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The 2017 North American International Auto Show wrapped last week and there were a few notable concept cars on display. Production reveals were humdrum because most had already made their rounds at auto shows at the end of 2016. Crazy future whips like the Rinspeed Oasis and Mercedes-Benz E-Concept signal a big step forward into the electric and autonomous-capable economy cars.
Here are my favorite Concept Cars unveiled at NAIAS in no particular order.
1. Lexus UX Concept
The UX Concept is a new compact crossover with utility capabilities and low-clearance coupe-like proportions. The UX Concept highlights Lexus’ intention to attract a group of new, young Urbanites who care more for efficiency and technology than vehicle size.
Lexus’ UX Concept reflects the brand’s “inside-out” design concept. This bold design encompasses 3D HMI technology.
The “inside-out” styling theme is further emphasized by the wheel arches, roof bars, and door cameras, finished in the same material.
In the front, the car’s fenders flow seamlessly into the cabin to form housings for e-mirror screens showing the image
from door-mounted, rear-facing cameras. The dashboard top sits lower than these screens to provide excellent forward visibility. To the rear, the bodywork again flows into the cabin, forming the main structure of the rear-seat headrests.
The UX Concept also features a first design execution of a breakthrough seat technology, the Kinetic Seat Concept.
2. Nissan Vmotion 2.0 Concept
The Vmotion 2.0 concept combines a high sense of style, emotional design, space, comfort and technology to make the mobility experience seamless for busy professionals. The concept signals the future direction of the company’s sedan design and intelligent-mobility technology.
The Nissan Vmotion 2.0 concept’s dramatic silhouette is characterized by a “floating roof,” with a line flowing seamlessly from the steeply raked A-pillars to the trunk lip. An extended wheelbase shows off the car’s generous cabin, while the distinctive body surface is defined by Nissan’s “Emotional Geometry” design language. The whip also has suicide doors and a floating center digital dash in the front and touchscreen in the rear.
3. Infiniti QX50 Concept
Infiniti’s QX50 Concept illustrates Infiniti’s ‘Powerful Elegance’ design language. A ‘cabin-forward’ silhouette combines with muscular lines and flowing surfaces for this dynamic crossover.
Furthermore, the QX50 Concept illustrates a potential application for Infiniti’s advanced Variable Compression Turbo (VC-Turbo) engine, offering drivers a powertrain that offers both power and efficiency.
4. Kia Stinger Concept
The 2018 Kia Stinger is a sport sedan with a luxurious interior and efficient powertrain. Its design combines elegance and athleticism, with its sleek front clip and powerful haunches.
Inside is a luxurious and purposeful cabin. A strong horizontal plane across the dash presents the driver with a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel. Drivers utilize a dash with analog and digital instrumentation. Kia’s 2018 Stinger fastback sedan was honored with an EyesOn Design Award for Production Car Design.
5. Audi Q8 Concept
Audi taps into a new segment for the full-size class – an elegant alternative to the robust presence of a classic sport utility vehicle. The Q8 concept stands for maximum prestige. It combines the spaciousness of an SUV with the emotional lines of a coupe.
Propulsion is provided by a powerful, yet highly efficient plug-in hybrid with 330 kW of system output and 516.3 lb-ft of torque. The concept car is the basis for a production model that Audi will launch on the market in 2018.