Automakers’ ideas could find place on showroom floors

first_imgThis year’s lineup of concept cars at the Los Angeles Auto Show all look different but share a common styling cue.Unlike previous years, designers’ imaginations didn’t run wild – the 12 models on display look like a car you would likely encounter on the road.And that’s by design because some of them indeed are headed for the showroom floor.Most of the models would earn an environmental merit badge, too. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Here’s a sneak peek of what you will see. Audi Cross Cabriolet Audi unveils the Cross Cabriolet quattro, and this concept sports an eye-popping sunset-copper paint job. It’s a two-door, four-seater that the company said “combines the genes of a typical dynamic soft-top convertible with the all-around qualities of of a fully-fledged SUV.” It gets an eco-seal of approval, too, because the pop comes from an ultra low emission engine that delivers 240 horsepower. Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell Chevrolet’s entry is the Equinox Fuel Cell vehicle that’s part of a market test. GM developed a real-world vehicle that’s fully functional and can carry up to four occupants and their stuff. Top speed is 100mph. The Equinox has been crash-tested and is designed to meet all applicable 2007 U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, the company said. Chrysler Nassau Chrysler’s entry looks like it’s ready to roll off the show floor on to Figueroa Street. It’s designed to look small. The four-door model is built on a full-size wheel base but looks more compact than a Chrysler 300C of similar size. Hyundai Genesis Coupe Hyundai’s concept signals a radical departure for this maker on two fronts – product and target market. It’s a rear-wheel drive two-plus-two sports coupe scheduled to hit the market in 2009. Earlier this year, the company introduced a concept Genesis sedan. With the coupe, the company wants to appeal to driving enthusiasts.Styling touches include a Ballistic Black carbon fiber hood, roof and ground effects for reduced weight. Strong hints of what the production version will feature are hinted at in its “Z” bodylines and dramatic curves. Hyundai Veloster This concept car features a play on words. The name is a combination of velocity and roadster. It’s a sporty-looking two-plus-two with a panoramic glass roof. This concept has a retro interior featuring an iPod dock, which is common on lots of models now. The start button is on top of the shifter nob. Kia KND-4 This is a concept crossover that showcases hints at the styling touches and technologies that will appear in future Kias. It’s powered by a 2.2-liter VGT diesel engine that drives all four 20-inch wheels.The four-seater features floor, dashboard and door trim panels in metallic finish, indirect lighting, Bluetooth compatibility and a next-generation Active-Matrix, an Organic Light Emitting Diode display screen that’s ultra thin with an ultra-wide viewing angle. The entertainment system also plays Blu-ray DVDs. Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid Mercedes-Benz, which has several hybrid vehicles in development, brought the S400 hybrid to the show for its debut. It’s an advance look at the 2009 model.This vehicle is a “mild” hybrid that achieves a modest improvement in milage. Generally, these cars have oversized starter motors that allow the engine to be turned off whenever the car is coasting, braking or stopped. It can restart quickly and cleanly. Mercedes is using lithium instead of nickel metal hydride batteries. In addition to a 20-horsepower electric motor, the car has a 275-horsepower gasoline V-6. Mitsubishi Concept-cX Mitsubishi’s entry, the Concept-cX, is a stylish version of a small sport utility vehicle.It features a new 1.8-liter clean diesel motor connected to a Twin Clutch Sportronic Shift Transmissioncq. Mitsubishi maintains the Concept-cX achieves high levels of road performance while still being an environmentally sensitive off-roader. Porsche Cayenne Hybrid Porsche’s concept car will be a production model by the end of the decade, and it’s supposed to trim fuel consumption by about 15 percent, the company says. But it will drive like a regular Cayenne.The full-hybrid system, which will use a gasoline internal-combustion engine and an electric motor that will operate independently or jointly, is being developed with Volkswagen Group.Suzuki Makai Of all the concepts at the show, this one looks the most, well, conceptual. The others you might see on the road. This one probably not, and that’s too bad because it is sooo California cool. The car is based on the new 2008 Sport, and it has an open body to let all the sun, rain, wind and snow in that any adventurous driver could want.Stowing surf boards is no problem either because they can attach to the front windscreen frame and rear roll bar. And the aluminum seat frames wrapped with leather like straps are certainly edgy. But they look better suited for the patio, pool or beach. Volkswagen space up! blue Volkswagen unveiled the space up! blue car, the world’s first with a high-temperature fuel cell, which the company says performs better than the low-temperature variety. The car can be refueled by plugging it into a socket, which offers 65 miles of quiet motoring. Add the fuel cell’s charge, and the range is extended by 155 miles. Volvo ReCharge Concept Volvo’s concept entry probably has the coolest wheels at the show. They are a vivid green.The ReCharge Concept was developed at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center – the company’s think tank is in Camarillo.This is a plug-in hybrid with individual electric wheel motors and batteries that can be recharged via a regular electrical outlet for maximum environmental benefit.It can travel about 100miles on a charge before the car’s four-cylinder Flexifuel engine kicks in to power the car and recharge the [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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