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Old 04-26-2008, 08:52 PM   #1
ChrisRT
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Default The point of car prototypes?

I've got to thinking about this after watching some car shows. A good amount of cars at the big car shows are prototypes. Prototypes of cars that will never go into production. These things cost millions. I understand the drive to produce technologies but a vast majority of these technologies never make it into production and if they do, its up to decades later. I know that car companies make plenty of cash but some are also bleeding cash at unsustainable rates. Can we just take a ****ing chassis of an existing car and throw prototechnologies in that instead of spending millions on a freakin' shell that will never be? I'd rather those few millions go into better technologies in cars that I will buy rather then ones I cant buy.
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:48 PM   #2
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It kind of depends on what the ultimate goal of the company is as to why they are releasing their prototypes. Some are for new product lines (such as small trucks, hybrids, sports cars, convertibles, etc.). Some are to test certain styles of the current generations cars to see what kind of tweeks will be acceptable to market and what should be scrapped ideas. Some companies are just trying to show off what they can do with cars in the future lineups, but it can be a very expensive technology to build due to certain material costs. I am sure there are lots of other reasons as well to build the prototype cars as well, but you can pretty much be certain that while the automobile companies of the world are still around, they will still be developing concept cars/automobiles.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:05 AM   #3
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I guess. It just pains me to see so many concepts by so many companies. Some of them look cool as heck and I'm sure that some of them would actually sell well to the younger demographic if given a chance. I partially mean why developed something aggressive, take input and then make the final model extremely tame and chickafied?

In my original post I really meant concepts but also drastic alters to prototypes.
I mean a Honda Unibox concept, ME-fourtwelve, Cadillac Cien? What the hell are they trying to prove? Save the cash and give me an extra cup holder or Xeons...
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisRT View Post
Cadillac Cien?
Ummmm... The Cadillac Cien was a production car.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:25 AM   #5
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Ummmm... The Cadillac Cien was a production car.

Lies? I see past them.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:27 AM   #6
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Some of these concept cars use technologies that might have a chance of being seen in future line-ups. Just take it for what it is, a "concept", an idea used to inspire.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:32 AM   #7
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Some of these concept cars use technologies that might have a chance of being seen in future line-ups. Just take it for what it is, a "concept", an idea used to inspire.
I know but how rare is it that this is the case? Why not set goals and expectations and actually build something you plan on using instead of what almost appears to be engaging in multi million dollar pissing matches with others.

I completely understand what you guys are saying but it seems that atleast half of these concepts aren’t even necessary.
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Old 04-27-2008, 01:37 AM   #8
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They do it to get people excited about the companies product, true that car has an 85% chance of never being made, but when someone on the general public sees an amazing concept car, there mind starts to brew and think things like "wow, if their engineers are coming up with those ideas for that, i wonder what there going to put into the next car i buy from them"

Simply put, there solely for PR in my opinion. They get you to the auto show in the first place where you than proceed to see all of their production cars right??
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisRT View Post

In my original post I really meant concepts but also drastic alters to prototypes.
I mean a Honda Unibox concept, ME-fourtwelve, Cadillac Cien? What the hell are they trying to prove? Save the cash and give me an extra cup holder or Xeons...
Quote:
Originally Posted by bedheadben View Post
Ummmm... The Cadillac Cien was a production car.
http://www.seriouswheels.com/cars/to...en-Concept.htm
http://www.cadillac.com/cadillacjsp/...primary=1&id=0

Cadillac Cien basically became the XLR roadster.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flukewrx View Post
um....no.

The Cien was mid-engined, and unique. The XLR was a front engine vette with nicer(but slower) guts



Concept cars allow automakers to try new styles and new ideas without the cost of production feasibility. It costs alot more to put something into production than to build a single million dollar one off. That way they can see levels of interest before a complete investment.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbagger View Post
Concept cars allow automakers to try new styles and new ideas without the cost of production feasibility. It costs alot more to put something into production than to build a single million dollar one off. That way they can see levels of interest before a complete investment.
Concept anything does the same thing. There's nothing like something you can see, feel and experience firsthand. Drawings or computer screens can't do it.

Sure, some of the stuff is outlandish, but one of the basic ideas of design (of anything) is to let your mind wander without boundaries and being bound by conventional solutions.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:35 PM   #12
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:40 PM   #13
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To put it simply, there are 3 types of concept cars:

- Those used to introduce a new vehicle to the public for the first time. A car that gives us a glimpse (whether it's 10% or 99%) of what we will see down the road. Remember the Evo X Concept? '05 Mustang? PT Cruiser? Dodge Viper? 2010 Camaro?

- A concept used to test new design elements. Most concepts fall into this category. These are the headline grabbers. Think GMC Terradyne, Ford Explorer America. Etc.

- And lastly, concepts that showcase future technology. Most Mercedes and other luxury model concepts.

Of course, most concepts will alter these classifications and take on a little of each category. I personally love studying concepts and trying to figure out what will and won't make it to production. Most times, it's fairly easy, but every once in a while, someone will surprise you. I personally can't wait for Honda's new CR-Z (CRX). A Civic Si styled, sporty, hybrid 2 door? Yes please.
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:16 PM   #14
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I've always wondered that too. Why tease with something that may never be?
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:19 PM   #15
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It gets your attention. It's advertising, marketing, bidness, however you wanna look at it.
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:33 PM   #16
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While they might not make that exact car, usually a good bit of the technology and/or styling cueues end up in future models. I just think of it as a 10-year window into the future heh
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbagger View Post
um....no.

The Cien was mid-engined, and unique. The XLR was a front engine vette with nicer(but slower) guts

Technically, the Corvette can qualify as a Mid-Engine Design as well. Mid-Engine does not necessarily mean the engine has to be behind the driver. It just has to mean that the engine is between the front and rear axles. That would make it a FMR layout. A lot of car companies may not refer to their cars as FMR, but still list them as FR, even though they do qualify as Mid-Engine vehicles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FMR_layout
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid_engine

So depending on where the engine actually is located in the XLR, it still could qualify as a Mid-Engine vehicle.

However, you are right in that it does not carry the same engine as the Prototype Cien, but the XLR exterior design was modeled after the Cien Concept.
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:36 AM   #18
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I think it all comes down to PR (which will make marketing easier). Its a way for a car company to portray itself as futuristic, to show its "vision", and its dedication to technology. Its just a way to make you think of the company in those terms, which benefits them greatly.
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