Archive for the 'Concept Car' Category
Ever since its launch in 1994, the T-REX has caught numerous glances and has impressed many by its unique character. Within the world of light vehicles, it has entered the icon level.
Johnathan Côté, a young industrial designer working at Morelli Designers has designed a new T-Rex. Known for his Electrical Mini School Bus presented in Detroit in 2007 during the Michelin Challenge Design, he has chosen to update the brand by proposing a new concept.
While respecting the T-Rex’s DNA, this remodeling offers refreshing new lines and added new assets. Overall, the beauty of this design imparts elegance and refinement worthy of the best sports cars.
The soul of the T-Rex still emanates from the recessed headlights, the lateral and above seats air in-takes and, the ailerons. Two windshield versions are proposed: raised or F1 style.
Several storage areas were integrated in the vehicle. A special attention was set on improving luggage space by blending it into the vehicle’s outline. On the other hand, for those who don’t want luggage on their racing car, two lateral caches were built-in. A small storage space at the front may be used for your briefcase and two smaller glove compartments were cleverly fit underneath the security arches.
For a moment, we imagine ourselves back in the late 1950′s/early 1960′s – the hay day of motorcar racing – before computers – when cars were built by visionaries and artists, focused singularly on making their mark in the history books by building something that is faster, more resilient, more maneuverable than anyone before.
Before huge dollars and huge technology took over for trial and error, cars of this era were built based off of winning marques. Each builder would attempt to capture the essence of the successful cars, and infuse their own skill, ideas and experience into the mix ? hoping to create the right combination to accomplish their goals.
From the big displacement powerhouses such as Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin and Jaguar, to the unending list of small displacement “Etceterini’s” such as Stanguellini, Bandini, OSCA and many, many more…they were all in it to win…and each design idea flowed from one builder to the next.
With history and legend firmly in place our discussion takes us to the scratch-built Sport Speciale commissioned by Barry and Lynn Smith of Scottsdale, AZ. Inspired by the big displacement European racecars of the late ’50′s and early ’60′s. The vision behind this car was to take queues from cars such as the Ferrari TR59/60, Aston Martin DBR1, Maserati 450S (and others) and produce a car that would seamlessly fit into the paddock of 1959…with the mentioned marques in the stalls to the right and left…and our car waiting in the middle to show the expecting crowd our teams’ endeavors of the past year.
Although bodylines would place us at par with the mentioned field, what lies beneath offers our team an unfair advantage. This car is fitted with a chrome-moly tubular chassis and a Superleggera style, stainless steel wire rimmed, hand formed aluminum body. Power is supplied by an F1 inspired, specially built, performance BMW V12 (with heads provided by the BMW Factory in Germany) through a 6-speed transmission. Road handling is taken care of by Brembo and Wilwood racing disc brakes, tubular, adjustable suspension arms, BRT rack steering, race-bred sway bars and many other technological advancements (how does custom designed, Hilborn-style fuel injection sound, for instance!).
Although the “guts” of the car are hi-tech, the details are all original and authentic. Gauges are original Veglia, the steering wheel original Nardi, the lights are original Marchal and Carello, switches are Magneti Marelli and the wheels were built at the Borrani Factory as were the hubs and the knockoffs – on the original jigs that built the same Wires for the Ferraris of old.
With modern engineering and traditional Carrozzeria build techniques, this hand built, one-of-a-kind masterpiece is a seamless fusion of style and performance. A car that provides soul and character that no modern car and few classics can emulate. This car captures all of what those magnificent cars of that era were, yet provides a level of ergonomics and performance those cars could only dream of.
As we envision ourselves back on the starting grid of 1959 – Phil Hill sneering across at us – and the anticipation of a battle to be fought on the road ahead…so can we see another auto aficionado, years from now, gazing at our car as it occupies its place within its family tree from decades before
- Body constructed with exact “Carrozzeria” build techniques, as the famous Italian builders of the 50′s did. Body construction is “Superleggera” style.
- All body and chassis elements of car completely fabricated from raw materials ? from special thermo-formable acrylic headlight covers to the shift knob, which was machined from a solid block of Stainless Steel.
- Panel “rub protection” in matching leather beading
- Color: Ferrari Rossa Barchetta, OEM code 320
- Full heat protection on all cockpit panels
- Adjustable seats ? seating position from 5’2″ to 6’3″
- Interior door pockets, with matching custom storage pouches
- Custom seats trimmed in Italian glove leather
- Side Exhaust pipes custom bent for burn protection and increased ground clearance
- Custom floor mats
- Integrated passenger compartment heating system
- Removable Head Faring
- Original, Marchal racing fog lights
- Clear Mylar chip protection on all forward facing surfaces
- Integrated trickle charge system
- Original “Quick Fill” racing Monza fuel cap
- Power to Weight Ratio: 4.95
- Weight Distribution: 1000lbs/Front (45%), 1230lbs/Rear (55%)
- Fuel Injection: 12 individual injectors and throttle bodies. Completely programmable ? both on the acceleration and deceleration curve.
- Traction: Cutting edge limited slip traction control. No noise, no clicking, power-to-positive-grip-wheel.
- Handling: Racing, quick ratio rack steering, NASCAR-inspired fully adjustable front sway bar.
- Completely adjustable coil over shock absorbers, with multi-position rebound control valving.
- Fuel Cell: Fully Baffled, “1000 rivet style” hand built gas tank, Approximately 20 Gallon capacity.
- Mechanical, self-proportioning, 4-wheel race disc brakes
- Completely hand constructed header and exhaust system. Ceramic coated.
A striking black and silver version of Land Rover’s acclaimed LRX cross-coupe concept makes its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show after the original white LRX revealed earlier to widespread acclaim (at NAIAS, Detroit, in January).
Land Rover shows a new version of its LRX concept in New York at the New York International Auto Show – a desirable, premium and compact SUV which extends the definition of ‘breadth of capability’ Brand new, black and silver version of LRX designed to highlight the concept’s suitability for contemporary personalization.
Conceived as capable of having a range of powertrains, including a 2.0-liter turbodiesel hybrid, with potential CO2 emissions of 120 g/km and U.S. fuel economy of 50 mpg
Demonstrates Land Rover’s commitment to sustainability – with new technologies, lightweight design and environmentally-responsible materials
A bold evolution of Land Rover design – but still unmistakably a Land Rover
Impeccable attention to detail and precision of execution underpin LRX’s premium credentials
“With its metallic black paintwork, silver roof and precisely detailed exterior features, the second version of the LRX concept is designed to show how well the vehicle can deliver a contemporary example of personalization,” says Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s design director.
“The LRX concept already has an abundance of character, but you can tune the appearance to reflect a customer’s own personality and lifestyle. Clever use of color and subtle additional details enable the vehicle to be tailored to suit an individual’s style, without compromising the clean design of the LRX,” he adds.
No production plans have been confirmed yet for the LRX concept, and both versions will now be used to gauge public, retailer and media response to Land Rover’s cross-coupe concept, as well as its interesting new opportunities for vehicle personalization.
“We were hugely excited by the positive response that the original LRX concept generated when we showed it at the Detroit Show in January,” says Phil Popham, managing director of Land Rover. “But we’ve always seen scope for LRX to provide a whole showroom of different models, with a range of powertrains including hybrids and bio-fuel capable engines.”
Using lightweight material technologies, Land Rover has developed a series of bespoke features for the black and silver LRX that add to the vehicle’s individuality and flexibility. The removable carbon composite roof panel contrasts with the silver-colored roof, and has integral anchor points for fixing snowboards and other sports equipment. The sleek black roof bars provide another option for roof-top loads, and a compact step above the rear bumper provides for easy roof-top access. More carbon composite is used for the protective underbody plates at front and rear, while new, lightweight alloy wheels with unique-design tires signal purposefulness. And to protect the vehicle when the going gets tough – in either urban or off-road situations – there are smart, resilient moldings on bumpers and sills.
“The black and silver LRX shows a real world breadth of capability. Its all-terrain ability, extra protection and load-carrying versatility help emphasize that it’s an authentic Land Rover, while its compact dimensions, agile handling and efficient powertrain make it a practical proposition for everyday driving,” says Popham.
The LRX concept marks a bold evolution of Land Rover design, signaling the brand’s potential shift into new areas of the market, while remaining true to its core values. As the company celebrates its 60th anniversary during 2008, the three-door LRX, with its more compact size, lighter weight and sustainability-focused technologies, clearly addresses the needs of a changing world and offers the potential of 120 g/km CO2 emissions and U.S. fuel economy of 50 mpg (60 mpg, 4.7 l/100km on the European combined cycle).
“The LRX concept delivers the powerful message that we are as serious about sustainability as we are confident about the continuing relevance and desirability of our vehicles,” says Popham. “LRX is in every respect a Land Rover, but it’s a very different Land Rover.
“LRX has unmistakable Land Rover design and the breadth of capability that you’d expect from our vehicles. But it carries those essentials into a segment where the brand has never been before, and with a proposed level of efficiency that would make it one of the cleanest vehicles in its class. It is Land Rover’s way of affirming the brand’s responsible approach to future product development. At this stage, LRX is purely a concept, designed to help us develop our thinking as well as gauge customer reaction – but this feels like a hugely exciting direction to take.”
COMPACT AND PREMIUM
LRX is described as a cross-coupé and dramatically extends the scope of what Land Rover represents. Though 5.9 in (149 mm) shorter than the LR2 / Freelander 2 and 8.1 in (205 mm) lower, LRX is conceived as a premium vehicle, designed to appeal to new customers in the luxury and executive sector – those who want many of the benefits of an SUV and the presence of a larger vehicle, but in a more compact package.
The first all-new Land Rover revealed since Gerry McGovern became the company’s design director, LRX is a natural extension of the Land Rover range, complementing the existing models and helping to define a new segment. Its many recognizable Land Rover design cues include bold new interpretations of the signature clamshell bonnet, the floating roof and the solid ‘wheel-at-each-corner’ stance.
“LRX is a design born out of passion for the brand, but it is different, relevant, engaging and exciting – because Land Rover has never built ordinary vehicles,” says McGovern. “LRX has a highly desirable identity and the design alludes strongly to its capability, while clearly underlining our forward-looking philosophy – it’s a Land Rover that would be comfortable on Bond Street or Fifth Avenue, but wouldn’t flinch at getting its wheels dirty.”
Its compact size is one of its greatest assets, which will appeal to anyone who wants the versatile ability of an agile SUV with the cachet of the Land Rover name. In addition, its lower weight and the reduced aerodynamic drag resulting from the smaller frontal area would help give significant gains in fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions.
HIGHLY EFFICIENT POWERTRAIN
The white LRX is conceived as a highly fuel-efficient 2.0-liter, turbodiesel hybrid, capable of running on bio-diesel. In combination with other Land Rover technologies, this powertrain could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 30% compared with other SUVs of comparable size, and reduce CO2 emissions to approximately 120 g/km.
LRX’s improved efficiencies are the result of advanced mechanical and electrical energy-saving elements, which are combined to achieve cumulative gains in many areas.
The concept’s integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) is particularly significant in Land Rover terms as it would allow LRX to use electric drive alone at lower speeds while retaining full (even improved) SUV ability in tough conditions. Unlike the hybrid technology used by some SUV rivals, Land Rover’s unique solution retains mechanical drive to all four wheels.
Off-road, the ERAD would provide additional torque only when it is needed, and with maximum electrical torque from standstill, this solution offers even better low-speed control and enhanced pull-away on difficult surfaces (such as packed snow or wet grass) or when towing.
On the road, the ERAD would allow low-speed traffic creep up to 20 mph (32 km/h) on electric power alone, with the Integrated Starter-Generator (ISG) function re-starting the engine automatically when needed. The electric drive would then continue to assist the mechanical drive until the engine is running in its most efficient range, benefiting both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The ISG would also stop the engine automatically when the vehicle halts in traffic, so the engine does not idle needlessly, and restart it quickly and smoothly as required.
The electrical drive system uses power stored in a dedicated high-voltage, high-capacity, lithium-ion battery pack, independent of the normal 12-volt battery. This is charged by a regenerative braking energy system, also working through the ERAD.
LRX also incorporates Hill Descent Control and Land Rover’s acclaimed and user-friendly Terrain Response system, which optimizes vehicle drivability and comfort, as well as maximizing traction. On LRX, this has five modes, including the new and efficiency-focused ‘Eco’ mode. Principally for on-road use, this configures all the integrated elements of the vehicle’s system for optimized fuel economy. The other four Terrain Response modes provided are sports (also new), general driving, sand and ‘grass/gravel/snow’ (a single program for slippery surfaces).
EXTENDING ‘BREADTH OF CAPABILITY’
The positioning of LRX could be described as moving subtly from traditional SUV to crossover, with its more car-like appearance and dynamics that are sportier and on-road biased. But while its character is underlined by excellent agility, handling and performance, LRX also promises the widest breadth of capability in the class.
The design of LRX was developed entirely in-house by Gerry McGovern’s team, driven by a passion to create a vehicle that truly represents Land Rover’s future thinking. It has a very dynamic profile, with a distinctive taper to the floating roofline and a muscular shoulder running the length of the vehicle, accentuated by the rising beltline. The glazing wraps right around LRX, with no exposed pillars, creating a bold design graphic. The architectural structure of the upper body can be glimpsed through the windows and roof – echoing some of the best contemporary buildings.
Pushing the wheels out to the four corners helps give the vehicle its purposeful stance, and its front-end design makes a powerful and instantly recognizable statement of Land Rover’s identity. The carefully sculpted corners dramatically reduce the vehicle’s visual overhangs front and rear.
There are new interpretations of Land Rover’s traditional clamshell bonnet, distinctive headlamps and perforated two-bar grille. The vehicle has jewel-like, tapering blade indicator clusters front and rear, and the wheel arches are wide but softly integrated, housing highly polished, 20-inch alloy wheels.
The fine detailing includes additional polished aluminum in the form of side-strips, side and bonnet vents, and the exterior door releases, which are concealed in the vehicle’s shoulders. Graphic details such as these appear to be ‘punched out’ of the smooth body surfaces rather than overlaid on them. The ‘frosted’ white paint color was especially developed for LRX and its visual depth helps to highlight the vehicle’s form.
IMPECCABLE, PREMIUM INTERIOR
The interior of the LRX concept clearly demonstrates how a compact Land Rover can still be roomy, practical, versatile – and sophisticated. The impeccably executed cabin features a combination of soft leathers in rich tan and dark chocolate, with polished aluminum details, while the visible structures of the seats, instrument panel and roof architecture not only give a highly distinctive look but also help save weight.
The ‘fast’ sloping architecture of the center console reflects LRX’s sporty dynamics, as does the distinctive binnacle over the instrument cluster. The electronic display uses ‘floating’ LCD graphics to create a three-dimensional look that can be personalized for different drivers, as well as interacting with LRX’s touch screen display.
The instrument graphics present data in layers depending on their level of importance, to give maximum relevant information with minimum distraction. When appropriate, displayed information transfers between the main instrument cluster and the touch screen. Further adding to LRX’s involving personality, different Terrain Response modes are matched by changes in the cabin’s background ‘mood’ lighting color – green in ‘Eco’, red in sports and blue in general driving and off-road modes.
CLEVER USE OF SPACE
Although LRX is compact, clever use of space makes it impressively roomy, and many neat design touches maximize its practicality. A second touch screen area gives a fully interactive display and control for LRX’s iPhone docking facility.
On either side of the horizontally-split, power-operated tailgate, removable and power-adjustable speakers include an iPod docking station. There is also a coolbox, plus a bottle chiller that can be clipped to the lowered tailgate. The tailgate also has integral aluminum cupholders between two padded seating areas, for a new twist on the idea of a traditional Land Rover tailgate lunch.
Every interior design detail combines to maximize both actual space and the feeling of space. The clear roof is supported by a ‘spider’ frame running into the A-pillars, and the rear quarter pillars have glazed apertures for improved visibility and a lighter feel in the cabin.
LRX’s distinctive seats ‘float’ on individual plinths and have open frameworks to reinforce the impression of light, airy interior space – while also creating useful under-seat and under-floor stowage areas. The clever, articulated mechanism of the powered seat backs maximizes interior flexibility and helps create a large, flat storage area when needed. With the rear seats folded forward, two mountain bikes can be fitted upright behind them, with front wheels removed and stored in dedicated slots in the floor. Alternatively, skis and surfboards can be accommodated in the generous load space, which has multiple tie-down options and a through-loading option.
“Flexible load-carrying capacity is fundamental to the concept of LRX,” says McGovern. “With this vehicle, we’ve interpreted the idea of Land Rover ‘breadth of capability’ to be more about versatility and on-road dynamics than about ultimate off-roading. This meets the needs of the new customers that we believe would be attracted by this type of vehicle; they will not only appreciate LRX’s flexibility, but will also recognize that it has been packaged with the highest levels of precision.”
SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT DESIGN
The exposed structures of the seats, roof and instrument panel are just one novel approach that Land Rover’s designers have taken to reduce vehicle weight. Another example is replacing the glass for the side windows and roof with polycarbonate from SABIC Innovative Plastics, which is around 40% lighter. The polycarbonate also blocks virtually all UV light (protecting interior materials from fading), while special nano-technology within the material reduces infra-red transmission, helping to keep the interior cool.
Even the choice of premium-quality trim materials reflects Land Rover’s deep thinking about sustainability, with vegetable-tanned leather (chromium-free, so better for recycling), extensive use of aluminum (both lightweight and readily recyclable) and carpeting made of felt from sustainable sources. And the luxurious, vanilla-colored ‘fine suede’ on the door inserts and headliner is a 100% recycled material made from used plastic bottles and fibers.
“We are determined to make sustainability a key element in our future product design and the way we do business, while still creating vehicles that have a strong emotional appeal as well as fulfilling people’s practical needs,” says Popham. “No single technology delivers all the answers to whole-life sustainability, but the LRX concept brings together some of the ideas for the future that interest us, integrating them into a vehicle that we believe represents an exciting way forward for Land Rover.”
Length: 171.3 in / 4351 mm
Width (excluding mirrors): 74.6 in / 1895 mm
Width (including mirrors): 82.0 in / 2083 mm
Height: 60.4 in / 1535 mm
Wheelbase: 104.7 in / 2660 mm
Engine (proposed): 2.0-liter turbodiesel
Fuel economy (potential): U.S. 50 mpg (60 mpg, 4.7 l/100 km on European combined drive cycle)
CO2 emissions (potential): 120 g/km (on European combined drive cycle)
It’s been a while but I’m finally done with the new concept. It’s totally different to the F250. I decided to go for a front engine rear wheel drive setup. It needed to be a brute, a car that has muscle car qualities. It needed to reflect raw power yet not be vulgar. With a 6.1 L Supercharged V8 under the bonnet it’s guaranteed to be properly quick.
The car was inspired by the classic muscle and gt cars of the passed. They include the Corvette Stingray, Gillet Vertigo and Shelby Daytona.