Concept Cars: Hottest motors we want now

From the moment Mr Ford started building for the masses, technology has played a vital role in the automotive industry. Most commonly associated with safety features, car tech has also made driving a more pleasant experience.

From the carphone of the 80’s to something as simple as windscreen wipers, technology has been making sure we have to do less, and with less effort. This may sound like technology is taking away the joy from driving, we think not, and to prove it we’ve got some of the most desirable and tech-filled concept cars being shown off at the moment.

Also, check out our future cars video as we go behind-the-scenes at a Ford proving ground.

1. BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

BMW took it upon itself to show that the next generation of sports cars could be powerful, sleek and fuel efficient. The i8 Concept is an illustration of that, and its super-light construction has both performance and efficiency in mind. The plug-in hybrid drivetrain combines an electric engine on the front axle with a 3-cylinder petrol engine in the rear, so the driver can choose how fuel efficient they want to be, alternating between front-wheel and all-wheel drive. Don’t be fooled by the i8’s eco-friendly credentials though, this car is no slouch and can shift from 0 to 62MPH in just 5 seconds.

Price: £TBC I Link: BMW.com I Out: 2013

2. Volkswagen e-Bugster

Volkswagen e-Bugster

This sporty looking Beetle is an all-electric, eco-friendly, flower-powered remix of a classic design. The lithium-ion Blue-e motion electric drive unit can charge up to 80% in just half an hour, and has around a 100 mile range on a full charge. The LED running lights are a nice touch and help to bring the Volkswagen Beetle into the modern era.

Price: £TBC I Link: Volkswagen.com I Out: TBC

3 Audi R8 Limousine

Audi R8 Limousine

Limousine hirer ”Limo Broker’ has joined forces with bespoke car manufacturer ‘Carbonyte UK’ to create the Audi R8 Limousine. This is the ultimate blend of speed and sophistication, as you can expect to find all the luxury of a limousine inside what will allegedly be the fastest stretch limo ever made. Not only that, but the two companies have pushed the release date forward, and Limo Broker has started taking bookings for the R8 Limo already, so you could potentially see one of these cruising past you within a few months.

Price: £TBC I Link: carbonyte.co.uk/limobroker.co.uk I Out: Q2 2012

4. Lexus LF-LC Concept

Lexus LF-LC Concept

The Lexus LF-LC Concept car was the talk of the North American Motor Show in 2012, and it was for one reason only – the styling. It’s all gentle curves and sharp angles, before you reach a front end that looks like it wants to shred you from the head downwards. Inside the car is just as impressive, featuring a dashboard that uses Transparent-OLED displays and a long tablet-display where all your infotainment is displayed. Not content with already having loaded the LF-LC with tech, there is also a touch screen input device in the arm rest. A car like this is clearly a long way from production, but if this is a vision of the future we should all be very excited.

Price: £TBC I Link: Lexus.com I Out: TBC

5. Toyota NS4

Toyota NS4

Hybrid cars are still the order of the day. The associated technology is constantly improving and it’s becoming clearer every year that electric motors are the way forward for improving efficiency and fuel economy. Toyota’s next generation Hybrid Synergy Drive features lighter, more compact components, which in turn means the NS4 can go further on a full electric charge. Not content with just saving you money, Toyota also has deals in place with Microsoft and Intel, among others, which it is using to develop its ‘Human-Machine Interface’ – a user interface built around a multi-touch screen with the look and feel of a smartphone.

Price: £TBC I Link: Toyota.com I Out: TBC

6. Acura NSX Concept

Acura NSX Concept

The Acura NSX is one of the most famous supercar models to come out of the USA, and the latest concept model looks to be signalling a new direction for Acura’s styling. When it’s not busy looking furious, the NSX Concept is a petrol-electric hybrid, carrying two electric motors as well as a petrol V6. Acura think this car is about three years away from release, and if it does find its way to the market then this could be a genuine, six-figure supercar.

Price: £TBC I Link: Acura.com I Out: TBC

7. Citroen Lacoste

Citroen Lacoste

The Lacoste feels as though it was designed by a junior school design club. The golf buggy looks fall nicely in line with the golf ball wheels, and while the whole design clearly has fun in mind, it’s as though the design club have forgotten a few of the more boring but often necessary parts of a car, such as the roof and the doors. The golf and tennis-influenced design is very much in line with Lacoste’s own fashion lines and target market, and all joking aside, concept cars can often be forgiven for being a little out of the ordinary. Just don’t expect to see this fun-mobile on your local roads or golf courses any time soon.

Price: £TBC I Link: citroen.com I Out: TBC

8. Audi Q3 Vail

Audi Q3 Vail

The Audi Q3 Vail was unveiled to a collective gasp of awe at the North American Motor Show in 2012, and with good reason. Audi are calling this a ‘themed vehicle’, so any details on price or release are a long way away. Essentially, it’s a four by four designed for colder climbs (and cleverly named after a resort in Colorado). The seats, floormat and even cup-holders are heated and there are compartments galore for all your winter sportsgear including a roof-rack for your skis or snowboard. Technically it’s no slouch either, and AWD along with the 314-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine ensures that the Q3 Vail has plenty of oomph to stop you sliding down mountainsides.

Price: £TBC I Link: Audi.com I Out: TBC

9. Smart ‘For-Us’ Pick-up

Smart ‘For-Us’ Pick-up

Smart’s newest idea is as striking as you’d expect from the inventors of the ForTwo. The latest concept, as the title and pictures suggest, is a compact redesign of an American classic – the pick-up truck. Classic American pick-ups are large, unwieldy gas-guzzlers. By contrast, the Smart For-Us is small, easy to drive and park, and runs entirely on electricity. This car is very much designed with the US in mind, where drivers traditionally like their cars big and powerful. With a top speed of 75MPH, can the Smart Pick-up break the US? Only time will tell.

Price: £TBC I Link: Smart.com I Out: TBC

10. Ford Evos

Ford Evos

Nothing less than seamless connectivity between vehicle and driver is at the heart of Ford’s vision with the Evos. As well as accessing your information via the cloud, the car actually learns your preferences and driving habits so it can take on responsibility for routine functions. That could be automatically streaming the same music in different locations, electronically closing the garage door or predicting departure times based on your work calendar, pre-heating the cabin ready for when you stumble, bleary-eyed, down the driveway of a morning.

Price: £TBC I Link: Ford.com I Out: TBC

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Source: T3