Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept Previews Fastback Flagship

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Infiniti is gearing up to show off a low-slung, fastback concept car at the Paris Motor Show next month that the automaker says foreshadows an "audacious top-of-the-line model." The Q80 Inspiration isn't similar to anything in the current Infiniti lineup if it debuts looking like the sleek four-seat fastback in the above sketch. It also reminds us of the company's Essence concept car from way back in 2009. This time around, however, might be a little more significant since the Inspiration concept will be attached to a model "name," denoting firmer plans for it to become a reality.

Related: Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show

Little else was revealed of the Q80, but Infiniti wants the car to clearly be a high-end model at the peak of the Infiniti range with the style and technology to match. Current Infiniti Q cars include the Q50 sedan, Q60 coupe, Q60 convertible and Q70 sedan. Complete details on the Q80 Inspiration concept car will come at the 2014 Paris Motor Show on Oct. 2 when Infiniti reveals the Q80 Inspiration to the public.

By Joe Bruzek | September 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

Toyota FT-1 Concept Goes Upscale (18 Photos)

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Toyota's bright red FT-1 sports car concept drew the excitable eye of everyone who attended the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit where it debuted. We haven't forgotten about the red and racy concept, and neither has Toyota, which just released a reimagined version with an upscale vibe more ready for a leisurely cruise down a coastal highway than carving corners on a racetrack.

Related: Toyota FT-1 Concept at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show

The pull-me-over red exterior is replaced with a graphite re-skin, and I think does a better job showing off the FT-1's curves. New interior touches are equally as minimalistic and work to great effect with saddle leather highlights and new textures providing a more Lexus-like experience than Toyota. Toyota's design team took inspiration for the interior from modern, high-tech superhero costumes and high-end leather bags.

By Joe Bruzek | August 14, 2014 | Comments (2)

Photo Gallery: Jaguar F-Type Project 7

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Jaguar has confirmed that it intends to build 250 examples of the 2013 F-Type Project 7 concept car for sale to the public, using its Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations team to handle the assembly of the custom two-seat roadster. Inspired by the 60th anniversary of the LeMans-winning Jaguar D-type race car, the F-Type Project 7 features handmade carbon- fiber aerodynamic aids and a unique suspension, as well as the most powerful engine Jaguar has ever put in a car: a 575-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 mated to an eight- speed automatic transmission. Jaguar says it will propel the Project 7 from zero to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph, making it the fastest car Jaguar has ever produced.

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Several high-performance features will be standard on the Project 7, including carbon- ceramic brakes, a torque vectoring system and race-inspired seats. The only roof will be a stowable fabric strip that stretches from the top of the windshield and accommodates the D-type-inspired fairing behind the driver's head. It will be fully road-legal, however, and even features a trunk that holds 7 cubic feet of luggage.

The first examples of the new Project 7 will be delivered to customers in mid-2015, and it will make its public debut at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England on Thursday. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Check out the gallery below.

By Aaron Bragman | June 25, 2014 | Comments (1)

Ford Concept Makes Fusion As Light As a Fiesta

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Starting earlier this year with the 2015 F-150 and continuing this week with the announcement of a new concept car, Ford is working to be a heavyweight in the realm of "light-weighting." The Ford Lightweight Concept follows in the footsteps of the production version of the F-150 pickup truck, which shed 700 pounds using high-strength steel and aluminum alloy. The concept, based on the 2013 Fusion midsize sedan, drops a quarter of the sedan's body weight to tip the scales at the same level as Ford's smallest car, the Fiesta, the automaker said Tuesday.

Everything You Need to Know About the 2015 Ford F-150

Ford said the concept "uses advanced materials to explore future weight-reduction solutions that could improve performance and fuel efficiency while reducing carbon dioxide emissions." The automaker said the vehicle uses many of the same lightweight materials found in today's mobile electronic devices, such as aluminum, chemically toughened glass and advanced lightweight plastics, as well as high-strength steel, magnesium and carbon fiber.

By Matt Schmitz | June 4, 2014 | Comments (3)

Google Announces New Self-Driving Car Prototype Fleet

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If you could buy one of Google's all-new cars on a dealer lot, you wouldn't have to wonder how much that optional heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel is going to set you back — because there is no steering wheel. Or gas pedal. Or foot brakes. The prototype fleet of electric-powered, entirely self-driving cars announced Tuesday by the Silicon Valley-based tech giant — which has been developing autonomous-car technology for years — is expected to begin testing by year's end.

Driverless Cars Before Decade's End? Developers Say So

According to USA Today, the fleet of as many as 200 prototype two-seaters is part of Google's efforts to "reengineer transportation." In lieu of conventional human-controlled driving mechanisms, the new car instead uses sensors and software to avert danger, the newspaper reported. The prototype currently has a top speed of only 25 mph (no word on its zero-to-25 mph sprint time) and has been involved in no accidents yet, USA Today said.

By Matt Schmitz | May 28, 2014 | Comments (5)

Mini Superleggera Concept Very Un-Mini (20 Photos)

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Spectators at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2014 classic-car contest in Lake Como, Italy, received a bilingual greeting of "All right?" and "Buongiorno!" as BMW introduced the Mini Superleggera Vision. The automaker described the electric-powered roadster concept car as "modern Britishness meets Italian flair," but the first thing you'll likely notice is its minimal Mini-ness. The Superleggera easily bears the least resemblance to any previous Mini model we've seen.

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The Superleggera combines Italian body construction with Mini's iconic British visual cues on the outside, and inside uses leather, aluminum and black chrome flourishes, according to the automaker.

What do you think of this Mini concept's blending of European cultural influences? Sound off in the comment section and check out the gallery of manufacturer's photos below.

By Matt Schmitz | May 27, 2014 | Comments (2)

Lincoln MKX Concept Photo Gallery (22 Photos)

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Ford's luxury brand is entering the Chinese market later this year, and it's wasting no time making a splash with a new concept car. Lincoln's midsize crossover is due for a redesign and what looks like a near-production-version of the new MKX was unveiled last week at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show.

Research the Lincoln MKX

The MKX was last redesigned for 2011, and the concept is clearly an evolution of the current model, retaining a similar size footprint, but adopting a sleeker look overall. Styling highlights include a lower, more sloping roofline; a narrower version of the brand's split-winged grille; wider shoulders; and full LED headlamps and a strip of lower LED accent lights. In back, Lincoln's signature tailgate-spanning taillights return but are slimmed down for a more streamlined look.

There's no word yet on the concept's production plans, but Lincoln says the MKX Concept hints at a global SUV that will become the third of four new Lincoln vehicles in dealerships by 2016, following a new MKZ sedan and forthcoming MKC compact crossover. Check out the gallery below.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 29, 2014 | Comments (5)

What You Can't Miss at the 2014 New York Auto Show

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The U.S. auto show season isn't closing quietly this year. New York hosts the last big auto show, and the Big Apple is offering quite the spread for 2014, from significant production reveals like the 2015 Toyota Camry and 2015 Subaru Outback to in-your-dreams performance cars like the Alfa Romeo 4C and Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible. Oh, and if you're looking for weird, check out the redesigned Nissan Murano's styling and Land Rover's full-size remote-control concept SUV.

More 2014 New York Auto Show Coverage

The 2014 New York International Auto Show runs from April 18-27 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, 11th Avenue between 34th and 40th streets. The floor is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Regardless of when you go, there will be plenty to see. Continue below to check out the Cars.com editorial team's list of New York Auto Show can't-miss vehicles and displays.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 19, 2014 | Comments (1)

Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Concept Photo Gallery (27 Photos)

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With the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen concept, now bowing at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, the German automaker heralds the all-wheel-drive diesel hatchback as a "bigger, more spacious, and more fuel-efficient replacement for the Jetta SportWagen." The concept is 1.1 inches longer, 0.7 inches wider and 0.9 inches lower than the current Jetta SportWagen, and the wheels are 1.7 inches farther forward.

More 2014 New York Auto Show Coverage

On the front end, the hood slopes down into the front fenders instead of the fender peaks being higher than the hood, in addition to a more angular horizontal design and slender grille, VW says. In the rear is a clean surface around the VW badge, a wider rear window and geometric taillights.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | April 18, 2014 | Comments (1)

Land Rover Discovery Sport To Launch in 2015

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Land Rover's Discovery Vision concept at the 2014 New York International Auto Show is a wild concept with a highly versatile, configurable cabin; video chat between front and rear occupants; and a remote control driving system, among many other out-there features.

More 2014 New York Auto Show Coverage 

Land Rover says an all-new premium compact SUV called the Discovery Sport will be the first production model to take cues and features from the Discovery Vision concept. It will arrive at dealerships in 2015. The Discovery Sport is the first member of an all-new Discovery family of vehicles.

By Joe Bruzek | April 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

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