Tesla showed off the Model X, which is said to blend the qualities of a sport utility vehicle and a minivan in an all-electric car that's targeted to hit the streets in 2014. The car's "falcon wing" doors use a hinge between the glass roof panel and the side, allowing them to open up but not out. (Source: Tesla Motors)
These are great Chuck. Thanks. I wish I could have been there myself. We always see these amazing concept cars. I always wonder why we never see them come to production, or very few. And who gets to keep those concept cars?
You mentioned a car with a 17-in. display. Like drivers don't have enough to be distracted by?
Actually, Al, I do have a technology that I thought was most interesting. This year, it's the engines. In the Silverado slide, you might note that I mentioned three new engines from GM (one of which is also in the Corvette). I think we'll be seeing a face-off between Ford and GM in this arena: Ford with its turbocharged EcoBoost engines and GM with its small block engines. The fuel efficiency numbers aren't in yet, but I find it interesting that the big automakers are investing in engine technology as we begin to glimpse the 54.5-mpg mandate on the horizon.
Have to agree. Concept vehicles used to be visionary (like the BMW "Gina"). Now they are pre-production advertisements for the marketing guys to gauge responses. If something is deemed 'ugly' or 'weird' then the vision is scrapped and the dull lines of the contemporary are used.
Where are the rocket cars, fusion powered autos, and the transforming vehicles? When gull wing doors on an SUV wow people, then we have not really seen anything new!
The automakers do have some good technical innovations, tmash. Unfortunately, the Auto Show isn't a great place to do a deep technical dive. There were some pretty good innovations in engines, and we'll be covering those over the next couple of weeks for the engineers like yourself who are looking for a little more meat.
I don't know who keeps the concept cars. I just know it isn't me. A few years ago (okay, maybe more than a few years ago), I had the opportunity to drive a concept vehicle at a Pontiac longlead event, and I hit a speed bump a little too fast. I thought the engineer was going to throttle me. It might be my imagination, but I don't think they want to me to get close to the concept cars anymore.
The end may not yet be near, but recent statements by two of the world’s biggest automakers point to the fact that the industry has begun to plan for a dramatic decline in vehicles that are powered solely by internal combustion engines.
At the recent Autodesk Accelerate event in Boston, the director of product development for a niche hypercar firm replied "no, no, no" to three answers he got for what makes a car go faster. What was the right response?
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