PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.--The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is a great place to see a flawlessly restored 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II. But the event also features plenty of the latest cars, too.
Attendees en route to the classic car show's awards ceremony Sunday were funneled past a stable of concept cars from many manufacturers at the prestigious golf course near Monterey, Calif. The sixtieth red Ferrari in a single day can seem a bit ho-hum as it rolls past, but there's still plenty to catch a car enthusiast's eye among the concept cars. The models range from thought experiments to real products.
This shot shows the Infiniti Essence, a luxury concept with a 600-horsepower 3.6-liter engine hybridized with a battery. Its drivetrain and styling are expected to be incorporated into future Infiniti models. The car features custom-fitted Louis Vuitton luggage.
The Bugatti Sang Bleu is a one-off version of the Veyron 16.4, a 1,001-horsepower machine that can accelerate to 100kmph in 2.5 seconds and decelerate back to a stop in 2.3 seconds. Its top speed is 407kmph.
The standout feature of the Lotus Evora, compared to many rivals at the Concours d'Elegance, is a back seat. The four-passenger car is due to go on sale in North America in early 2010. It reaches 60mph in 4.9 seconds and has a top speed of 162mph. Lotus' low-mass philosophy also helps boost highway fuel economy north of 30mpg.
The windshield-free Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss has 5.5-liter, 650-horsepower V8 supercharged engine. It can accelerate to 60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds reache a top speed of 208 mph. The company plans to make only 75 of the machines.
The Lincoln C Concept is no snarling supercar, but Ford Motor Company does call it "spirited." It features center-opening doors, a 1.6-liter, 180-horsepower engine, and fuel economy of 43 mpg in highway driving.
The Fisker Automotive Karma Sunset is a plug-in hybrid car set to arrive in showrooms in 2011. The California car company designed it to accelerate to 62mph in 6 seconds and reach a top speed of 125mph.
Iconic Motors showed off a chassis and this more finished idea. The concept features an 800-horsepower V8 and what the company calls VEEDIMS--Virtual Electrical Electronic Device Interface Management System--to transfer system data via a single cable and a wireless network.
Most BMWs in the vicinity of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance were considerably roomier than this two-seater, three-wheeler Isetta 300 from about 50 years ago. But most also had a harder time finding room to park.