2007 Nissan Bevel Concept Debuts at the 2007 NAIAS

Nissan has unveiled their Bevel Concept at the recent 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The Bevel Concept is not conventional vehicle and you can easily tell by its door and window layout. It is a four-door vehicle which includes an extra long door located on the driver’s side, a rear hatch, and an expansive twin doors on the passenger side, and rear suicide style opening.

The back hatch with its picture window size glass is built-in into the roof to create a cavernous opening. The hatch providing a full-six feet tailgate style work bench that extends outward and have a height of approximately two inches off the ground. Nissan said that the tailgate style work bench is strong enough to sit or stand on.

The Bevel concept has a wheelbase that measures four inches longer than the Murano crossover which is another vehicle in Nissan’s lineup and was presented last year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The Bevel has also relatively short overhangs with a surprisingly small overall footprint that is just 173.2 inches from nose to tail. To make up for the things that it lacks, the Bevel is provided with a bigger interior space.

With its seats up the cabin is divided into three distinct zones. The driver is provided with a futuristic looking bucket that can pass for a home in a remake of the Jetsons. Another great feature of the Bevel Concept is its seats can be folded flat to accommodate additional loads, luggage or cargoes.

The Bevel is loaded with lots of electronic gadgets ranging from its glass roof-mounted solar panels to its drive-by-wire steering, throttle, and braking. Its 20-inch wheels that features rubber inserts on the outer spoke edges enhance the Bevel’s aesthetic appeal while at the same time protects against curb damage.

There is nothing conventional with the Bevel Concept its asymmetric glass roof with its distinctive puck-shaped tie downs up to its yoke style steering wheel screams exclusivity. And that’s not all! Both headlights & tail lights are hidden same with its rear LCD lamps that are concealed under the paint job. Car gadget lovers will definitely have fun with the not so ordinary door handles that the Bevel Concept is equipped with–this car is provided with touch-sensitive release keypads.

According to Bruce Campbell, Vice President of Design at Nissan Design America and the automaker’s styling connoisseur in La Jolla, California, “Our goal in designing the Bevel exterior was to maximize functionality and minimize the use of visual distractions such as door handles, big exhaust pipes, or splashy lighting. At the same time, we wanted the little details to reflect Bevel’s utility theme, which is why there is a recurring use of hexagons in the vehicle’s design – reminiscent of a socket or a tool – in the wheels, grille, and even the disc brake venting.”

The Bevel Concept is not yet due for production but some of its design cues and technical features may just make it to production.–Hopefully.

Vintage and Future Cars

As a rule, vintage cars can be classed as the ones that are older than twenty-five years and more often than not, insurance costs associated with these cars is very low compared with the insurance costs of a conventional vehicle, and are normally between the ranges of $100-$250 for it to meet the legal driving requirements of the country. As a rule though, these cars are normally seen at car shows and the likes but are not seen too often on public roads.

Vintage cars require very light servicing and do not normally suffer any severe mechanical problems due to the diligent care afforded to them by their very careful owners, who no doubt have shelled out a large amount of money for them in the first place. Original vintage cars are very hard to come by, especially the ones that were very low in original production numbers. Even when one does find a great vintage car, the prices, as we mentioned above, are extremely high.

Most people who do happen to own a vintage car usually use it during the summer when the weather conditions are at their best and more conducive to driving. It must be said though that vintage cars are now being bought for record prices by auto lovers and a very large percentage are snapped up by vintage car collectors. These collectors then spend more of their time and money on aspects of their hobby like restoration.

Owning a vintage car is a real head turner in any part of the world, but it doesn’t come without very real danger of theft or damage and repairs can be very costly. It is amazing how owners of these cars lovingly look after and maintain their vehicles but it is hard work and driving and keeping the car healthy is not an easy task at all. It requires much time and of course a lot of money.

Cruising down the highway in an old convertible is the ultimate American dream but can anyone envision how our future cars will look like? Concept car makers and scientists have a future vision of bio diesel electric cars built out of light weight materials. Items like the car windows could be made of special composite materials and are estimated to weigh up to 50% lighter than today’s vehicle glass and will also be much stronger and shatterproof resistant.

It is all well and good looking into the future with all the anticipated types of cars which may or may not turn out to be reality. It’s also great to think that in the very near future, fuel efficiency will be increased beyond comprehension without the additional worry of the green house effect as well. Obviously these things haven’t happened yet and may not happen at all but one thing for sure about the present day – if any sees a vintage car on the road, it is always going to turn their head just as much as any modern (or future) sport car would!

7 Seater Cars – Enter Audi Q7

There have been many big players in the 7 seater cars section and there are already numerous cars in the market that fall in the category of 7 seater suv and 7 seater cars as such. In 2006 Audi decided to enter this arena with the launch of its first ever 7 seater car; the Audi Q7, which happens to be a crossover luxurious SUV during the Auto Show in Los Angeles and it is built on the famous Volkswagen Group PL71 platform. Presently the latest version of the Audi Q series happens to be the Audi Q5. Q5 was recently showcased in 2010. The SUVs are supposed to be importantly for the off road travels, but it seems based on the Audi’s concept car, the Pikes Peak Quattro; Audi has designed the Q7 keeping in mind the on road features than the off road ones. Even though the Audi Q7 features the four wheel drive system coupled with the CDL (central differential lock), and the air suspension system whose height is adjustable, it is unable to compete the cars in the SUV segment which are manufactured mainly for the off-road purposes.

Safety Features Kept Safe

Audi has introduced a new level of safety in its Q7 car. Among all other 7 seater cars out there, it seems no other car is able to beat Audi’s Q7 safety features. In America, NHTSA rated a total of 5 out of 5 for side and front impact tests in fourteen categories. And it has to be that way, because Audi Q7 features Electronic Stability Programme and variety of safety electronics combined with the numerous airbags to protect the passengers. Although in America this car received good ratings, in Europe, the NCAP rated 4 out of 5 for safety, and Audi claims that it was a design error which has been fixed in the later car releases. Many other tests have been conducted on Audi Q7 and the testers have found that Audi has implemented many innovative ways to protect the passengers sitting within.

Q7 Variants for North America

North America got a good set of Q7 variants to drive. The first one was the Audi Q7 hybrid which is basically a hybrid car that is built upon the Q7 and features an electric motor along with a 4.2 FSI engine; which is able to output a torque of more than 200Nm. This particular hybrid is powered by a battery of Nickel-Metal Hydride and this system pushes the car to an acceleration of 0 to 100 km per hour within 6.8 seconds. But this hybrid is comparatively heavier when compared to the petrol version of the Q7. Audi has actually announced that it would be rolling out even more hybrids but the number would be limited. As of now, Audi seems to be focussed on development of Q5 hybrids that will feature the Lithium-Ion battery.

Audi Q7 has quickly gained its reputation among other 7 seater cars in the present market.