Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cars of the Future - Concept Cars

A concept car is a way for manufacturers to let their hair down and show us their vision of what their car of the future could look like. These are usually unveiled at major motor shows in order to gauge customer reaction to what are often radical designs. These prototypes typically include new approaches to a vehicle's styling and technology. Rather like catwalk fashion designs, these may well feed into the manufacturer's future mass-produced cars, but are very rarely ever seen on the roads of Europe or the US.
 2011 sees the automobile industry celebrate 125 years of the car. What better time to take a look at how some major manufacturers think the car of the future might perform?
 For BMW, connectivity is key in their new conceptual designs. They were the first manufacturer to offer on-board internet access, iPod integration and ultrasound-based parking sensors. Now, BMW are promoting the capability to send information from your computer directly to your car. The car will also receive real-time traffic updates and allow the driver to contact the BMW call centre for assistance, information and to report accidents or emergencies. The car automatically transmits its exact location to the call centre at the time of making contact. BMW claim these features will 'revolutionise driving in terms of comfort, infotainment and safety'.

 Renault's latest offering, the Captur is a new sports crossover concept loaded new features and materials as yet unfamiliar to today's car owners. The Renault Captur Concept has an advanced 4 wheel drive system. This system monitors wheel grip and deploys power accordingly via its mechanical locking differential. The Captur is powered by a 1.6 litre, twin turbocharged diesel engine that produces an impressive 160bhp. It also has a removable top and futuristic interior. Whilst usually only seating two people, the Captur has two extra seats hidden away in the sides of the vehicle. The other new technology is a front-facing camera for broadcasting images onto the screen located on the dash. With the possibility that this could be linked to some type of safety system, could this be a method for making driving safer? If the car was able to sense what was on the road ahead, this could potentially lead to evasive action, thus reducing accidents. Were such a system to become commonplace, this would no doubt also have an impact upon insurance premiums, especially with regard to car insurance for young drivers.

 Nissan has decided to reveal its new Esflow car in 2011. This is a new electric concept car powered by two electric motors. These in turn are powered by its on-board lithium-ion batteries. The Esflow can go from 0 to 60mph in a staggering 5 seconds. With a range of 150 miles on a single charge, the Esflow sounds far more interesting than most electric cars. With these vehicles getting ever faster, the once sluggish battery car no longer represents a cheap option when searching for cheap car insurance for young drivers.
 Sabino Leerentveld's latest creation, the Lamborghini PML-F, is certainly not an option for youngsters wanting cheap car insurance for young drivers. This concept car looks like a cross between an F1 car and an LMP1 racer. A veritable two-seater monster, the PML-F sports an enormous back wing, elongated front end and a very F1-inspired nose. The 3 litre V12 engine delivers a breathtaking 1,200 horsepower. With a kerb weight of just 700 kilos, the racing styling of this vehicle isn't entirely misleading!
 Hopefully, the mainstream cars of the future will have some of the features of these recent concept cars. Here's to the next 125 years!

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