New York Auto Show Preview


Four years after the debut of the Scion, Toyota unveiled an all-new sport coupe concept called Fuse yesterday at the New York auto show press preview. Like Toyota's concept minivan, the F3R, and their Fine-T (a concept fuel cell hybrid), the focus was on integrating entertainment into the driving experience—as seen in the video display that stretches along the dash, a trunk that folds down into a curb-high bench, and a built-in detachable drink cooler. Key-shaped door sensors, personal sunroofs, dual exhausts ringed by fog and reverse lamps, 20-inch wheels with LEDs that light up as turn indicators, and a speed-activated spoiler are some of the details taking the lifestyle car to the next level. More info and images on the Fuse, the Toyota F3R and T-Fine, and a closer look at Saab's Aero X after the jump and in tomorrow's Cool Hunting Video.


The Fuse owes its mean-looking profile to a design based on Japanese HAKO super GT racing cars, the helmet-inspired wraparound windshield, and programmable color options for headlights and fog lights.


Passing a foot under an infrared sensor below the bumper opens the nouveau tailgate and fold-out speakers make the car into a mobile lounge.


The steering wheel features a drive-by-wire interface that uses elements from race cars and video games. Multi-informational 10.5-inch screens play movies, video games, feature Wi-Fi connectivity, and the passenger seat folds flat into a table or footrest in "video mode" and display driver information when in "driving mode."


Custom images can be downloaded to play on the LCD screen that's concealed behind the front emblem.


Premiered at the 2005 Tokyo auto show as the Fine-X, the Fine-T is Toyota's groundbreaking foray into a fuel cell hybrid system that features environmentally-friendly interior materials, video camera monitors, motorized "Welcome Seats" that enable easy entry and exit, gull-wing doors, a drive-by-wire system, and in-wheel motors that increased maneuverability and control.


Toyota's next-level minivan takes cues from Japanese design elements—what they call the "J-Factor"—resulting in a bold front-end. Other features include a rear angled pillar that provides a widescreen view out the back, stadium seating for up to eight passengers, fiber-optic lighting panels, two track-mounted flat-panel video screens, and seating that swivels and reclines to create a living room-like environment.


Saab's Aero X made the rounds a couple months back, but the knob- and dial-eliminating clear acrylic data panels, cockpit-style canopy (which eliminates doors and pillars and makes for 180-degree vision), bioethanol-powered engine, and all-LED lighting system, are innovations well-worth a second look.