At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, Maserati unveiled what is arguably one of the most important concept vehicles for the company in recent years. The Maserati Alfieri isn’t just a “look at what we can do” vehicle. It’s more of a “get used to it, because this is what our cars are gonna look like soon” type of vehicle.
The concept, which is based on a GranTurismo MC Stradale chassis but with a 24 cm (9.5 inch) shorter wheelbase, was designed at the Maserati Centro Stile in Turin by a group of young designers. It’s name, Alfieri, pays homage to Alfieri Maserati, the best know of the Maserati brothers, and the man who founded “Officine Alfiere Maserati” 100 years ago. And that brings up the other reason for the car. It’s a 100 year anniversary present from Maserati to, well, Maserati.
The Maserati Alfieri concept was inspired by past models, like the 1954 A6 GCS-53, the 1957 3500 GT, the 1959 5000 GT and the 1969 Indy. Maserati say that while the car is clearly a concept, it was designed so as to make sure it was production feasible.
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The European Design Institute (IED) based in Turin, Italy, produces talented car designers. 16 of these soon-to-be car designers worked on this concept – called the Hyundai PassoCorto – to make it a reality in time for the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
The group was led by Pininfarina designer Luca Borgono. The brief was to create a full-size model of a sports car that would appeal to Generation Y. Basically young adults. The project started with each student coming up with their own design. From these the best two were selected, and the resulting concept is a combination of this pair.
The PassoCorto was developed in collaboration with Hyundai’s European design center, and is powered by a 266 horsepower, 1.6 litre twin-turbocharged four-cylinder engine which is mounted in the center of the car.
Continue reading ‘Hyundai PassoCorto concept. Don’t get your hopes up.’ »
On the Honda stand at the Geneva Motor Show, the company is displaying a concept version of next year’s production Civic Type R.
It’s a steriod-infused little hot hatch with a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 280 horsepower. It’s definitely not subtle on the outside, with spoilers and vents all over the place. In fact it’s the most extreme Type R the company has ever built. It’s more of a road legal version of the Civic race car than a mildly worked over version of the standard Civic.
The concept was put together by a team of just three guys at the company’s Swindon design center in the UK. It took six months to build.
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The EDAG Group is a large German company who provide numerous vehicle manufacturers with engineering assistance and a range of services including factory, process and plant development, automation engineering and product cost management. They don’t just deal with automakers either, and have worked with the aerospace, commercial vehicle and rail industries.
So when they come up with a crazy, futuristic floating concept vehicle, it’s not quite so irrelevant as you might think. They’re just looking way into the future, using the extensive knowledge they already have to try and predict the future of manufacturing.
The EDAG Genesis will make its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. It’s not really supposed to showcase a particular vehicle, more an engineering concept, the idea that a component, module, or even a complete, one-piece vehicle body could be produced in one single production process. The simplest way to put it, is 3D printing an entire car.
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The latest preview of a Geneva Motor Show debutant comes courtesy of Volkswagen. They’ve just announced that they will be displaying an all-new SUV concept called the T-ROC. The Volkswagen T-ROC isn’t a big SUV, in fact its size puts it somewhere in between the production Tiguan SUV, and smaller Taigun SUV – which is still in development.
It’s quite an athletic looking vehicle for an SUV, with muscular wheel arches, a low roofline, and short front and rear overhangs. It features LED lighting both front and back, and to aid off-road driving it has integrated cameras built into the front and rear bumpers allowing the driver to see the ground immediately in front or behind.
The T-ROC concept is a two-door, four-seat vehicle which rides on a version of VW’s modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform. It features an all-wheel-drive 4MOTION drive system which offers three drive modes – ‘Street’, ‘Offroad’ and ‘Snow’. The settings of the engine, transmission, hill start and hill descent assist systems are modified depending on the mode selected.
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When I was a kid my parents had a Volvo estate. It was nothing like this Volvo Estate. It was mustard yellow with black vinyl roof, it had a sunroof that was more of a rain sieve than anything else, it stank of wet dog, most of the interior was held together with duct tape, and when my dad finally sold it, it was to guy who wanted to use it in a demolition derby – and he did. Seriously.
This Volvo Estate I would not use in a demolition derby. It’s superb, the latest of three superb concepts from Volvo. The other two being the Volvo Concept Coupe from last summer, and the Volvo Concept XC Coupe from earlier this year.
On the outside, the Volvo Concept Estate carries on the simplistic design of the previous two concepts. In fact it’s more or less identical to the Concept Coupe, except for the estate car rear cargo space. And like the Concept Coupe it’s inspired by the Volvo 1800-models from the ’60s and ’70s. In particular the Concept Estate is influenced by the 1800 ES Shooting Brake.
Continue reading ‘Volvo Concept Estate – high-tech, high-spec, spacious and stylish’ »
Skoda will be presenting the VisionC concept at the Geneva Motor Show next week. It is the first 5-door coupe from the company, and it also ushers in the latest design language for the brand.
As mentioned before, when the car was previewed in a sketch earlier this month, the VisionC is heavily influenced by the styling of vehicles from other brands owned by VW, namely Audi and SEAT.
Prof. Windried Vahland, Skoda’s CEO, said of the car: “We are signalling the next stage in the evolution of SKODA’s design language with ‘SKODA VisionC’, and thus highlighting the dawn of the brand. The vehicle demonstrates the company’s outstanding design and engineering expertise, and underpins the dynamism and value of one of the world’s longest-established automotive companies.”
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With just about every new concept car now being equipped with either a fully electric drivetrain, or some sort of hybrid electric/gasoline setup, it’s quite easy to forget that some companies are still betting on the hydrogen fuel-cell idea. Hyundai is one of them.
At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, which kicks off in less than two weeks, Hyundai will present the Intrado concept. The concept is fairly important stylistically as it is the first vehicle to be developed under the direction of Hyundai’s new head of design Peter Schreyer. It therefore gives a fairly good indication of where the company is headed in terms of style for the next few years.
Overall it’s not a radical change from Hyundai’s previous design language, more an evolution of the firm’s “fluidic sculpture” design ethos. Schreyer says of the concept: “Effortless and sensual, Intrado reflects the open-mindedness and constant renewal of the Hyundai brand. It also shows that Hyundai wants its customers to rediscover the joy and freedom that should be associated with personal mobility. That’s why this car has such purity of purpose – it’s logical, lovable and livable.”
Continue reading ‘Hyundai Intrado concept gets a hydrogen fuel-cell drivetrain’ »
At next month’s Geneva Motor Show, Mazda will be pulling the covers off an all-new subcompact concept which the company says previews a possible production model.
The Mazda HAZUMI will appear alongside a number of production vehicles and a range of the company’s latest SKYACTIV fuel-efficient engines.
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Rinspeed’s annual pilgrimage to the Geneva Motor Show – where they show up with some outrageous concept, blow some industry minds, then slink off back to their mountain hideout in Switzerland and start planning next year’s show car – is no different this year.
Their 2014 concept is called the Rinspeed XchangE, and its based on a Tesla Model S. The outside of the car hasn’t changed much from the original car – except for a drab olive paint job and silly looking grille. But on the inside its like ABBA met up with the Jetsons and they all went for a shopping trip at Sharper Image – before it closed down.
The Rinspeed XchangE features a range of cutting edge technologies, including an autonomous driving system, built-in tablet computers, a 32-inch 4K monitor for work or entertainment, Harman’s latest infotainment system, a superfast and secure internet connection, RFID technology to identify the driver and other passengers and allow access to the vehicle’s functions, a multi-function steering wheel which can be moved to the center of the dashboard when not in use, and, of course, a coffee machine.
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