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Concept Cars of LA Auto Show 2013

The forward-thinking Euro unveils

Sean Russell
Nov 22, 2013
Photographer: Toni Avery Writer: Toni Avery

Concept cars can be an early look at what will soon roll off a production line or a wild design focused purely on the bleeding edge of a brand’s technology. Concepts falling into both of these categories were featured at this year’s LA Auto Show in CA. Going even greener and sporty compact SUVs were the trend. While there were many concepts across the major brands we focused on the euro-minded offerings. See for yourself below.

Mercedes Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo front 002 Photo 2/49   |   Mercedes Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo Front 002

Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo

Holy smokes, Batman! Behind the wildly smooth lines of this AMG Vision GT showstopper is a video game heart. Created for Sony Playstation 4’s Gran Turismo 6, this concept will live digitally in the much-anticipated racing simulator that features almost 1200 cars.

Kazunori Yamauchi, Polyphony Digital CEO and Gran Turismo 6 creator said, “All of the Mercedes design centers around the globe (Japan, China, Korea, Europe, North America) created over 100 different designs for the Vision Gran Turismo Concept.”

Mercedes Benz GLA45 AMG Concept main Photo 15/49   |   Mercedes Benz GLA45 AMG Concept Main

Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG Concept

As more and more brands step into the compact SUV segment, Mercedes showed off a sportier variant in conjunction with AMG. An AMG 2.0L turbocharged engine with an output of 355hp and 332 lb-ft of torque equates to 0-60mph in less than five seconds. All-wheel drive and an AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed sports transmission is icing on this concept cake.

Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH said, “With this concept, we are setting a stake firmly in the ground of the strongly growing market segment of compact SUVs. Our customers – a young target group who set great store by styling, dynamism and independence – can now start looking forward to a dynamic high-performance car. The most powerful four-cylinder engine in the world and the AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive system add up to make the Concept GLA45 AMG a unique proposition.”

Volkswagen Design Vision GT Concept side 004 Photo 19/49   |   Volkswagen Design Vision GT Concept Side 004

Volkswagen Design Vision GTI Concept

Is a 500hp powerplant with DSG transmission and AWD the future of a VW GTI R model? Performance and styling cues from this Design Vision GTI concept are said to be inspiration for future production generations. Christian Buhlmann, spokesperson for Volkswagen A.G., elaborated on this topic:

“What we envision is the single idea of what can carry over into the series or into the aftermarket and customization of the GTI. The GTI is the idea of making a hot hatch (beginning in 1976). This is the 7th generation and finally with this vehicle we have brought all of these ideas together. The strong C-pillar, for instance, is lifted out of the body. We have a 3.0L V6 TSI that has been double charged, so it has 500hp - those are ideas to be carried over. The engine is based on the modular toolkit MQB - 40 different models are based on the MQB. Everything is very tight, which makes you feel like you are sitting in a race car but it still has the abilities of an everyday car. This is not for serious production right away, but over time and for different purposes such as the race track.”

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept side 003 Photo 35/49   |   Volkswagen Crossblue Coupe Concept Side 003

Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe Concept

This hybrid midsized SUV concept fits between the VW Tiguan and the Touareg in terms of positioning. The CrossBlue Concept showcases the brand's focus towards the midsize segment it currently does not hold stake in. Expect a similar type of production variant in the $30000 range for North America in the future.

Christian Buhlmann, spokesperson for Volkswagen A.G. said, “It is a parallel hybrid, which means you can run the components individually. You don’t have to put the power into one system; actually you can decouple for instance the V6 engine and only have the electrical drivetrain or combine both together. This is more efficient than power split hybrids Japanese makes do. The same is true for the all-wheel drive, which functions electrically and therefore you save tunnel space for the battery.”

BMW X4 Concept rear Photo 45/49   |   BMW X4 Concept Rear

BMW X4 Concept

Here is another powerful concept built for the compact SUV market. Combining the performance of a BMW Coupe with added versatility created a sleek look at the soon-to-come future production model. There is no denying the X4 Concept’s aggressive stance, distinguished lines and captivating color.

Jaguar C X17 Concept Photo 49/49   |   Jaguar C X17 Concept

Jaguar C-X17 Concept

The C-X17 is one more luxury crossover concept that has been making appearances across the globe’s auto shows. Displayed in white for its North American unveil at the LA Auto Show, it has not been given the official green light just yet but count on something similar coming to market down the road. Jaguar does not currently offer a sport crossover vehicle and its competition is or will be so chances are very high that we will see something similar on the road.

By Sean Russell
143 Articles



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