At world-class auto shows like the ones in Paris, Tokyo, Frankfurt and Geneva, automakers and designers showcase their most advanced, compact and green breeds of car. These ultra-modern cars seem to be targeted primarily toward Generation Y and younger, incorporating high-tech innovations with environmental friendliness.
If you haven’t had a chance to see them for yourself at one of these auto shows, join us for a preview of our favorites:
1. Toyota Fun-Vii: The chameleon
The car’s name stands for “Fun Interactive Internet” and it is geared to a time where “people, cars and society are linked.” Like a giant smart phone, the Fun-Vii’s interior and exterior are completely smooth and blank, allowing the owner to wirelessly “paint” it with images of his/her choice. The car takes GPS one step further with a holographic “navigation concierge.” The Fun-Vii drives itself, which comes in handy when it converts into a video game.
2. Renault Twizy: The Friend-maker
The Renault Twizy is better than a baby at helping you make friends, according to Sam Wollaston of The Guardian. This urban electric vehicle is basically a go-cart with a roof. It seats two (driver in the front, passenger in the back) and delivers a top speed of only 50 miles per hour. The Twizy has a range of roughly 62 miles and can be recharged in 3.5 hours.
3. Tesla Model X: The Falcon
This compact electric car, amazingly, fits three rows of seats and seven passengers. The last row is accessible thanks to the rear “falcon doors” that open upward to the roof. Although Model X combines the features of SUVs and minivans, it offers limited luggage storage relative to the number of passengers it seats.
4. GM Autonomy: The Skateboard
The GM Autonomy is like a “skateboard” whose mechanical parts are contained in a flat, 6-inch compartment beneath the passenger compartment. It is the first vehicle designed from the ground up around a hydrogen-powered fuel cell. This concept car is especially environmentally friendly because it has no exhaust system or radiator. Its drive-by-wire technology eliminates the transmission by controlling the car electronically rather than mechanically. Its skateboard chassis is designed to accommodate a variety of light-weight bodies.