A number of companies showed off design concepts at the 2008 New York auto show, including the third in the Kizashi series from Suzuki, a rare one from Scion, and a coupe from Kia.
"This concept is the sporty version of a box." says Scion vice president Jack Hollis. Scion's designers were inspired by mid-1900s American styling with the Hako Coupe, reconfiguring the boxy xB with new curves. The Hako Coupe also has LED head- and tail-lights, along with back glass that curves around to meet the sides.
The Hako Coupe's interior was inspired by video games, with a joystick-type controller for the gear shifter and a trackball as part of the dashboard interface. Occupants can upload video and music to the car through a Bluetooth connection. LCDs set in each door show a fish-eye view out the sides of the car, seemingly making the side windows obsolete.
Kia's new concept looks like it could be made into a production car with few changes. The attractive coupe design uses very simple lines, giving the car a slightly chunky appearance. Kia specifies a twin-scroll turbocharged 2-liter four cylinder engine making 290 horsepower for the Koup.
Kia uses carbon fiber accents around the interior to emphasize the Koup's sporty nature. The car has a Bluetooth-enabled navigation system, which lets you upload maps, and an 8 speaker audio system boasting a music server for storing MP3s.
While the Kizashi 1 and Kizashi 2 were obviously concepts, the Kizashi 3 represents a near-production sport sedan. This concept is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 putting power to all four wheels. Suzuki hopes to use a Kizashi-inspired production car to break free of its small car roots and enter a more upscale market. The company promises the new car will be available in the U.S. in 2010.
With its shooting break design, the Saab 9-X is an exploration of a small car for the Saab line-up. It gets 200 horsepower from an E85-capable turbocharged 1.4-liter engine complemented by a hybrid system.
The cabin of the CS uses some current BMW tricks, such as an iDrive controller and a sculpted shifter, along with new elements, such as paddle shifters integrated with the steering wheel spokes and red-illuminated gauges.
Buick enjoys great popularity in China, so it is fitting that the Riviera Concept come from GM's Chinese design center. The Riviera uses a short, coupe design, but still has plenty of cabin room for four occupants with easy access from doors that swing upwards.
GM seems to think truck cars are in, as evidenced by its Pontiac G8 sport truck and the Denali XT concept. Unlike the Yukon Denali SUV, the Denali XT concept is much more car-like, low to the ground but with a bed in back.
Brand-engineering has come to concepts, as the Flextreme was launched under the Opel brand at last year's Frankfurt auto show. The Flextreme uses the series hybrid system originally unveiled for the Chevrolet Volt. The concept includes storage space in the back for two Segways.