If what we see at the auto show in New York is any indication of the automotive future, then our roads will be pretty quiet some years from now. The vehicles that we will have in the future, whether they will be a hybrid or an all electric, are far from the noisemakers that we have now. A lot of the future cars are also a lot smaller.
According to the car manufacturer, the E-tron will be a label that they will use for a whole family of cars just like the TDI and the quattro. The Audi E-tron is a two-seater electric vehicle which is lighter and smaller than the R8 sports car lineup. It is electric but it is really fast. Audi claims that it the E-tron will be able to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds. The range of the car is also very good at 150 miles for every full charge. The car will be tested until 2012 and we still have yet to find out with regard to production.
The Mini BeachComber will be rolling out dealerships this fall. The concept is very similar to the Mini Moke back in the 1960’s which symbolized an adventurous driving attitude along coastal regions and used during leisure time or for sports activities.
The car designers injected elements like bottle holder, meal box, sunglass case, and stopwatch backed up by a four wheel drive performance, 17-inch alloy rims, and a set of off road tires. The feature video below was during the BeachComber’s unveiling back in Detroit.
Hybrid Tourer from Subaru
Some people do not see a match with gullwing doors and the rugged image and performance of the Tourer from Subaru. Good thing aside from it being a gasoline-electric hybrid, it features the all wheel drive system Subaru is known for. Add to that the lineatronic CVT gearbox. The Tourer has a dashboard that is moveable, specialized shielding for the windshield to lessen the eyestrain when driving, and a flat floor to have more space in the cabin. The video below puts spotlight on the Tourer during last year’s Tokyo Motor Show.
The ActiveE is based on the 1-Series coupe of BMW priced at $29,150. The carmaker wants to inject all the features BMW cars have—luxury, performance, style—plus zero emissions. It will have an output of 170 horsepower on a rear wheel drive configuration. It could be production ready by 2011 according to BMW. Below is a teaser from BMW.
GM’s new boxy crossover will have a turbocharged 140 horsepower powerplant under its hood. The engine will be coupled with an automatic transmission with a six speed configuration. The Granite boasts of 33 mpg on the highway and about 27 mpg while snaking through city streets. The Granite is pretty small, perfect for zigzagging through crowded streets. Its doors open from the center and got no pillars.
The FT-CH is the Japanese carmaker’s attempt to give the Prius a smaller hybrid cousin. The new compact hybrid is about 22 inches shorter than the Prius and is part of Toyota’s grand plan to roll out about 1 million hybrid units before 2015. We can expect around 8 new hybrid creations in the next few years from Toyota. If ever the FT-CH goes to production, the car will have a lower sticker price than the Prius and will be specifically built for younger consumers.
Regal GS Concept from Buick
GM calls the Regal GS Concept as the heir to the throne of the Gran Sport of the brand. The concept vehicle boasts of a 2.0L turbocharged powerplant that outputs 255 horsepower paired with a manual transmission. The Regal GS Concept can go from 0 to 60 in just 6 seconds. Some highlights include the 20-inch aluminum rims, performance tires, air intakes on the front end of the vehicle, and a racing setup for the steering wheel. Below is a good clip from InsideLine.
The Aveo can do a lot for the brand’s humdrum image and it is expected to meet head on with the Fiat 500 and the Ford Fiesta. It will be a great competition with a good 138 horsepower and a torque of 148 pound-feet. The design lines give it an aggressive, sporty stance plus the hatchback rear and the cool hexagon grille.
The Lancia Delta can be the first of the Fiat built cars with a Chrysler badge due for roll out by around 2012. The lines used are pretty interesting with the Chrysler elements injected to the grille, hatchback configuration, and Brembo brakes.
The Leaf from Japanese carmaker Nissan goes for $32,780 with buyers getting eligibility for $7,500 of tax credit and around $12,500 for California residents. You can also lease it for $349 a month. The Leaf can go for 100 miles on a single full charge of its 80kW electric motor. Experts say owners will only spend about $3 per charge. Nissan will start accepting pre-orders this April 20.