In 1955, Ford’s luxury division, Lincoln, flirted with the idea of building a sports car. The bodywork of the Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study was developed by the Italian coachbuilding company Boano. It was based on a Ford chassis, and the car’s styling was penned by Gian Paolo Boano, the son of the company’s founder.
The Lincoln Indianapolis was unveiled to the world at the 1955 Turin Motor Show in Italy. It featured aviation-inspired styling, stacked headlights, large lateral air intakes and a streamlined cockpit. It was painted in an extremely eye-catching bright orange hue and topped off with numerous chrome trim elements.
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Daimler may have killed off the Maybach brand last year, but this particular Maybach – based on the Maybach Exelero prototype from 2005 – looks like it’s ready to take the fight to the undead.
Created by the Jordanian designer Khaled Alkayed, the Mad Max-worthy Maybach Exelero concept features a range of enhancements which turn it from a 700 horsepower V12-powered luxury coupe, into a battle-ready, gun-toting, armor-plated sinister death machine.
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Following on from Land Rover’s innovative “Transparent Hood” concept from earlier this year, Jaguar/Land Rover have unveiled a similar concept which could be integrated into future Jaguar models. Unlike the transparent hood, which is primarily designed to assist in extreme off-road situations, the Jaguar Virtual Windscreen is intended to help drivers on the track to get the most out of their car.
The Jaguar Virtual Windscreen offers the driver an augmented reality view of the world by projecting images onto the windscreen which can provide detailed at-a-glance information about the world around them. It can, for example, provide virtual racing lines onto the windscreen and optimum braking points to guide drivers around a particular race track like a pro. It can also create a ‘ghost car’ visualisation to allow drivers to race against themselves on a previous lap, or against other drivers who have uploaded their laps.
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InMotion, a project created by students from the Technical University of Eindhoven and the Fontys University of Applied Sciences – both in the Netherlands – are aiming to break the Nurburgring lap record with their radical InMotion IM01 racecar.
To take the record – which has stood since 1983 and belongs to Stefan Bellof and a Porsche 956 – the InMotion IM01 needs to get around the demanding and extensive circuit in 6 minutes and 11 seconds.
The car is technically rather complicated. It isn’t just a light chassis and a big engine. It’s a hybrid vehicle which uses a lightweight rotary engine as an electricity generator to power batteries which in turn supply four individual electric motors – one for each wheel. The car will employ regenerative braking, and also recoup the considerable thermal energy created by the engine and electric motors to improve overall efficiency and performance.
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Back in the late 1990s, when Lamborghini were starting to realise they needed a replacement for the ageing Diablo, they started reviewing design proposals from various automotive design firms. Zagato’s offering was the Zagato L147 SuperDiablo, or as it was to be later known, the Lamborghini Canto.
The Lamborghini Canto first appeared in 1998, it arrived only two years after another Zagato designed Lamborghini concept had been unveiled, the Diablo-based Raptor. The cars shared a number of similar features, including the wraparound windows, triangular lateral air intakes, and trademark double-bubble roof. However of the two, the earlier Raptor was probably the better looking.
Clearly Ferdinand Piech – head of the Volkswagen Group – thought so too. After VW bought Lamborghini in 1999, one of his first decisions was to review the Canto’s development and redesign the concept. The car was re-engineered and the rear extensively restyled to include smaller air intakes. The engine was also upgraded thanks to a new ECU which boosted output of the 6.0 litre V12 to 640 horsepower – although it was actually detuned to 610 hp to improve reliability.
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The Audi A 2.0 e-tron concept is the work of a trio of automotive design students, Giacomo Franceschi, Antonio Paglia, and Cem Kayserili, from the Politecnico di Milan university. The project was sponsored by Audi, and the goal was to design a 100-percent electric-powered compact city car which would appeal to younger buyers in the 18-30 age group.
Inspiration for the concept came from a wide variety of sources, ranging from the logical – like modern sporting gear, gadgets, electronics, and recent Audi concept cars. To the slightly more surreal – like the military droids from the Star Wars movies.
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Only a small proportion of concept cars successfully make the transition to production cars. Nowadays the number is a little higher, as manufacturers have started using concept cars more as a thinly disguised previews of production models, than as out-an-out expressions of design.
Back in the 1990s there were many weird and wonderful concept vehicles. There were also some downright terrible ones.
Gathered here are five of the best concept cars from the ’90s which deserved a shot at production.
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The DP-100 is the concept car Aston Martin has created specifically for the Gran Turismo racing game franchise. It will compete in the digital world against other Gran Turismo Vision concept cars from the likes of Mercedes, Nissan, BMW, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen and also a futuristic Formula 1 car from Red Bull.
The Aston Martin DP-100 concept was developed over the space of around six months by the Aston Martin design team led by Marek Reichman. The concept is a futuristic GT racer, and while there are absolutely no plans to put the vehicle into production, Reichman says that some minor elements of the design, for example the tail lights, might find their way into future Aston Martin models.
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After teasing it just a few days ago, Nissan have finally unveiled their digital race car for the Gran Turismo 6 driving simulator. Called the Nissan CONCEPT 202 Vision Gran Turismo, the vehicle is designed to provide a hint at a what a future Nissan supercar might look like, while also allowing gamers to take it for a virtual spin around their favorite race track.
The Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo concept was developed by a young team of fresh-faced designers working at Nissan’s European design center in London. The designers were given plenty of freedom when creating the concept, allowing them to really let their imaginations run riot. However the car is also rooted in reality, and to make sure it had potential for the real world, an advanced engineering team from the Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi, Japan provided additional input.
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In the 1970s, car design was all about the angular wedge. “Make ‘em pointy and they will sell” was the motto of car designers at the time. Actually it wasn’t. But it may as well have been. Italdesign was no exception, in fact they were one of the champions of the wedge design. And when they designed a four-seater sports coupe for Audi in 1973, how could it be anything else.
The Audi Asso di Picche concept by Italdesign was based on an Audi 80 platform. Although interestingly it wasn’t Audi who commissioned the car, it was in fact designed at the request Karmann Coachworks. Karmann hoped that they could get Audi interested enough in the car to get them to order a limited run which Karmann would then manufacture for the company.
The styling of the Audi Asso di Picche (Italian for Ace of Spades) was partially inspired by a previous Italdesign concept, the Boomerang supercar – which had been designed for Maserati a couple of years before. However for the Asso di Picche the extreme styling and unusual window configuration of the Boomerang was ditched for something a bit more sensible.
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