But interestingly, the blue car behind it in this picture looks almost like the design of a modern city car from today to me. So that's where the real vision was?
EDIT: I might be wrong, I assumed the photo was from the 1980 Paris Salon show due to the article text above it, but it's probably from later. Oops.
Anyone old enough to remember the UFO TV series?
Just in case:
One that is in the process of making that leap right now: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/volkswagen/98136/volkswagen-bos...
I do wonder if the reason concept 'updated' models are more likely to be made is there is a huge amount of nostalgia at play in the market.
As an aside, having owned a new Mini convertible, I can confirm it was probably the most fun I've had in a car. Felt like driving a go-kart. The suspension is ridiculously hard. Completely horrible car to be a passenger in but so so so much fun to drive. Apparently very close to the original.
I'd go over a couple times a month to teach him autocad so he could design the various add-on projects he wanted to do to his house.
In a side garage, he had two brand new, mint condition minis that had never been driven. They were beautiful.
I tried to convince him that I'd teach him autocad full time in exchange for one of the minis.
That didn't work; what he told me was that in the 60s he'd been over in the U.K., and that he had two shipping containers loaded with minis and shipped them back to the US - he sold them off over time, but he kept the two.
One he was about to start driving - and the other he said will never be driven "it's going to be my coffin, I am going to be buried in it"
Could you clarify why you think safety is not the most important characteristic of driving on the road?
Other factors like available seating, looks, price, and creature comforts often take precedence over safety in the minds of many consumers.
We drive cars because they hit a sweet spot of speed, personal autonomy, and comparative expense, with a cost to personal safety that we've collectively decided we're willing to live with.
It's funny that, as a collective, we're willing to also ignore the safety risk to others.
Another reason is that cars have gotten increasingly safer and safe designs don't scream safety so it has gotten easy to ignore how important safety is and how bad things used to be in older cars. A minor crash in a 50s and earlier car would likely result in death or severe injury due to the lack of seat belts, lack of crumple zones, metal bayonets knobs on the dashboard, metal dashboards, etc.
Pre-50s is definitely going to be quite fragile, but it really depends what you mean by "minor". In a major crash, a modern car is going to be far safer, but in a minor one both the passenger and an older car are likely to survive with nearly no damage, whereas a modern car, although with the same outcome for the passenger, may be damaged extensively. Late 70s/early 80s bumpers were probably the best designed for this.
I have no idea how people used to think that it was at all safe, I was very aware that if the car crashed I was going to be ejected out the window, even in a low speed crash.
It had 2 seatbelts in the front, and none in the back. It was a bench seat in the front though, so we had 3 in the front and 4 in the back.
1968 was apparently the first year that seat belts were mandated in cars.
> and no one would get on the freeway with an SUV.
I crashed a truck once, going maybe 30-40 km/h, wearing a seat belt. I ended up with some minor bruising from the seat belt, and no other damage, but everything else in the car went flying, including the glasses off my head. If I wasn't belted up, my head would've hit the windshield or steering wheel quite hard, and I likely would've needed to go to the hospital.
It was also quicker to reverse by putting a foot out the door than flapping the stick around the mushy gearbox trying to find reverse gear.
How they managed to get there(through Hungary) in this little two-stroke boggles the mind.
Actually four-stroke (but two cyinders and air cooled, later a different water cooled version with a bigger and different engine was made in Poland).
The FIAT 126 is the "evolution" of the more famous (and older) FIAT 500 and uses almost exactly the same engine, with capacity increased from 500 cm3 to 600 or 650 cm3.
Then again my Land Rover series 3 wasn't much safer. If you rolled it, you would lose everything above your stomach :)
Trying not to crash it was the only safety feature.
How did people handle that? Speed was probably the big difference. Plus what else was there? The only alternative was walking or maybe travel by horse or mule.
So that 1968 Mini was probably very OK for that time, with careful driving, and a tougher ass.
When the speed limit was introduced, in 1965, it was originally a temporary measure to reduce excessive fuel consumption.
The non-motorway speed limit was again reduced in 1974 for the same reason .
(Sorry I can't find a citation for the introduction of the first motorway speed limits off hand).
in the UK, 25 November 1965 
I have the impression that this is very different in most of Europe compared with most of the places in the US I've driven: in the US, most roads have a speed limit ultimately set to the lower of what's politically acceptable and what an engineering is willing to sign off on as safe, AFAIK; in most parts of Europe, there are two or three standard speed limits (urban, rural, highway) that apply everywhere and speed limits are only altered downwards if there's a stretch that's a particular crash hotspot.
For example, I've been down plenty of narrow roads around the UK where the speed limit was the standard 60mph, but good luck going more than 20mph even if you know the road well. As such, you're already expected to use personal judgement. By comparison, all of the rural roads in the US I've driven down that were at all tight had speed limits like 20 or 30mph, and if anything they were set lower than I would've driven down them had they been higher.
Was a 1968 one. I should have clarified that!
Audi TT, Peugeot 206 CC, Chevy Volt, Ford's new GT40, the New Beetle (Concept One), BMW's i8 (EfficientDynamics), the Boxster, the Model S was originally a concept/show car.
These are usually the tamer concept cars though.
Oh man I was so disappointed when I saw the production Chevy Volt. It looked nothing like the concept. The concept was a cool Camaro-inspired design and had the Volt looking like a small hybrid muscle car. It was such a good looking car... and then they released a knock-off of the Prius design.
Similar to the concept, but if anything with an even more refined design. I had one (long-time Citroen fan) and absolutely loved it. It was essentially a 2CV for the modern age: a small family hatchback which did double service as pickup, convertible and coupe.
It lasted a few years in Citroen's lineup but was never a big seller, thanks partly to worries about water ingress and various other mechanical eccentricities. But I still think it's one of the purest designs this design-led car company has ever produced: a profile that reduced to two simple curves, concealing a design that was all about utility and never about performance.
If you've never driven one, you don't know the fun you're missing. I describe it as a vehicle that either "is an off-road beast that thinks it's a sports car" or "a sports car that knows it's an off-road beast".
I say it like that because I'm one of the "lucky owners". It has pretty great handling for a vehicle of its nature. Even with a small lift and 32" MTs, it takes corners like on rails. While it isn't really a "sports car", for an off-road vehicle it doesn't do too bad in the "get-up-n-go" area. Much better than my I6 jeep.
It's a very unique vehicle, and I can't imagine not driving or owning it...
/between it and my jeep, my wallet screams for mercy...
My sister had a Mini, it was really bare-metal. The modern Mini I drove last year felt like an armchair, a very very different experience for me.
If I had to speculate, I'd say the Mini project was a hail-mary for a company in a deep hole. It might have worked, too, if the timing had been better.
So what features are out of reach when one dons their driving gloves
In the last 20 years, every stylist has met the forcing limits of designing a car, set by the cost, production methods and the ever growing regulation.
But this situation has had little consequences for the standardisation of cars, it's more due to market probes that there's a danger of all cars looking the same.
There's that many investments involved that the stakeholders don't dare create a car that deviates too much from the normal.
Currently in Europe cars increasingly look very similar and the public is taking notice.
This is an opportunity Citroën should take: its image has always been about creating cars that are different than the rest and that's undoubtedly what's the buyer is seeking these days.
At the Automobile Salon in Paris 1980, Citroën presented 'a dream car', designed by it's 'Design Bureau': the Karin.
This prototype is the first stage of research into the mid-range: 2 'wing'-doors coupé with 3 separate seats with the driver's seat in the center. The car is 3.70 meter long (145.7 inch), 1.075 meter high (42.3 inch) and 1.90 meter wide (74.8 inch). It has front wheel drive.
The interior is also avant-gardistic. An electronic screen continually provides information about the condition and performance of several elements of the car.
Though the esthetic design of massively produced cars has improved all these years, their style risks turning somewhat monotonous, since the designers get less playing room due to inceasing external demands.
With this in mind the 'Bureau de Style Citroën' has undertaken this 'design exercise' to reasearch the impact of a body with really clear lines on the car buying public. With designing this car an attempt is made to describe an offer for the future.
1. Cost vs Reward.
1) Many concept cars are non-functional or only partially functional. Making them fully functional and production ready, even at prototype levels would be extremely costly.
2) Many features in concept cars are not evaluated against FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) and other standards, they are not crash tested, they may not meet EPA regulations.
There are a lot of other reasons, but they all basically boil down to cost vs reward.
There is also the backwards case, where many modern "concept cars" are actually just pre-production teasers with fancy cosmetics.
Disclaimer: I work for GM, but not on concept cars, sadly =(
Yes, usually at least once. Part of the reason supercars are so expensive is that the engineering costs are only amortized over a small number of vehicles. The crash test can be considered part of that cost.
The actual incremental cost to produce a supercar is a fraction of the price tag.
In addition to official government crash tests, non-governmental groups such as IIHS also crash test mass market vehicles, but they actually have to purchase the vehicles they test - hoping to make money by selling back the information they collect. It's pretty much never cost effective for IIHS to buy supercars for crash testing.
It's a significant problem here in London: Supercars (and regular cars and motorbikes that have been modified to have noisy exhausts) make up a tiny minority of vehicles on the road, but it only takes one to produce incredible noise levels that carry for many blocks and penetrate almost any soundproofing/double glazing.
It's completely unfair to subject so many people in such a dense city to these noises just for the thrills of one driver/rider. Stick to the track if you must drive such a noisy vehicle!
Politicians probably think of it as an annoyance to be shrugged off, but it does genuine economic harm. It damages property values near busy roads, and it makes our public spaces and parks unpleasant. Even in the middle of huge green areas like Hyde Park, you can still hear them roaring down park lane etc.
From Jaguar's website:
Every F‑TYPE is fitted with an Active Sports Exhaust
that creates a race‑car inspired crescendo.
The exhaust system reacts to throttle position, speed
and engine revs by opening active valves. When open,
these valves allow exhaust gases to take a more direct,
less restrictive route through the rear silencer
producing a much richer, more exhilarating sound. Where
fitted, the Switchable Active Exhaust, allows you to
manually open the exhaust valves so you can enjoy
F‑TYPE’s stirring soundtrack at all engine speeds. This
feature is optional on F‑TYPE and standard on all other
Maybe lower than you think... several Ford products over the last few years have done things like run sound tubes to the cabin or use the radio to simulate engine noise. I think it's kind of silly myself, but whatever.
> cars are designed for stupid wankers
Or at least people with different interests. Just because you think your own interests make sense doesn't mean other people have to agree or share the same interests that you do.
> Every F‑TYPE is fitted with an Active Sports Exhaust that creates a race‑car inspired crescendo.
> The exhaust system reacts to throttle position, speed and engine revs by opening active valves. When open, these valves allow exhaust gases to take a more direct, less restrictive route through the rear silencer producing a much richer, more exhilarating sound. Where fitted, the Switchable Active Exhaust, allows you to manually open the exhaust valves so you can enjoy F‑TYPE’s stirring soundtrack at all engine speeds. This feature is optional on F‑TYPE and standard on all other models.
Legality of use on public roads varies...
I mean, supercars are rare enough and usually not that loud unless you push them (I guess this could be a way to stay within regulations), but some of those bikes can drown out other noise even when accelerating normally from a stop.
I guess it would be difficult, legally speaking, to issue fines directly from such cameras. But the registration plates could be flagged for inspection, and fines issued if they are found to have a non-road-legal exhaust fitted.
Loud exhausts on bikes basically a natural reaction to the improved sound deadening and deeper seating position over time. Vehicle changes have caused a reduction in situational awareness for what's going on beside you and bikers toss on loud exhausts because they notice a correlation between a window thumping exhaust not and not getting merged on top of. While I prefer a quiet exhaust (because stupid people think loud = driving too fast) I wholly understand why motorcyclists want people to know if they are in their blind spots.
Your big brother camera idea sounds like a great way to screw over everyone who's muffler rusts off and has to drive it like that for a week (who vastly outnumber people with loud exhausts in terms of vehicle miles). They like the noise even less than you do (they have to spend more time with it) and piling on doesn't help that. Vehicle noise isn't really a big enough problem to warrant more government involvement than already exists.
The best way to avoid listening to loud exhausts in residential neighborhoods is to not have unnecessary stops/speed bumps to "control traffic speed" (or whatever other justification the HOA cooks up). They just make people accelerate between them.
That's what bikers tell people so that those people stop calling them names. Doesn't mean it's true. The real reason bikes or cars or trucks are modified to have loud exhausts is because the driver wants to draw more attention to themselves for purely cosmetic reasons. If safety was a priority, they would leave the exhaust stock and just not ride in blind spots, not weave in and out of traffic, keep to the speed limit, and generally drive in a predictable fashion.
>has to drive it like that for a week (who vastly outnumber people with loud exhausts)
This is also not true. How would the amount of rusted cars without a muffler for one week outnumber the people who drive like that permanently? The people who either drive without a muffler or who have a modified muffler? For the entire life of the car?
The best way to avoid listening to loud exhausts is for insecure assholes to stop modifying their muffler.
Don't get me wrong: the majority of motorcycle riders are responsible, respectful road users who ride quiet machines.
But a small minority seem to want to create as much noise and distress to others as possible. It's not about safety ("loud pipes save lives" has been thoroughly dis-proven by statistics), it's about appearing aggressive and macho, and perhaps compensating for the rider's own personal problems.
As for a car who's "muffler rusted off"? Should not be driven until it's fixed, period.
At least where I'm from, most regulations don't apply retroactively. You can still drive around in an old V12 with short tailpipes but a new one wouldn't be allowed.
You can drive a moped at 15 yo, limited to 50cc engine and 45 km/h. The latter is often circumvented by boring the exhaust and it makes them super loud (and illegal). Lots of parents in rural areas and faraway suburbs buy their kids mopeds at 15 so they don't have to be driven around.
Disclaimer: I work with acoustics simulation software and am currently involved with simulating these kind of tests.
Lots of them use parts out of junked cars, but also "crate engines" are a thing, you can just buy a powertrain from any number of suppliers (for instance, GM: http://www.chevrolet.com/performance/crate-engines ).
And then there are specialist machine shops that build linkages and such to go between whatever components, at whatever length.
I imagine safety regulations and cost are the big blocker for small scale manufacturing.
If electric becomes a viable alternative to remans and crate engines the OEMs will just offer a "crate engine" electric drive-train that bolts where an LS or SBC would go and the stuff needed to make it plug and play.
You don't need a custom vehicle, just an S10 with a blown motor.
2014 E-class: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/97/23/d7/9723...
PSA (Peugeot Citroën) could actually have owned it: the project was a partnership between Matra and Simca (originally concepted by Chrysler UK), PSA acquired Simca in '78 but found the Espace project too risky and expensive so they left it to Matra, which brought it up with Renault.
A lot of their cars had pneumatic suspension and other interesting tech.
Reminds me a little of the work by the designer Luigi Colani (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luigi_Colani).
A little bit later, this time by Peugeot http://www.carstyling.ru/en/car/1988_peugeot_oxia/images/634...
Kinda like flat design not long ago.
I do find it always very odd how ugly the late 70's until early 90's period is. Fashion, architecture, product design, even hair styles. Almost everything looks awful. It's not just fashion, because you can pick designs from any earlier period and they look ok if dated, but that 20 year period from the mid-70's onwards is just so ugly. (Although undoubtably someone will be by in a bit to tell me how wrong I am and how beautiful that period is...)
Then the 90s roll around and those designers are getting older and realizing that most of the experiments didn't pan out and that there is some value in the old and boring.
granted this is not a mass-produced car either!
I think this was it! OK, it looks terrible, but at the time it looked amazing!
My main trouble with right-hand-drive vehicles is that with some models, I put the windscreen wipers on in every intersection. (The turn signal and wiper switches may be either the same way as in left-hand-drive cars, or mirrored.)
Not beautiful, but very stylish. And an actual production car.
"yes but don't make it obvious"
This could have legs as an EV though.