the attendants uniforms. Continue reading ‘Texaco Doodlebug Tanker Truck’ »
The Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept is a preview of the styling direction for the future Discovery family – the first of which is due to arrive in 2015. Like the previous model, the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept offers plenty of space. There is room for up to seven occupants, or – by using the touchscreen interface – the seats can be folded away to make it a six-seater, five-seater or even a four-seater with what Land Rover call ‘limousine’ mode.
Despite its sleek and futuristic appearance, the interior of the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept has been designed with practicality in mind. Hopefully it should handle muck and grime with the same rugged way its predecessors did. The leather is a special wipe-clean water and oil resistant type and covers all the surfaces which might come into contact with dirt. The floor features a wood veneer finish which is designed to be easier to clean than a regular carpet.
As you might expect, the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept is packed full of the latest gadgets and technology from Jaguar Land Rover.
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