All Articles
All Articles

The New York International Auto Show 2011: Concept Cars

Six designs from the 2011 NY Auto Show we'd love to see in production

by Evan Orensten
on 22 April 2011

Concept cars serve two purposes: To create an allure and desire for a brand and to explore style and technology innovations that influence a maker's range of cars in a more accessible time frame. Most of these cars had their debut at other recent shows, but all are alluring and insightful in how they will influence upcoming models.


Saab's PhoeniX combines a sleek sports body with a highly engineered, efficient propulsion system. The all-wheel drive hybrid sports a 200hp, 1.6-litre turbo engine to power the front wheels while the rear is powered by an electrically driven axle. Its sexy lines are an insight into design director Jason Castriota's vision for the brand we're all hoping makes its way into upcoming cars. It's camera-driven rear view mirrors and super-slick butterfly doors provide an accessible yet futuristic feel.


It's always exciting when a company reinvents a classic. Volkswagen revisits its iconic microbus model with their Bulli concept, a six-seater driven by an electric motor with a 186-mile range. Further enabling drivers to leverage their devices instead of being tied to a car's tech, the infotainment system is driven by an iPad. VW says this flexible beauty is headed for production in 2014.


Striking lines and a sleek design come together in this nontraditional concept of the age-old touring sedan. The Lexus LF-Gh is probably the boldest hybrid of recent times. Designed for the low emission standards of the future and the style, performance and efficiency demands of today.


Scion's FRS-8 is based on a platform that Toyota used for its recently introduced FT-86 II concept and that will power the rear-wheel drive Subaru Boxer when it goes into production in 2012. Scion's take is our favorite, and one we'd love to see go into production.


Designed specifically for city dwellers, Cadillac's Urban concept seats four and is driven by a 1.0-liter three cylinder engine. The compact package and use of electric assist technology gets this vehicle an estimated 56mpg in the city, and despite its small size it comfortably surrounds you in Cadillac luxury.


One of the few cars unveiled at the show, the A-class concept maintains its Mercedes-Benz DNA and infuses it with a welcome youthful twist. In addition to its sporty and sleek design the car features a new turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, a dual clutch transmission, advanced collision protection and braking systems.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity
Loading More...