2004 Kia KCV4 Mojave 28

Concept Flashback – 2004 Kia KCV4 Mojave

Nicely executed for the time period, and actually showing some real market potential more than a decade later.  Yep, it’s the KIA Mojave! The six-lugged wheels and massive scale, but low roof, were particularly promising. 2004 Kia KCV4 Mojave

RM Monaco 2016 - 2004 Aston Martin DB AR1 by Zagato 11

RM Monaco 2016 – 2004 Aston Martin DB AR1 by Zagato

There are no words deeper than this Beluga black Aston DB AR1.   RM Sotheby’s Monaco Coinciding with the Monaco Historic Grand Prix Le Sporting Monte-Carlo, Monaco 14 May 2016 http://www.rmsothebys.com/mc16/monaco/lots/ 2004 Aston Martin DB AR1 by Zagato

Concept Debrief – 2004 Kia KCV III – Glass-Roof CC Showed Newfound Design/Execution Skills

In a few short years at the turn of the millennium, Kia’s concepts went from reskinned and rebadged Lotus Elan’s to purely bespoke creations, designed with near-Italian flair.  And constructed with credible, world-class production values! This KCV III was an important mark in the sand for Kia’s evolution from niche budget brand to mainstream heavy-hitter. Today, the giant headlights are alarmingly out of style, but there is goodness shining through even there. Check out the bright white LED DRLs in the bottom of those giant lamps! And the full-frame grille set vertically into the bumper?  Finished in non-chrome grey, no …

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RM Paris 2016 - 2004 ENZO FERRARI 13

RM Paris 2016 – 2004 ENZO FERRARI Is Tastefully Updated with Dark Tints, Smoked Alloys

This Enzo is seriously sexy, even with more than two dozen other hypercars now competing for attention 11 years since its delivery. A slightly darker wheel finish looks more modern than the original bright silver of the five-spoke, centerlock alloy wheels.  Some detail carbon-fiber touches are subtle but cool up close. Finally, a deep window tint all around gives this dark Enzo a menacing stare. 2004 ENZO FERRARI RM Sotheby’s Paris 3 February 2016 2004 Ferrari Enzo Chassis no. ZFFCZ56B000135564 Engine no. 080164 Assembly no. 52696 Photo Credit: Tim Scott ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

2004 Vauxhall VXR220 16

2004 Vauxhall VXR220 – A Design Icon and Style Tastemaker

When the first-gen Elise was sweeping up accolades, the smartest people in the room might have seen three holes in the perfect-handling bliss that was the new Lotus. — The design was odd and the detailing was all-wrong. The bug-eye lamps and curvy shapes recalled a dune buggy more than an exotic supercar — The original engines were low on torque and not globally certified for emissions — Distribution within the tiny Lotus boutique dealer network was extremely limited Vauxhall was able to bring solutions to these three issues in one fell swoop. Huge industrial might behind it, design talent …

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2004 Dodge Sling Shot

Concept Flashback – 2004 Dodge Sling Shot Was Rear-Engine Turbo Targa

More concept Dodges! The 2004 Sling Shot was a styling exercise investigating how a Dodge version of the recently-launched Smart Roadster might look. Production plans were ultimately shelved for both Sling Shot after, it was rumored, not even the Smart version could pass US crash testing rules. The shared platform means a turbo triple lived under the trunk in back.   2004 Dodge Sling Shot  

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Droptop Dreams – 2004 Buick Velite Cabriolet, 2001 Buick Bengal and 2000 Buick Regal Cielo

Buick was keen to have an open-topped car in the early 2000s. How do we know this? Three near-consecutive concepts explored the possibility of a Buick convertible: with the final being the best. We start with the 2000 Buick Regal Cielo — an innovative retracting targa that stacks the split roof panels into the trunk. This left the main pillars and side glass intact, but likely added hundreds of pounds and may have absorbed most of the trunk’s volume. 2000 Buick Regal Cielo In 2001, we have a sexy and slinky Bengal cabrio concept with sharp and smooth surfaces and …

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Concept Flashback - 2004 Mitsubishi Sport Truck

Concept Flashback – 2004 Mitsubishi Sport Truck

Mitsubishi was actively exploring its mid-size truck future in this time period – with an eye on US sales for a truck like this. A bit smaller and lighter-duty than even the Honda Ridgeline, this Sport Truck was based on the Endeavor SUV chassis. To make it in the US market, it would need to be built in the US to avoid a punishing 25-percent tariff on all imported pickup trucks, however. Mitsu just did not have the bandwidth to make a business case for this beauty, which is a shame, but understandable. The company went with a rebadged Dodge …

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Concept Flashback – 2004 Hyundai HCD-8 Sports Tourer Concept

Looking back through the Hyundai concept car archive is pretty shocking. The strides Hyundai has made in overall design and aesthetic appeal in the last decade are simply remarkable. Evidence? This HCD-8 Sports Tourer Concept — a grand GT coupe with luxurious rear-drive proportions, but serious failings in sexiness. (In fact, this coupe is front-drive.) What the HCD-8 does prove is how much design skill it takes to go from the Hyundai concepts from before this car and onto big hits like the 2011 Sonata and current Elantra. The concepts before this HCD-8 are far, far stranger and less appealing …

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Concept Flashback – 2004 Toyota MTRC – Off-Road EV Racer With Adjustable Ground Clearance

Any huge fans of radio-controlled cars out there? Yep, that is what we thought. Almost all of us! The baja racer design of many off-road cars and trucks makes them fast over almost any surface, indestructible and, above all, fun! How to bring that joyful rally racing function to a life-sized prototype? One that can have a wild body shape, self-lifting suspension and a smooth underbody (and big splitters) to maximize downforce? The Toyota MTRC stands for Motor Triathlon Race Car — and employs a variety of very smart techniques for making a life-size RC car. Tandem seating and in-wheel …

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