Y’know that F1-inspired, electric powered concept car Renault teased earlier this week. Well it turns out it’s not a concept car. It’s a Renault Twizy with loads of go-faster goodies bolted on, and a Renault Sport F1 paint job.
The Renault Sport Twizy F1 Concept isn’t just an exercise in absurdity though. It also showcases Renault’s latest F1-derived Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), which allows the driver to call on a significant boost in power for a limited duration. In the Twizy F1 it raises the power output by a factor of six! Although sadly it only lasts 13 seconds. When it’s engaged the Twizy F1 can out-accelerate most other cars on the road in the 0-60 mph sprint. Managing to accomplish the feat in around 6 seconds.
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While most of the automotive world has been focused on the Shanghai Motor Show for the past week, Toyota has been busily preparing an all-new concept car for a Paris debut on the Champs Elysees. The Toyota ME.WE is a stripped down, back-to-basics concept designed to be economical, versatile and environmentally friendly.
It’s been tough picking through the vast swathes of BS Toyota decided to spout on about in their press release regarding the car. But the gist of it is that the car was designed from the ground up to be lightweight and modular in construction, so it could be quickly and easily adapted to different needs. It’s a bit like a Citroen 2CV for the 21st century. Right down to the fact the rear bench seat can be removed entirely and used for outdoor seating.
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Renault have teamed up with the British designer Ross Lovegrove to create their latest concept car. Called the Twin’Z the concept really hasn’t benefited from the collaboration. It looks a bit like something a color blind 5-year old might come up with if they were pushed for time. Blue paintwork and neon green wire wheels were never going to look good.
The Renault Twin’Z was intended to be a fun, modern, artistic take on the city car. Its styling draws on some of the company’s most famous compact models such as the Renault 5 and Twingo. There are a few areas of the Twin’Z which aren’t bad. The wheel arches look beefier than they probably are thanks to a clever little style line which runs just below the window line. And the two little round spotlights at the front give it a bit of retro cool. At the rear the taillights are a something a bit different. Although the decision to continue the multi-hole pattern down into the bumper for no reason wasn’t the best.
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Amazingly the automotive manufacturer Detroit Electric has been revived after over 70 years! The company was founded in 1907 and closed up shop in 1939. During that time they manufactured between 1,000 to 2,000 cars a year, and yes, they were electric powered. Top speed of the original cars was only around 20 mph, but the range was substantial. In one road test, an original Detroit Electric car managed to cover 211 miles before needing a recharge.
Hopefully the reborn Detroit Electric company will prove to be as groundbreaking and technologically impressive as their predecessors were. Their first creation looks promising. It’s a two-seat sports car, which from the teaser photo looks to be rather Lotus Elise-like. In fact it’s almost certain to be Lotus based, as Albert Lam, former Group CEO of the Lotus Engineering Group and Executive Director of Lotus Cars, was the man who revived the Detroit Electric name. In 2014 the new sports car will be joined by two other high-performance models.
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What you see before you here is the Mitsubishi CA-MiEV, a Geneva Motor Show-bound concept car which is designed to provide a hint at what the company’s next generation of electric cars will look like, and also what technologies they might be packing.
The exterior styling of the Mitsubishi CA-MiEV is rather attractive – considering its a practically proportioned, five-door electric car. It’s got a striking front end, and the sloping roofline does a good job of camouflaging the rear set of doors. The rear end features a complicated split-level window, which is bisected by the remnants of the c-pillar which joint together to form a small rear spoiler.
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The Toyota i-ROAD is a compact, all-electric, three-wheeled, two-seater, personal mobility concept which will make its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Its compact size means it can carve through city traffic, and using Toyota’s new ‘Active Lean’ technology it can balance itself in corners to provide better roadholding and more comfort for the occupants.
The tandem seating arrangement means the i-ROAD concept has a particularly narrow profile. The partially enclosed cabin means neither the driver or passenger need wear a helmet, and they’re also reasonably well protected from the elements – although the lack of side windows mean it wouldn’t be the most relaxing place to be in strong winds or blustery rain.
The two electric motors of the Toyota i-ROAD are powered by a lithium-ion battery. Mounted inside the front wheels, the motors provide enough power to keep up with the flow of normal city traffic. The battery can be charged from a conventional domestic power supply in three hours, and when full it allows for a limited, but still useful, 30 mile range.
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Mitsubishi today published information on its two Geneva Motor Show-bound concept cars. Both feature environmentally friendly drivetrains, one being a hybrid, the other a 100 percent electric powered vehicle. Their arrival bolsters Mitsubishi’s self-imposed goal of having 20 percent of their lineup comprising of electric powered vehicles by 2020 – just seven short years away.
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At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show next March, the Switzerland-based Porsche tuner and concept car fabrication company Rinspeed intend to stick with their annual tradition of unveiling an unusual concept vehicle.
This time its the turn of the Rinspeed microMAX to attract raised eyebrows. This practical concept is designed for communal city use. The idea is to harness the power of the ubiquitous smartphone-app, and create a vehicle which can be used by multiple people from different households. The app would work in real time, and it would help you find a nearby microMAX with a driver headed to a similar location, and then put you in touch. Think of it like a hitch hikers utopia.
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BMW’s foray into the electric car market is set to get a little boost in the form of yet another ‘i’ branded vehicle. The BMW i3 Concept Coupe – which will make its world debut at the 2012 LA Auto Show – is a three-door version of the upcoming i3 hatchback which is scheduled to enter production next year.
The BMW i3 Concept Coupe is quirky and stylish, and like its siblings, the i8 sports car and i3 hatchback, it makes original use of its windows to provide a striking design quite unlike anything else. The unusual window line dips significantly behind the doors to provide the rear seat occupants a significantly better view – especially good for those drooling, vertically challenged people some refer to as “children”.
The electric drivetrain of the BMW i3 Concept Coupe features a 170 horsepower electric motor which develops 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque. And as it’s a BMW, all that power goes to the rear wheels. The transmission is a single-speed unit.
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