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2017 KIA Proceed Concept Brings Hot-Wagon Style to Frankfurt

KIA is really movin’ on up in this world.  Their Stinger GT AWD promises some real grand touring luxury and speed when it arrives in showrooms next month.  And their Euro lineup is stronger than ever thanks to extensive tuning at the Nurburgring.  And thanks to a giant crew of German engineers poached from the top carmakers in the world. So this Proceed concept’s fast-wagon nature is not too far from reality.  Simply GORGEOUS flowing lines, great long-roof proportions and a chopped front overhang make for the stuff of dreams.  This bodystyle is headed for production, Kia strongly hints, as …

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2014 Scion iM Concept Heading for US Showrooms in 2015 to Battle GTI and Focus ST

Scion is looking to expand its model range in calendar 2015 with two new models: one based on the Mazda2 sedan, and the other being this remarkably cool 5-door hatch shown in LA as the iM concept. You might be asking yourself if the production iM, set to be revealed in NY in April 2015, overlaps with the xB and xD. We certainly were. But we believe the answer is that the iM production car will be more advanced in the chassis department and more powerful than Scion’s box-car twins. This means a more-modern automatic transmission than the four-speeds in …

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2014 Scion iM Concept Car Takes Shape as WRX-ified 5-Door Hatch!?

Updated 11.16.14   Something about the fat rear tires and floating wide-body fenders of this Scion iM concept just screams WRX, does it not? In all likelihood, this is just a sportified version of a future Scion xD — reborn from the bones of the Toyota Matrix. But how sweet would a Scion WRX hatchback be…..! We thought it was a tC previously… so why not go for being wrong twice =]   2014 Scion iM Concept PREVIOUS First look this morning at the very promising Scion iM concept car for Los Angeles! The ‘iM’ name of this hot new …

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Concept Flashback – 2005 Volvo 3CC Was Ultra-Efficient PHEV That Influenced Volt and VW XL1

A few things come to mind when reviewing the Volvo 3CC concept nearly a decade after its debut in Detroit in 2005 — but the resemblence of the design to the current VW XL1 is the most striking. How similar are these two! Especially in the extreme taper of the rear glasshouse – they could be kissing cousins. Of course, there are huge differences in the VW that materialized five years later: the VW is not a PHEV like the Volvo, nor is it nearly as wide or as practical as a city car. The Volvo shares much of the …

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LA Teasers! Scion iM Concept Car Previews New tC + 2016 Acura ILX + Prius V Facelifts

First look this morning at the very promising Scion iM concept car for Los Angeles! The ‘iM’ name of this hot new Scion prototupe is a reference to the brand’s new Driven campaign, with fans and Scion drivers encouraged to tweet with the #iMdriven hashtag to show some love. (Not to be confused with Range Rover’s #IamDriven contest .. which we did not win. A skydiver from ‘ellay’ won the trip to Carmel.) So what is this Scion iM concept? It appears to be a hotter and more-aggressive sports car. The deep scoops and lighting elements are heavily FR-S-influenced, as …

Read more LA Teasers! Scion iM Concept Car Previews New tC + 2016 Acura ILX + Prius V Facelifts

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2014 Nissan Sentra NISMO Concept + Altima NISMO Rendering with V6, Six-Speed Manual, LSD and Nismo Tuning

Updated 10.11.14 With 35 Photos and Altima NISMO Renderings We love the NISMO strategy at Nissan. The sporty overhaul of conventional models has always been a secret weapon of the German premium brands, and Nissan appears to be taking this niche strategy to the broader market via the $21,000 Juke NISMO and hopefully this Sentra NISMO in the future. A 2016 Maxima NISMO has been teased and is virtually a sure thing when the hot future Maxima debuts this winter at one of the big auto shows.   But let’s step back a moment and think closely about the potential …

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2011 Peugeot HX1 Concept Shows Sumptuous Detailing and Scale, But Front-Drive Proportions

A low, long and and wide super-wagon! YES! Is there anything not to like? Very little, in the case of the gorgeous HX1 concept from Frankfurt 2011. The car is part of a numerous series of concepts exploring and fleshing out the latest Peugeot design themes – ideas that are in a final point of production-readiness via the latest 508 RXC and 508 Estate. But while the exterior panels of the crash-safety-obsessed French car brands can easily be re-stamped in sexier shapes, the underlying platforms will require a much bigger overhaul. Therefore, even the fantasy HX1 rides with a far …

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1935 Bugatti Aerolithe – Digital Colorizer

Q: How color sensitive are the iconic shapes of the Bugatti Aerolithe? A: Very! Something about the wildly flexed panel shapes of the Bugatti’s fenders, combined with the sheer flat surfaces of the body-sides and the edges of the hood, combined with the riveted panels… A trilemma of surfaces for any paint to master! The original pistacchio green is accurate and lovely for the period, but how would the car look in other shades? Would its deep recesses and sunken cab melt away from the eye, or become even more prominent? You can be the judge for yourself… via the …

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Atlanta Dream Cars – 1935 Bugatti 57S Competition Coupe Aerolithe Wears Gorgeous Elektron Magnesium Panels

This Bugatti’s name really rolls off the tongue quite nicely – even without much car for the accents and the pronunciation. Perhaps that is because the principles of speed competitions, swoopy two-doors and lightweight, low-drag machines are so important today. Those last two really nail the brilliance of this one home. Light and smooth was the goal of this shape, in an era when most cars (and drivers!) would be terrified above 30-mph. This car could easily double that, and perhaps go on to about 75-mph before the tires and brakes became a serious liability. My apologies that these photos …

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Atlanta Dream Cars – 1951 General Motors LeSabre XP-8 Struck Gold With Yank Tank Ethos of 1950s

I usually formulate a rough outline of what I want to say about a car while cropping and straightening out the photos beforehand. In the case of this 1951 LeSabre, I wish you could have seen my face recoil in horror at all the tacky, gaudy details on this car up close. Thus, my theory was initially that the LeSabre showed General Motors the good and the bad of design. The good is that it can excite you in ways that will open wallets and checkbooks by the millions. The bad is that certain elements would need to be explained …

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Atlanta Dream Cars Showcase – 1959 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74 Is Rocket Nose and Tailfin Bliss

This 1959 Cadillac Cyclone is really a light-hearted take on the dream cars ethos. Here is a car with giant nose cones like a rocket, tail fins as well as aileron side stabilizers out back. Hidden lamps are so far from prominence that they slink under the hood nearly a foot behind the black rocket-bra-like protrusions ahead of the machine itself. Sexiness was key to this shape, which also has tail-lamps in a bright machined shroud — looking like they could also blast out hot propellent as they light up red under braking. 1959 Cadillac Cyclone XP-74 Of course, there …

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Concept Flashback – 1997 Alfa Romeo Scighera is Mid-Engine Twin-Turbo V6 Hypercar

Whenever I want to learn about a concept car I’ve never seen before, the year is always the first place to start. It helps tell the environment in which the car was designed – the competitive set, and what the cars from the following few years did with the influence. Pure fantasy comes to life with the Alfa-Romeo Scighera – pronounced ‘Shi-gera’ – via the rear-engine platform, active aerodynamics in the side slats and rear wing, as well as LED lighting front and rear. The cockpit itself is also quite decadent, with huge buckets in Connolly leather and an adjustable …

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Atlanta Dream Cars Showcase – 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt Is Aero Convertible Coupe

I can hear your thoughts right now, saying… “How is that giant brick of a car an aero coupe?” It really is. Versus its contemporaries, the 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt was quite innovative in many ways — mostly having to do with shrouding and aero-smoothing any turbulence-inducing surfaces. 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt – INNOVATIONS — This meant the entire front grille of the 1930s Chrysler Airflow had to go, in favor of a mouth-breather setup wherein the engine gets its cooling air from below the front bumper. 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt — Shrouding also extended to the headlamps, where were one of the …

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Concept Flashback – 2013 Audi Fleet Shuttle Quattro

How did this one slide past me? Not only do I not really recall seeing this October 2013 concept, but I have not even heard of the movie in which it was featured! Ender’s Game is the title – came out on November 1, 2013?? It may be a German-language film, which would make sense as to why Americans might not have been the target market for the film, or the concept car. So what is this thing? It is a low and long sedan, much in the same style as the A7 Sportback. Does it matter? Yes. Maybe. Yes, …

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Vision GT Concept Car Teasers – What Is Left? Subaru, Lexus, Honda, Tesla, Aston, Ford, GM…

Oh yes! Were you growing a bit fatigued with the GranTurismo VisionGT concepts? Well, brace yourself! We are only about 20-percent of the way through the major manufacturer releases – only Mercedes-Benz AMG, VW GTI Roadster, Mitsu XR-PHEV and a handful of others have been seen so far.   This leaves the vast majority still to come, in a drip feed about once monthly over the next year or more. Why this slow trickle? It is to provide space for each car to be driven by people in the game, and room to breath around the other announcements. Here are …

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Atlanta Dream Cars Showcase – 1970 Ferrari 512S Modulo by Pininfarina

As wild as Ferrari production cars are – you might notice that the brand releases almost no pure concept cars. Why? Because people want to buy them off the auto show floor! And so Ferrari must be exceptionally careful about what they show the public, especially if the car itself is too wild to ever be sold. One of the great concept Ferrari’s of all time is the 512 S Modulo. It takes the same ultra-aerodynamic goals as the Lancia Stratos HF Zero to an altogether different conclusion. But while the Lancia Stratos HF Zero looked vaguely production-feasible, this 512 …

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Volkswagen Debuts Striking Jetta CC Concept in Beijing – Dubbed New Midsize Coupe + Golf 400R and New Touareg

Signs of life from Volkswagen? Glad to see someone in the Wolfsburg Emergency Room is yelling “Clear!” before brandishing the defibrillator paddles. Just in time too: Volkswagen of America’s sales hit a brick wall last summer and have been in double-digit free-fall ever since. The range is a mess of unwanted and ancient models. Great stuff from Volkswagen in Beijing today – including a Golf 400R and the latest Touareg refresh. But the really striking news? A Jetta-sized CC model that is a low-roof four-door sedan they are calling the New Midsize Coupe. But we will likely pronounce it “2016 …

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Hottest LA Debuts: Ford Edge Concept Is A Thinly-Disguised Production Model

[Orig Published on: Nov 26, 2013 @ 10:47] Ford cares about your feelings. I recall reading a report a few years ago about Ford’s styling team using a new concept car strategy. The goal of this strategy is to avoid disappointments in the transition from dreamy show car to boring real cars. Limiting this unpleasant feeling is important for car brands, especially if a concept is very well-received. Car mags love to describe in all the gritty details how much the show cars have been watered down in order to make production. It turns out, avoiding this disappointment is really …

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Nissan Sentra NISMO – Now This Is A Sport Compact

Nissan brought all the big guns to the auto shows in LA and Tokyo this week, with no less than ten stunning debuts. From the BladeGlider – a light-weight DeltaWing EV sports car – to the 2015 GT-R, the news is coming faster than one man can type it up! One interesting tidbit to start with is the Nissan Sentra NISMO concept. First off, the car looks outstanding. It has a deep drop in ride height, totally reworked grilles, and a red-accented lower air splitter like the best NISMO race cars. The Juke NISMO RS also bowed this week, promising …

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