Way back in 2009, when Syfy was spelled "Sci Fi" and DVICE was spelled "device," Tesla Motors promised us all that their forthcoming Model S electric sedan would cost $49,900 after federal tax credits. Now, it's nearly 2012, and the final price might shock you.
We all expect concept cars to turn heads at Tokyo Motor Show 2011, but buzz bubbled over during the unveiling of Mitsubishi Electric's conceptual EMIRAI automotive interface. Projected to be deployable in about ten years, the key innovation is the curved, touch-screen rear projection display.
There are a bajillion smartphone cases out there that come with extended battery packs, as well as all manner of other accessories of varying degrees of usefulness that let you tailor your phone to your needs. So, why not just extend that concept to electric cars? Makes total sense, right? Right!
Sad news for everyone who has ever wanted to drive a car shaped like a sperm down the highway: Aptera, who has been working on an ultra-efficient, ultra-futuristic space fighter on wheels, has run out of both time and money.
Unless you drive a tank (in which case you should offer to give me rides to work), no matter how obsessive you are about your car there's always gonna be one thing that you have no control over: flat tires. We've been using air-filled tires for like 150 years and at times they totally blow, so isn't it time for something better? Bridgestone thinks so.
If you didn't feel like any of those LA Auto Show concept cars were quite concept-y enough, Toyota has come out with something that should get those juices flowing: the Fun-Vii, which they're calling "a smartphone on four wheels."
We don't know which car company was the first to decide that it might be kind of fun to give their designers a giant pile of cash to take their futuristic visions and make them real, but boy are we glad that they did. Somehow, a precedent was set where every year, every company now tries to outdo themselves with wild concepts that show what we might be driving in the future. Long, low and lean was definitely in this year, while b-pillars were nowhere to be found. Of course, lack of vital structural components means that the vast majority of these cars can't be driven anywhere (not legally, anyway), but worrying about safety and practicality goes totally against everything that concept cars are about. And that's why we love them so much. In the gallery below, check out fifteen wild concept cars from the 2011 LA Auto Show.
Last month, GM decided that it would be kinda fun to send some journalists from Vermont to Maine in a squad of Chevy Volts. For some reason, they decided that I would be one of those journalists. They couldn't have known that I've been following the Volt for years, from the introduction of the original, awesome concept to the toned-down production model through all the powertrain and battery controversy to the ultimate commercial release. So now that you can actually go out and buy a Chevy Volt, should you? It's a unique type of car: not quite gas, and not quite electric. Or maybe it's both. Either way, we'll be taking you through all 500 miles of our impressions, so let's get started.
Every year, the LA Auto Show sponsors a design challenge. This year, the theme was "Hollywood's Hottest New Movie Car," and automotive design studios had to come up with a movie idea and then create a concept car to match.
Next time you go for a drive, think about how much time and brainpower you waste trying not to run into objects and people. Now imagine how much more awesome your life would be if you had a car that was so soft and squishy that no matter how drunk* and/or reckless you are, it just doesn't matter.