Best concept cars: Motors we want now
T3's pick of the finest Two-wheelers of the future
The green supercar: Jaguar C-X75
Sixteen years ago Jaguar built the legendary XJ220, a supercar capable of topping 200mph. Now its produced the C-X75 prototype to celebrate 75 years of Jaguar heritage. As well as celebrating the past, the C-X75 is chock-full of pointers to the future. Most interesting is the powertrain: two tiny, British-built gas turbines that spin at 80,000rpm and work in tandem with the electric motors to create theoretically enough energy for a 560-mile range. CO2 emissions are just 28g/km; contrast that with Jaguar’s current lowest emissions – 179g/km in the Jaguar XF diesel – and the appeal is clear.
Engine: Four electric motors plus two gas turbines
Due date: 2015
The silent drive: Citroën Survolt
Well it’s not much like the 2CV, is it? Citroën’s Survolt is one of the most strikingly futuristic car designs of recent years. Open the scissor doors, buckle yourself into the six-point race harness, grab the F1-style steering wheel and pull the throttle back and hear the engine… er, make no noise at all. Featuring a fully electric drivetrain with two 140kg lithium-ion batteries, the Survolt has a range of more than 120 miles and can be charged overnight using a domestic socket. Will it go into production? Citroën isn’t saying, but it’s the sort of “halo” car the French firm could really do with.
Due date: 2015
The British icon: Lotus Eterne
Norfolk-based Lotus is planning to put its money where its mouth is. Bosses have promised to spend almost £800 million developing five brand new cars, including an all-new version of the iconic Esprit, last seen underwater in James Bond’s The Spy Who Loved Me. As one media wag tweeted during the Paris press conference, “It’s like Guernsey announcing a mission to Mars.” Furthest away from Lotus’s current two-seater track image is the Eterne (pictured), a four-door, rear-wheel drive car to rival the Aston Martin Rapide.
Due date: 2015
The Quattro returns: Audi RS5
Based on Audi’s 80s legend the Quattro – Ashes to Ashes’ DCI Gene Hunt’s motor of choice – the RS5 has a shortened chassis and is constructed from lightweight aluminium and carbon fibre. Power is transferred to the tarmac via a six-speed manual transmission, with a new type of differential to shift torque more accurately between the front and rear axles. Despite its powerful performance, official fuel economy is still a reasonable 33.2mpg and this modern coupé is a stunning tribute to 30 years of Quattro all-wheel-drive technology.
Due date: 2014
The sixth element: Lamborghini Sesto Elemento
Lamborghini’s next unveiling was expected to be a Murcielago replacement… Then the wraps came off this monster. More stealth bomber than car, the Sesto Elemento. Sesto Elemento means “Sixth Element” and chemistry buffs will know that the sixth element is carbon and the Elemento’s body shell is made almost entirely from mattefinished carbon fibre. Building on the angular design of the Reventon, 2007’s Murcielago spin-off that went into limited production, it’s as desirable and as OTT as you’d expect.
Due date: 2013