Kia Koup Concept
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Concept cars at the New York International Auto Show

Kia Koup Concept

Kia says its Koup concept illustrates the shape and direction of its future vehicles. LED headlights trimmed in carbon fiber and black chrome swoop into a wedge shape along the car’s sides, and prominent wheel flares impart a lowered stance.

More carbon fiber adorns the front spoiler, side-view mirrors, rear bumper and wheel spokes, and inside on the shifter plate and seat tilt-adjust mechanism. Twin glass panels run the length of the roof to mimic the appearance of a fighter jet, Kia says.

– Robert E. Calem (Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images)
Saab 9-X BioHybrid Concept

Living up to its “Born From Jets” advertising theme, Saab debuted the 9-X BioHybrid concept, an environment-friendly compact two-door hatchback car with aerodynamic features that seem to have been lifted directly from an aircraft. At speeds above 43 mph, both a rooftop spoiler and an underbody diffuser below the rear bumper are automatically extended. The wheels resemble turbines within a jet engine, and the body – which Saab calls the “fuselage” – is smooth, without any protruding mirrors or door handles.

Inside, the 9-X BioHybrid has an instrument panel that emerges from the top of the door and arches in front of the driver, displaying 3-D graphics that look as if they’ve been frozen in ice.

– Robert E. Calem (General Motors)
BMW Concept CS

BMW introduced the Concept CS, a sleek four-door sedan that seems fast even when it’s parked.

Low-slung with an elongated hood up front and an intentionally short rear end, it is 200.8 inches long and only 53.5 inches high. Giant wheel arches accommodate 21-inch tires, and two recesses on the front side panels are there to help cool the brakes. Unusual headlights use backward-facing LEDs that illuminate a reflection area, which then redirects their light in a focused beam onto the road ahead.

The interior design is a composition of contrasting colors and light and shade effects created by layered surfaces.

– Robert E. Calem (Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images)
Scion Hako Coupe Concept

Scion revealed the Hako Coupe Concept, described in the company’s presentation as “the sporty version of a box.”

The profile is a blend of contrasting shapes and edges. Flared fenders and slim race-car-inspired side mirrors are combined with a high belt line, lowered roof and black windows that wrap around to the rear. The front fascia showcases trapezoidal LED headlights and round fog lights with integrated turn signals, placed high on the front bumper. At the rear, the LED taillights repeat the shape of the headlights, and the rear bumper features a combination fog and backup light on the left, balanced by the exhaust pipe on the right.

Inside, a video-game and multimedia-entertainment theme predominates. The shifter, mounted on the center console, resembles a joystick. The steering wheel contains a trackball-like controller for the car’s entertainment system, which includes two dash-mounted video monitors for navigating through the car’s audio and video ranges. Additional video monitors are located on the doors and in the rear seating area, to project video captured by cameras mounted below the windshield pillars. And an editing function for this video is enabled while the car is parked, aiming the Hako squarely at the YouTube generation.

– Robert E. Calem (Jonathan Fickies / Getty Images)
Suzuki Concept Kizashi 3

Suzuki staged the world debut of its Concept Kizashi 3, the model for a large five-passenger sport sedan the company expects to begin selling in the U.S. by 2010.

The four-wheel-drive Concept Kizashi 3 features a 300-horsepower 3.6-liter DOHC V-6 engine. It rolls on 21-inch wheels, and its design is intended to evoke the look of a “dynamic athlete in motion,” Suzuki says.

This third vehicle in a trilogy of concept cars follows the Concept Kizashi launched in September at the 2007 International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, and the Concept Kizashi 2 presented in October at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.

– Robert E. Calem (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg News)