Category: Concept Vehicles
Scion presented four unique custom FR-S models to audience members of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, where the FR-S earned a repeat win as the event’s “Hottest Sport Compact” due to its mass appeal and seemingly limitless customization.
Scion was able to showcase this wide appeal by showing off FR-S models that ranged from a 750-horsepower drift machine by GReddy Performance, to an FR-S that relayed the dreams of famed DJ Steve Aoki.
While GReddy removed the stock 200-horsepower four-cylinder engine of their FR-S to shove a turbocharged 2JZ-GTE six-cylinder engine from the legendary Supra under the hood of their car, Aoki used his taste for music to throw a complete mix table and custom sound system into his FR-S.
In between these two extremes were the carbon fiber filled 500-horsepower Bulletproof FR-S Concept One and the Urban GT Sport Coupe; the latter of which features all-new front and rear bodywork that gives the FR-S a decidedly European look.
Though the reality of such a model is still up in the air, Toyota is re-introducing its Toyota FT-86 Open concept (i.e. Scion FR-S convertible) to the crowds of the Tokyo Motor Show.
Originally shown at this year’s Geneva Show, the FT-86 Open concept is abandoning its former white paintwork for a fresh coat of red. Toyota’s decision to continue to show and promote the FT-86 Open concept gives us hope that we may one day be able to drive a soft-top FR-S for ourselves.
For the latest Scion news, keep following LA Car Guy.
Image credit: Toyota
At the Shanghai Auto Show last week, Toyota revealed a pair of green technology concepts, which might be a preview of hybrid systems that could appear in future models. Both cars are aimed at the Chinese market, with the FT-HT Yuejia debuting a six-seater hatch and the Yundong Shuangquing II previewing a new sedan model.
Toyota says that the hatch’s “Yuejia” name means “happy family”, while the sedan’s name combines “movement upon clouds” with the term “dual support” – the latter a reference to its petrol-electric powertrain. The Yundong Shuangqing II seems to be a more subdued version of the Furia concept seen at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, but now with a hybrid powertrain. Both the Furia and Yundong Shuangqing II concepts have sharply defined sheetmetal to separate the front of the car from the side. The two cars’ profiles look identical, from the upward kink of the rear side window to the character line that strikes through the door handles.
Little has been revealed about the concepts’ hybrid drivetrains, although Toyota has confirmed that a new system is being developed at its Changshu plant in China.
Thanks to SimplyZesty.com for this…
When it comes to car launches, all the big companies always try and outdo each other in terms of glitz and glamour, but it looks like Audi could have won the competition this year with this stunning 3D projection. With the car wrapped in tarpaulin, an audience was treated to a spectacular display that made it seem as if the car was moving while flicking through all the different models available. Very innovative!
Zack McDonald from HybridCars.com contacted us and asked if he could be a guest blogger for LAcarGUY, we were happy to oblige!
Remember the Volkswagen L1 that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2009? If not, here’s a brief refresher: The carbon-fiber bodied L1 concept was powered by a 0.8-liter two-cylinder diesel engine that cranked out 27 horsepower. That diesel engine was supplemented by a 10-kW electric motor housed inside the L1’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. With a curb weight of only 838 pounds, Volkswagen claimed the L1 would return upwards of 170 miles per gallon.
Then, in January of 2011, Volkswagen unveiled the third generation of its fuel-sipping concept. The third-gen vehicle differed from its predecessor in several ways, but most notable was its addition of a port, which transformed the concept into a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Called the XL1, Volkswagen’s lightweight concept boasted an electric-only range of 21 miles and measured in at 153-inches long, 66-inches wide and only 45-inches high. Weight shot up to 1,753 pounds, but the output from its diesel engine jumped to 48 horsepower and its electric motor cranked out 20 kW. Volkswagen claimed the XL1 concept could zip from zero to 62 miles per hour in 11.9 seconds and top out at 100 mph.
Most importantly, the XL1 retained its streamlined body and its ultra-efficient hybrid powertrain. At the time, Volkswagen announced the XL1 would return a remarkable 261 mpg—a questionable figure since it’s based on Europe’s lenient fuel economy test cycles. Nevertheless, we’d expect the production version to return approximately 150 mpg in “real world” driving, and word is a production version is coming soon.
According to Automotive News Europe, Volkswagen chief executive officer, Martin Winterkorn, officially confirmed the 2013 launch of the two-seat XL1. ANE quoted Winterkorn, “We will start small series production by 2013—in Germany.”
That most likely equates to VW whipping out 100 or so production versions of the XL1 and selling them to the general public over in Germany. So, more of a field trial than a full-scale production vehicle, but hopefully VW brass will decide to eventually give the XL1 plug-in hybrid the mass production green light.
LAcarGUY was well represented at the 6th Alt Car Show, which took place at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on September 30 and October 1, with vehicles from 4 of our dealerships. Inside the display area the new FISKER KARMA was featured and ended up being the hit of the show. Toyota Santa Monica did have the Prius V available for test drives during the well-attended weekend. Also available for test drives were the new CT 200h and the HS250h from Lexus Santa Monica as well as the new redesigned 2012 Passat TDI and the VW Golf TDI from Volkswagen Santa Monica. There was never a lull for test drives throughout the entire two days. Toyota future vehicles were also on display, with the 2012 RAV EV and Prius PHV receiving plenty of attention!
We are excited to announce that LAcarGUY’s Mike Sullivan will be participating in the Sustainable Business Council’s Electric Vehicle roundtable this Thursday, September 30th. The roundtable is open to the public and is only $25. Click here to rsvp.
We have posted the press release with more info about the event and other panelists below.
SBCLA MIXER AND PANEL PRESENTS ELECTRIC VEHICLE ROUNDTABLE AND DRIVE-A-THON WITH KEY INDUSTRY PLAYERS
ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th AT VALCUCINE IN BEVERLY HILLS
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — September 23, 2010 — The Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles (SBCLA), a non-profit organization which provides a professional networking and education forum for Southern California businesses and individuals working with sustainable products, services, and processes, will host “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon.”
The panel features six key players in this fast-emerging and competitive industry who will help guide the audience through a topic that is especially integral to the fabric and future of Los Angeles. The event will take place on Thursday, September 30, 2010, from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at Valcucine’s showroom in Beverly Hills. The distinctive presentation reinforces SBCLA’s commitment to showcasing environmentally-conscious businesses, and spotlighting cutting-edge sustainability trends and best practices across a broad range of industry sectors.
Moderated by Plug In America’s (http://www.pluginamerica.org) VP, Paul Scott, who is also President of the Electric Vehicle Association of Southern California, “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon” presents:
* Laura Marion, CFO, Aptera (http://www.aptera.com)
* K. Forest Beanum, VP of Public Affairs & Communications, CODA Automotive (http://www.codaautomotive.com)
* Richard Steinberg, Manager, Electric Vehicle Operations and Strategy, BMW of North America, LLC (http://www.bmwusa.com/ActiveE)
* Eric Shieh, Account Executive, Coulomb Technologies (http://www.coulombtech.com)
* Mike Sullivan, Owner and President, LAcarGUY (http://www.lacarguy.com/green)
This distinguished group of professionals—representing the cycle of invention to delivery and consumer use—will address the value proposition of these businesses and California’s leading role in the sector’s growth. “We will explain why this technology will improve our environment, strengthen our economy and increase our national security,” states Paul Scott, VP, Plug In America. “With the new era of electric vehicles mere months away, this is information vital to anyone who cares about these issues,” Scott added. Specific topics may include:
* Why is the timing for electric vehicles more ideal now than when “Who Killed the Electric Car” was released in 2006? What has changed? Or has it?
* What are the sustainable aspects of the vehicle industry vs. other forms of mobility, especially in Los Angeles?
* What are the economic implications of millions of Californians switching from 60% foreign oil to 100% domestic renewable electricity?
* What do national security experts say about the need to switch from oil to electricity as the energy source for our transportation fleet?
* What plug-in vehicles are available today and what will be available in the near future?
* How many charging stations are there, and how many are really needed?
* What companies are opening electric vehicle showrooms in L.A.?
* How important is the L.A. market as a model for electric vehicle adoption?
* What are the predictions for the future of electric vehicle adoption? What will be future trends?
“On behalf of the SBCLA board, I am thrilled to welcome such a strong representation of this vibrant, rapidly-expanding industry to the Valcucine showroom,” said Laura Berland-Shane, member of the SBCLA board of directors, and business development manager of Alternative Energy at SIEMENS Industry. “We anticipate a lively discourse that will inform and hopefully inspire creative thinking and planning in light of the current electric vehicle renaissance. We are particularly excited to note that many of the companies we will hear from are California-based.”
Advance registration is required to attend SBCLA’s “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon” panel discussion and drive-a-thon. To RSVP, please visit http://www.sustainablebc.org.
General admission price of $25 includes:
* Admission to “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon” mixer and panel discussion.
* Electric Vehicle displays.
* Tour of Valcucine’s showroom featuring sustainable kitchen furnishings.
* Light refreshments
The event is sponsored by Stonefield Josephson, Inc. LAcarGUY, Valcucine, “Dom,” Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss, Summa Marketing Communications, New Belgium Brewing, Evenson Design Group and dubroWorks Public Relations/Marketing/ Project Management.
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LAcarGUY offers automotive products and services to our greater Los Angeles area customers. The company carries a comprehensive line of vehicles by Volkswagen, Toyota, Scion, Audi, Lexus and Porsche, providing new and used cars featuring hybrids, TDI clean diesel and other industry-leading alternatives. LAcarGUY counts the nation’s top selling Toyota and Lexus Hybrid destinations as part of its family of dealerships. They also offer trusted car repair, original car parts, and financing as well two dedicated body shops.
On Wednesday, November 4th, Mike Sullivan's LAcarGUY.com and Fisker Santa Monica provided future Fisker owners, green enthusiasts and fans of great design with a rare opportunity to see the Fisker Karma in person.
Fisker VP of Global Sales & Marketing, Marti Eulberg and members of the vehicle's design team were on hand to answer questions from the audience. Over 200 people enjoyed music, drinks and food while waiting for their chance to sit in the Fisker Karma. The evening ended with a LAcarGUY.com raffle, giving away a Flip video recorder and iPod Nano.
All info can be found at www.FiskerSantaMonica.com
Toyota Santa Monica participated in the Ride and
Drive Lot at the 4th Annual Alt Car Expo on October 2-3 2009 at the Santa Monica Civic. The Ride and Drive Lot provided a hands-on experience with all different technologies
of vehicle manufacturers representing the latest choices of Electric, Hydrogen,
Biodiesel, Natural Gas, Propane, Hybrid, Plug In, Ethanol and Cycling.
Toyota Santa Monica's General Manager Bill Rinker and General Sales Manager Billy Rinker (along with 11 Toyota Santa Monica product specialists) answered questions and gave test drives throughout the day.
Said Bill, "we were really impressed with the turnout. Over two days there were approximately 10,000 people coming and going. We had 7 hybrid vehicles to show and did over 100 test drives! One of our highlights was getting to speak with Governor Schwarzenegger who was especially interested in the solar
paneled roof on the Prius."
A Primer About Plug-In Hybrids
How would you like to run your car for less than $1 per gallon, with much lower emissions? Impossible?
Not according to Dr. Andy Frank, Professor of Engineering at the University of California at Davis, and Felix Kramer of The California Cars Initiative (CalCars). Frank and Kramer have become the world’s leading advocates for "gas-optional" or “plug-in” hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV).
Ironically, just when the American public is finally getting that you don’t have to plug hybrid cars in, here comes the plug-in hybrid. With the plug-in hybrid, you still will not be required to plug the car in—but you’ll have the option. As a result, drivers will get all the benefits of an electric car, without the biggest drawback: limited range. You'll be able to go all-electric for the vast majority of your driving, which for most motorists takes place close to home. When the electric charge runs out, a downsized gas engine kicks in and your car drives like a regular hybrid.
Staying in Stealth Mode
Many hybrid car drivers enjoy keeping the car in all-electric “stealth” mode, when the car is in slow stop-and-go traffic. Plug-ins would extend the stealth mode for the lion’s share of local driving.
The potential advantages are enormous. Consider:
· A hybrid gets about twice the fuel economy as a conventional car of the same size and capacity
· A plug-in hybrid will get about twice the fuel economy of a “conventional” gas-electric hybrid
· A plug-in hybrid, running on biofuel (e.g., 85 percent ethanol) could almost entirely eliminate its use of petroleum