Tech

Hot concepts: The future of the car

Updated 12:19 PM ET, Mon January 27, 2014
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A new generation of cars are coming. Take a look what's lurking under the hood... courtesy rimac
An electric supercar, boasting 1088 horsepower, built from scratch in a garage in Croatia -- meet the Rimac Concept_One. It aims to be the Bugatti of the electric car world and can claim performance stats to match its revered petrol-powered rivals. COURTESY RIMAC
Using four separate motors (one for each wheel) the car can reach 100 mph in just 2.8 seconds and eventually hit 190 mph. Creator Mate Rimac says electric motors can outperform petrol engines -- environmental concerns don't even enter into it: "It's a nice side effect," says Rimac, "but the performance part of it, that's the reason why we did it." courtesy rimac
The car is Rimac's creation from the ground up. Getting here wasn't easy, Rimac says: "We had to design a car including the whole technology under the skin, while the company itself didn't have a desk to put a computer on. And we did all that with less than 0.1 per cent of the budget which is usual in the car industry." Courtesy rimac
Meanwhile, Rimac's thriving rivals Tesla are taking a step away from the sportscar market with the Model X , a "crossover utility vehicle" which can seat seven. Tesla is taking orders and says the car will be ready by the end of 2014. But the highly anticipated debut of a production model failed to materialize at the Detroit Auto Show. Jordan Strauss/Getty Images for Tesl
On 2 January, Ford announced the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, a solar-powered hybrid which claims to deliver the same results as its C-MAX plug-in hybrid, but without wires required. Will the cars of the future be charger-free solar machines? Critics have said a definitive "no." Courtesy ford
Not everyone is betting on batteries: Toyota's move to start selling their hydrogen-powered FCV in 2015 was one of the big announcements of this year's CES. Toyota will do battle with Honda and Hyundai, who have already announced plans for fuel-cell cars. Rob LEVER/AFP/Getty Images
BMW and Audi have also made big waves by debuting "driverless" technologies at CES. BMW's highly automated driving system still requires a person behind the steering wheel but makes small adjustments to the steering, breaking and throttle to help drivers before they get into trouble. Courtesy BMW
The Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight concept car also packs a lot of automation hardware into a good-looking package (none of Google's goofy roof-mounted scanners here). The car features powerful Tegra K1 processors from chipmaker Nvidia, which fits powerful "supercomputer" technology inside the glovebox. But CNN's Samuel Burke warns that it's not smooth sailing (or driving) yet... JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images
If driverless road-driving is still a ways off, how about driverless parking? French car component manufacturer Valeo have transformed a Range Rover into a smartphone-controlled, self-parking machine. Just hop out by the shops and let it find a spot for itself. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Away from the family garage and onto the race track, the arrival of Formula E will see electric racers capable of 220 kph flying around the streets of the world's biggest cities in 2014. The new FIA championship will feature Spark-Renault SRT_01E single-seater cars built in co-operation by leading motorsport names, including Williams, McLaren, Renault and Michelin. The inaugural season kicks off in September, with 10 teams battling across Beijing. courtesy FIA formula e