By Nauman Farooq
One of the main attractions for many to go to an auto show, is to see concept cars.
Quite often, concept cars give an insight into what we might be driving in a few years time.
However, just like cars you can buy, not all of them are good. So here is a look at the ‘Good’, the ‘Bad’ and the ‘Crazy’ concepts from this years Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS)
In the ‘Good’ category, there is the Nissan NV2500 which made its ‘World Premiere’ at the CIAS. This concept commercial vehicle is fitted with a host of gadgets to show what a commercial vehicle is capable of being. However, with its Cummins diesel engine and ZF-automatic gearbox, it shows just how production ready this vehicle also is. In fact, Nissan did announce that this vehicle will enter production next year, so you will be seeing plumbers and delivery companies driving around in this in the near future.
The Nissan Forum minivan concept might take a little longer, as Nissan has not formally announced its production plans. I personally hope they do replace the quirky Quest with the Forum, as this futuristic minivan is quite attractive. With swiveling seats and zoned entertainment systems, this could be the family hauler we all would want on a long road trip.
My personal favorite concept was the Kia Koup. This stylish coupe looks great, and given Kia’s pricing strategy, I am sure it would be affordable too. It has a potent power-plant too, a 2.0 liter, turbo-charged, four-cylinder unit that produces 290hp. A Kia rep did confirm that a coupe will be offered by the automaker in the very near future. If it looks like the Koup concept, I am sure it’ll do very well.
However, not all concepts were good, and I have to say, that the BMW 7-series ActiveHybrid has to be placed under the ‘Bad’ category.
This concept is based on the 2009, 7-series, which is in showrooms now, only that the concept has a hybrid drive-train, and not a very good one in my view. You see it only has a mild-hybrid system, not a full-hybrid, so the electric motors just work as generators to run the cars electrical systems. So you can’t move the vehicle on electric power alone. This is disappointing, especially since Lexus offers full-hybrid sedans to the public already.
Also in the ‘Bad’ category, I have to place the Subaru G4e, mainly because it is revoltingly ugly. Sure its all-electric powertrain is very impressive, and its lithium-ion batteries would give this car a 200km range on a full charge. This is very good, but I ask, did it need to look this ugly, and why was it painted toxic green?
So the Subaru had a crazy color, but the ‘Craziest’ concept car award has to go to the Honda FC-Sport. This thing looks like a magnified HotWheels model, and which car enthusiast wouldn’t want that. It’s wild styling is complimented by its wild interior layout, a three-seater, with the driver sitting in the middle (like in the McLaren F1). Plus with its hydrogen fuel-cell technology (borrowed from the Honda FC Clarity, which has been put in limited production for certain markets), this is one concept car that shows that going green can also be cool as ice.
Chances are slim to none for the FC-Sport to go into production (make that none), but its technology is a reality, and that means one day we will be driving around in hydrogen powered sports cars. Can’t wait.