Category Archives: Concepts

Green Car Concepts

VW Golf SportWagen HyMotion

"Golf SportWagen HyMotion"

Golf SportWagen HyMotion

Volkswagen has presented at the Los Angeles Auto Show the world premiere of the Golf SportWagen HyMotion – a progressive research vehicle with a fuel cell drive.

As the power source of the future, hydrogen andoxygen are combined in the fuel cell to form pure water. Energy is released in this “cold combustion” process – drive energy for an electric motor that turns with zero emissions. The front wheel drive Golf SportWagen HyMotion accelerates to 62 mph in 10.0 seconds. The hydrogen is stored safely in four high-tech carbon-fibre tanks, which are located in a space-saving way in the underbody. Their fuel capacity enables a driving range of 310 miles. Refilling ofthe fuel tank of the concept car takes just three minutes.

The key drive components of the Golf SportWagen HyMotion were developed by Volkswagen Group Research in Germany. The fuel cell system, which hasa driving power of 100 kW, was conceptualised at the Volkswagen Technology Centre for Electric Traction. In addition, the concept car has a high-voltage lithium-ion battery, which stores the kinetic energy recovered from regenerative braking, assists in the starting phase of the fuel cell and adds a dynamic boost to the maximum acceleration of the Golf SportWagen. The fuel cell andbattery drive an electric motor adapted from the e-Golf.

Unlike many of its competitors, Volkswagen is following the strategy of implementing its alternative drives in high-volume production vehicles. Just as the all-electric e-Golf and the Golf GTE that is equipped with a plug-in hybrid drive are integrated in a production model that has everyday practicality, so future fuel cell drives would also be integrated into production models that have been optimally engineered and are offered at an attractive price. It was with this objective in mind that several research vehicles were built based on the American Passat, in which the same drive components from the Golf SportWagen HyMotion are used. The fleet of Passat HyMotion vehicles is currently being tested on the streets of California.


Volkswagen XL Sport

"Volkswagen XL Sport"

Volkswagen XL Sport

There has never been a sports car like the XL Sport concept being showcased by Volkswagen in a world premiere at the Paris Motor Show. A car that uncompromisingly furthers the development of the lightweight sports car in its very essence. A 270 km/h driving machine based on the XL1, the most efficient car of all time. Efficiency and emotion compellingly recombined. At the rear of the XL Sport sits one of the finest achievements in engine technology – the V2 adapted from the new Ducati 1199 Superleggera, the world’s most powerful two-cylinder motorcycle.

Like the XL1, of which only 250 units will be built, the Superleggera is also being manufactured in a limitededition (500 units), in a process that embraces hand fabrication and high-precision industrial manufacturing technologies alike. The XL1 and the Superleggera, two icons of lightweight carbon and magnesium design technology, thus unite to create a unique sports car. With the XL Sport, the group brands Volkswagen and Ducati impressively demonstrate how high-tech developments can lead to synergies between brands and be used by both parties as modules for new concepts.


Electric car with wireless charging



Recharging a Toyota plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle could in future be as simple as parking the car. Toyota has announced verification testing is to begin later this month of a new wireless battery charging system it has developed for vehicles that use an electric powertrain.

The new technology allows a vehicle to be charged simply by parking it in alignment with a coil set into the surface of the ground. This makes the process simpler and easier, dispensing with cables and connectors.

The Toyota charging system transmits electricity using magnetic resonance created by changes in magnetic field intensity between a transmitting coil in the ground and a receiving coil in the car. It is designed so that it can reduce any loss in power transmission efficiency caused by misalignment or height differences between the coils.

The system is being developed with a future market launch in mind. Measures have been taken to minimise any electromagnetic interference with nearby equipment, and the transmitting coil in the ground has been madde robust enough to withstand vehicles driving over it.

To help the driver align the car correctly, Toyota has developed a function for its Intelligent Parking Assist system that shows the position of the transmitting coil in a parking space.

The test programme involves three plug-in hybrid used by homes in Aichi prefecture in Japan. It will assess user satisfaction, the system’s ease of use, misalignment rates and charging behaviour, such as how often charging takes place and timer-based charging it used.

Toyota will use the test results to develop the technology further, with the ultimate aim of bringing the system to market. Toyota believes its commercialisation will help promote the use of electrified vehicles and mobility options that are smarter, easier to use and kinder to the environment.

Wireless Battery Charging System key specifications

Charging method Magnetic resonance
Frequency 85kHz
Input voltage AC 200V
Charging power 2kW
Charging time Approx. 90 minutes



VW Twin Up! Plug-in Hybrid concept

"vw twin up! plug-in hybrid"

vw twin up! plug-in hybrid

Volkswagen has unveiled a hybrid version of its up!  The twin up! concept car uses a 0.8-litre two-cylinder turbodiesel engine in series with a 27 kW electric motor and a seven-speed DSG gearbox – a version of the drivetrain found in the pioneering XL1 – and offers combined fuel consumption of 256.8 mpg.

All new Volkswagen vehicles are deigned to accept alternative power trains as well as conventional ones, so only minor modifications (such as lengthening the front overhang by 30 mm) were necessary to fit the plug-in hybrid drivetrain into the four-seat twin up!.

The twin up!’s diesel engine and electric motor each produce up to 35 kW, while the maximum system power output of the twin up!’s front-mounted drivetrain is 55 kW.  The 8.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, 12 V battery and 33-litre fuel tank are all located between the rear seats and the boot.

Good aerodynamics (0.30 Cd), a low unladen weight (1,205 kg) despite the addition of the lithium-ion batteries and 165/65 R15 tyres optimised for low rolling resistance all help to maximise the twin up!’s efficiency, and to achieve the 256.8 mpg combined fuel consumption figure and 27 g/km CO2 emissions.

A decoupling clutch between the diesel and electric motors allows the electric motor to operate independently.  Provided that there is sufficient battery charge, the driver can press the e-mode button for emissions-free driving.

On electric power alone the twin up! can operate at speeds of 77 mph, and accelerate from zero to 37 mph in 8.8 seconds.  The range on batteries alone is up to 31 miles.  Using diesel and electric motors together, the car can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 15.7 seconds, and on to a top speed of 87 mph.  Combined torque peaks at 215 Nm.

When braking, the electric motor acts as a generator, and the braking energy is used to charge the battery.  Under appropriate conditions the TDI engine can be used to charge the main traction battery.



Jaguar C-X17 Sports Crossover

"Jaguar C-X17 Sports Crossover "

Jaguar C-X17 Sports Crossover

The Jaguar C-X17 has been created as a design study to introduce Jaguar’s all-new advanced aluminium monocoque architecture, on which an exciting range of future Jaguars will be built. This new philosophy underpins the entire innovative future of the Jaguar brand. A modular and scalable vehicle architecture, engineered and developed for Jaguar, the architecture is high-strength, lightweight, extremely stiff and incorporates innovative efficiency technologies.

Power will be provided by engines with a wide range of capacities and output, all delivering inspirational performance and offering the latest innovations in fuel-efficient technologies without sacrificing drivability. These will include the high-output petrol and diesel engines to be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s new engine manufacturing facility in the UK, as well as the powerful V6 petrol engine in the F-TYPE, which will provide best-in-class specific power output thanks to the lightweight architecture. These attributes will enable Jaguar to offer a wider variety of vehicles, with exhilarating performance, top speeds of over 186mph, as well as emissions below 100g of CO2 per kilometre. These advanced, high-output engines will be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s new engine production facility, currently under construction in Wolverhampton in the UK as part of a £500 million investment, which will be operational from 2015.


700PS Audi Sport quattro plug-in hybrid

"Audi Sport quattro plug-in hybrid"

Audi Sport quattro plug-in hybrid


In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Sport quattro, Audi will unveil its conceptual successor at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Audi Sport quattro concept show car continues the grand quattro tradition, with a stunning coupe silhouette and plug-in hybrid drive delivering a system output of 700PS.

Audi is taking this grand tradition and projecting it into the future with the help of ideas that were first seen in the Audi quattro concept study of 2010. The DNA of the Ur-quattro is immediately evident in the powerful road stance of the Sport quattro concept.

The plug-in hybrid drive endows the Sport quattro concept with truly breathtaking performance from a mighty system output of 700PS and system torque of 800 Nm (590.05 lb-ft). Power flows through a modified eight-speed tiptronic transmission to the quattro powertrain, which features a sport differential on the rear axle. According to the applicable standard, the show car is also capable of up to 113mpg, equating to CO2 output of 59 grams per kilometre.

The combustion engine is a 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8. It produces 560PS and 700 Nm (516.29 lb-ft) of torque. The cylinder on demand (COD) system, which deactivates four cylinders under part load, and a start-stop system make the sonorous eight-cylinder unit very efficient.

In Hybrid mode, environmental and route data are used to compute the optimal use of the electric motor and combustion engine for fuel efficiency and implement this via the operating strategy. If navigation is active, the route is optimised for efficiency. This mode also includes the ability to customise the operating strategy. If the driver wants to retain a certain amount of electric range or to drive certain route segments on electric power, they can use the Hold or Charge function to precisely adjust the charge of the battery even without charging from the power grid.


Lexus LF-NX Hybrid crossover

"Lexus LF-NX crossover"

Lexus LF-NX crossover

A new Lexus crossove, the LF-NX, will make its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show.  The LF-NX reinforces Lexus’s leadership in hybrid power in the premium market, being powered by a new variation of the Lexus Hybrid Drive full hybrid system, tuned for SUV performance.

The car’s frontal appearance is dominated by a strong interpretation of Lexus’s spindle grille and a signature arrangement of the front lights. The daytime running lights are given added visual emphasis by being positioned independent from the headlamps, in a similar fashion to the new Lexus IS. The LF-NX also displays a distinctive treatment of the front corners, which separate the bumper from the front wings with a sharp vertical cut line.

In profile, the LF-NX concept presents muscular wheel arches, edged with a black protective finish that expresses its urban crossover character. Above the pronounced diamond shape of the belt line, the side glazing is arranged in the classic Lexus profile, which works with the steep rake of the tailgate to create an athletic coupe-like silhouette.

At the rear the highly articulated lamp clusters project down the full depth of the bumper, creating a sharp, aerodynamic trailing edge to the vehicle that mirrors the detailing of the front wing design.


Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R concept

"Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R"

Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R

Making its World Premiere at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R concept car combines the advanced technology of the compact volume seller Toyota Yaris Hybrid with high-performance engineering inspired by Toyota’s racing prototype, the TS030 Hybrid, which participated at Le Mans and in the World Endurance Championship. The result is a highly focused concept car dedicated to maximising driving pleasure on road and on track.

Based on the Yaris 3-door, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid R concept hybrid powertrain configuration, employs a powerful and highly tuned 1.6l petrol engine combined with two powerful electric motors to provide an ‘intelligent’ electric four-wheel drive capability.

At the rear, each wheel is individually powered by a 60hp electric motor – the same as those used in the standard Yaris Hybrid. The hybrid powertrain system develops a total system output of 420 hp.The front wheels are driven by a 300hp 4-cylinder 1.6 turbo engine with direct injection specifically developed by Toyota Motorsport according to the rules of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) for a Global Race Engine to be utilised in different motorsport disciplines.

The two electric motors work as electric generators during the braking phase, and supplement the petrol engine during the accelerating phases.

Just like in the TS030 Hybrid, the energy recovered during the braking phase is stored in a super capacitor. In the Toyota Yaris Hybrid-R it is located under the rear seat, where the Yaris Hybrid battery is usually positioned. Compared to the standard NiMh hybrid battery, the super capacitor has a higher power density and a fast power charge / discharge speed. It is perfectly suited to the requirements of sporty driving on track, which requires brief and immediate bursts of power.

A 3rd 60hp electric motor, located between the engine and the 6 gear sequential transmission, operates as a generator in two different cases: during deceleration to feed the super capacitor and during acceleration to directly power the rear electric motors.



Hybrid Volvo P1800 coupe concept



Inspired by contemporary, progressive Scandinavian lifestyle and design, as well as iconic elements from the past, the elegant new Volvo Concept Coupé is the first of a series of concept cars that reveal Volvo design possibilities.

The Concept Coupé features elements that echo the design of the Volvo P1800 from the 1960s.

“It is a car designer’s duty to reflect and incorporate design signatures that are vital parts of the company’s heritage. The P1800 is an iconic Volvo, renowned for its beautiful forms and detailing. However, using elements from the P1800 exterior and interior has nothing to do with being retro. We are using these subtle links to a glorious past to create a future where sheer beauty becomes a recognised part of Volvo’s identity. That journey starts with Concept Coupé.

Petrol plug-in hybrid – powerful and efficient

The petrol plug-in hybrid driveline in the Volvo Concept Coupé reflects Volvo Cars’ strategy to use electrification to create the most powerful versions in the new four-cylinder Drive-E engine family. This will take power figures up into V8 territory.

The concept car features a two-litre high-performance Drive-E petrol engine with a supercharger and turbo. The petrol engine is teamed with an electric motor on the rear axle. This gives Volvo Concept Coupé a total output of around 400 hp and over 600 Nm of torque.



Peugeot 208 HYbrid FE




Peugeot will unveil the 208 HYbrid FE, a full petrol hybrid with exceptional characteristics and without a Plug-in energy source.  Based on a production Peugeot 208 but with performance of 0 to 62 mph in 8.0 seconds and CO2 of just 49g/km.

Numerous innovations are implemented in several areas:

  • Aerodynamic properties: improvements of 25% for the CdA,
  • Weight: reduction of 20%,
  • Powertrain: 10% improvement in fuel economy,
  • Hybridisation: recovery of 25% of the energy over one drive cycle.

The 208 HYbrid FE project combines ideas which until now acted against each other –Fuel Economy and Fun & Efficient, practicality and driving pleasure giving a preview of the vehicles of tomorrow.

The objective of the 208 HYbrid FE is to combine real driving pleasure with low CO2 emissions. More precisely, the intention is to halve the CO2 emissions of the PEUGEOT 208, equipped with the 1.0-litre VTi 68bhp and to provide it with acceleration comparable to a performance hatchback, so quite a challenge!

The challenge was made all the greater for the teams of the 208 HYbrid FE project as the production PEUGEOT 208 is already renowned for its weight-saving design and its latest-generation engines that allow it to offer a high-level driving experience.

Fluidity is part of the Marque’s stylistic heritage, it is in its DNA. On the 208 HYbrid FE, the aerodynamics experts took the exercise to an extreme. So, the Cd improves by 25%, to a value slightly lower than 0.25, a real feat on a conventional vehicle where the passenger space and boot are maintained!

To achieve this, the air is parted by the ‘floating grille’ redesigned for permeability and reduced by 40% to just 5dm². In fact, as the engine has been modified for efficiency, it duly requires less cooling.

On the body sides, any flow disrupting components have been eliminated to help improve the aero performance. The tyres, specially developed by Michelin, are of the Tall&Narrow type, i.e.: of large diameter and narrow width. They are fitted on 19” alloy wheels on which carbon aerodynamic flaps fill the space between each spoke.

The 208 HYbrid FE needed to retain the interior features of the production hatchback model. The result proves it: a very economical vehicle that can comfortably accommodate five people and their luggage. Only the air conditioning is eliminated due to its impact on fuel consumption.

The 208 HYbrid FE is driven by a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, which combines development of the latest generation of 3-cylinder engine with a battery and an electric motor taken from PEUGEOT Sport’s Endurance programme. Special engine management and special software control the entire drive train. Overall, the efficiency of the powertrain increases by an impressive 10%.


Radical Peugeot 308 R Concept



The new Peugeot 308 is transformed into an ultra-sports car with refined design of the highest quality. Its bodywork bears the hallmarks of sportiness and innovates with a two-tone treatment, combining red and black, with a clean line of separation.

Solidly planted on the ground, the 308 R Concept is powered by the engine of the new RCZ R, a real powerhouse of energy. Developing 270bhp, this 4-cylinder 1.6-litre engine has a record specific power of nearly 170bhp/litre, and CO2 emissions of just 145g/km.

The special bodywork components that distinguish the 308 R Concept from the new PEUGEOT 308 is not separate but fully integrated. Made of carbonfibre, the doors, front wings, the body sides and sills, bonnet and bumpers are secured to the metal structure which retains only the roof and tailgate of the original.

The front face has an aggressive stance with three air intakes in the lower section. They stretch across the entire lower front panel, which covers a track widened by 30mm. The central intake consists of thin horizontal bars framed with a bluish Dark Chrome bead, while the side intakes are covered with a carbon mesh.  The frontal appearance looks purposeful, with ample capability to cool the 270 horsepower engine. This air flow radiates from the bonnet through two vents which take their form in the style lines in continuation of the body style lines that emanate from the radiator grille. It is finished with a bluish Dark Chrome bead surround, with an innovative treatment for its mesh design in a matt black chequered effect. Seen straight on, the perspective effect creates a strong and purposeful stance with the changed proportions emphasising the width of the car either side of the emblematic shaped grille.

PEUGEOT Sport has developed the drive train and the suspension to create a concept car that will certainly thrill the occupants. Under the bonnet is a compact, highly efficient petrol engine that was recently launched for production in the new PEUGEOT RCZ R Sports Coupé. The engineers have succeeded in drawing 270bhp from its capacity of only 1598cm3. The resulting specific power is of a record level with nearly 170bhp/litre while offering emissions of CO2 at 145g/km.


74mpg BMW X5 eDrive concept

"BMW X5 eDrive"

BMW X5 eDrive

The new BMW X5 raises efficiency to another new level in the world of the luxurious Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).  The BMW Concept X5 eDrive combines the brand of driving pleasure for which the xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system is renowned and a luxurious ambience within the variable-use interior with a plug-in hybrid drive concept.  Top speed is 75 mph, with a maximum range of 19 miles on electric power alone and average fuel consumption of 74.3 mpg.

The concept study’s BMW eDrive system consists of a four-cylinder combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric motor. The 95 hp motor sources its energy from a high-voltage lithium-ion battery. It can be charged from any domestic power socket and has sufficient capacity to enable the car to travel up to 19 miles solely on electric power, generating zero local emissions in the process.



Honda NSX hybrid Concept-GT

NSX Concept-GT hybrid"

NSX Concept-GT hybrid

Honda has unveiled the hybrid NSX CONCEPT-GT race car.

The NSX CONCEPT-GT is a dedicated racing vehicle based on the NSX Concept, the next-generation super sports car that made its world debut in January 2012 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

This vehicle complies with the 2014 regulations on GT500 vehicles set by the Japan Automobile Federation. Along with a mid-mounted 2.0 L inline direct-injection 4-cylinder turbo engine, the vehicle is equipped with a racing hybrid system.


Futuristic 313mpg Volkswagen XL makes UK debut



Volkswagen’s futuristic XL1, the world’s most fuel-efficient production hybrid car, took to the streets of the capital yesterday.

The two-seat diesel-electric hybrid, which achieves a fuel consumption figure of 313 mpg while emitting just 21 g/km of carbon dioxide, turned heads as it passed through the streets of the city, with its white carbon fibre body shell standing out in contrast to black cabs and red double-decker buses.

While one XL1 made its way to the Goodwood Festival of Speed to take pride of place on the Volkswagen stand and make its way up the famous hill climb, another crossed the capital, heading to Buckingham Palace where it will be displayed as part of the Coronation Festival this weekend (for more details see below).

The super-innovative, ultra-frugal XL1 model looks like a vision of the future, but it is in fact already in limited production.  Its body is made largely of carbon-fibre reinforced polymer, while its drivetrain melds a two-cylinder 800 cc diesel engine with an electric motor.  Like any good supercar, it is also low (at 1,282 mm high it is lower than a Porsche Boxster) and features scissor-opening doors (although its 120-litre boot does make it somewhat more practical than supercar enthusiasts may like).

To achieve the target fuel consumption figure the XL1 was aerodynamically optimised, adopting the classic ‘tear drop’ shape and utilising innovations such as removing traditional wing mirrors and replacing them with small cameras called e-Mirrors which transmit exterior images to interior displays.



GM & Honda to develop next-generation fuel cell system

Honda FCX Clarity

Honda FCX Clarity

General Motors and Honda announced a long-term agreement to co-develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 time frame. The collaboration expects to succeed by sharing expertise, economies of scale and common sourcing strategies.

GM and Honda plan to work together with stakeholders to further advance refuelling infrastructure, which is critical for the long-term viability and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles.

GM and Honda are acknowledged leaders in fuel cell technology. According to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM and Honda rank No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012, with more than 1,200 between them.

“This collaboration builds upon Honda and GM’s strengths as leaders in hydrogen fuel cell technology,” said Dan Akerson, GM chairman and CEO. “We are convinced this is the best way to develop this important technology, which has the potential to help reduce the dependence on petroleum and establish sustainable mobility.”

GM’s Project Driveway program, launched in 2007, has accumulated nearly 3 million miles of real-world driving in a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles, more than any other automaker.

As already announced, Honda plans to launch the successor of FCX Clarity in Japan and the United States in 2015, and then in Europe. GM will announce its fuel cell production plans at a later date.

Fuel cell technology addresses many of the major challenges facing automobiles today – petroleum dependency, emissions, efficiency, range and refuelling times. Fuel cell vehicles can operate on renewable hydrogen made from sources like wind and biomass. The only emission from fuel cell vehicles is water vapor.

Additionally, fuel cell vehicles can have up to 400 miles driving range, can be refuelled in as little as three minutes, and the propulsion technology can be used on small, medium, and large vehicles.


Renault Twizy F1

"Renault Twizy F1"

Renault Twizy F1

Renault has chosen the Twizy manufacturing plant in Valladolid, Spain, to present its new Twizy Renault Sport F1 concept car. This fun take on the brand’s electric urban compact features muscular styling and impressive performance credentials to serve as a bridge between the world of F1 technology and that of production cars.

Twizy Renault Sport F1 sits on the wheels of a single-seater race car and is equipped with a front splitter, side-pods, rear wing and a diffuser complete with an F1-style rain light which forcefully express the concept’s ties with motor racing’s premier category.

Twizy Renault Sport F1 is much more than just a concept. In addition to its spectacular looks, it delivers genuine high performance thanks to its Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) which is identical to the solution used by Renault-powered Formula 1 cars. The system instantly boosts power output six-fold to reach almost 100 horsepower and is capable of catapulting the car from standstill to 62 mph as quickly as Renault’s highest-performing road car, Mégane Renaultsport 265. This technological gem is the fruit of close collaboration between the engineers at Renaultsport and their colleagues at Renault Sport F1.

This extraordinary vehicle showcases Renault’s advanced expertise in electric technology employed in F1, notably in the field of KERS in which it was one of the precursors in 2009. Renault’s long-standing commitment to motor racing’s blue ribband category provides it with a unique technological laboratory, giving it an advantage not only in the world of race cars, but also in that of road cars.

Twizy Renault Sport F1’s calling is immediately apparent through its slick tyres (the same as those fitted to the Formula Renault 2.0 single-seater), as well as through its carbon splitter, side-pods and rear wing. Its unique proportions give it the appearance of a beast that is about to pounce yet which is still fun to drive.

Other features derived from the racing world are its single-seater type mirrors and diffuser, which incorporates the rain light of a Formula Renault 3.5 car. At the same time, the bulbs of the lights have been replaced by LEDs which, again mirroring the world of motor sport, consume less energy.

Meanwhile, Twizy’s rear seat has made way for the KERS which is visible inside a transparent housing. Last but not least, Twizy Renault Sport F1 is equipped with an F1-type steering wheel from the Renault Sport Technologies catalogue.

Technical data

  Twizy Renault Sport F1 concept car Twizy
Architecture Asynchronous electric motor Asynchronous electric motor
Maximum revs (rpm) 10,000 7,500
Max. power (kW/hp) 72 / 97 13 / 17
Main motor reducer gear ration 1 : 9.23 1 : 9.23
Power gain due to the KERS 80hp, available for 13 seconds
Maximum revs of the KERS (rpm) 36,000
KERS reducer gear ratio 1 : 3.6
Top speed  68 mph 53 mph

An outstanding weight-to-power ratio

Twizy Renault Sport F1 concept car Twizy 80 Mégane R.S. F1 car
Weight (kg) 564 473 1,387 650
Power (hp) 97 17 265 750
Weight-to-power ratio (kg/hp) 5.8:1 25:1 5.2:1 0.86:1



Mercedes Unimog U423

"Mercedes Unimog U423"

Mercedes Unimog U423

Mercedes is continuing its Euro VI product offensive with the presentation of the new generation of unique vehicle concepts: the Unimog all-terrain vehicle, the Unimog implement carrier, and the Econic. As a result, Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Special Trucks are currently the only manufacturers in Europe to offer Euro VI-compliant products in all categories of the light, medium, and heavy-duty segments, as well as in the special-purpose vehicle sector. The brand has achieved comprehensive compliance nine months before the new emissions standard goes into effect, thus underscoring its leading role as a supplier of environmentally friendly automotive technology.

Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks did everything it could to build on the proven model series’ success and further strengthen its pioneering role in the area of environmentally friendly trucks. To do this, the brand invested around €135 million in three completely new and unique vehicle concepts for its Euro VI-compliant product range. The new product lineup introduces the new BlueEfficiency Power medium-duty engine generation in special trucks, now that it has been successfully installed in regular Mercedes-Benz trucks. The four and six-cylinder engines have outputs ranging from 156 hp to 354 hp. The state-of-the-art engines combine low fuel consumption with extremely clean exhausts. They make the Unimog more efficient overall, despite the extensive design changes that were implemented to ensure compliance with Euro VI. In the Econic, the engines even reduce fuel consumption by up to four percent. In addition to being extremely reliable, the new special trucks boast a long service life and long maintenance intervals — features that pay off for the customer.

Unimog and Econic: cleaner, stronger, and more efficient

Despite the challenges resulting from the Euro VI standard, the three vehicle ranges were able to further increase the advantages of their concepts. The new generation of the Unimog all-terrain vehicle, the Unimog implement carrier, and the Econic have thus substantially increased their performance and efficiency while also becoming easier to operate.

In addition to new engines for all model series, the Unimog all-terrain vehicle boasts a revamped mid-engine concept, and the Unimog implement carrier driveline features a new seamless change between the infinitely variable speed hydrostatic drive and mechanical drive providing all-round visibility, and new hydraulic systems for implements and performance that make the vehicle significantly more efficient to use. The new Econic further enhances the low-entry cab concept and boasts many ergonomic improvements as a result of its new chassis, interior, and exterior. Despite its unchanged payload, the truck is also much more economical than its predecessor, thanks to reduced fuel consumption and lower costs for repair and maintenance.


Toyota ME.WE Concept

"Toyota ME.WE Concept"

Toyota ME.WE Concept


ME.WE seeks to resolve a number of real-life contradictions, not through reinvention of what a car is, but by taking a different approach that is simpler, more appropriate and realistic – an alternative to cars that are about “passion and status”. The goal was do more and create better while using less. By reducing the pool of resources and constraints, it was possible to increase capability, quality and pleasure.

Light and resilient: ME.WE has a tubular aluminium structure, on to which light and hard-wearing polypropylene panels are fitted.

Individual and standard: the moulded panels are made using a cost-efficient standard production system, but they are easy to personalise.

Freedom and responsibility: ME.WE is a pick-up, convertible, off-roader and small city car in one. It appeals to a wide range of users, and has a small eco-footprint thanks to its light weight and the materials used in its construction.

ME and WE: the concept’s name expresses its simultaneous concern for personal well-being (ME) and that of others (WE).

ME.WE is electric-powered, using the same in-wheel motors as the Toyota i-ROAD, with batteries located under the floor, as in the iQ EV. With none of the traditional packaging restraints associated with conventional powertrains, the entire interior could be devoted to the vehicle’s occupants and luggage.

The lightweight construction using aluminium and polypropylene panels helps keep the car’s weight down to a target 750kg, about 20 per cent less than a conventional steel-built supermini. The body panels, which are 100 per cent recyclable, weight just 14kg.

Bamboo is used in the construction of the floor and for the cabin’s horizontal surfaces, chosen both for being a renewable resource and aesthetically pleasing. ME.WE is easy to keep clean with a simple wash, inside and out.

ME.WE is an intelligent response to the ecological threats posed by mass production and the increasing number of cars on the world’s roads, as it is made from materials that help reduce the energy it consumes and the CO2 and harmful emissions it produces.

The simplicity of its design is matched by it ease of use. The in-wheel motor system means it can be operated in two or four-wheel drive, allowing it to tackle rougher terrain than a traditional car, and without the weight penalty of a 4×4 transmission system.

In the cabin priority is given to driver and passengers, so luggage can be carried on the roof beneath a fold-out, weatherproof neoprene cover. However, the rear luggage space can be extended into a platform like that found in a pick-up.

The rear bench seat is mounted on floor rails and when not in use can be folded and stored beneath the front seat. It can also be removed altogether and even used for ad-hoc picnic seating.

The simplicity of the design is also evident in the instrumentation, which comprises a single screen above the steering wheel which displays vehicle speed, battery charge, journey information and navigation instructions, delivered via a smartphone. The phone itself is mounted below the screen so the driver can personalise the cabin environment with music and other apps, as well as controlling on-board temperature.

The heating and air conditioning are delivered by a low-energy air pump and electric seat heaters to minimise power consumption. And to achieve a cabriolet-like open air feel, all the windows can be opened, even the windscreen.

Outline technical specifications

Length (mm) 3,440
Width (mm) 1,750
Height (mm) 1,600
Chassis construction Tubular aluminium
Body shell Polyproylene panels
Kerb weight (kg) 750
Power 4 x in-wheel electric motor
Battery location Underfloor
Heating/air conditioning Low-consumption heat pump and electric seat heating

New Honda NSX Sport Hybrid open for orders

"new Honda nsx"

new Honda nsx


The new Honda NSX is already receiving unprecedented demand, so much so that Honda (UK) has opened a pre-order bank for the hotly anticipated supercar. For a deposit of £5,000 potential owners can be among the first in the UK to get behind the wheel of the brand new NSX when it hits showrooms in 2015.

The dynamically-styled NSX Concept was first unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show in 2012 giving an indication of the design of the next great performance vehicle from Honda.

The NSX Concept features a low and wide stance with dynamic proportions highlighted by clean, modern and simple surfacing, and edgy details that communicate supercar attitude. While the interior package boasts outstanding visibility, a strong driving position, and an intuitive “Simple Sports Interface” that minimises interior clutter, allowing the driver to focus on the driving experience. Consistent with the spirit of the original NSX, Honda’s designers have strived to deliver synergy between man and machine.

The new NSX will aim to deliver a new sports car experience that combines supercar dynamic capabilities with advanced environmental performance. The NSX will be powered by a mid-mounted, direct-injected V6 engine mated to Honda’s Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) system. It will also utilise a unique 2 Electric Motor Drive Unit with a bilateral torque adjustable control system so the new hybrid all-wheel-drive system can instantly generate negative or positive torque to the front wheels during cornering, which Honda anticipates will deliver handling performance unmatched by previous AWD systems.

The news of a pre-order bank follows in the footsteps of the previous NSX which saw 25 pre-orders being taken a year ahead of its UK launch. The first generation NSX was launched in 1990 and spent 15 years in production selling 18,000 units globally with 290 being sold to customers in the UK.

Honda has created a brand new page on the official UK website to highlight all the exciting NSX news as it’s announced.



KIA Cub compact car

"Kia CUB concept"

Kia CUB concept


Kia today premièred its all-new ‘CUB’ concept.  Designed at the Kia headquarters studio in Seoul, the CUB is less than four metres long, has rearward-opening rear doors and an ‘access-all-areas’ interior concept without traditional B-pillars, providing excellent access to the luxuriously trimmed cabin.

The exterior styling of the CUB highlights that it is both sleek and small, with a cheerful face and a daring character.  The CUB’s nose has a broad wrap-around ‘mouth’ and there is a ‘dip’ in the top of the windshield – a motif that is featured on Optima, Sportage and cee’d models.  The latest interpretation of grille is a shallower design incorporating the turbocharger’s air intake, highlighted in body colour.

The headlamps feature two-point LED lights – similar to those which first appeared on the Kia Quoris large flagship sedan last year.  Large 19-inch alloy wheels fill the wheelarches and the front doors have aerodynamic ‘turning-vanes’ at sill level to streamline and add definition the CUB’s flanks.

At the rear, LED tail lights complete the premium feel of the exterior and the nose treatment derived from Kia’s Kee concept car is replicated at the tail to accentuate the width of the vehicle.

The super-smooth exterior, with its flush glazing, minimum-drag wing mirrors and automatic touch-type door handles, promises ultra-low aerodynamic drag.  A two-colour paint finish with sporty stripe hints at the CUB’s high-performance potential, while the car’s broad track gives it an imposing stance.

With four individual seats, the CUB’s interior presents a unique ambience.  The cabin creates the sensation of a luxurious coupe and is trimmed in black leather with yellow colour accents around the seats, door armrests and steering wheel.

The instrument cluster design is inspired by the eyes of a wild animal. The centre-stack design is minimalist with an air vent controlled by touch sensor. For extra safety, the steering wheel rim is capable of monitoring the driver’s biorhythms.

The CUB powertrain features a new version of the company’s 1.6-litre GDi engine – recently confirmed as the powerunit for the new Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT sold in Europe.

Fitted with a twin-scroll turbocharger and strengthened internal components, the new engine generates 51 per cent more power (204 ps) and 60 per cent more torque (265 Nm) than the regular 1.6-litre unit.  This engine enables both of Kia’s European GT models, with a six-speed manual transmission, to accelerate to 62mph in 7.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 143mph.