Concept Flashback - 2001 Chevrolet BORREGO Concept 2

Concept Flashback – 2001 Chevrolet BORREGO Concept – Reborn Subaru Brat?!

At first sight, the short-wheelbase pickup truck concept from Chevy in the early naughties seems to be a baja or rally variant of some kind of truck in the existing range.  Perhaps the S10 or even the Blazer of the 1990s?  Surely a small-block V8 up front, right? In fact, this machine is something else entirely. Under its trendy panels and reconfigurable tailgate — to allow the two-seater to add two more in back — the Borrego is actually an AWD Subaru under its Chevy-tastic panels.  Turbo four and all…. Needless to say, this ‘Brat 2.0’ was never built… as …

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Concept Flashbacks – 2001 SEAT TANGO Trio – Cabrio, Roadster and Coupe Made Racy, Avante-Garde Superminis

Here is the next evolution of the SEAT cabrio design concepts from around the turn of the century: the 2001 Tango twins. The Tango itself is a sexy expression of ultra-modern, flowing and intersecting surfaces. There is almost an abstract artistry to the hyper-curved elements of the Tango’s nose and hood. A nice aero strake is also a trademark part of the design theme shown here. The rounded hood and front arch then flows back and downward toward the rear axle. It is a nice look and one that translated directly to a generation of SEAT production cars very nicely. …

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Concept Flashback - 2001 RINSPEED Rone 16

Concept Flashback – 2001 RINSPEED Rone – Single-Seater Debuted Dynamic Cockpit Control

This is a pretty cool one from the RINSPEED back catalog: the Rone, or R-one. Racing One is the name, and also the ethos of the single-seater with origins in the Audi TT. Ultra-low and lean is the name of the game for this sporty vision: the Rone is is just 38-inches off the ground at its highest point. This is a cool 15-inches below the roof of the Audi TT — and it gets even better. The single-seat layout in the center of the Rone is part of a very innovative Dynamic Cockpit Control Concept — a flying center …

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Concept Flashback - 2001 BMW X Coupe 4

Concept Flashback – 2001 BMW X Coupe

A design so unfeasible, we all thought, that it didn’t matter how unviable. An SUV Coupe?  Ruthlessly absurd! How wrong we were!  Car enthusiasts obviously recognize this compact crossover shape from more than three dozen new or upcoming road cars. The chopped roof, the bluff face and 1-series-previewing headlamps?  Z4 Coupe backlight, with the high rump of the X6? It all came true! Like a wild wet dream for gravel drifters… the X Coupe came well ahead of its time in 2001. Concept Flashback – 2001 BMW X Coupe

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2001 BMW M3 GTR Race and Road Cars Attending Autobahn Concours in Monterey

BMW is mining some fairly recent greatest hits for the Autobahn Concours in Monterey this week. As you probably know, Pebble Beach Concours often dominates the headlines of the Monterey Bay’s automotive week, but it is just one of more than a dozen locales and events throughout Carmel and the town of Monterey itself. The M3 GTR racecar in stars and stripes livery has just completed a wheels-up restoration, and is a proud member of the BMW racing legacy. The road variant of this killer racecar will also be in attendance. What might these cars signal for the future BMW …

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2015 MANSORY S63 Coupe Widebody 8

2015 MANSORY S63 Widebody Coupe Launches New 710HP Power Level for Gorgeous CF Restyle

Mansory just came out with its second S63 AMG Coupe — wearing the stunning carbon-fiber widebody and now offering a very-modest 710 horsepower option. This is down more than 180 ponies from the bonkers Diamond Edition shown below in blue, but is still enough to wipe the floor with most supercars in a pure drag race. These power upgrades are far more than electronic: the Mansory engine overhaul upgrades a dozen key components under the hood to make the block stronger and faster-revving, plus able to cope with the astounding levels of peak torque. Previous limiting factors on overall power …

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2015 Mansory S63 Coupe 6

2015 MANSORY S63 Coupe Is Garish At First, But Actually Fantastic Widebody

 Okay, okay…. We hear you. “This thing is hideous inside and out.” “Matte paint and matte wraps are so 2011.” “The interior looks like a not-great way to spend $100k.”  But step back from the details of this one-off Diamond Edition, and the MANSORY S63 Coupe is actually a sweet set of mods. By the way, those formica-looking black accents are carbon-fiber with flecks of jewels and crystals inside. Fancy. But the real benefits to the appearance of the Mansory S63 Coupe are more subtle. A new lower bumper is far more intense, aggressive and open. Unique lower bumper flaps …

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Concept Flashback – 2001 Nissan GT-R Prototype

People gave Lexus a hard time for spending so many years developing the LF-A, the Honda for the endless parade of concepts leading to the current 2016 NSX just revealed in production form in Detroit. But Nissan was part of this long-running tradition of slow perfectionism when it comes to a brand’s sports-car flagship. The first look at what the R35 Nissan GT-R would become seven years later? The 2001 Tokyo auto show, with this static styling and aero buck. The next concept in 2005, the GT-R Proto, was much closer to the eventual production model — but both were …

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Concept Flashback – 2001 Nissan Alpha-T

Nissan is giving journalists a first look at the 2016 Titan pickup today in Detroit at a football viewing party, and we wish we were there to see it! To set the stage, it seems timely and relevant to share Nissan’s first full-size pickup truck concept: the 2001 Alpha-T. Definitely a product of its moment in time, but also a bit stylish and adventure-bound in its style — even almost 15 years since. 2001 Nissan Alpha-T Jan. 8, 2001 Nissan Explores New Territory with Radical aT Concept – First Foray Into Full-Size Truck Market Makes ‘Big’ Statement     Nissan …

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RM Texas 2014 Highlights – 2001 Ford Thunderbird and 2003 Ford Thunderbird Supercharged Concepts

The RM Auctions Texas 2014 sale in 2014 centered on Sam Pack’s amazing collection of 100-plus amazing American icons. Of all the marques in the world, Mr. Pack loved Ford best. And as far as Ford models, the Thunderbird was his all-time favorite. This is readily apparent looking through the catalog – with at least 10 Thunderbirds of all eras included in pristine, flawless condition. These two are part of a rare Ford sale of the original auto show concept cars from the 2000s. The 2001 Thunderbird Sports Roadster concept was widely liked when it debuted, and production was fast-tracked. …

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2001 Dodge Super8 HEMI

Concept Flashback – 2001 Dodge Super8 HEMI

Chrysler has been a prolific concept-car machine since the late 1980s. Many of these star show cars led to hit production models, but this Super8 was a bit far-fetched even for a clean-sleet large sedan. It was meant to recall the glory days of American rear-drive luxury cars: with a bench seat, inverted A-pillars and wrap-around windshield glass and that giant cross-hair grille. 2001 Dodge Super8 HEMI    

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Concept Flashback – 2001 Toyota FXS Roadster Was Riviera-Style EV Supercar

The Toyota FXS concept from 2001 was one of the first full vehicle ideas from the Nice, France-based Toyota ED2 studio. Short for Toyota European Design and Development, ED2 has since delivered a variety of cool and not-so-cool production cars — including the latest Yaris and the unloved Lexus SC430 of the mid-2000s. This concept is important because it showed an innovative hybrid powertrain with an ultra-smooth underbody and sleekness in all its exterior shapes. A steep drop-nose style established thed FXS as a super sports car, as does the chopped windshield and cab-backward propotion. The rear taillamp in a …

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Design Evolution Series – 2001 INFINITI FX45 Concept Expored Idea of Supercar Crossover

Part One in a Series. The first of five or six articles here walking through Infiniti’s first steps designing and visualizing what the brand’s values would be in acrossover form. The QX4 (Q by 4) Pathfinder overhaul arriving in the late 1990s was a decent first effort, with some stylish cues to its wheels, lighting and overall aesthetic. But some time at the wheel made clear how luxury-focused the QX4 was. It was not an eager canyon-carver, and its 3.3-liter V6 was given extra-short gearing to the four-speed automatic to make the QX4 feel a bit less sluggish than it …

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Hero Racecars – 2001 Bentley Speed 8 LMP1 Winner Laid Bedrock for Modern Flying B

  You have to hand it to the Volkswagen Group for their skillful rebirth of the Bentley brand in the early 2000s. Long mired in Rolls-Royce’s shadow with shakey engineering expertise and wobblier cars, Bentley sought greatness by going back to its roots in grand style. This meant competing in LeMans – where Bentley had dominated for a few years in the 1920s with its supercharged Speed 8 models — innovative technology that delivered crushing pace when the blowers were attached to such enormous engines. Specific output in this era was barely 10-percent of what it is today; with a …

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1997 Volkswagen W12 SYNCHRO Coupe Concept Is Giugiaro Masterpiece

Recapping the VW W12 concept saga has been extremely perplexing, with numerous mistakes and edits in the first article below. In fact, the yellow W12 SYNCHRO was the first of the three W12 concept cars. This example, designed by ItalDesign Giugiaro, is actually far more thoroughly engineered on a production design level than the final W12 NARDO Coupe in orange. This can be seen in the actual production body panels, which were eliminated in the one-piece shell of the orange record-holder car. Other details are also up to Volkswagen Piech standards, leading one to think the car could actually see …

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2001 Volkswagen W12 NARDO Coupe Concept Slams 217MPH Vmax

The first of three W12 Volkswagen supercars is clearly the least-impressive — both in terms of its design and overall levels of finish. The messiest portion of the design is the back glass, which VW designers struggle to make elegant or look like a hypercar should. The huge size of the new W12 engine is obviously a challenge in its packaging, despite taking only a bit more room in a front-engine car than a normal V8. But the ethos of a giant Passat-infused hypercar is nonetheless very striking to showgoers who have seen nothing as low, wide or fast as …

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