Lexus LC Convertible
The LC Convertible is a ragtop version of the LC coupe and could be on sale soon. The car has oversized 22-in. wheels and a folding power roof. If it gets released to the public it will likely be powered by the same 5-liter, 470 hp V8 that’s in the LC500 coupe. There’s also a chance an engine option could be the gas/electric hybrid also found in the LC500. But it would be difficult. Lexus engineers would need to squeeze the folding hard-top roof and lithium battery pack in the space behind the seats or find a new place to stash the battery.
This is predicted to be GM’s first all-electric vehicle, a crossover SUV and the first in a future of all-electric GM vehicles (though it’s hard to believe the Corvette will become a battery-powered sports car). It will be based on GM’s EV platform, a platform said to be flexible enough to work for a wide variety of cars, crossovers, and SUVs. The platform includes new drive motors and battery cells which were also designed with flexibility in mind. They will be used in different vehicles and for vehicles indifferent countries. The powertrain will also work on front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive, given some modifications. And the battery subsystem can be tweaked to meet customer and vehicle needs.
Toyota TJ Cruiser
The TJ Cruiser blends a van and an SUV with a boxy-but-roomy look. It is powered by a 2-liter electric/gas hybrid, but that seems like it might leave the Cruiser underpowered and with a lot of space for hauling gear. The engine can be set up as a front-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle. To back up its bona-fides as a rough-and-ready off-roader, it sports oversized tires; a sturdy suspension; and a coating on the roof, fenders, and hood that resists scratches and dirt. With a 10-ft-long cargo section (with the seats stowed) and plenty of tie-downs, the interior resembles that of a small cargo plane. And the name, TJ, is said to stand for “toolbox joy”.
GAC Motors Entranze
This quirky concept is from the China-based GAC Motors, but is the first vehicle coming out of its L.A.-based design center. The vehicle is a cross between a minivan and a crossover, and GAC calls it a Hyper family Car. Adding to the quirkiness is the seating layout—three in the front bench seat, then two rows of two bucket seats behind it. There are also transparent sliding doors on each side, most likely a nod to the concept
car circuit rather than a serious contender for a consumer feature. The all-electric vehicle sports lots of touch controls on the steering wheel, display screens on the dash, and the drive can control most functions using their voice.
The ultra-flexible microSNAP from Rinspeed comes as autonomous base or “skateboard” powered by an 48-V traction motor that carry a range of “pods” that snap on top to customize it for the task at hand. For example, one pod might carry four passengers and serve as a taxi, another might keep several grocery deliveries cool and fresh as it goes door-to-door across town delivering them to several customers. Rinspeed even designed and built a robot that removes pods and exchange them for another.
Infiniti QX Inspiration
Infiniti’s Inspiration concept vehicle is a mid-size SUV, the automaker’s first all-electric vehicle, and the company promises it will deliver high performance, ultra-low emission, and total range confidence. The manufacturer doesn’t say if this is planned as an autonomous people mover, but it said to have a lounge-like interior. The car has four doors, with the front ones opening to the front and rear ones (so-called suicide doors) swinging open to the rear.
Nissan IMS Sports Sedan
The all-electric, autonomous IMS Sports Sedan from Nissan delivers both fully autonomous and hands-on driving. Anyone seeing the car, however, will know if the car is driving itself: Exterior lighting will travel front to back and turn blue when in self-driving mode. Currently, the concept is outfitted with dual electric motors (one in front, one in back) that crank out 483 hp and 590 ft-lb of torque. A 115-kWh battery gives the car a 380-mile range. The exterior is covered in a special “liquid metal” paint that is meant to suggest an imaginary mineral on the moon.