This year, the Los Angeles Auto Show featured many cars which gave us a glimpse into the future of automobiles. Here are some of the most interesting concepts and special editions.
1. Toyota Driver Awareness Research Vehicle
Toyota’s DAR-V is one of the greatest examples of future car technology. This vehicle aims to limit the factors which may distract a driver during their daily commute, hence reducing the chances of an accident. Toyota achieved this by integrating a display into the side window which shows information about traffic, weather, appointments, fuel level and other details that the driver can view before getting into the car without being distracted by the same information during the drive. The project was completed with the help of Microsoft Research and the display may be controlled by Kinect-gesture control, voice command or key fob activation.
2. Ford Edge Concept
The Ford Edge Concept showcases Ford’s latest semi-autonomous driving technology. The fully-assisted parking aid and the ultrasonic sensors of the car can be activated from inside the car or from outside via remote control to allow it to park itself without the driver’s input. The obstacle-avoidance system picks up objects in the path of the moving car and alerts the driver, if the driver does not respond on time the car takes evasive action on it’s own. Self-driving cars have yet to become mainstream, but the Edge Concept shows us what they will be like, years before they hit the market.
3. Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe
Volkswagen presented its hybrid car, the CrossBlue Coupe which it described as a “glimpse at the future”. The CrossBlue has a powertrain which consists of a turbo V6 couple with dual electric motors which give a combined output of 415 hp. With a mileage of up to 70 mpg, the CrossBlue Coupe can travel 570 miles on a full tank and a full battery. On battery alone, the car can travel a range of 13 miles. With a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 147 mph, the CrossBlue concept is not a sluggish hybrid.
4. Mercedes AMG Vision Gran Turismo
When concepts don’t have to go into production or be built (even as prototypes), designers are given a free hand. This AMG Mercedes was built specifically to be featured in the new Gran Turismo 6 coming out next month for the Playstation 4. The virtual car has a twin-turbocharged AMG V8 which produces 585 horsepower and a digital weight of 3,053 lb. A lot of hard work has gone into creating this digital fantasy, and sadly that is exactly how this concept will remain.
5. VIA Motors XTRUX
At first glance this pickup truck may not look like much, but the 4WD XTrux is a state of the art hybrid with more than enough power for its size. The hybrid system contains two electric motors each giving an output of 402 hp as well as a V8 engine. The V8 engine is meant for long range travelling and to charge the two electric motors which provide a range of 40 miles. VIA claims that the truck is capable of 100 mpg and gives the driver instant access to 738 lb-ft of torque. This hybrid is definitely not the one of delicate nature.
6. Subaru Legacy Concept
Subaru’s current Legacy sedan was given a makeover with the Legacy Concept which premiered at the LA Auto Show. The concept shows what the sedan would look as a sporty 4-door coupe with meaner and more aggressive looks. The sharp lines and bold shapes used around the exterior of the Legacy Concept give it the mean look that the current car never had. The Ocean Silver Metallic paint gives this car the futuristic look it is supposed to have.
7. 1963 Chevy Corvette “Asteroid”
The only special-edition car in this list. This one-of-a-kind 1963 Corvette Asteroid was a pleasing contrast to all other futuristic cars at the LA Auto Show. The car was customized and given a questionable glittering paint job. But that barely matters when you realize how amazing this particular piece of hardware is. The car is capable of 12.20 second quarter mile run and has got one hell of an engine. Now it’s used as an advertisement by the Barrett Jackson Westworld for Scottsdale auction, starting on January 12.
8. SRT Viper GTS Anodized Carbon Special Edition
With just 50 examples of this version of the SRT Viper being made, the GTS Anodized Carbon is definitely limited edition. The car represents Chrysler’s first attempt at using metallic matte paint. The new paint is paired with black vapor chrome, five-spoke Rattler wheels and orange brake calipers. Carbon fibre ducts and other styling enhancements give this Viper a very mean look. The GTS Anodized Carbon Special Edition will be be available after January.
9. Shelby Raptor
Ford and Shelby have had a long and rich history. So the Shelby Raptor should not come as much of a surprise package. Costing $18,000, the Shelby package includes a 150 hp increase over the standard model, a Shelby exhaust, custom interior, serial numbered badges and body graphics. The original SVT Raptor was already a mean machine to begin with, but the Shelby package makes it a special off-roader with a supercharged engine.
10. Volkswagen Design Vision GTI
The most extreme GTI makeover yet. The Design Vision GTI isn’t just astonishing to look at, it has power to go with the newer, wider body. The side blades look a lot like those found on the Audi R8, but they’re actually extensions meant to cover the widened track of the car as well as the larger 20-inch wheels. A twin-turbo 3.0 liter V6 engine gives the Design Vision a total output of 503 hp (more than double the power of the stock GTI). With a 0-62 mph time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph, this GTI is very close to supercar performance levels.