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Here Are Some Futuristic Cars I Liked at the NY Auto Show

Here Are Some Futuristic Cars I Liked at the NY Auto Show
I paid a visit to the New York International Auto Show yesterday, because I like cars a lot, and one big benefit of being part of the press is the ability to be put in a giant building full of shiny automobiles without a bunch of people shoving you around to get the perfect Instagram shot of a new Subaru.
The NYIAS is interesting in that, compared to its counterparts in Los Angeles and Detroit, it appears to be more geared towards auto dealers, and as such most automakers mostly put the focus on cars that will actually sell, rather than the wild concepts that better fit Motherboard's purview. Nonetheless, I combed the halls of the Javitz Center to find some futuristic cars I really liked, and now I'm sharing them with you!


This, the Toyota FT-1, is indeed a concept, but it positively stunning. It's not an easy car to photograph, but I think this rear half shot really highlights the sloping rear well. The lines where the side and rear windows line up hearkens back to the 2000GT, which is just about one of the loveliest cars ever made.
Motor Trend wrote a great breakdown of the design when the car, which many hope will be Toyota's next Supra, debuted a few months ago. But if we're talking future here, I think this taillight/vent detail is a great highlight of sports cars to come. The trend has long been towards more more organic shapes, with extremely intricate lights and aerodynamic details. This car would have looked impossibly futuristic a couple decades ago, and now it's reportedly not far from reality.


Legendary Italian marque is making its return to the US with the 4C, a little sports car that reminds me a bit of the Lotus Europa. Cool as it looks, it's a product of our current frugal future: Rather than a giant engine, this little Alfa is powered by a high-tech, 1.75L turbocharged four-cylinder that puts out some 237 horsepower. 
While that might not sound like a whole lot, in a small, fairly light car, it offers a good balance of performance and efficiency, which is crucial as federal fuel economy standards and budgets continue to get tighter. Not that an Alfa is cheap, assuming you can find one; the Times says the company still lacks a US dealer network.


Volkswagen's Golf has now evolved into its seventh generation, and with it comes the 2015 e-Golf. As you might have guessed, it's electric, and its motor produces 114 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. With a 24.2 kWh battery pack, Volkswagen says it will have a 118-mile range. How is it futuristic? It's electric, and has "e" in the name. This is the future of cars, people, and has been for some time.


Not that the electric future has to be bland. This was the first time I've seen the Porsche 918 Spyder in the flesh, and it's pretty gosh darn nice. I'd definitely drive it, is what I'm saying.
A Volkwagen Group stablemate of the e-Golf, the 918 Spyder was first shown off in 2010, and is currently being delivered in limited numbers now. As you can see by the cord dangling off of it, it's a plug-in hybrid, and can get around 18 miles of range on battery alone. All told, it has a 4.6 liter V8 engine that produces 608 horsepower, while its two electric motors add an additional 279 hp.
I suppose it's tough to call the $845,000 car futuristic if it's already been known for four years, but it certainly looks the part, and does get credit for being a trend-setter: With the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari, hybrid supercars are a bona-fide thing now.


This positively enormous Bentley race car is truly awesome, and I absolutely must see it race some day. That is all.


That Bentley is a tough act to follow, but this Scion represents the future for the rest of us. You know, the future where gas disappears, robots take our jobs, and we're all stuck living inside of pre-fab boxes epoxied to the side of an abandoned bridge. I'm not sure that's exactly what Scion was going for, but this little cube was nicely appointed, starts at $15,995, and gets 37 mpg. And in the techno-tycoon dominated future, that's all we normals will be able to hope for.


This Kia concept has also been out for a few months, but to me, it really embodies a glossier vision of the near-future—kind of like that Audi that Will Smith drove in I, Robot. Unlike many concept cars, the GT4 Stinger can actually drive, too.
The lights might be a bit too audacious for production, as is the grille. But if this sub-3000-lb, 315 horsepower coupe is a picture of mid-range sports cars to come, the future is looking pretty bitchin'.


From a design point of few, this Sports Sedan Concept offers nice insight into where more regular cars are headed. Even sedate sedans have gotten a lot more aggressive styling cues of late, and the complex lines first embodied by Chris Bangle's "flame surfacing" design for BMWs continue to evolve.
One thing I really liked on this car were the simple door handle button things. I'd love to see those on a production car.
The headlights are also extremely complicated items, which is a requisite for any car these days. I'm not complaining; they look futuristic as hell.



If you're an avid reader of my NYIAS coverage (and why wouldn't you be?), you'd remember that I called the BMW i8 concept futuristic back in 2012. Lo and behold, it has become the future, as this is the production model. Yes, you'll be able to buy this wild-looking car, which combines a three-cylinder turbo engine with an electric drivetrain, starting this summer. (I took a picture of the spec sheet if you want to see it.) But just look at it: This thing is the future. Jalopnik agrees.


This 1971 Ford Torino was given a 3D-printed makeover by artist Ioan Florea. The shapes were printed in plastic, and according to the Economistlater coated them in a metallic material, or used those parts as molds. It looks like something from Escape from New York, and that's all I can say.


Okay, so a pickup truck might not seem very futuristic, but the F-series is the best-selling vehicle in America, and Ford took a bit of risk by making the next gen model's body out of aluminum. The goal was to cut weight, which, combined with turbocharged, small-displacement engines, goes a long way to improve fuel economy. And that means saving a whole lot of gas.



Efficiency is the name of the game in racing, too, and Mazda's prototype is a good representative example. It's powered by a 2.2L diesel engine that puts out 450 hp and 580 lb-ft of torque. While that's a fair bit of power, such small-displacement diesels also tend to have great fuel economy, which cuts down on time spent in the pits. Audi has long led the diesel charge in prototype racing, but Mazda's push for tiny diesel engines is a hint at the future.


We last saw Toyota's i-ROAD concept at CES, and it's the latest in a long line of urban mobility concepts from from a variety of manufacturers. The name of the game here is to take the concept of a car and make it as small, light, efficient, and cheap as possible. And if the Tata Nano is any indicator, the future of cars, and their spread to new markets worldwide, will look like this. 
TOPICS: carsmachines

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