Of the handful of new or redesigned models and concepts Toyota debuted at the 2017 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the Toyota GR HV Sports concept is one of the most interesting. The sports car is essentially a hybrid Toyota 86.
Instead of the 2.0L boxer engine found under the hood of the 86, GR HV is powered by a performance-focused hybrid powertrain benefiting from technology refined for Le Mans racing. Power is sent to the ground via an automatic transmission that can be switched into an automated manual mode with H-pattern shifting. Park, reverse and neutral functions have been moved to buttons on the center console.
Toyota’s engineers improved performance by positioning the hybrid battery in the center of the car.
Visually, the GR HV sets itself apart from the regular 86 with a pointier nose boasting more angular LED headlights, as well as a modified rear end with new taillights and a rear diffuser. The biggest difference, however, is he addition of a targa top that pays tribute to Toyota’s first sports car — the Sports 800 — and the Supra.
Do you like what you see, and should Toyota make it? Let us know in the comments below.
BMW Vision M Concept Is A Stunning And Futuristic M1
Does this concept preview a more-powerful i8 successor or even a supercar wearing the M1 badge?
BMW has unveiled the BMW Vision M Next concept, a design study that could do the iconic M1 some serious justice, though it also looks like a next-generation i8. Like modern concept cars, it is an electrified vehicle with autonomous tech.
More specifically, the Vision M Next concept is powered by a rear-mounted turbocharged four-cylinder engine and two electric motors — one on each axle — that generate a combined output of 600 horsepower, enough power for a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) acceleration time of 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph (299 km/h).
The electric drivetrain is also capable enough to let the Vision M Next travel up to 62 miles (100 km) without the gas engine.
In keeping up with the Jones, the BMW Vision M Next concept features autonomous driving capability for when you have places to go but just don’t feel like driving all that much. It can also park itself after reaching your destination.
Depending on who you ask, the futuristic exterior looks like a sci-fi M1 (it gives of strong TRON vibes) or a more angular i8 with unique color blocking at both ends. The front and rear portions are finished in a matte neon Thrilling Orange paint job that pop against the rest of the exterior’s silk-matte Cast Silver metallic paintwork, while the front rims have a traditional silver-and-black two-tone finish and the rear sets boast Thrilling Orange inserts that match the body.
The interior is just as radical as the exterior and is accessed via gullwing doors that can be opened and closed with a mere glance thanks to a facial recognition system. The cockpit features a sleek digital dashboard, a curved glass center display, and an augmented reality head-up display.
BMW says the Vision M Next “provides a glimpse into the future of sporty driving” but didn’t announce any production plans. Would you like to see it go from concept to reality? Let us know in the comments below.
Nissan Creates Battery Powered Electric Ice Cream Van
It’s a one-off, but how long until all ice cream vans go electric?
Of the many ways companies operating in the UK celebrated the country’s Clean Air Day, Nissan chose to build a one-off all-electric ice cream van that could very well save the ice cream truck from going extinct.
“Sky to Scoop”, as the concept is called, was jointly developed by Japanese automaker and Mackie’s of Scotland, a creamery that powers its dairy farm with renewable wind and solar energy. It is based on the Nissan e-NV200 electric commercial van and uses Nissan Energy Roam — a 40kWh portable powerpack — instead of a diesel generator to keep the ice cream and beverages cold. Solar panels on the roof allows it to recharge without having to plug into the grid.
Scheduled to go on sale in 2019, the Nissan Energy Roam uses lithium-ion cells recovered from early first-generation Nissan electric vehicles. It not only provides clean power anywhere, but it also makes battery-powered vehicles even more sustainable.
“Most ice cream vans, particularly older models, have diesel engines which are kept running to operate the refrigeration equipment,” Nissan says. “These motors are criticized for producing harmful emissions, including black carbon, when left idling.”
As preposterous as it might sound, some UK towns and cities are actually considering banning ice cream vans, so Nissan’s electric ice cream truck could very well provide a solution of sorts with its low carbon footprint. What do you think?
VW I.D. Roomzz Concept Previews An Electric Three-Row SUV
The latest concept in Volkswagen’s I.D. family is a people-hauler first and foremost.
Volkswagen is cooking up a flagship electric SUV, and the VW I.D. Roomzz Concept is an indication of what’s to come.
Based on a stretched version of the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform that underpins the I.D. Crozz concept, the Roomzz is a full-size SUV with three-rows of seating for up to eight occupants. More than that, the seats can be reconfigured to deliver a lounge-like experience.
Other interior highlights include a digital, glass-front panel, and massive screens for the instrument cluster and dashboard infotainment.
Level 4 autonomous capabilities means the I.D. Roomzz can drive itself in certain areas and under certain conditions without an active driver. Power is provided by two electric motors, one on each axle to provide all-wheel drive capability, energized by a 82-kWh battery.
The electric drivetrain generates a total of 302 horsepower, can accelerate the SUV from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.6 seconds on route to a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h), and provides a driving range of up to 280 miles (451 km) on Europe’s WLTP cycle, or 475 km (295 mi) under NEFZ in China.
The production version of the Volkswagen I.D. Roomzz concept is slated to debut sometime in 2020, around the same time as the production versions of the I.D. Crozz and I.D. hatchback. The Microbus-inspired I.D. Buzz and I.D. Vizzion sedan will follow suit in 2022.