Look Like a Pre-War Villain in this Montage EV

Electric vehicles are becoming commonplace, with over 100 models worldwide to choose from. Nearly all of them have a contemporary or even futuristic look to them. We are living in the 2020s, after all.

However, there’s a certain appeal to throwback, vintage styling, as we’ve seen in a few companies that are retrofitting or rebuilding vintage cars with EV powertrains.

The Montage EV from Alpha Motors takes this idea even a step further, creating a car that has 1930s design lines, with all the modern amenities and features you might expect from a new car.

With over 250 miles range, a hand-built body, and an insane 2,640 lb-ft of torque, the Montage joins the Ace, Jax, and Wolf pickup as part of Alpha Motors unique take on electric vehicles.

To look like a retro-futuristic gangster, you’d better be willing to pay at least $499,000 to drive away in the Montage. Very limited supply and an overwhelming positive response makes the Montage a hot ticket. ⚡⚡

Fascinated by EVs as we are? Visit our sister site, Electric Future, for all things EVs. 

25 Years and Five Generations Later, the Toyota Prius Finally Looks Good

The OG hybrid, the Toyota Prius, has been the butt of many jokes. From being slow and underpowered, to boring and ugly, the Prius has endured all the criticism, selling nearly 10 million copies since it first went on sale in 1997.

Click through the gallery below to see the five generations of Prius. We can’t say any of them are attractive, until possibly this new generation.

 

For 2023, Toyota finally delivered a sleek, efficient design that also happens to be handsome.

From the more cohesive overall shape and proportions, to the well-integrated lighting and all-glass roof, it’s clear the designers at Toyota were sick of being mocked, and decided to put in the time needed for a properly-designed body.

Inside, the Prius gets a modern makeover too, with a well-integrated display replacing the overly large and cumbersome center console of old.  The joystick knob shifter gets replaced with a modern version as well.

Under the hood, the Prius is available as a 2-liter parallel hybrid, or a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), with an estimated 37 miles of all-electric range. All wheel drive will also improve traction and grip in snowy and wet conditions.

 

Whether you like cars or not, you’re probably aware of the reputation of a car like the Prius, which for years touted eco-friendly appeal over visual styling.

Now you can theoretically have both, although the choices for all-electric cars is more exciting than ever before.

The Prius continues to have an aerodynamic shape, but this time with a sleek, coupe-like appearance.

The cumbersome interior has been improved as well, this time looking similar to Toyota’s all-electric BZ4X.

The plug-in hybrid variant should be the best version of the Prius, offering all-electric city driving and long hybrid range for extended trips.

Interested in the future of mobility? Check out our sister site, Electric Future, for all-things concept cars and EVs.

Rolls Royce Rolls Into the Future With Their First EV, Spectre

Rolls Royce is the perfect car company to adopt electrification, with large, heavy, expensive cars that should whisk their occupants silently, and with grace. The founder of the company stated way back in 1900 that electrification was “very well suited” to Rolls Royce.

So, it’s without much surprise that Rolls Royce indeed launched their first all-electric car recently, called Spectre.

The sleek two door coupe is the first EV in the luxury brand’s lineup, but it won’t be the last. Indeed, Rolls Royce plans to make their entire lineup fully electric by 2030.

Spectre is indeed luxurious, with a starlight-adorned roof and side panel, whisper-quiet performance, and an endless range of color and material personalization. Range figures are around 300 miles, and though the car is quite large and heavy, it will accelerate from 0-60 in just 4.3 seconds.

The Spectre will go on sale in early 2023 starting at $413,000.

A Look Back at Wild Retro-Futuristic Cars

We love the blue-sky, open-minded thinking that accompanies futuristic designing.  When artists and designers take their blinders off, it’s fascinating to see what ideas can be revealed.

That’s certainly the case with this collection of retro-futuristic art, which showcases all manner of wild transportation and car design.  From flying cars to strange hovering Cadillacs to monorail trains, this collection comprises designs from the US, Europe and Japan.

Mostly from the 1940s and 50s, we see a naive but also optimistic future.

Check out more retro-futuristic designs here and here.

Citroën’s New Electric Concept Oli Asks “What’s Enough?”

French carmaker Citroën has a funky, spirited, and unconventional new EV concept called Oli, which wants to ask you “what is enough?”

In the era of more – more features, more battery range, more horsepower, more speed, Citroën wants to interrupt that pattern with a car that prioritizes fun, affordability, and eco-friendly materials.

Their Oli concept has a lightweight structure that features roof and hood made from a cardboard honeycomb material, which is amazingly stronger than steel. It also uses innovative, lightweight seats and other weight-saving methods to reduce overall heft, which improves range as well as material and build cost.

The cabin utilizes a docking station for your phone to power the infotainment, and the car’s audio system is in the form of a removable bluetooth speaker. Additionally, the windshield is decidedly upright, which apparently will cut down on glare and cabin heat from the sun, minimizing the need for air conditioning.

At the end of its life, the car is designed to swap its recyclable body panels with other Oli models, for a more sustainable cycle.

All of this adds up to a unique and different design, purposely bucking the trend of more, more more.

Their reveal video is definitely eye catching as well, and serves as a great introduction to the Oli.

Impressive, fun work from Citroën.

 

“Designing electric cars is good. But not enough for us. Our Citroën Oli [all-ë] concept car has been made as light as possible to use as little electricity as possible whilst guaranteeing a range of 400 km. It has been designed with recycled and recyclable parts to extend its life. So, are we all on board?”

Though the roof is made partially from recycled cardboard, the unique honeycomb structure make it stronger than steel.

We love the way the red interior brings a feeling of energy.

Buttons and switches are kept to to a minimum, keeping things simple and also saving weight.

The chunky, unconventional shape gives Oli a playful profile, but one that is great for urban driving.

The sound system consists of removable bluetooth speakers.

While it’s just a concept, we can expect Citroën to adopt many of the designs and innovations in future models.

Volkwagen’s Gen. Travel Concept Has Pod-like Appearance, Autonomous Features

A strange yet striking concept car from Volkswagen, the Gen. Travel has a podlike structure placed on a sleek, aerodynamic frame.

We appreciate how unique and new the car appears, almost like a ‘backpack’ atop the car’s exterior. All of that vertical space makes for a roomy and airy cabin, with large windows and ability for occupants to take in the scenery. Gullwing doors allow for easy entry, and enhance the feeling of spaciousness.

Designed for level 5 autonomy, the car would be able to transport passengers from point to point entirely on its own. Seats fold fully flat allowing for sleep while traveling, an idea that has long been part of automaker’s future vision.

Via Engadget:

Dacia’s Manifesto Concept Car Wants You to Get Out in the Wild

We’re excited to see a future where electric vehicles take all shapes and sizes, from large, streamlined grand tourers to small, off-road adventure cars.

Dacia, a Romanian automaker, has an awesome concept called the Manifesto, a diminutive yet powerful-looking two seater that’s angular and geared up for the outdoors.

With no doors or even windshield, the Manifesto is more like an off-road dune buggy or moon rover than a traditional car. It has body panels made of Starkle, a new material that incorporates 20% recycled plastic without sacrificing strength. The ultra lightweight design also mean it will be able to go further on an electric charge than most EVs.

The tires are also airless, and promise to last as long as the vehicle itself.

A very intriguing concept, for sure. See the Dacia website for more info.

“Manifesto is a super compact and fully open SUV, so passengers can feel at one with nature. This light-weight, silent companion prioritises agility above speed. With this type of vehicle, you can easily deliver supplies to mountain retreats or check on an outdoor facility.”

The seat covers remove and turn into sleeping bags, creating a multi-purpose interior.

Lincoln’s Model L100 Concept Pays Tribute to 100 Years as a Company

Lincoln, the luxury division of Ford, has officially been around for 100 years, with their original Model L selling in 1922.

Despite it selling in pretty low numbers, Lincoln continues to try to establish it as the other American luxury brand, competing directly with Cadillac, among others.

To commemorate that 100 year milestone, the company has unveiled their L100 Concept, a huge, low, and sleek car, brimming with technology and novel ideas.

From rear-hinged, dramatic doors to a ‘light and sound symphony’ greeting passengers, the L100 has all the hallmarks of a good concept car. Will it reach production? Absolutely not. But as a concept, it’s a strong one.

Read more on TopGear.

From Lincoln:

“We are at a special moment in our history,” said Lincoln president, Joy Falotico. “Over the last 100 years, Lincoln has pioneered multiple innovations and pushed the boundaries of design that have come to define our brand as we know and love it today.

“With the Model L100 Concept, we reimagine what the Lincoln sanctuary might look like for our clients of tomorrow moving us forward to define the next chapter of the Lincoln story.”

Humble Motors Hopes to Harness the Sun to Help Charge EVs

As electric vehicles become more commonplace, the issue of charging batteries becomes more of a larger discussion.

Battery density, power efficiency, aerodynamics and charging speeds can all contribute to better experiences and longer ranges.

Humble Motors wants to lean into the power of the sun, harnessing next-generation solar energy in rooftop panels to add 15+ miles of range to the battery everyday. For reference, that’s significant versus today’s off the shelf solar panels.

Their Humble One EV is an aggressively-stanced crossover with hopes to hit the market in 2026.

While Humble remains an early-stage startup with a lot yet to prove, it’s exciting to see companies like this tackling the problem of solar charging.

“We believe the future of global transportation is solar powered.

By integrating panels into an EV, we can harness the power of the sun while we drive. Today, automobiles are still too dependant on nonrenewable energy; even electric vehicles rely on America’s energy grid, 70% of which is powered by fossil fuels.

Instead, by integrating solar technology into an electric vehicle, we can generate the clean energy we need directly into our cars.”

“Humble Motors has set itself apart from the electric vehicle market through a focus on ground-breaking technological innovations. These include solar panels that are seamlessly integrated into the roof and windows of the vehicle.”

Mini’s New Aceman Concept Showcases a Small, Fun EV Design

Mini has always been known for compact, fun driving experiences, with driver-focused cars, and a particular emphasis on design and quality.

Their Aceman concept points toward the next few years of electrification, and the ways Mini hopes to create fun, compelling vehicles that feel personal, colorful, and exciting.

The car’s exterior allows for LED customization, like the use of their trademark Union Jack flag in pixel form. The interior utilizes recycled materials and strays from using leather or chrome, opting for more eco-friendly ones. Seats showcase funky, graffiti-esque designs, a distinctively playful feel from an automaker.

The familiar circular dash design has been modernized to use a full circle OLED panel, integrating a number of smart features and fun modes, similar to Tesla’s Toybox.

Expect to see a production-ready version of the Aceman in 2024, hopefully retaining many of the fun and colorful features of this concept design.

“The MINI Concept Aceman represents a new era of more sustainable, connected cars and combines tech advances, charismatic simplicity and driving excitement.”