All of the concept cars we saw this year tended to be on the small side, suggesting the future downsizing of cars. That's OK, as these entrants by Mini, Citroen, Hyundai, and Mazda all look good.
Mini Coupe and Mini Roadster concepts
Mini is calling them the Oxford twins, two Mini concepts built on the same platform, one a coupe and the other a two-seat convertible. Oxford comes from the location of the Mini factory, where the concepts were designed and built.
Downsizing the already small Mini isn't an obvious idea, but that's just what Mini did with its new concepts. The Coupe emphasizes sporting performance by using the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine from the John Cooper Works model, giving the tiny car 211 horsepower.
Along with the typical gauges we're used to seeing in Minis, this Coupe concept also employs what look like a couple of watches, a crown sticking out of the top. These are chronometers, included for timing laps.
The Mini Roadster is virtually the same car as the Coupe, yet this one gets a soft top. Unlike the current Mini Cooper convertible, the Roadster's top is manual, but shouldn't require much effort to raise and lower.
Citroen shows off a small car concept, intended to be powered by a hybrid drivetrain. Past Citroen hybrid concepts have used a gas engine on one set of wheels and an electric motor on the other. This concept looks a little small for that type of architecture.
The interior shows the sorts of features that always appear in concepts, but never make it to production. Suicide doors and a couch-like rear seat are the kinds of appointments that only show up in Roll-Royces.
Commemorating 20 years of the Miata/MX-5, the Superlight is a stripped-down version of the popular roadster. It's lack of top, windshield, and side mirrors should go a long way toward throwing off the image of being a chick car.