The Answer to Gridlock in the Next Decade
So I was heading across Denver the other day and in the process I must have seen a dozen Smart for2's. So I started to think about how amusing traffic jams are going to look in the next 10 or 15 years. Assuming all of these concept cars make it into production.
Audi Snook Concept Car
Before you erupt into laughter, it should be duly noted that this concept took first place Michelin Challenge Design Award at the Detroit Autoshow this year. This example of a "personal mobility vehicle" uses a a set of gyrospheres to stabilize itself on a single contact point. It rides on a motorized ball that allows for some very precise and agile handling. It might also take some customers away from Segway.
Scion Sports Coupe Concept
The Sports coupe is a deign that you either love or hate. The stying is modern, yet simple for the most part. According to a press release, it combines "entertainment, digital technology, and versatility into one sinister looking package." The jury is still out on that one. I can't really say I understand the rear cargo area. It looks like it could be used for seating as well as hauling groceries, but why?
City Transport Cell Concept
The City Transport Cell by Volkswagen is among a growing number of person transportation devices. It is a plug-in vehicle intended solely for short-range urban use. It produces no emissions and can be easily repaired thanks to a "puzzle-piece" design. The interior is also customizable by using the same snap together design.
Toyota Urban Cruiser Concept
So just in case the tiny little pods aren't you style, Toyota designed a smaller SUV, more similar to the RAV4, that should be enough to keep you busy. According to Toyota spokespeople, it is only "Urban" in name. It has all the capabilities of a normal SUV, just smaller to give it more maneuverability in the "Urban Jungle."
The Smart For2 has been out and about for a while now, but for some reason we still love to talk about it. Originally designed for easy parking and affordability, the For2 has been under some heavy criticism over it's Crash Test Ratings. It just became available to the US this year as it finally passed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests.
Scion Hako Coupe Concept
The Hako Coupe Concept has been met with very little appreciation. Most people have written it off as a slightly modified Scion xB. Its boxy shape and unexciting lines didn't bode well with the judges either. According to the Scion Designers, their inspiration came straight from global youth-inspired trends. How well the study was conducted and where all they went it still open for debate.
Toyota Hi-TC Concept
An interesting concept from Toyota that can best be described as a Golf Cart they rear-ended a Nissan Frontier. It also uses plug-in Hybrid technology for power, which means no emissions and a short operating range. Power goes to all 4 wheels through 4 independent electric motors. The interior is roomy and simple and provides easy operation with little driver input.
For when you really want to show up in style, the Cadillac CTS (shown above) or CTS Coupe are the way to go. They aren't really concepts anymore, but when it comes to cruising downtown, it's hard ot beat a Caddy. With over 300 horsepower going to all 4 wheels and still getting 26 highway miles per gallon, it doens't do all that bad from an environmental standpoint.
Of course there are many more that could also be included into this group. These are just the most intersting to imagine stuck in traffic.