Alongside the multitude of expensive, extravagant product launches for high-performance hypercars (we're looking at youFord GT), Buick has used the 2015 North American International Auto Show to quietly launch a beautiful design concept that points to where the brand is headed. Launched with no big press conference or fanfare, the Avenir's classic proportions and carefully-sculpted details have it sitting near the top of Gizmag's list for best-looking car of Detroit 2015
Everyone knows what the original Batmobile was, right? It was the redesigned Lincoln Futura concept
that Adam West drove in the 1966 Batman
television series – or was it? It turns out that the earliest known officially licensed Batmobile was built in 1963 and is going to auction at Heritage Auctions next month after receiving extensive restoration.
The fourth global concept car developed by the Shanghai GM and Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) joint ventures, the Buick Riviera emulates the form of moving water. The concept designed for the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show
is powered by a plug-in hybrid system that can be recharged wirelessly.
Unlike many of the concept cars we see at auto shows that are dummied up with clay, smoke and mirrors, Rolls Royce has always pursued an entirely different philosophy, building fully functioning “experimental vehicles.” Each such car is meticulously hand-built to investigate how the potential production model will operate in real world conditions. The first such vehicle (1EX) was constructed in 1919, predating the 1938 Buick Y-Job (often claimed to be the world’s first concept car) by almost two decades. The “Torpedo” styled 10EX was built in 1926 as a sports car version of the Phantom 1 and after many modifications, lapped Brooklands at an average speed of 91.2 mph. Most importantly, it stayed in the company as a staff car and occasional celebrity courtesy car for six years, being driven by many people of note, such as Lawrence of Arabia who once borrowed it for a European trip. Apart from being exquisitely beautiful, 10EX was one of the world’s first concept cars, has a splendorous and meticulously documented provenance, and … it’s for sale.
It’s not unusual for automotive designers to test virtual models of cars on virtual models of bumpy roads. The model of the car, of course, represents an actual proposed vehicle. As for the road, however... where does that model come from? In the case of new technology used by Buick, it’s a millimeter-precise recreation of an existing, physical road.
A few days ago, I managed to get up close and personal in Shanghai
with one of the most interesting concept cars the world has yet seen. SAIC's Yez concept car is the first automobile, concept or otherwise, that's ever been conceived to have a negative carbon footprint. That is, it removes more pollution than it creates.