Solstice SD 290 Pontiac Concept Car

Solstice SD 290 Pontiac Concept Car

Pontiac has turned the wick up on the Solstice GXP's turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec in line-4 so it produces 290 horsepower, 30 hp more than the output of the stock engine. Apparently the only modification is the fitment of a low-restriction cat back exhaust system with a center outlet from Solo Performance, and a 10 percent power improvement does generally come from modifications like this. The rest of the drive train is stock, including the five-speed manual transmission.

The suspension has also been tweaked, first by fitting Pontiac's Club Sport Z0K suspension package and then taking another step forward by adopting KW Automotive coil-over shocks. The SD-290 meets the road with DOT-legal Hoosier R6 competition radial tires mounted on 19-inch forged wheels.

To slow everything down there's a set of 13-inch brake rotors from Stainless Steel Brake accompanied by five-piston calipers.

Solstice SD 290 Pontiac Concept Car

To build the SD-290, Pontiac started with a production Solstice GXP and then started tossing aside everything that didn't look like a racing car — such luxuries as the convertible top, windshield wipers, climate control system, the side glass and even the windshield. Then the Pontiac guys covered the passenger seat area with a custom-built hard tonneau cover and put a dinky little windscreen in front of the driver, reducing the car's aerodynamic drag. Throw in a new front fascia, a vented hood, front fenders with ventilation gills, a rollover bar and a rear spoiler, and there you are. Finish it all off in Competition Red, and the result is a Solstice speedster that looks long and sleek in a way the production car never has.

Inside, there is a Pegasus gauge package for the center console, a four-point seatbelt harness and chrome-plated fire extinguisher. The chrome plating is critical because when your car is on fire, you want to make sure everyone sees that your extinguisher is shiny.

The letters "SD" are legendary among Pontiac fiends who remember the 1973 and 1974 Firebird Trans Am Super Duty. But this isn't a street brute in the tradition of those old Firebirds, but rather a screamer for track day on a road-racing circuit. Not a bad thing at all.
Solstice SD 290 Pontiac Concept Car

Sporty Hybrid Concept Honda CR-Z

Honda CR-Z a Sporty Hybrid

Honda has announced that its lightweight hybrid sports car, the CR-Z, is going into production, but it might not go on sale until 2012 according to some reports.

The concept CR-Z hybrid, which stands for Compact Renaissance Zero" has been rumored to arrive stateside as early as 2009 by other reports, but such a date seems too hopeful.

Futuristic styling. Hybrid power. Advanced interior design. And it’s all wrapped up in a lightweight, fun-to-drive package. What a concept! It’s the Honda CR-Z concept, to be exact—and it made its North American debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

Shorthand for “Compact Renaissance Zero,” the CR-Z is a forward-thinking exercise in inspired design and environmental technology. The CR-Z draws its inspiration from a need to deliver spirited performance in an efficient manner.

Regardless, the CR-Z hybrid will utilize the Integrated Motor Assist powertrain will probably pair a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor, like the rest of Honda's hybrid vehicles.

The design research model of a lightweight hybrid sports car features advanced technologies that deliver elevated driving performance while reducing the vehicle’s environmental footprint.

Honda CR-Z a Sporty Hybrid

Designed to be futuristic and dynamic, the CR-Z combines powerful performance in a compact form with a futuristic image. For its frontal view, an over-sized grill with a high-performance look is offset by openings on each side that lighten the overall feel. In the rear, tube-shaped rear combination lamps create a powerful presence.

Design details emphasizing the CR-Z’s advanced image include door mirrors that provide high visibility in a stylish form, LED headlights that convey a sharp impression, and jaunty fin-shaped sub-lights. Large 19-inch wheels suggest dynamic driving performance.

The key words for the CR-Z’s interior design are "Hi-tech and Sporty." The goal was to create an all-new sporty interior that fuses the liberating feel of airy spaciousness with an advanced interface that brings out the fun of driving. Mesh material on a simple framework construction is used throughout the interior to convey a light, sophisticated image.

In the cockpit, the meter unit conveys the image of advanced technology ensconced in a piece of glass artwork, offering quick recognition and a futuristic and exhilarating appearance. The CR-Z concept vehicle made its world debut at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show in November and indicates the styling direction for a second, new hybrid vehicle to be introduced by Honda Motor Co., Ltd. The other future hybrid vehicle, designed to meet the needs of a family and priced below the Civic Hybrid, is planned for introduction in 2009.

Protoscar Lampo Electric Concept Car

Protoscar Lampo Electric Concept Car

The Lampo electric roadster is the latest creation of Swiss design firm Protoscar and it is a preview of the upcoming production due next year.
Lampo features a twin-motor design and an output of 268hp (199kW) and 440Nm of torque. This design allows one motor to power each axle, which provides four-wheel-drive capability. A 32kWh battery gives the vehicle a claimed range of over 120mi (200km) and using a typical 240V and 10-16amp European household power outlet charge times should take no longer than 12 hours.
This may be a little too long for practical use but the Lampo also features an intelligent charging system that lets the user select the key criteria for performance: shortest charging time, maximum charge yield, and the desired total level of charge to be attained in a given time period. In this way, the batteries can be charged very quickly but the driving range will be shortened significantly.
Designed to seat two, the Lampo will accelerate from 0-100km/h in five seconds flat and reach a top speed of 200km/h. It relies on lithium-ion batteries to draw its power, which alone weighs more than 140kg, and under its carbon-fiber composite bodywork is a full tubular steel chassis measuring 4,315mm in length.
Protoscar is a small firm based in Rovio, Switzerland, and employs only 14 staff. The company currently specializes in the design of environmentally-friendly vehicles, and has worked with Daimler, General Motors, Nissan and Rinspeed in the past.
Protoscar Lampo Electric Concept Car