Green is the scene in the latest car designs

Hybrids, battery power and small cars are prominent in “The Car Design Yearbook 7”, which remains the definitive annual guide to new concept and production cars world wide


While many will be rejoicing at the launch of the Fiat 500, the reincarnation of the Cinquecento that put Italians onto wheels in the 1960s and 70s, Americans remain in love with large cars, even if vehicles like the massively grilled 0 to 100km/h Fisker Karma comes in the form of a plug in hybrid. Even Toyota has had to pander to the US taste for large vehicles with its 4.7 litre, 2.7 tonne V8 Sequoia, which does 18 mpg.

While oil prices are dipping presently, the overall trend remains upwards, so for volume production, the future has to lie with cars such as the Tata Nano, which carries four people, does 56.5 mpg and sells for only £1250. For truly futuristic ideas, the most striking of these still come from Japan, such as the Suzuki Pixy & SSC, which stands for Suzuki Sharing Coach. In this concept, the SSC carries two one man Pixy mobility devices, which can then disembark when they reach a non conventional vehicle zone, allowing their users to complete their journeys under hydrogen power.

The Car Design Yearbook 7 by Stephen Newbury and Tony Lewin will be published by Merrell on Monday October 13th, price £29.95 in hardback.

For more information:

Tom Shelley

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