Paris Motor Show 2014: Lamborghini Asterion
McLaren, Porsche and Ferrari already produce world-beating hybrid hypercars, so it was only a matter of time before Lamborghini got involved. The Asterion showcases new engine technology that, thanks to a naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine and three electric motors, can produce in excess of 898bhp. Even more impressive is the fact that prospective owners can cruise around town for around 30 miles on nothing but electricity. The Lamborghini Asterion LPI910-4 (to give it its full designation) is said to be designed for comfortable cruising rather than all-out track day performance, so customers get an interior decked out with higher set, cosseting chairs and a minimalist dash that can perform a multitude of functions thanks to a large, portable tablet-style touch screen user interface. Owners will be able to take the tablet with them and control a number of the car's functions, such as climate and charge status, remotely. Cool TFT instrument clusters can also display a whole host of information. The steering wheel includes three buttons that determine the driving modes: Zero – for zero emissions/full electric; I for ‘Ibrido’ (hybrid); and T for ‘Termico (thermal) power. There's not much information on the latter but it sure sounds fast.
Lamborghini | Release date: Never!
Paris Motor Show 2014: Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow
Despite its crazy concept car looks, the Citroen C4 Cactus is actually available to drive away from your local dealers now but the Airflow model seen here has been designed to show just how far the French marque can potentially push its fuel economy figures. Underneath the Clockwork Orange-esque white exterior is a tiny three-cylinder 1.2-litre Puretech 81bhp engine and a compressed air storage system. The idea is that the funky car can run on petrol, compressed air and a combination of the two. To make it possible, engineers had to put the Cactus on a strict weight saving diet, which means the Airflow tips the scales at just 865kg. It's no slouch either; with Citroen big wigs claiming a 0-62mph sprint time of around 9.5 seconds and a top speed of 120mph. Speed and performance figures aren't really what the concept is about, instead Citroen would like you to focus on the fuel economy figure of 141mpg, which it claims will be possible by the year 2020.
Citroen | Release date: 2020
Paris Motor Show 2014: Infiniti Q80 Inspiration
A road-going version of the super luxurious Infiniti Q80 won't see the light of day for at least three years but if the Inspiration concept is anything to go by, it will be well worth the wait. The concept is designed to showcase a true range-topping vehicle, so it is therefore powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 engine that is mated to a meaty electric motor. The combined output of the two is 543bhp, putting it right up there with the Porsche Panamera SE Hybrid and Mercedes' most potent S-Class models. Exterior styling is suitably long, sleek and futuristic while the cabin is adorned with a number of eye-catching pieces of tech. Both driver and front passenger will get head-up displays - the driver receiving speed and navigational information through his or hers, while the passenger gets access to the infotainment system. Rear passengers also get individual touch screen infotainment systems that wouldn't look out of place on an Airbus A380.
Infiniti | Release date: 2018
Paris Motor Show 2014: Peugeot Quartz
You can always rely on the French automakers to come up with some truly eye-popping concept cars and the Quartz Concept from Peugeot does little to dispel this generalisation. It rides on massive 23-inch alloy wheels, features bodywork that looks as if it has been chiselled from rock and packs a 500bhp hybrid powertrain under the large bonnet. It doesn't get any more sensible inside either, as basalt has been used in much of the centre console - a material that is formed when magma is quickly cooled and rarely used in the automotive world - while the seats are made from fabrics that are digitally woven from recycled plastic water bottles. A new 'i-Cockpit' layout also sees the introduction of a steering wheel that controls a multitude of functions, including indicators and lights, so the driver doesn't have to remove his or her hands. There's also a neat HUD with a large, configurable screen and a central 45-degree polycarbonate strip to show additional driver information.
Peugeot | Release date: Never!
Paris Motor Show 2014: Nissan Pulsar Nismo
Nissan's sensible Pulsar was met with a range of emotions when it was launched recently, with some pundits applauding its practicality and others faulting its lack of originality and sex appeal. One way to get naysayers on side is to create a red-hot version complete with bulbous wheel arches, enormous rims and Tarmac-grazing carbon fibre skirts. Just to sway any remaining doubters, engineers behind this 'design study' also revealed that 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine is capable of producing in the region of 275bhp if needs must. Nismo has been fettling Nissans for many years now but the badge still doesn't resonate here in the UK quite like, say, GTI, ST or Type R, but the hot Pulsar could help change all that. Official power outputs and the 'extreme-ness' of such a model are still up for debate but it certainly would be nice to see Nissan punching with the big boys once again.
Nissan | Release date: 2016
Paris Motor Show 2014: Volkswagen XL Sport
This year's Paris motor show saw a number of manufacturers show off new fangled hybrid powertrains and technology that aims to cut time spent at the petrol pumps. So it came as a bit of a shock when Volkswagen revealed that they had slapped the world's most powerful two-cylinder motorcycle engine into its super-frugal XL1 model. The XL Sport is basically a racing version of the aforementioned 313mpg monster but instead of a fuel-supping 800cc diesel engine, there's the fiery 197bhp powerplant from the Ducati 1199 Panigale Superleggera. Performance figures are mesmerising considering the XL Sport packs a relatively small engine for a car of its size: the 0-62mph sprint takes just 5.7 seconds and it can go on to push 168mph. The cockpit is designed with performance in mind, so driver and passenger get ultra-grippy Alcantara seats and a dashboard that wraps itself around occupants. It's highly unlikely that we'll ever see one of these gracing a VW showroom but company bosses have said they will release a 'limited number' into the wild to gauge customer reaction.
Volkswagen | Release date: 2016
Geneva Motor Show 2014: Maserati Alfieri
Maserati’s drop-dead gorgeous Alfieri took everyone by surprise when the silk sheets were dropped from its shapely body at the Geneva motor show this year. The Italian marque didn’t release any preamble but instead went for the big bang approach and it worked. Crowds swarmed to check out the sweet wire alloy wheels, the striking LED lights and innovative LCD cockpit with matching high-definition console in the centre of the dash. Maserati has confirmed the Alfieri will come in both coupe and convertible forms with the choice of a 410bhp, 450bhp or 520bhp V6 engine. Expect the soundtrack to be brutal.
Maserati | Release date: 2016
McLaren P1 GTR
Just a handful of official sketches have been released of the almighty McLaren P1 GTR, a car that will produce a staggering 986bhp and cost in excess of £1.98m when it is released next year. It’s based on the recently unveiled P1 hypercar but sees the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 tuned to produce, in the words of Clarkson, “moooooore power”. Combine this with the 176bhp electric motor and you have one hybrid hellcat that will redefine the limits of performance. Luckily, McLaren engineers have deemed it appropriate to add a massive rear fixed wing and race-spec diffuser to ensure the P1 GTR doesn’t take off on the trip to the shops.
McClaren | Release date: June 2015
Mini Superleggera Vision
Take an affordable Mini, inject a healthy dose of British sports car nostalgia, remove the rear seats and slather the interior with leather and polished aluminium and you have a recipe for concept car greatness. The Superleggera takes minimalism to the extreme, doing away with the everyday practicality and instead piling on the open-top two-seater thrills. It’s futuristic underneath the bonnet too, opting for an electric drivetrain rather than an internal combustion engine. The centre stack also features Mini’s latest Connected infotainment system, which allows drivers to tether smartphones to access apps, display maps and beam car information to your handset.
Mini | Release date: Never!
New York Motor Show 2014: Honda Civic Type R
We have been waiting for what feels like an eternity for Honda to release a follow-up to its brilliantly high-revving Civic Type-R. Unfortunately, strict emissions legislations forced the previous generation to be canned but this concept signals a return to form. It will feature a revised 2.0-litre VTEC engine and styling that is deliberately brash. LED brake lights, a full-width rear diffuser, enormous rear wing and aggressive arches covering the 20-inch rims could well feature in the production model as well as touch-screen displays and cutting-edge tech similar to that found in the upcoming Honda NSX supercar.
Honda | 2015
Could this be the all-new Toyota Supra we have all been waiting for? The blogs and magazines would certainly have you believe that but the FT-1 (Future Toyota-1) is purely a design exercise for now. After all, it’s got a dash and centre console that wraps around the driver and an F1-inspired steering wheel that would never make it past the Toyota pen pushers. Gran Turismo 6 gamers have had the chance to take it for a virtual test drive already, which is perhaps the closest any of us are going to get.
Toyota | Release date: never!
2014 Detroit Motor Show: Kia GT4 Stinger
Kia, creating a proper rear-wheel-drive sports car? Pull the other one. Before we get too judgemental, let’s consider the GT4 Stinger boasts a 311bhp engine stolen from its Optima racing cars and a fully functioning drivetrain and suspension set-up. Inside, it’s a little more space age than showroom, with funky digital displays and fabric door-pulls residing where the boring stuff typically would. But the best news of all is the suggested £25,000 price tag should it go into production.
Kia | Release date: 2016
Detroit Motor Show 2014: Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge
Take one attractive but slightly dull Q50 saloon, hand it over to the Infiniti Formula 1 team and stare in amazement at the Extreme Makeover-style transformation. The glittering red super saloon is said to feature the Nissan GT-R’s monstrous 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6, tuned to produce 552bhp but Infiniti’s predilection for hybrid powertrains and advanced driving tech could see that figure increased. Sebastian Vettel has driven an early prototype and raved about its track prowess. That’s a good enough a recommendation for us.
Infiniti | Release date: 2016
SUVs are currently en vogue, so it’s no surprise VW muscled in on the act and revealed its Polo-sized T-Roc earlier this year. It packs a pretty impressive 180bhp diesel engine and uses ‘4Motion’ four-wheel-drive technology, so it will actually be able to tackle the rough stuff (unlike many of its bubbly, jacked-up rivals). There’s even a swooping digital dash – à la the new Audi TT – nestled in the dashboard and the Targa-top roof is also a nice touch.
VW | Release date: 2015
Lamborghini Gallardo 5-95 Zagato
Famous Italian coachbuilders and design house Zagato took its inimitable style (and hacksaws) to the Lamborghini Gallardo earlier this year to create a one-off automotive piece of art for revered car collector Albert Speiss. The result was, erm, interesting, as a gaping front end, refreshed LED lights and the Zagato calling-card ‘double bubble’ roof was all added. Underneath, the car is all Lamborghini LP570-4, so we’re talking a 5.2-litre V10 that produces 570bhp. Lamborghini is still contemplating a small production run.
Lamborghini |Release date: 2015 (est)
New York Motor Show 2014: Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept
It is rare that a concept comes along to predominantly showcase future technologies but the excellent Discovery Vision Concept is one of those beautiful paucities. Where do we start with the on board tech? How about an “invisible bonnet” for tracking hidden obstacles, remote control driving abilities, gesture recognition and smart glass windows that can display information about passing landmarks. It’s like a futurist’s Stilton-induced dream but one that could soon become a reality.
Land Rover | Release date: 2015
Frankfurt Motor Show 2013: Audi Sport quattro
From high-concept cop show, to concept car on the show floor, Audi's quattro has returned from the ashes (geddit?!) and might just make it into full-scale production. Harks back to '80s super coupe as seen in BBC's Ashes-to-Ashes, but updates the old timer with petrol-electric tech for 700hp and just 59g/km CO2 emissions.
Audi | Release date: 2015 (estimated)
Frankfurt Motor Show 2013: Citroën Cactus
Odd name for a car that quenches Citroën's creative design drought with a flood of inspiration. But the crazy Cactus is refreshingly quirky and exactly the kind of car that once made Citroën famous. Left-field features include 'Hybrid Air' tech to deliver almost 100mpg and padded capsules on body sides and bumpers to absorb minor impacts.
Citroën | Release date: 2014
Frankfurt Motor Show 2013: Volvo Concept Coupé
Apparently, Volvo couldn't think of something clever to call its latest coupé concept, so Concept Coupé it is. Uncharacteristic elegance aside (for Volvo), intriguing innovations abound including a twin-charged motor, electric drive and touchscreen multimedia kit. Volvo says its u-shaped lights will be seen in production Volvos soon.
Volvo | Release date: Never!
Frankfurt Motor Show 2013:Ford S-Max
When is a car not just a car but also a high-tech hospital on wheels? When it's the Ford S-Max concept. The concept is really a thinly disguised derivative of the new S-Max mid-sized people carrier, due out imminently. But this show star is packed with clever health kit including heart rate and blood sugar monitors. Nurse!
Ford | Release date: Early 2014
Frankfurt Motor Show 2013: Honda NSX
Honda's hybrid hypercar is one of those on-again, off-again projects that never quite makes it to the showroom. But this latest NSX concept is a letter of intent from Honda HQ. You'll be able to buy yours in 2015. 400 mid-engine hybrid horsepower combine with Honda's legendary reliability to deliver the ultimate everyday exotic car.
Honda | Release date: 2015
Frankfurt Motor Show 2013: Jaguar CX-17
A Jaguar offroader? What next, a Range Rover roadster? But wait, crossovers and SUVs are all the rage and this one packs a techy punch thanks to touchscreens and a wi-fi hotspot. So a mud-plugging Jag with mod cons is a no brainer. If the final production version looks anything like this, the big cat will be a huge money spinner.
Jaguar | Release date: 2016 (estimated)
Frankfurt Motor Show 2013: Lexus LF-NX
Yup, it's another luxury SUV concept, this time from Lexus. Styling-wise, the LF-NX takes Lexus's increasingly assertive design vibe to homicidal new levels of aggression. But here's the twist. It's not actually four-wheel drive. The 200hp petrol-electric hybrid powertrain only pumps the front wheels, though full 4x4 is an option for production.
Lexus | Release date: 2015 (estimated)
Frankfurt Motor Show 2013: Audi Nanuk
If it seems unfair to give Audi a second slot, the Nanuk is one of the few genuine surprises on the Frankfurt show floor. Audi's elevator pitch involves a world's first fusion of supercar and SUV. There's well over 500hp. But it drinks diesel not petrol and has adaptive air suspension and four-wheel steering for all-terrain escapades.
Audi | Release date: Not likely!
Frankfurt Motor Show 2013: Mercedes-Benz Concept S-class Coupé
Mercedes' show star is a preposterously luxurious four-wheeled wink. This so-called concept will hit show rooms with just a handful of tweaks. Traditional pillarless design meets techtastic opulence on an epic scale, is the general idea. So, how about door panels hewn from computer-milled alloy and a chrome centre console forged at 1,000 degrees C?
Mercedes-Benz | Release date: 2014
Frankfurt Motor Show 2013: Smart Fourjoy
Happy, happy, joy, joy, joy, joy. Yup, the Smart Fourjoy is a conspicously upbeat effort from Mercedes' troubled maker of microcars. It previews what is surely the last chance for the Smart brand, the next-gen Forfour hatchback. Airy, open-plan concept has no doors or central pillars, while power comes from 17.7kWh of lithium-ion do-goodness.
Smart | Release date: 2014
Geneva Motor Show 2013: Alfa Romeo Gloria concept
Created with the help of design studio IED, the saloon concept is said to represent “The sports spirit and Italian style" of the Alfa Romeo brand. 20 design students dreamt up the curvaceous chassis with iconic shield-shaped grille at centre stage with leather strips at the front that, “Recall the memorable leather straps for the luggage compartments of the brand’s historic cars.” A project that Alfa Romeo hopes will influence future saloons,the Gloria measures in at 4700mm long, 1920mm wide and 1320mm tall and will pack a V6 or V8 biturbo engine under the hood to power through the traffic.
Price: £TBC I Link: Alfa Romeo I Out: TBC
Geneva Motor Show 2013: ItalDesign Giugiaro Parcour
Drawing inspiration from the urban wall-jumping discipline introduced in the 80s, the all-terrain GT car is a two-seater packing a 5.2-litre Lamborghini V10 engine that will do 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds and adapts to your driving environment. So, whether you want comfortable drive, hitting the off-road, tackling a snow shower or putting your foot down, the Parcour can change settings via the dashboard mounted control system. With its Lamborghini looks the carbon fibre chassis extends the lightweight design to the butterfly doors while door mirrors are replaced with cameras and with a multi-function LCD monitor can display GPS, entertainment, speed, mileage and plenty more.
Price: £TBC I Link: ItalDesign I Out: TBC
Geneva Motor Show 2013: Kia Provo concept
Kia is calling this tough-looking coupe concept a ‘road-legal racer’ and could be the evidence that the car maker is plotting to get in on the hatchback action. With a four wheel drive hybrid power train the Provo combines a 1.6 litre Turbo engine producing 201bhp and an electric motor that drives the rear wheels. Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ grille links to the Schreyer-inspired headlamp units that can be used for “daytime running lights, full beam or even race-style configurations”. The dashboard is made from carbon fibre with analogue dials on a digital display as your means of keeping an eye on the petrol gauge or the sat nav instructions.
Price: £TBC I Link: Kia I Out: TBC
Geneva Motor Show 2013: Toyota iRoad concept
This two-seater electric car for urbanites is a leaning three-wheeler which can race through traffic for 30miles before it needs charging up again. Taking just three hours to get back to full power, the “Personal Mobility Vehicle” features a new technology called 'Active Lean' which balances the car over incredibly tight corners and will no doubt help you zip through traffic like a cyclist. Inside you can expect Bluetooth connectivity with integrated sat nav and audio if it ever makes it onto the road for real.
Price: £TBC I Link: Toyota I Out: TBC
Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept
Expected to inspire future Hyundai offerings, the Genesis with a 5.0 liter V8 engine, rear hinged rear door and a gigantic front grille sports some innovative in-car tech. Replacing buttons with eye-tracking and hand gesture recognition to control navigation, audio and features on your smartphone Hyundai hopes to free the driver to concentrate on the road.Lexus
Price: £TBC I Link: Hyundai I Out: TBA
Lexus autonomous car
High tech cars were everywhere at CES 2013, but none quite so interesting as the Lexus “Advanced active safety research vehicles” which is not going to replace the driver, but simply act as a co-pilot. Using a roof-mounted 360-degree LIDAR system, three HD cameras and lots of sensors the Autonomous motor can detect traffic from 160 yards away, making sure you stay safe if you accidentally fall asleep at the wheel.
Price: £TBC I Link: Lexus I Out: 2013
Audi self-driving car
A car that parks itself and comes to pick you up when you’ve finished your shopping may once have been only found in big budget sci-fi flicks, but thanks to Audi, it is now a thing of reality. Housed inside an A7, Audi’s “Piloted System” uses an array of lasers and scanners to safely park the car scratch free. Got everything you need from Tesco? Simply open a smartphone app and the car will come round and fetch you. Now that is the future.
Price: £TBC I Link: Audi I Out: TBC
Modeled on the F-150 which is one of the most popular pick-up trucks Stateside, the Atlas packs a more fuell efficient ‘next generation’ EcoBoost engine with active wheel shutters and a smart chin spoiler to alter aerodynamics. Most notably on the tech front is a dynamic hitch assist system in the cargo area to precisely line up the truck with the hitch and a 360 degree camera giving you a bird's eye view to scope out your surroundings in greater detail.
Price: £TBC I Link: Ford I Out: TBC
Paris Motor Show 2012: Smart Forstars
An electric coupe with its very own drive-in projector, the two-seater aimed at urban dwellers hosts the beaming tech inside the front grille with a smartphone dock and camera in place of the rear view mirror. Liberating videos from your iPhone via Bluetooth, the Forstars will blast the audio from the in car sound system which includes a set of loudspeakers. The multimedia-friendly concept also hosts a 60kW (80bhp) magneto-electric motor and a glass bubble roof to stare out into the stars. There’s no news if this moving mobile cinema will become reality, but if you want something sans projector, dock and so on you will be able to get your hands on the smart BRABUS electric drive instead.
Price: £TBC I Link: Daimler I Out: 2013
Paris Motor Show 2012: Infiniti Emerge E
Part of the Nissan brand, the Brit-engineered Emerg-E hopes to have you whistling around country roads one day in this plug-in hybrid that packs 402bhp and can hit 0-60 in 4.0 seconds and 0-130mph in a 30 second burst. Made from an aerodynamic, carbon-fibre skin and an aluminium chassis, the two-seater sports car weighs in at 1600kg and hosts a pair of electric motors, and a lithium ion battery pack, that will help you get 30 miles on the clock on a single electric charge.
Price: £TBC I Link: Nissan I Out: TBC
Paris Motor Show 2012: Citroen DS9
Teased earlier this year by the French car manufacturer, this hybrid motor is being dreamt up for car lovers in China to spend their hard earned on and looks like it has just pulled out of the batcave. Details of this stylish saloon are relatively scarce at the moment, but it could well follow the Citroen Metropolis by featuring a 2.0 litre V6 engine capable of 272bhp and a 95bhp electric motor if it ever becomes a reality.
Price: £TBC I Link: Citroen I Out: TBC
Paris Motor Show 2012: BMW i8
BMW took it upon itself to show that the next generation of sports cars could be powerful, sleek and fuel efficient. The i8 Concept is an illustration of that, and its super-light construction has both performance and efficiency in mind. The plug-in hybrid drivetrain combines an electric engine on the front axle with a 3-cylinder petrol engine in the rear, so the driver can choose how fuel efficient they want to be, alternating between front-wheel and all-wheel drive. Don't be fooled by the i8's eco-friendly credentials though, this car is no slouch and can shift from 0 to 62MPH in just 5 seconds.
Price: £TBC I Link: BMW I Out: TBC
Paris Motor Show 2012: Lexus LF-CC
One of the biggest head turners at the 2012 North American Motor Show earlier this year, the hybrid sport coupe with an Advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive is all gentle curves and sharp angles with a spindle grille that looks like it wants to shred you from the head downwards. Inside the car is just as impressive with the twin 13.2-inch LCD screens to display and useful navigation and driving information, climate controls and touchscreens on each door to operate the windows, mirrors and adjust seats. A car like this is clearly a long way from production, but if this is a vision of the future we should all be very excited.
Price: £TBC I Link: Lexus I Out: TBC
Paris Motor Show 2012: Chevrolet Tru 140S
Having already graced its sleek presence at the Geneva and New York Motor Shows, the design of the four seat coupe is based on the Chevrolet Cruze station wagon and packs a 1.4 litre four cylinder engine delivering a maximum 160 bhp. With eAssist hybrid drive and acceleration assist, the car aimed at the sporty yoof comes in a matte white paint finish and sports a nice a big set of 21-inch Chevrolet Performance chrome wheels.
Price: £TBC I Link: Chevrolet I Out: TBC
Paris Motor Show 2012: Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
The sporty five door hatchback with premium looks could well be a glimpse into the future of the supercar manufacturer and its take on the plug-in hybrid. Under the hood is a 3-litre V6 engine and a lithium-ion battery that will manage a top speed of 130km/h and do 0-100km/h in six seconds. Booting up the car can be done via the touch-sensitive colour display and while other nifty little features include automatic climate control, reversing camera and access to the Porsche Communication Management. Embracing the mobile age, you’ll be able to access key driving information and find out how much electricity you have left in the e-hybrid tank right from your smartphone or tablet.
Price: £TBC I Link: Porsche I Out: 2013
Paris Motor Show 2012: Audi Crosslane
The SUV-looking Crosslane that could well could one day become the Audi Q2 is a hybrid motor that has serious eco credentials averaging 256.8mpg and emitting 26/km of CO2. Packing a three cylinder 1.5 litre petrol engine and two electric motors, the concept should hit a top speed of 113mph and do zero to 62mph in 8.6 seconds and 9.8 second in electric mode. The body is made from aluminium, carbon fibre-reinforced polymer and glass fibre-reinforced polymer and inside you’ll find electronically adjustable sports seats while a powermeter on the low dashboard will visualise the status of what power you are running on.
Price: £TBC I Link: Audi I Out: TBC
Paris Motor Show 2012: McLaren P1
A natural and stylistic successor to the McLaren F1, the P1 has been designed to be 'the best driver's car in the world on road and track'. McLaren hasn't released any specs for the innards of the supercar, but the P1 is lighter than the McLaren MP4-12C and likely to be more powerful, so we wouldn't be against their claims that this will be the 'ultimate supercar'.
Price: TBC (£700,000+) | Link: McLaren | Out: 2013
Paris Motor Show 2012: Nissan Terra
Nissan are very much leading the way in eco-friendly car technology, thanks in part to the ingenius Nissan Leaf. The Terra introduces even newer hydrogen fuel-cell technology, which works in tandem with the electric motors installed in each of the rear wheels. Though the styling is reminiscent of the Qashqai, the Terra is proof that Nissan are ready to unleash a new generation of hydrogen-fuelled cars in the near future.
Price: TBC | Link: Nissan | Out: TBC
Paris Motor Show 2012: Peugeot Onyx
Peugeot are not normally renowned for striking supercar design, but the Onyx is proof that the French manufacturer is capable of stunning a large crowd. The Onyx is based on Peugeot's Le Mans cars and packs a whopping 600bhp, 3.7 litre V8 hybrid, and has comfortably made 180kph in testing. This car is a total one-off of course - with a dashboard made of recycled newspapers, doors made from sheet copper and a stitchless, single-piece, compressed felt passenger compartment, we're not surprised.
Price: TBC | Link: Peugeot | Out: TBC
Geneva Motor Show 2012: Nissan INVITATION
A hatchback concept that looks a little bit like miniature SUV, the INVITATION puts efficiency and safety at the head of the features queue sporting Around View Monitor (AVM) technology that makes reversing and parallel parking a veritable breeze. Nissan Safety Technologies will also be on board to keep the driver aware of what is happening around the sporty little number, while the central console will feature a touch screen display and climate control buttons, so you are prepared for whatever the elements can throw at you.
Price: £TBC I Link: Nissan I Out: TBC
Geneva Motor Show 2012: Bentley EXP 9 F SUV concept
The F stands for falcon which is the inspiration for this luxury 4x4 beast of a motor that packs a 6.0 litre, twin turbocharged W12 engine and boasts hybrid capabilities via a Bentley V8 engine and an electric motor with a battery pack. 23-inch alloys inspired by 1920s Le Mans racers, a huge matrix grille and silk wool floor mates tells you all you need to about the clientele for this futuristic SUV.
Price: £TBC I Link: Bentley Motors I Out: TBC
Geneva Motor Show 2012: Toyota Diji
Wish you could personalise your car la little bit like you used to with your old Nokia phone? The Diji first showed up at the Tokyo Motor show last year and now it’s in Geneva showing how you can truly make a car your own. Messages and information can be displayed inside or outside of the car which includes a holographic concierge to help you find place and points of interest. Drivers can set their mood using augmented reality technology and you won’t even have to be in the car to control it with support for smartphone and similar mobile devices.
Price: £TBC I Link: Toyota I Out: TBC
Geneva Motor Show 2012: Toyota FT Bh
Toyota clearly believes in a hybrid future having shown off this hybrid family car concept that is set to deliver 50 per cent lower carbon emissions than current mini cars on the market. Weighing in at 800kg, the FT Bh is made from steel, aluminium, and magnesium and will feature a full hybrid system which means a 2-cylinder, 1-litre petrol engine and a lithium-ion battery pack under the hood. Inside, Toyota has reduced electricity usage from LED lamps and interior lights by around 50% and pumps wasted heat back into the air conditioning system which is specially zoned. If you love Mother Earth, this may the be the future car for you.
Price: £TBC I Link: Toyota I Out: TBC
Nothing less than seamless connectivity between vehicle and driver is at the heart of Ford’s vision with the Evos. As well as accessing your information via the cloud, the car actually learns your preferences and driving habits so it can take on responsibility for routine functions. That could be automatically streaming the same music in different locations, electronically closing the garage door or predicting departure times based on your work calendar, pre-heating the cabin ready for when you stumble, bleary-eyed, down the driveway of a morning.
Ford is using the Evos as a testing ground from which they can create multiple cars. The first of these is the Ford B-Max - a small family car that will be the first to arrive in the UK with Ford SYNC and Applink technology.
Price: £TBC I Link: Ford I Out: TBC
This sporty looking Beetle is an all-electric, eco-friendly, flower-powered remix of a classic design. The lithium-ion Blue-e motion electric drive unit can charge up to 80% in just half an hour, and has around a 100 mile range on a full charge. The LED running lights are a nice touch and help to bring the Volkswagen Beetle into the modern era.
Price: £TBC I Link: Volkswagen.com I Out: TBC
Audi R8 Limousine
Audi R8 Limousine
Limousine hirer ''Limo Broker' has joined forces with bespoke car manufacturer 'Carbonyte UK' to create the Audi R8 Limousine. This is the ultimate blend of speed and sophistication, as you can expect to find all the luxury of a limousine inside what will allegedly be the fastest stretch limo ever made. Not only that, but the two companies have pushed the release date forward, and Limo Broker has started taking bookings for the R8 Limo already, so you could potentially see one of these cruising past you within a few months.
Price: £TBC I Link: carbonyte.co.uk/limobroker.co.uk I Out: Q2 2012
Lexus LF-LC Concept
Lexus LF-LC Concept
The Lexus LF-LC Concept car was the talk of the North American Motor Show in 2012, and it was for one reason only - the styling. It's all gentle curves and sharp angles, before you reach a front end that looks like it wants to shred you from the head downwards. Inside the car is just as impressive, featuring a dashboard that uses Transparent-OLED displays and a long tablet-display where all your infotainment is displayed. Not content with already having loaded the LF-LC with tech, there is also a touch screen input device in the arm rest. A car like this is clearly a long way from production, but if this is a vision of the future we should all be very excited.
Price: £TBC I Link: Lexus.com I Out: TBC
Hybrid cars are still the order of the day. The associated technology is constantly improving and it's becoming clearer every year that electric motors are the way forward for improving efficiency and fuel economy. Toyota's next generation Hybrid Synergy Drive features lighter, more compact components, which in turn means the NS4 can go further on a full electric charge. Not content with just saving you money, Toyota also has deals in place with Microsoft and Intel, among others, which it is using to develop its 'Human-Machine Interface' - a user interface built around a multi-touch screen with the look and feel of a smartphone.
Price: £TBC I Link: Toyota.com I Out: TBC
Acura NSX Concept
Acura NSX Concept
The Acura NSX is one of the most famous supercar models to come out of the USA, and the latest concept model looks to be signalling a new direction for Acura's styling. When it's not busy looking furious, the NSX Concept is a petrol-electric hybrid, carrying two electric motors as well as a petrol V6. Acura think this car is about three years away from release, and if it does find its way to the market then this could be a genuine, six-figure supercar.
Price: £TBC I Link: Acura.com I Out: TBC
The Lacoste feels as though it was designed by a junior school design club. The golf buggy looks fall nicely in line with the golf ball wheels, and while the whole design clearly has fun in mind, it's as though the design club have forgotten a few of the more boring but often necessary parts of a car, such as the roof and the doors. The golf and tennis-influenced design is very much in line with Lacoste's own fashion lines and target market, and all joking aside, concept cars can often be forgiven for being a little out of the ordinary. Just don't expect to see this fun-mobile on your local roads or golf courses any time soon.
Price: £TBC I Link: citroen.com I Out: TBC
Audi Q3 Vail
Audi Q3 Vail
The Audi Q3 Vail was unveiled to a collective gasp of awe at the North American Motor Show in 2012, and with good reason. Audi are calling this a 'themed vehicle', so any details on price or release are a long way away. Essentially, it's a four by four designed for colder climbs (and cleverly named after a resort in Colorado). The seats, floormat and even cup-holders are heated and there are compartments galore for all your winter sportsgear including a roof-rack for your skis or snowboard. Technically it's no slouch either, and AWD along with the 314-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine ensures that the Q3 Vail has plenty of oomph to stop you sliding down mountainsides.
Price: £TBC I Link: Audi.com I Out: TBC