There are few things Crave likes better than classic British icons getting sleek, shiny make-overs. First it was the technicolor iPod-generation Daleks--now it's the classic Routemaster double-decker getting a retro-futuristic sprucing-up.
The New Bus for London draws on the classic London bus design. Rubbish name, but with its swooping lines it looks the part. Initially, there'll be four of the new models on London streets. The new look was unveiled this week by everybody's favorite bumbling posho, Boris Johnson, and cost a hefty 7.8 million pounds ($11.25 million) in development and manufacture. It'… Read more
During the last international auto show season, we saw a range of concept cars, some with wild, futuristic designs and some that look like they could roll out of a garage today. Three particular themes emerged amongst these design studies:Hybrid and electric power trains Small city cars Personal electronics integration
Obviously, automakers are making serious efforts to build more fuel efficient cars, prodded by new European and U.S. regulations. BMW and Porsche joined hybrid stalwart Toyota with new gas-electric concepts.
Automakers are also planning for growing urbanization with small cars that are easy to park and maneuver through … Read more
With its Gran Turismo, BMW took the 5-Series sedan and beefed it up into something of an SUV/wagon hybrid. With the Gran Coupe concept, the automaker has done the opposite to its 7-Series, carving away at the upright proportions of the sedan and leaving us with a very sexy and coupelike profile.
Revealed at the 2010 Beijing Auto Show, it's unclear whether the Gran Coupe is a design study for an upcoming BMW four-door coupe that will challenge the likes of the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide for your people hauling dollars or a thinly veiled sneak … Read more
At the 2010 Beijing Auto Show, Ford showed off its new Start Concept, a small car designed for urban driving. The concept comes amid the worldwide launch of Ford's new Fiesta small car, and hints at how the company could go smaller and more fuel efficient.
The concept shows a futuristic, bulbous design, with minimal grille and headlight apertures. Although mostly a design concept, Ford points out that its engine is a new addition to its EcoBoost lineup. Ford's EcoBoost engines use direct injection and turbocharging to enhance efficiency. The Start Concept uses a 1-liter 3-cylinder engine, which … Read more
At Auto China 2010, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Shooting Break Concept, a sleek new wagon design. Mercedes-Benz says that the Shooting Break Concept is a further exploration of coupe styling that the company pioneered with the 2004 CLS, which it calls a four-door coupe. The Shooting Break Concept also uses styling elements from the ConceptFascination, shown at the 2008 Paris auto show.
The term "shooting brake" usually refers to a small wagon. Mercedes-Benz explains that the name Shooting Break is equally valid for this type of vehicle, coming from the name of a type of wagon used to break … Read more
Last November, we got a peek at a pair of robotic roller skates that Japanese engineers have been working on, and recently those same researchers showed off a homegrown version of the Segway that features an obstacle sensor.
The AIST Micromobility vehicle from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology's (AIST's) Field Robotics Research Group is a platform-type ride instead of the skates we saw at the 2009 International Robot Exhibition (iRex) in Tokyo.
Like the skates, it has control poles and is designed to be a lightweight, compact alternative to walking or riding a bike. … Read more
NEW YORK--Some cars become stars in their own right, appearing in movies or television and gaining as much a place in the public imagination as any human celebrity. A display by Miami's Dezer Collection at the 2010 New York auto show catapulted us right back to childhood as we lovingly gazed at Speed Racer's Mach 5 and the Monkee Mobile.
More-recent celebrities in this mix included K.I.T.T. from "Knight Rider," and the Batmobile from Tim Burton's "Batman" and "Batman Returns."
Most of these cars are the originals, built … Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--I have seen the future of computing technology in cars, and it's not coming any time soon.
It is coming, though, and when it arrives, it may very well change the way we deal with information while we're driving. But because the auto industry moves at a truly snail's pace when it comes to innovation, it's likely to be at least five years before this vision comes to pass.
My view into this future came from a conversation I had at the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) festival with T.J. Giuli, a vehicle software systems engineer in Ford's Infotronics Research and Advanced Engineering division.
Giuli began our conversation with a quick recap of where Ford has taken in-car technology over the last few years, concluding with the fourth, and latest, version of its Sync platform, which is allowing partner companies and developers to access Sync APIs and integrate some smartphone applications with in-dash displays. The idea here, Giuli said, has been to "become more of a part of the human/machine interface."… Read more
As the major auto show in Europe, the exhibition in Geneva had its share of common-sense practical transporters, cars on display for the average show-goer to kick the tires and start considering a purchase. But the real reason people go to auto shows is to see the exotics, the cars that they can only dream of owning.
We looked at our coverage of the show, and came up with the five cars we would most like to see in our garage. Because these are dream cars, we didn't limit the list to vehicles that will actually go into production. … Read more