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Transportation Technology Games

Interactive Games and Concept Cars (Video) 17

Posted by Roblimo
from the fantasy-cars-that-will-never-be-manufactured dept.
So far, Timothy Lord has showed you the Tesla Model S, a CODA electric car, both gas and electric Smarts, and the Chevy Segway. Now, in his final wrap-up video from the North American International Auto Show, he looks at some concept car models he doesn't think will ever make it to production, along with some interactive games some of the car makers used to draw attention to their products.

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Interactive Games and Concept Cars (Video)

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  • ...Honestly, what's the point of creating several cool concept cars, if none of them reaches the production line?
    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday January 30, 2012 @10:36AM (#38864367)
      A few reasons:

      A) Free press. Create a cool concept car and your company gets in the spotlight for a few days.

      B) Technical feasibility. Concept cars are a good way to see if something is technically possible, without worrying about things like safety, regulations, etc. Lets face it, as cool as some concept cars look, the chances of surviving in an accident are much better with more conventional designs.

      C) Market testing. Even non-production concept cars can judge what the market thinks of a particular car design. Spending a few hundred thousand on one or two cars that are hand made is a lot less risky then spending millions on the infrastructure and production of an unpopular production model.
      • Correction for C.

        A concept car cost millions, engineers and custom fabrication work do not come cheap. Ramping up production for a new model is in the hundreds of millions to billions area.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          A concept car cost millions, engineers and custom fabrication work do not come cheap.

          lots of concepts are hacked from existing models in a couple of weeks, while others are scratch-built designs, some of which are still banged out in a couple of weeks, at least the major parts. then there are others they can't get right after years :p

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 30, 2012 @10:43AM (#38864449)

      Perfectly on-topic, actually.

      Car companies develop concept cars as part of their research and development strategies. While it is indeed very rare for a concept car to make it to a production line, they essentially serve as prototype platforms for a variety of technologies. If some engineer comes up with an improved anti-lock braking system (to use a random example) that differs wildly from tried-and-true status quo, they'll rig up a prototype and add it to a concept car where it can be tested in the physical world. If it works well (and passes all kinds of cost-benefit analysis), the company may decide to put it on a production model.

      Concept cars are also very useful for trying out new styles and body designs that might be too far ahead of (or just too different from) the modern market's taste. You often see styling cues on new production models that were prototyped on concept cars a few years back.

    • by Zaatxe (939368)
      I don't think this is offtopic, just a little short-sighted.
  • by JustNiz (692889) on Monday January 30, 2012 @12:37PM (#38865889)

    What a crap name for a car.
    Why would the pick a name already associated with another (lamer) transport product?

    Just more evidence for my ongoing conspiracy theory that car companies actually don't want people to buy electric or hybrid vehicles. They have to be seen to be making an effort, but actually they prefer to just keep making/selling the same old internal combustion cars.

    They also seemingly make all hybrids and electrics unnecessarily ugly, expensive and with reduced performance from what they should be easily able to achieve.

    • by CaptSlaq (1491233)

      What a crap name for a car. Why would the pick a name already associated with another (lamer) transport product?

      Just more evidence for my ongoing conspiracy theory that car companies actually don't want people to buy electric or hybrid vehicles. They have to be seen to be making an effort, but actually they prefer to just keep making/selling the same old internal combustion cars.

      They also seemingly make all hybrids and electrics unnecessarily ugly, expensive and with reduced performance from what they should be easily able to achieve.

      Um... Porsche (a few models are offered hybrid now), Fisker (Karma), Honda (the CR-Z is actually a reasonably sporty looking and affordable piece), and Tesla (S and formerly the Roadster) all make fairly good looking electric/hybrids. As to performance, since efficiency is king in most hybrid implementations, performance will often get reduced. Until batteries get the energy density that's at least somewhat parity with petrol/diesel, all battery powered vehicles are going to be a bummer when you run the

      • by JustNiz (692889)

        Yes I'm already aware of the Fisker and Tesla. They actually prove my point.

        Fisker and Tesla have proved a 'boutique' car manufacturer can produce a high performance luxury electric sports car, in low numbers (so the & of R&D cost per car is massive) and still sell it profitably for around $100k.

        It just confirms my point that a mass-manufacturer such as Chevy or Toyota could and should be able to do better for cheaper han a Volt or Prius.

        • by CaptSlaq (1491233)

          Yes I'm already aware of the Fisker and Tesla. They actually prove my point.

          Fisker and Tesla have proved a 'boutique' car manufacturer can produce a high performance luxury electric sports car, in low numbers (so the & of R&D cost per car is massive) and still sell it profitably for around $100k.

          It just confirms my point that a mass-manufacturer such as Chevy or Toyota could and should be able to do better for cheaper han a Volt or Prius.

          Since you've focused on the pure electric cars, I'll respond in kind.

          Battery energy density (which is exceptionally poor compared to a tank of petrol/diesel/CNG/Propane) is the problem, not a lack of desire or engineering chops. EVERYONE who is involved with car design, engineering, or tinkering wants an electric car that can do everything the current gasoline/diesel powered car can because of all the advantages that it gets you over EVERY step of the process:

          Design gets a break because they don't have

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Most coal driven power plants, use, well coal, the burn off of coal is 6-8 times more toxic then a petro cars.. So while you charge your electric car (if the plant, in or, around you, uses coal) you are furthering the problem of pollutants. I have to say I am biased on this because I build, cars and performance engines.. I will also say the problem with shitty fuel mileage is due in part to these idiot 7:0:1 compression ratios. If you want a earth friendly fuel, ethanol is the way to go but you need a 10:0

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