Posts Tagged ‘concept’
Audi has given the world a glimpse of the future shape of design, along with automotive and drive concepts, through its Audi crosslane coupé concept car. This concept is an entirely new fusion of technology, engineering and design, and provides pointers to the design language of Audi’s future Q models. With a Multimaterial Space Frame, the vehicle concept strikes out along an entirely new paths with regard to weight, costs and energy usage over its lifecycle, and is an evolutionary stage of Audi ultra – the lightweight construction principle from Audi. The Multimaterial Space Frame of the compact Audi crosslane coupé is comprised of three materials – aluminium, carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP), and glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP). The concept car has an unladen weight of around 1,390 kg including the large lithium-ion battery. The aluminium profiles form a continuous, rigid structure around the occupant cell. Beams beneath the front lid join the single-frame grille, which performs a supporting function and is also made from aluminium, with the occupant cell. Audi is convinced that the highly integrated Multimaterial Space Frame is the right path to the future. Its weight is of the same magnitude as a monolithic body of CFRP. It also offers convincing advantages in terms of costs to the customer and its energy usage in a life cycle assessment. An innovative and efficient plug-in hybrid drive based on a purpose-designed 1.5-litre three-cylinder TFSI and two electric motors redefines the benchmark, with fuel consumption of only 1.1 litres per 100 km and CO2 emissions of just 26 grams per km. The result is a cosmopolitan vehicle that will appeal to young, sporty customers in particular thanks to its removable roof and the customizable services available under the Audi connect concept. The plug-in hybrid drive is described as a dual-mode hybrid which is as innovative as it is efficient. It comprises a combustion engine, two electric motors and a single-stage transmission. Its system power is 130 kW and the Audi crosslane coupé sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 8.6 seconds and in pure electric mode takes 9.8 seconds. The car’s top speed is 182 km/h. Its average fuel consumption is a mere 1.1 litres per 100 km and it emits 26 grams per km of CO2. The lithium-ion battery has an output of 17.4 kWh, sufficient for an operating range of around 86 km in the electric mode. The combustion engine is a purpose-developed three-cylinder TFSI with a displacement of 1.5 litres, delivering an output of 95 kW and 200 Nm of torque. The three-cylinder engine is coupled to an electric motor (EM 1), which acts primarily as a starter and an alternator. It develops an output of 50 kW and 210 Nm of torque. Electrical traction is provided by the second electric motor (EM 2) developing 85 kW and 250 Nm of torque. The transmission makes it possible to connect the combustion engine complete with alternator to the remainder of the drivetrain by means of a claw clutch. The dual-mode hybrid concept enables different operating modes. From 0 up to 55 km/h, drive power is supplied solely by the EM 2, which draws the energy it needs primarily from the battery. In serial mode, the combustion engine and the alternator (EM 1) produce electrical energy to support, relieve or substitute the battery should it be discharged. The electric mode is possible up to 130 km/h. Starting at about 55 km/h the drive system allows the TFSI engine together with the alternator to couple to the drivetrain – in this hybrid mode, the drive sources combine to optimize both efficiency and performance. Above 130 km/h, the three-cylinder engine becomes the main drive source but the EM 1 can support it if required. When behind the wheel of the Audi crosslane coupé there are choices to be made by the driver. The two modes are “cruise” and “race”. The “cruise” mode prioritizes electric driving. The driver does not notice either gear changes or the power source kicking in. When the TFSI is running, its engine speed is always adapted to the road speed – without a “rubber-band” effect. The high efficiency of the transmission makes the dual-mode hybrid drive especially efficient in urban traffic. The 2+2-seater Audi crosslane coupé body design comes across as powerful and striking, and it already provides a foretaste of the design language of a future generation of Audi Q models. The single-frame grille, which is subdivided into several segments by struts, dominates the front end. Its prominent frame is integrated into the Multimaterial Space Frame as a supporting element. This solution symbolizes the philosophy behind the Audi crosslane coupé: a totally new fusion of basic concept, technology and design. The trapezoidal headlights use Audi Matrix LED headlight technology. Small, individually controllable light-emitting diodes generate all lighting functions, and microreflectors enable their precise positioning. The bumper incorporates large, mainly smooth-surfaced air intakes. Through two narrow openings in the front lid it is possible to glimpse the upper aluminium members of the Multimaterial Space Frame. Along the sides, the horizontal edges are the dominant feature above the wheels. The low greenhouse tapers into a very flat C-post, emphasizing the coupé-like character of the Audi crosslane coupé. The doors extend a long way down thanks to the space frame design, which allows very low sills. The doors open to reveal the aluminium structures of the Multimaterial Space Frame. The tail lights are a variation on the motif of the headlights; the trunk lid seam divides them each into two segments. The bumper, the lower section of which is made from CFRP, incorporates an aluminium diffuser that extends quite some way up. The roof element comprises two CFRP shells and weighs slightly less than ten kilograms. The driver and front passenger can unlatch it by an electric drive, remove it from the body structure and fit it over the trunk. The trunk forms a separate pan within the body structure; it is attached to the backs of the rear seats, which are separate from the seat cushions. At the press of a button, the entire unit travels about 40 cm forward electrically; this is how the latched roof reaches its end position, in which it protects the luggage. At the same time, the level surface under the trunk becomes accessible, and it offers a flat storage space for dirty or wet objects. The driver and front passenger sit on electrically adjustable sport seats with integrated head restraints, the shells of which are made from CFRP. The centre console integrates a large selector lever, which is electrically extended when the car is started; it is used to control the hybrid drive. The spokes of the steering wheel incorporate control surfaces for the thumbs, which the driver can use to carry out most functions. These can also be controlled just as intuitively from a large touchpad on the centre console. The low dashboard is very clearly turned towards the driver. The air conditioning controls incorporate miniature displays. The virtual displays in the instrument cluster can be toggled between two different levels, and a powermeter visualizes the drive system’s operating statuses. The Audi crosslane coupé introduces new online services under the key word Audi connect. Its passengers are always connected to the Internet community – via Twitter, Facebook or by sending photos and videos recorded on the road. A completely new feature is the “Escape Manager” – a program passengers can use to review and comment on the routes they are driving for their friends. The interior design of the Audi crosslane coupé continues the design language of the exterior in the geometrical clarity of its basic shapes; instrument covers and the grilles on the air nozzles, for example, take up the trapezoidal theme. The narrow gap dimensions and three-dimensional surfaces reflect Audi’s uncompromisingly high quality standards. The dominant interior material of the Audi crosslane coupé is CFRP, which is used in a number of different variations. On the dashboard cowl, for instance, the composite fibres are all aligned in a single direction; this unidirectional arrangement is a new departure in the automotive sector. The CFRP parts are slightly lighter in color in some areas and darker in others, an effect achieved by different clear coat applications. The aluminium elements, too, are used in a subtly differentiated way. Most of them are machine-polished, but the air nozzles use a black anodized light alloy. The vehicle floor is made from glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP) incorporating sections of a new material: Thick cords are woven with rubber threads to form a hard-wearing carpet. In their leather selections, Audi designers also employed various material grades. The most widely used grade is soft semi-aniline leather. Velvet leather in black provides an enlivening contrast. It has a robust, slightly coarse surface reminiscent of suede.
A world first hybrid coupe concept will be on display by Lexus at this year’s Australian International Motor Show in Sydney. The show is set to open in late October with the 370+ kilowatt, all-wheel drive coupe to provide a glimpse into the future of supercars and their use of advanced materials. Lexus’ stand will centre exclusively on the debut of the concept which also showcases Lexus design and engineering credentials. The concept by Lexus is a further development of a vehicle shown at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. Lexus Chief Executive Tony Cramb said that the concept is sure to be a show stopper. “We’ve pulled out all stops this year to secure a world first for Australia,” said Mr Cramb. “The Lexus concept is an absolutely stunning vehicle and is set to be one of the drawcards of the show. “The concept will highlight Lexus’ design and engineering expertise – marrying design with function to deliver a glimpse into the future of supercars,” he said. Australian International Motor Show Event Director Russ Tyrie said that Lexus’ commitment to display a world first is further reinforcement of the significance of the Australian International Motor Show. “We are thrilled Lexus have chosen the Australian International Motor Show as the stage to unveil this new concept,” said Mr Tyrie.
The Infiniti Emerg-e Concept, the latest embodiment of Infiniti Inspired Performance, made its North American debut last weekend during festivities surrounding the 62nd annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, one of the world’s premier celebrations of the automobile. Infiniti, which has enjoyed a major presence at the event for many years, showed a number of special vehicles in addition to the stunning Infiniti Emerg-e, including the Infiniti LE Concept luxury electric vehicle, the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 show car and the all-new 2013 IPL G Convertible – the second member of the Infiniti Performance Lineä. “It is always an honour to be included among the prestigious activities during the week of the Pebble Beach Concours and this year had our most advanced concept ever,” said Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben Poore. “Named ‘Best in Show’ at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Infiniti Emerg-e truly is one of the most technically interesting and artfully sculpted automobiles in the world today. It is a major achievement in both engineering and design.” As the first mid-ship sports car the marque has ever produced, Infiniti Emerg-e takes the Infiniti design vocabulary in a fresh, intriguing and convincing new direction. Infiniti Emerg-e also seamlessly blends supercar performance with the ability to function as a true electric vehicle. The 300kW mid-engined, twin electric motor-powered Infiniti Emerg-e is capable of accelerating from 0 – 60 miles per hour in just 4.0 seconds – and from zero to 130 miles per hour in a single, seamless 30-second burst. Yet it also operates as a zero-emission urban transport over a 30-mile range. Infiniti Emerg-e stretches Infiniti’s already accomplished expertise in the areas of electric vehicles and alternative propulsion systems. Along with its advanced Infiniti M Hybrid luxury sedan, Infiniti recently announced that a production luxury electric vehicle, based on the Infiniti LE Concept, will join the line-up in the 2014 model year. The Infiniti LE Concept’s compact EV platform maximises interior space by placing the lithium-ion batteries under the passenger compartment floor, helping provide a low vehicle centre of gravity for enhanced handling and maximizing trunk room without compromising front or rear seat passenger legroom or comfort. Beyond its advanced packaging, the real beauty of the interior is its “smart hospitality” – combining a luxurious Infiniti environment with next-generation instrumentation, driver interface and connectivity. In keeping with the Infiniti challenger mentality, the LE Concept also includes a built-in wireless charging system, which is expected to be the first home-based wireless charging system if adapted for the production version. The Red Bull Racing Formula 1 show car represents Infiniti’s ongoing involvement and partnership with the Red Bull Racing F1 team, which has helped raise Infiniti’s visibility throughout the world. The Red Bull Racing team and driver Sebastian Vettel won back-to-back World Championships in 2010 and 2011. The new 2013 IPL G Convertible combines seductive style with a highly engaging driving experience. Key features include a 252kW 3.7-litre V6, 7-speed automatic transmission, IPL-tuned suspension and sport brakes, and unique exterior and interior treatments (compared to the non-IPL G37 Convertible).
The BMW i8 Concept Spyder is celebrating its world premiere at the Auto China 2012 in Beijing and the rear-end of the car clearly bears the eDrive emblem for the new technology. In future, the designation eDrive will identify the drive technology for all electric and plug-in hybrid cars from BMW i. BMW eDrive comprises the components of the electric drivetrain: the electric motor developed in-house by BMW, the lithium-ion battery, and finally the intelligent motor management system. This technology ensures that electromobility with BMW eDrive offers a unique experience. This is because the full torque of the electric motor is available from a standing start and the acceleration unfolds continuously in thoroughbred electric vehicles until the top speed is attained. Vehicles with BMW eDrive technology are therefore extremely agile and offer enormous driving pleasure. The lithium-ion battery cells and the intelligent motor management system also offer a substantial increase in range and power for the vehicle. The future will see BMW eDrive technology empowering all electric drives – electric and plug-in vehicles from BMW i – giving them the capability for being particularly dynamic and smart.
At Auto China 2012 in Beijing, Audi is presenting a themed vehicle based on the Q3 – the RS Q3 concept. It interprets the character of the compact SUV in a very special way – systematically dynamic. The blue painted Audi RS Q3 concept is a vehicle based on the theme of thrilling dynamic performance. Its engine, a 2.5 TFSI with 265 kW of power, and its body – lowered about 25 mmand widened with sharp visual details – explore the potential of the Q3 model series in a new way. Brushed and polished aluminium trim frames the Audi RS Q3 concept’s single-frame radiator grille. Its black grille insert exhibits a new geometry – the honeycombs are slightly offset to one another deeper inside, creating a distinct three-dimensional effect. The lower area of the grille integrates another sculpted feature – a silver quattro signature. The headlights are slightly tinted; inside them, some chrome parts are dark or covered by panels of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP). The bumper was redesigned; there are now powerful edges around the outer air intakes. They are subdivided into two segments – the inner sections have honeycomb screen inserts, while their outer sections, made of CFRP, have a smooth funnel shape. The front spoiler is also made of CFRP. Its lower section is matt black. The entire lower section of the bumper is coated with blue clearcoat paint. The same combination of black and blue tinted areas is repeated on the sides of the Audi RS Q3 concept – on the trim strips of the doors and sills and on the add-on parts of the wheel housings. The door mirror housings consist of black CFRP, while matt aluminium trim frames the side windows. The roof spoiler runs a long way towards the rear; its middle section has been slightly shortened compared to its outer sections. It is painted in the body colour known as Ordos Blue – a matt blue with a slight yellow tint. At the rear, the lower bumper section has a sporty and angular style. The diffuser insert, which integrates the two large elliptical tailpipes in typical RS look, has been shifted far upward. Here too, Audi designers chose a combination of blue clearcoat and black CFRP. The rear lights and auxiliary lights in the bumper are tinted in anthracite and are made of clear glass. In the interior of the Audi RS Q3 concept, which gets plenty of light through a glass sunroof, cool black is the dominant colour – on the roofliner, floor carpet, floor mats, leather-upholstered instrument panel and on large areas of the seat upholstery, which consists of Fine Nappa leather. Dark blue Alcantara is used as a contrasting element on the seat covers. The contrasting blue colour is used in an inventive way in the CFRP decorative panels – the panel material was produced by weaving brilliant blue luminescent glass fibres into it. The steering wheel has large control stalks made of CFRP, which are framed by aluminium accents. Most of the wheel is covered with black Velvet leather – a leather that gives the hands a secure grip and repels dirt very well. In the door trim panels, there are surfaces in blue Alcantara. The inside door handle has a perforated lightweight construction look as in every RS model. In the tachometer, Chinese characters replace the usual Arabic numerals. RS Q3 badges adorn the instrument cluster, the seatbacks, door sill plates and floor mats. The styling of the engine compartment is also extremely sporty in appearance. A layered-carbon trim panel covers the area around the five-cylinder engine that sports a red valve cover, and two laterally arranged ventilation screens feed air to the engine. As is the practice in car racing, the cylinder numbers are marked on their spark plug covers. An aluminium housing holds the open sports air filter, and the filtered air tube is made of stainless steel. The extremely powerful 2.5 TFSI in the RS Q3 concept combines two classic Audi technologies – gasoline direct injection and turbocharging. From 2,480 cc of engine displacement, it generates 265 kW of power. The car catapults itself from zero to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, and its propulsive force takes it to a top speed of 265 km/h. A seven-speed S tronic transfers the forces of the sonorous 2.5 TFSI to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Generally, it directs these forces almost exclusively to the front wheels. When slip is detected there, it can redistribute forces to the rear axle via a hydraulic multi-plate clutch with electronic control – instantaneously and variably. The alloy wheels of the Audi RS Q3 concept continue the dynamic RS Q styling and have the dimensions 8.5 J x 20. The front surfaces are high-gloss, while the sides are sandblasted. The tire size of 255/30 is not exactly typical for an SUV, but certainly for an RS model.