Tag Archives: concept

1995 TT concept in B&W.

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The MK1 TT is quite simply the most beautiful German car design in…what…the last 50 years….since the original Porsche 911, in my humblest opinion.  The 80s and early 90s were pretty dark and depressing times for German car design which entered a comfort zone of drab, unimaginative, uncreative designs (except Porsche, who were always putting together interesting cars)..and the TT put an end to those dark ages.  Timeless, ageless, and pure…..and with rumours of the next-generation MK3 TT being heavily influenced by the original, the MK1 TT’s legend will continue to grow.

Here’s the original 1995 MK1 TT Concept….the automotive design equivalent of punk rock in 1995!  I have turned the original manufacturer photos in B&W to fully appreciate the geometry and design pornography!

It is astounding to me that the MK1 TT Coupe that sits in my garage (for the last 10+ years) is virtually identical to this concept, barring a few select details.

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Kia Provo.

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Times have changed haven’t they?  5 years ago, i couldn’t have ever imagined getting excited over a Kia product.  These days, with Peter Schreyer (one of my design heroes) in charge, Kia concepts are as exciting, design-wise, as any of the germans.   If this car had a Lancia, Audi, or Alfa badge on it….we’d ALL be on the waiting list.  Unfortunately as a Kia concept, much of the stunning concept material never makes it into production.  That being said, Peter Schreyer is now HEAD of of Kia/Hyundai operations; so anything is possible!  Could this be the next generation Veloster?  Honestly if it looked like that, i could drive this work every day.

Behold the Kia Provo, set to debut in Geneva.  My my…..what a wicked little car.  Look at that funk filled interior.  Love it.  That front end is just sinister.

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src:  leftLaneNews (thanks to TTQ2K2 for the tip)

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4 Coupe – real pics.

Here are some actual pics of that BMW 4-series Coupe I posted about yesterday—-courtesy of the finest magazines in the world,  Intersection

It looks great.  First 3-series….uhh..4-series  i’ve liked in a looooong time!

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Leica ABCDE (1970) and Leica S1 (1996) prototypes.

Well here are 2 very strange prototype cameras.

The Leica ABCDE looks like a GREAT SLR design from 1970 (albeit with possibly the worst name ever for a camera…lol).  Why didn’t they use it? I haven’t the slightest clue.  Not much is known about this concept, however it was seen on a Leica Factory Tour in 2009 by DPReview.com (the link to their tour, unfortunately, does not work—however the pictures are found in search).

 

The Leica S1 (below) from 1996 has to be one of the least useable camera designs ever!  I cannot even imagine focusing while holding a gigantic ring—-or maybe it’s genius!?  Who knows….all we know is that it seems to have cool digital buttons on the top.  The colour is right as well.  It may make for a nice steering wheel though.

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1969 Pininfarina Sigma Grand Monoposto F1.

Well that’s a bit of a mouthful.  So what happens when Pininfarina decides to design an F1 car for Ferrari in 1969?  This happens!

and in its most recent state:

 

foto src: carStyling

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Progress of the Alpine resurrection.

Carlos Tavares (Renault CEO) has been talking some details about the resurrection of Alpine!  It seems it will be a completely new car, and NOT the A110-50 that was shown several months ago.  Should be very, very interesting.

My bet is that Lotus is going to be involved in this….as Lotus and Alpine have a history of collaboration.

from Autocar:

Carlos Tavares:

“We could have given our engineers €50 million and told them to make the best of it. But that would probably have produced a mediocre car because it’s not much money to play with. Alpine has a great history, and we want to make emotional cars that will be true to that.”

“He won’t yet reveal the mechanical layout but admits it is unlikely to be rear-engined, as the A110 was.”

“Convenience is an important part of modern packaging,” Tavares says, “but we are not inclined to compromise too much. This is a car that must appeal to the emotions. If you refine such a car too much, it loses its special character.”

The production Alpine will bear little relation to the Alpine concept from earlier this year that incorporated the styling of the DeZir concept on to a Mégane Trophy racer.

 

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A110-50 in detail and production Alpine coming to 2012 Paris Auto Show.

I fell hard for the Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept  introduced on May 25th at the Monaco Grand Prix.  Here are some fantastic close-up detail shots of the concept, confirming that the level of detail is just beautiful on it.  From the success of the concept, it appears we are going to see some sort of a production Alpine concept at the Paris Auto Show in the Autumn.  I’m really not sure how finished of a product we may see—however i’m quite confident based on people i’ve spoken to that there will be something on display at the Paris show resembling a production Alpine, at least in concept form.

50 years ago, Jean Redele introduced the production Alpine A110 at the 1962 Paris Auto Show.  Renault is going to do something similar with a production, street-version of the A110-50.  As usual, IEDEI will be ahead of the game when it comes to publishing news about it!

Click to enlarge these brilliant photos by one day one tone:

oh and WHERE CAN I GET THIS BAG!?

src: oneDayOneTone

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the awkward: BMW Zagato Coupe.

Well this is an odd looking car isn’t it.  The standard, current generation Z4 is not a bad looking car, however it has always seemed too long and a bit awkward.  So how do you reckon making an already awkward car even more awkward can happen?  Oh yes that would be the job of Zagato.

Zagato have always made strange looking cars, no question about it.  Sometimes their madness pays off (Alfa Junior Z, Lancia Hyena, Lancia Fulvia Sport, Alfa Giuletta SZ), although it seems lately that everything they make sort of looks like a parody of the ‘old-school’ Zagato designs.

So Zagato have now rebodied a Z4 into what is know known as a BMW Zagato Coupe.  I think it looks pretty subpar, if i’m honest…and I find the BMW-Zagato connection to be a little strange.  That being said….it IS interesting—-although I think the previous generation Z4 Coupe would rather accomplish all of this in a far more attractive manner.

In the old days, these sorts of awkward body styles really did work—mainly because the bumpers were not ‘integrated’ as they are now, and the wheels weren’t absurdly large and bulky like they are today.

the BMW Zagato Coupe is debut’ing at this year’s Villa D’Esta.

the sketches actually looked pretty promising…

here’s a video discussing the idea and design of the car:

src: BMW

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idea of the day: closed cockpit F1?

Well that’s interesting to wonder if F1 cars could ever be closed cockpit.  This rendering was done by Iacoski and apparently inspired by Massa’s accident in 2009 where he got nailed in the head by debris!

Whatever you think about it, the rendering is definitely nicely done and very interesting!  Something to think about…

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foto of the day. Survolt.

a 2010 concept by Citroen called the Survolt.  This is the kind of insanity I expect from Citroen.   Madness and over the top goodness! 2 electric motors, 300hp.  If this is the future of the sports car and it’s electric—-i want in!

short promo video:

 

 

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foto of the day. Studio GT

What is it? it is the 1968 Neri & Bonacini Studio GT Duo Litri

The excellent Automobiliac site introduced me to this unknown gorgeous wonder yesterday!  I was taken aback by how such a beautiful car could be made and be completely unknown to the world!!!  Bradley alludes to this being like a “Mini Miura” and yes I very much agree….there’s a lot of wonderful going on here, especially with a Lancia Fulvia V4 stuck inside as the source of power….if you haven’t heard a Fulvia V4 before, you must do so!

This one seems to be roaming around the Greenwich Concours—-why didn’t I see this last time I was there!?

More pics and info at Automobilac

photo src:  supercars

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EA 276: 1969 VW Golf (MK1) prototype.

I remember seeing a photo of this ages ago…but just saw it again after a long time.  I find it interesting how the rear side view seems to have inspired the Peugeot 205 in many ways.  I also find it interesting that the front end design presented here in 1969 seems way ahead of its time!  As a whole though, I think it’s safe to say that the proper MK1 Golf which presented itself a few years later is a much more cohesive, proportional design than this one is.  This 1969 prototype is also FWD, front-engined as the production MK1 would be…

This car is currently stored at the VW Museum in Wolfsburg, Germany

src: historyOfCars

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Holden GTR-X

At its announcement in August 1970, a month after the launch of the redoubtable Torana GTR XU-1, GMH said it was “breaking with tradition by giving the public an opportunity to see in advance a car which could be the basis of a limited production vehicle in the future…the GTR-X has been built specifically to test design concepts and help assess the Australian market for a locally designed and manufactured two-seater sports car.” 

OH really, GM?  Sounds like you were been sipping too much Pontiac Banshee!

src: cartype

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MK3 Audi TT…could this be the 1st official hint?

I believe so!  From everything I minimally know about the MK3 development process, this is by far the closest thing i’ve seen consistent with the descriptions i’ve heard.  Same kinda roofline, but very progressive design.  I really think this photo, which accompanied a technology press release….is the first official hint at the MK3 TT’s design!

src: autoblog

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Father of the Panamera: Porsche 989.

Amazing that this prototype is from 1988/1989…..with styling way ahead of its time in terms of swoopy ‘coupe-like’ rooflines which have made their way back into fashion these days with cars like the CLS, A7, and Panamera.

I am, of course, a huge fan of the Panamera.  And yes i take a lot of crap for it from readers of IEDEI and my friends! ha.  Quite simply, i think it is the most interesting sedan on the road today.

So here’s my take on what happened to the Porsche 989.  Ulrich Bez, head engineer of Porsche in the late 1980s, proposed the idea for a 4-door ‘sedan’ which could be mass marketed as a proper german rival sedan to BMW and Mercedes.  Porsche, pretty much sucked at business during this time;  most people don’t seem to realise that Porsche were in BAD shape through most of the 80s—–virtually going out of business at one point!  They had lackluster products, selling for too much money. Surely the 989 must have come across as a revelation of sorts!  Unfortunately Porsche’s rubbish financial state and the departure of Bez resulted in the project being canned by the early 90s.  Obviously it came back in the form of the Panamera.

So some of you may have seen the photos of the ‘original’ Porsche sedan concept, by Troutman-Barnes—-which may have inspired the 989 (minus the crazy suicide doors on the Troutman!) Here are photos showing the evolution of the design:

As of right now, nobody knows the whereabouts of the 989 prototype pictured here—-in fact I have even read that it was given to Ferry Porsche as a present—-however MY suspicion is that it is sitting somewhere inside Ferdinand Piech’s lost basement of lost concepts, waiting to be unearthed again!  The car has NEVER been photographed again since this original german photo shoot…..

srcs: top speed, pelican parts, wikipedia, the petrol stop

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World Exclusive: The lost Alpine W71 (A710/A410) prototype

The final Alpine which came out under the Alpine badge was the A610/GTA which was introduced in 1986 and eventually warped in the final reiteration which came out in 1991.  This GTA was supposed to make it to the US with a Renault “Alpine GTA” badge and even had cars sent for reviews to auto car magazines; only to have it pulled in the end due to Renault’s bad state of affairs in the US market.

As it turns out, Renault was also working on another car between 1989 to 1993 known as the “W71”.  This car was a small, lightweight, 2-seater which was meant to be a modern interpretation of the original A110.  The people developing this car in Berex (the original Renault Sport factory; the site where the A442 was developed) were indeed personnel leftover from the original Alpine factory.  Their goal was to save the badge and indeed produce a car which would hark back to the glory days of Alpine; functional, lightweight, driver’s cars.   Not to say that A610 wasn’t a driver’s car—-it was.  That being said, the A610 had grown in size significantly from even the small A310 and it was full of luxury amenities and had become a hybrid of a GT car and a sports car to rival the 911 of the time.

Renault’s Berex, where a lot of the former Alpine employees still worked:

In the past few weeks, there have been numerous articles popping up online about Renault building a 50th anniversary tribute to the original A110 Berlinette (which I can confirm to you IS true….they are working on an Alpine), and a story about the people behind the ‘new’ Lancia Stratos trying to get permission to make a ‘new’ Alpine A110

In the past, there have been some grainy, incomplete photos of the W71/A710/A410 published online; but these have been suboptimal to get an insight into the car’s designs.  I was graciously provided these exclusive photos of the ‘lost’ prototype from the time of development.  If you use these photos anywhere else on the web, please credit this blog.

I was told that the hopes of all the remaining Alpine staff rested on this car ‘making it to production’……when it was killed off by Renault, it was the final stab to a great marque.

Some information about the long lost prototype that sits hidden away somewhere in France!

Yes, the prototype was totally functional. It’s handling was tested and fine tuned on Renault ‘s Aubevoye test center tracks. It’s lap time was better than A610’s lap time, despite inferior engine.  If I remember correctly, prototype was fitted with J7R, 2L NA engine 140 HP versus Z7X 2.5L turbo 250 HP for the A610. The first prototype and concept was very light (no AD, no air cond, no ABS…) but later in the project, the marketing asked for a lot of these useless things in this kind of car. Theorical weight and price increased, performance decreased. And the project was finally axed in 1992 or 1993″

As you can see, it has a completely finished interior with badges on the steering wheel and door sills.  Nice sport bucket seats as well!  Functionality of the original Alpine spirit looks preserved in this limited view.

The first Porsche Boxster concept was shown to the world in 1993, right after this A710/A410 project was killed off.  The 3rd generation MR2, which also carries some features of this car in design was introduced in 1999.  As someone who is fascinated, intrigued, and interested in Alpine cars and company history; it saddens me that Renault killed off this car.  It seems like the W71/A710/A410 would have taken the company back to the days of producing a pure sports car; in the spirit of the original brand.

I often hear people saying that the A110 was the “Porsche 911 of France”….which I don’t agree with.  I actually think of Alpine as more akin to Lotus than Porsche; a focused racing company with an intriguing history and a different way of doing things.  Whereas Lotus and Alpine both lost their way a bit in the 80s; Lotus came back strong with the Elise in the 90s…….according to the pics and information about this lost Alpine; Alpine could have come back strong with their own rear-engined ‘pure’ sports car—-unfortunately for Alpine, Renault controlled the company.  It is tragic this car was never even shown at an auto show or to the world—even though they spent almost $10 million (1989 money) developing it.  What could have been…..

The styling of the W71 was, however, influenced by the 1990 Renault Laguna Concept (photo via netcarshow)

A couple of years later, the Renault Sport Spider was introduced with obviously devoted “A210/A220” race car headlights…..but when i asked about the origins of this car and whether this Spider was actually the A710/A410 in hiding, i was told that the Spider was NOT the same as the A710/A410 in any way; however some of the same people responsible for the A710/A410 project were involved in the Spider project.  The Spider was code named “W94” and was produced between 1995 and 1997 at the Dieppe factory (now a Renault Sport factory).  It obviously carried the spirit of the A710/A410 prototype; but in a different form.

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Giugaro and the Lotus M70 (Esprit)

Before the Lotus Esprit became the Lotus Esprit…it was known as the M70.  Penned by Giugaro (Italdesign) and quite a big step for Lotus as a company; It launched Lotus into the realm of supercars.

I have to say that the Series 1 Lotus Esprit is a pretty great looking car….and the M70 definitely looks like the purest expression of the design (obviously!).

Here are some original ideas thrown around for the M70:

(from Car Styling Magazine, April 1976: Lotusespritturbo.com)

 

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lost concept: Ghia Lancia 1600 HF Competizione

Although it looks like a Bertone concept, it is not! In fact this is the 1969 Ghia Lancia HF Competizione concept.  I don’t have a ton of information about the actual car; however I do know that it was based on the standard Fulvia HF platform and was FWD with the famous 1600 V4 engine from the Fulvia HF.  However, a major difference was that the Ghia concept was even lighter than the standard Fulvia—-which made it even faster and (supposedly) with better handling.  The idea was to possibly use this as a basis for a racing car that would have possibly be entered into Le Mans-type race events; alas this was not meant to be.

It was shown at the 1969 Geneva Auto Show; and obviously never produced.

  

src (colour photos): mauiboy

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foto(s) of the day. 263.

Volvo 263?  When Volvo thought about trying to build a fastback!? This is a lost prototype/design study of a 263 Coupe/Fastback. This must be when Volvo looked over at the Saab 900 and thought “oi! we can do that”…..til they realised they couldn’t!

Sc: Volvo Tips and Nakhon100

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The mysterious Saab Facett.

During the time of the original Saab Sonnet 1, there were 6 cars produced by SAAB.  Apparently one of those cars was taken by a SAAB designer/employee named Sigvard Sorenson—–to be transformed in his backyard into something quite peculiar!  The SAAB Facett was born!  This was neither an official prototype OR product from SAAB.  This was just a product of one man’s passion for doing something unique.  He built it right on top of one of the original 6 Sonett 1 roadsters.


Some interesting insight into the car from Saab History

“According to the Continental magazines, the Facett was another prototype being used by Saab to test the public reaction and taste. The truth is that they were way off the mark. From the beginningto end, the Facett was a backyard project and the only connection the builder, Sigvard Sorensen, had with Saab was that he was employed in the design department in Trollhättan.

The story begins when one of the first six Sonetts was offered for sale to the employees at Saab in the early sixties. The company had neither the available space or desire to store all the cars in a shed so they simply sold off the cars they felt were superflouos.

Sigvard Sorensen took up the offer and bought himself a bright green Saab Sonett Super Sport. The car was rather impractical, to say the least, and Sorensen started thinking about what he could do to make it more useful.

He began by removing the plastic body and went to work on the chassis. The fuel tank was moved from its odd position in the front wing to between the rear wheels where it was well protected against all types of accidents + standard procedure on all Saabs with the exception of the six Sonett Is.

The original engine was rejected in favor of a standard sport engine which was more suited to everyday driving than a temperamental, highly tuned racing engine. At this stage Sorensen realized that he would have to build a completely new body sheel and preferably with a hardtop. To get the car driveable quicker, he decided to use sheet metal instead of fiberglass.”

NOW! the story gets even more interesting.  That original Saab Facett (pictured only at the TOP of this post) had been converted back into a green Saab Sonett sometime after by a different owner.  All of the steel bodywork Sigvard had done to the car was removed and the car was restored back to being a roadster.  HOWEVER, this owner (Rene Hirsch) commissioned a german company to replicate the chassis and the original Facett using the same body panels which were removed to re-create the roadster.  So in effect, now BOTH can be seen together again…..the Green Sonett is the original car as SAAB produced it out of the factory—-the white Facett is a recreation of the custom Facett that Sigvard had made after buying the green roadster.  6 Saab Sonett roadsters exist; and now there’s a Facett to join them rather than take one’s place.

multiple sources were used for this article: Saab History,  Madle, and a nice article by George Achorn which clarified some of the confusion @ Turbonines

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Bertone (Alfa) Carabo.

I can’t think of another car where the LOGO of the model would match the shape of the car!  Marcello Gandini’s 1968 cutting edge, wedge shaped Bertone Carabo had exactly that though!

Bertone’s comment on the car:

At the end of the 1960′s Bertone focussed his creative energies on prototypes. The Turin designer’s creativity and daring reached its peak in 1968 with the Carabo, which was presented at the Paris Motor Show in October.

Built on the Alfa Romeo 33 chassis with a centrally-mounted engine, it became a style classic, known for its creativity and original features, some of which contribute to its legendary standing.

Design features like its tight lines, tapering front blending in seamlessly with the windscreen, and the air inlets and outlets.

And the original door mechanism, with doors opening upwards and forwards (a concept which reappears on the production Countach), and even the novel colour: iridescent green like a beetle (hence the name Carabo, in Italian, a type of beetle).”

(from Carbodydesign)

Let’s also not forget that the Carabo brought the world “scissor doors”….which was mostly a positive innovation, however often a negative one when it’s seen on 1987 Hondas parked at 7-11!

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interior of the day. Bertone Corvair Testudo

This car recently sold in that Bertone concept auction for 336k Euros, but the 1963 Bertone designed Chevy Corvair Testudo concept had one supercrazy interior.  Wow.

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