As if YouTube presidential debates weren't enough, Mazda turns to the Internet to find a designer for its future Mazda 3 model. The company posted the Mazda Design Challenge on Facebook (Facebook registration required), inviting would-be automotive designers to submit their ideas for what the 2018 model should look like. For the initial entry, you will have to submit a 150-word description of your vision for the 2018 Mazda 3, plus an optional sketch. Our advice: don't skimp on the sketch--visuals help, especially in a design contest. Mazda judges will choose 10 semifinalists, then throw it back to … Read more
Well, not literally. But the VAIO Zoom concept laptop looks like it could be part of John Anderton's arsenal of tech tools. Composed of two sheets of thin glass hinged together, the Zoom relies on holographic technology for both the screen and the input devices. When the laptop is turned off, the screen becomes completely transparent and the keyboard opaque.
Being technology critics, we have to wonder: Where's the power source? What are the components? How comfortable can it be to type on a flat panel? Can an object made entirely of glass be all that portable?
But … Read more
i MiEV Sport Mitsubishi has been developing electric vehicles for some time--we've seen the company's work with in-wheel motors at … Read more
If automotive design interests you, take a look at these videos documenting the development of the Opel Flextreme. We covered the Opel Flextreme concept car at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show. It's essentially the Chevy Volt for Europe, using the same series hybrid powertrain. The Flextreme is a bit bigger and, most notably, it has a couple of Segways stored in its rear. If you want to find out why, watch the videos.
Better bring a calculator to count up all the ways this concept saves fuel. Keep it plugged in overnight to get about 60 miles of gas- and emissions-free driving. For longer trips, the gas engine fires up to turn a generator, adding electricity to the lithium-polymer battery pack.
Ever dream of an S Class with a four-cylinder engine? The F700 research vehicle uses an innovative engine, called the DiesOtto, that burns gasoline but works like a diesel. It is amazingly efficient, with enough power to move a large sedan.
Nissan describes the Mixim as 99 percent evil and 1 percent cute. Nissan's concept uses two electric motors, one on each axle, but the company hasn't published many details about range, speed, or other performance specifications. The press materials say that this car is aimed at a younger generation that has turned away from oil-burning cars.
Perhaps you like the idea of an iPod Nike or even the "Code M" musical shoe. There's just one problem: Both require physical exertion. There may be a compromise in this idea for a sound shoe, which envisions a built-in CD player and speakers, as well as a volume knob and other controls on the side, according to Slippery Brick. Given that it's only a concept, we're curious why an MP3 player wasn't included--and a beer tap, for that matter.
Our favorite part of any auto show is the concept cars. These cars are mostly design studies put on display by automakers to gauge public reaction. This year, Mercedes-Benz and BMW come out with concepts that seem close to production. Nissan, VW, and Mitsubishi put some far-flung design studies on display. Hyundai reaches far beyond its traditional car style, and we get a surprise from China.
As evidenced by the F700, launched at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, Mercedes-Benz expects to be building large luxury sedans long into the future. But also recognizing the need to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, the company includes some miraculous-sounding technologies in the F700. It's also using the vehicle to explore advances in passenger comfort and infotainment.