Throughout the year we've seen a number of innovative concept cars at auto shows. Although these cars are not usually destined for production, they show off automakers' technical expertise, what they can do with no holds barred.
Audi showed off this e-tron concept at the 2010 Detroit auto show, following a previous version of the concept in 2009. An electric sports car, the e-tron II uses two electric motors and a lithium ion battery pack, propelling the car to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Its 45-kilowatt-hour battery pack, weighing in at 880 pounds, gives the car a range of 145 miles.
At the 2010 Detroit auto show, Cadillac unveiled the XTS Platinum concept, a preview of what could become Cadillac's next flagship sedan. Instead of a big displacement engine, Cadillac keeps an eye on the future by fitting the XTS Platinum with a new hybrid system based around a direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6.
Jaguar caught the world's attention at the 2010 Paris Motor Show with the C-X75 concept. This sleek car was partly designed to celebrate Jaguar's 75th anniversary, but it also showcases innovative technologies. Most interesting is its electric drive and twin microturbine generator. With this system, the C-X75 can hit 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds and reach a total range of 560 miles.
At the Geneva auto show, Lotus took the cover off this hybrid concept, which uses an electric motor at each rear wheel along with an onboard 1.2-liter gasoline generator. The electric motors produce 408 horsepower and a whopping 590 pound-feet of torque, getting the car to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds. Total range is 300 miles.
Porsche used the 2010 Geneva auto show to pull the cover off the hybrid 918 Spyder. Similar to current hybrids, it gets driven by its two electric motors, its 3.4-liter V-8, or a combination of the two. Under electric power, it has a range of about 16 miles, and Porsche boasts fuel economy of 78 mpg. Unlike most concepts, Porsche is seriously looking into production of the 918 Spyder.