If you spend a lot of time behind the wheel of your car, then having a properly adjusted seat is of the utmost importance – not only does it maximize safety and driving skills, but it also minimizes back, shoulder and neck strain. With over a dozen adjustments available on some vehicles’ seats, however, it’s sometimes difficult to figure out the optimum combination of settings. Automotive parts designer Faurecia has what it is toting as the solution to this problem, in the form of its new smartphone-based SmartFit system.
The sales of traditional sedans have taken a hit in recent years due to the popularity of crossover SUVs, but that hasn’t stopped Nissan coming up with a new sedan concept in the form of the Nissan Ellure Concept hybrid vehicle. The company says the car, which will debut at the 2010 LA Auto Show, isn’t intended as a preview of any upcoming production model, but is rather a confirmation that the sedan still has some life left in it yet and will remain a core part of Nissan’s product portfolio.
The all-electric Whip LiFe from Atlanta-based automaker Wheego will be making its debut at this month’s LA Auto Show
. Not to be confused with the luxury hybrid LIFECar
being developed by Morgan Motors in the U.K., the 65 mph, 100 mile range LiFe is designed as a practical little runabout and it looks... well, it looks pretty “Smart.”
Mitsubishi will unveil the North American version of its i-MiEV
(Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) at the Los Angeles Auto Show
(LAAS) this week. This version of the i-MiEV will boast an enlarged body, new front and rear bumpers, airbags that detect passengers, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Active Stability Control (ASC) as standard.
For the past six years, the Los Angeles Auto Show
has invited automobile designers to participate in its Design Challenges. The challenge for this year’s show was to come up with a design for “a 1,000lb [453.6kg], four-passenger vehicle that is both comfortable and safe, while delivering satisfactory driving performance without sacrificing the styling consumers’ demand.” Entries are being judged not only for meeting the weight constraint (no more than 1,500 pounds/680 kg with passengers), but also for artistic beauty, comfort, uniqueness of design, roadworthiness, sustainability, performance and user-friendliness. The winner will be announced at the show, on Nov. 18. Here’s a look at some of the higher-profile entries...
The Nissan V2G concept was has taken out the Los Angeles Auto Show's 2009 Design Challenge
. Entitled "Youthmobile 2030", this year's Challenge asked designers to encapsulate what tech-savvy young Gen Z drivers will be looking to take to the freeway 21 years from now. The result was six fascinating design concepts
from the Californian studios of major companies, with the Nissan entry given the nod for its "holistic approach in answering the future's design questions."
Capstone Turbine Corporation has shown off its high performance hybrid electric car, the CMT-380, at the LA Auto Show. The car features a 30kW microturbine that extends the range of its traditional EV batteries, and which the company likens to having an ultra-clean and quiet jet engine under the hood. Capstone
adds that the supercar, still in its test phase, reaches 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds, has a top speed of 150mph, and a range of up to 500 miles on a single tank of fuel - all with ultra-low exhaust emissions that rival any hybrid on the market today.
With the variety of different engine technologies emerging to replace the traditional internal combustion engine, Honda has taken a very smart approach with its Personal-Neo Urban Transport (P-NUT) ultra-compact vehicle. The concept car features a modular rear engine bay designed to accommodate a wide variety of potential powertrain technologies including a conventional small internal combustion engine, a hybrid system, or a battery-electric drivetrain.
When the promoters of the HH2 Hydrogen Generator Clean Air Combustion System made an appearance at last year’s LA Auto Show they attracted their fair share of skepticism. Hardly surprising given their claims of boosting the horsepower, performance, and mileage of existing vehicles through the addition of an aftermarket device that mixes hydrogen and oxygen extracted from water with existing fuel. But the naysayers haven’t discouraged the system’s developers as they are fronting up to the LA Auto Show again this year with even loftier claims thanks to improvements to their system.
Each year as part of the Design Los Angeles Conference
held at the LA Auto Show, creative types from major car companies get to stare into their crystal balls and let their imaginations run wild in designing the car of the future. In 2007 the theme was the car 50 years from today
, last year the challenge was to envision how motor-racing will look in 2025
and this time around, the brief is to look at what young people will be driving in the year 2030.