Annually, the trending automobile shows present an enormous amount of novelties from all the famous brands. In general, there are some slight visual improvements, some tweaks to the power and volume of engines, transmission, but the main frame of the model remains untouched and recognizable to both the specialists and the amateurs.
However, an unlikely event for such shows is a reveal of a new concept-car of a famous brand. It’s the result of hard work of many engineers, stylists, ergonomics and aerodynamics specialists and others. Such events dictate the flow of car industry development for the next several years.
But have you ever questioned yourself: what is it, a concept-car (also known as a prototype) and how does it impact the industry and human life in general?
Concept car: a sight in the ideal future
First of all, a prototype is not for the serial production. It is developed, assembled and shown off only to try many different concepts, test the perspectives of the industry development, and receive the customers’ reaction to possible changes.
It’s exactly the concept-cars where the new body materials are introduced, new types of engines are implemented and revolutionary design decisions made. The majority of the concepts get destroyed and abandoned after a glorious presentation. The best concept-cars are kept in the museums of their makers. Some fantastical projects get their spot in the blockbusters.
The best concept cars in the world car industry
The development of automobile building is a sequence of successful concept-cars that found their place in the serial production. But they all have been a masterpiece of both technical and design idea. It was rightfully so from the very beginning.
Legendary Buick Y-Job from General Motors
The lines of this concept, developed long ago in 1938 are easily recognized in any modern car. Created as a rebel to total Cadillac domination, Buick Y-Job immediately conquered the hearts of 4-wheel transport fans, but the current tech level could not afford the original Harley Earl’s concept.
That fantasy has brought us the hideaway headlights and a massive rear bumper, the predator grin-like front grate and the fine ergonomic lines.
Nuclear reactor on wheels
In 1958, the Ford company risked to build a prototype of the future car that propelled itself by the means of a small nuclear reactor energy. Hopefully or alas, not a single working model was created.
It was intended that a single capsule of nuclear energy could last for at least 8000 km before the replacement. The transmission of the half-life energy to the wheel-axle should be done due to the water vaporization. More so, the products of that process should not get to the environment because the cooling was full-cycle.
It is clear, that such an idea appeared in attempt to get rid of hydrocarbon raw materials.
To the engines of the future
In contrary to the nuclear Ford Nucleon, General Motors Hy-Wire, shown in 2002, lived its concept to the present days. Hydrogen engines put the moment of oil processed products riddance closer to the mankind.
The electric motor’s effectiveness is twice as much as diesel’s – the energy comes from the compressed hydrogen reservoirs. That concept then could not boast great acceleration: whopping 16 seconds to reach 100 km/h, but it has got improved significantly over the years.
At the edge of millennia
In 2008 BMW presented GINA light, made of…elastic materials. One click of a button could cause the car to change its shape completely. A system of elastic bars and miniature hydraulic power-plants allowed to adjust the side rails, spoiler and bumpers from ‘sport’ setting to ‘city’ and vice versa.
The body was so perfectly done that it was impossible to detect the placement of doors and headlights. It seemed that the car tears as it actuates them.
The most peculiar is the fact that the usage of stiff ribs and special cords made the car safe during crashes.
Sensational concept cars 2016
This year’s season opened with the premieres of the most famous brands’ concepts. The right to come first was rightfully given to Mercedes.
To the future in a Mercedes
The futuristic concept F 015 Luxury in Motion was presented to the novelty hunters at the Las-Vegas Electronics Expo. The car can move without human interaction. Its electronic guts receives information via laser and ultrasonic sensors and cameras and possesses a lot of detailed local maps.
The car goes forward due to the hydrogen-oxygen reaction. Besides this 270bhp plant the concept-car has a kit of Li-Ion accumulators that allow to ride up to 200 kilometers without a recharge.
This item is unique because it can request and get the information from the approaching vehicles and environmental objects at its own. The cars around F 015 Luxury in Motion are notified about it moving on autopilot by the blue front and rear lights. While in this mode, the front seats turn upwards the passengers.
The control of all the functions is executed by a touch, a gesture and even a look.
Audi has fallen in love with its Prologue concept
Right after the Prologue Avant buzz calmed down, Audi announced the prototype believed to replace the current A8 in 2016. Bi-turbo TFSI V8 engine is combined with an electric motor, Li-Ion batteries and an 8-stage (of course, automatic) transmission. Such an alliance lets it propel to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and to reach a formerly impossible rate of carbon dioxide ejection rate – 56 gr/km. The fuel expense rate is not higher than 2.4 liters per kilometer.
The vehicle recharges itself by induction: having been parked above the charging panel, it will be fully charged by the morning.
The control panel is reworked too. All the motion measurements and the options of their customization are placed on the sensor panels. Every passenger has an informational-entertaining display in front of him; mounted into the backs of front seats and being a tablet, they can be carried out.
The era of petroleum engines is gone
Chevrolet is going to make an electro-car a usual thing rather than an exotic. Their Bolt EV concept is priced $30000 and promised to go serial if it achieves success. It is supposed that one full charge will allow it to ride up to 320 kilometers.
A definitive feature of the Bolt is the panoramic roof made of matte glass. So are the full-LED headlights, lowering power consumption significantly.
It was made possible to change all these parameters at will: suspension stiffness and clearance, acceleration pedal sensitivity. All this allows to use Bolt EV as an every-day transport both in city mess and on weekend off-road runs.
There will possibly be a possibility to control the car via a smartphone, e.g. order it to park itself driver-less.
Nowadays car developers are hardly astonished by anything. All the possible achievements, except for a car-plane-spaceship, have already been tested and are waiting for a moment of going on a conveyor with a price-tag acceptable for an average buyer. That’s why the car makers are focused on the evolution of an existing base; the logical shift from quantity to quality allows to unveil the close future.