The coolest concept cars of all time
Cars are shaped by regulations, market trends, management requirements and the segment in which they are supposed to compete. With concept cars, designers can throw these considerations out of the window and build what they would really like to see on the street. It is often wild, stunning creations that give us an insight into the thoughts of a stylist.
Car manufacturers have been getting lazy in this regard lately, and nowadays concept cars are often just a new production model equipped with cameras instead of wing mirrors, big wheels and shaved door handles. It's unfortunate, but luckily some brands still know what threads to pull to fascinate us as we walk the floors of the world's largest auto shows. Read on to learn more about some of the coolest concept cars ever.
Volvo Venus Bilo (1933)
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Volvo Venus Bilo
The 1938 Buick Y-Job is often referred to as the first concept car in the automotive industry. That is inaccurate. The award goes to the Volvo Venus Bilo, built in 1933, to test the public's response to a more aerodynamic appearance. Design elements such as a full-width body, headlights integrated into the front fenders and a curved radiator grille set it apart from others on Swedish roads. The Venus Bilo never reached production, but influenced the PV36 Carioca, introduced in 1935.
You won't find it in the company's official museum. It somehow ended up in the hands of a junkyard owner in Denmark who converted it into a pickup truck and used it as a work vehicle. Most historians agree that it was destroyed before the late 1950s.
BMW Turbo (1972)
The 1972 Olympic Games took place in the BMW hometown of Munich. It was the ideal event to promote the company's up-and-coming range of sporty, driver-oriented coupes and limousines. The Turbo was specially built to turn your head during the summer games.
While it looked like a German Ferrari, this elegant BMW coupe shared some components with the company's 2002. It drove on a 2002 chassis modified for the use of a mid-engine and received a further development of the four-cylinder from 2002. The performance was impressive enough to worry the Italians in the Alps, but BMW never approved the Turbo for production, and it remained a simple design study. The 1978 M1 brought the idea of a BMW super sports car to the point in a different way while channeling many of the Turbo's design features.
Chevrolet AeroVette (1976)
You've probably heard that the eighth generation Chevrolet Corvette has a mid-engine. It's the first time that Chevrolet has put a V8 behind the passengers in a production car, but the company has experimented with this layout several times.
The 1973 Corvette 4 rotor was an experimental coupe powered by a centrally mounted, double-rotating Wankel engine. The Chevrolet engineers had the same problems with rotation technology as many other companies: the engine burned a breathtaking amount of fuel and was not exactly reliable. The car was equipped with a V8 engine and was renamed AeroVette in 1976. It was almost approved for production, but the idea of a mid-engine Corvette was completely dropped before the late 1980s. It reappeared in 1986.
Volvo Tundra (1979)
Volvo tundra concept
Before Volvo launched a design renaissance, it was known to build safe, reliable, and solid cars with a design that can best be described as not adventurous. It tried to change this in 1979 when it asked the Italian design house Bertone to draw an elegant family car for a larger target group. The sketches turned into the tundra concept, a two-door sedan with a fastback-like rear. Volvo decided not to move the project forward, but the tundra inspired the Citroën BX, launched in 1982. The nameplate remained inactive until Toyota secured it in 1999.
Subaru F-624 Estremo (1987)
Subaru F-624 Estremo
The family sedan of 2000 was brought to life by the concept of the Subaru F-624 Estremo. The space-like design hid a continuously variable transmission (CVT), an all-wheel drive with torque distribution front / rear, an all-wheel steering and a rear view camera. In the long, wide engine compartment was a six-cylinder engine with two turbochargers. The F-624 Estremo did not exceed the concept phase, but many of its technical features were adopted into the Subaru range in the 1990s.
Chrysler Atlantic (1995)
The Chrysler Atlantic surprised the public when it broke cover in 1995. At that time, Chrysler was producing LH platform-based sedans with cab-forward design, so no one saw the enthusiastic Atlantic coming. It was shaped like an elegant, retro-inspired coupe that paid tribute to the Bugatti Atlantique. A 360 HP V8 engine was used. It never made it through the concept phase, but became Chrysler's spotlight for a few years in the 1990s.
Bentley Hunaudieres (1999)
When the Volkswagen Group bought Bentley in 1998, the executives of both companies made it clear that major changes were imminent for the British brand. The Hunaudières concept illustrated one of the directions the company could take. It was a dramatic, deep-seated coupe powered by an 8.0-liter 16-cylinder engine designed for 623 horsepower.
The Hunaudières never made the jump from the show floor to the show room floor because it was considered too extreme. The exterior design easily inspired the first-generation Continental GT, and the idea of a W16-powered super sports car returned to the Volkswagen Group when Bugatti introduced the Veyron, one of the fastest cars in the world.
Lincoln Continental (2002)
Lincoln Continental concept
Lincoln previewed what could have been a spectacular return to form with the Continental Concept 2002. With long, flat fenders, a high beltline and suicide back doors, it captured the essence of the 1960s Continental and gave it a modern twist. From a design perspective, there was nothing to envy Germany's usual suspects in the luxury sedan segment. The Continental concept never reached production and was sold by RM Auctions in 2002.
Lincoln introduced another Continental concept in March 2015. This time a series model was created that revived the nameplate after a long pause.
Volkswagen Golf GTI W12-650 (2007)
The Volkswagen GTI has used a front-engine front-engine layout since its introduction. The GTI W12-650 concept deviates from this formula by using a 650-horsepower W12 engine mounted in the space normally occupied by the rear seats. It was lower, lighter, and much wider than the standard GTI than it started. Enthusiasts thought it would produce a production model - probably an expensive limited-edition car - but it remained a one-off. It is often exhibited in the Volkswagen Zeithaus Museum.
Toyota Kikai (2015)
Toyota KIKAI concept
The segment-violent Toyota Kikai broke cover at the Tokyo Auto Show 2015. It exists at the intersection of hot rods, dune buggies, and wild concept cars, which is certainly a strange, unexpected place. And yet it works somehow. Toyota presented the design study to encourage drivers to take advantage of a car's mechanical complexity. This explains why the Kikai focuses on displaying powertrain parts that are normally hidden in a car. The power comes from a gasoline-electric hybrid system, and the intricately designed interior offers space for three passengers.
Honda Urban EV (2017)
The Honda Urban EV is one of the newest concepts on this list. It was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2017 and is a compact, city-friendly electric car with a retro-inspired design. It spawned a production model called E in 2019, but Honda does not plan to sell it in the U.S. That's too bad; We like the idea of a sporty electric car with an enchanting design and many useful technologies. Of course, we would also like it to get a Honda 11,000 RPM motorcycle engine.
Lamborghini Terzo Millennio (2017)
Lamborghini Terzo Millenio concept
You would expect the combination of Lamborghini and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to produce a killer supercar, and the Lamborghini Terzo Millenio concept doesn't disappoint. The aggressive, science fiction-like design here is just the tip of the iceberg. The Terzo Millennio (a name that means "third millennium" in Italian) is powered by four electric motors that draw power from supercapacitors that store and deliver electricity faster than a conventional battery. The body is made of a special type of carbon fiber that stores electricity and heals itself when small cracks form.
Genesis Essentia (2018)
Genesis Essentia's all-electric concept is a coupe that shows that this luxury newcomer is capable of building desirable cars. It looks like Genesis is not currently producing anything else, and that is by design. The outstanding design is also more than up close. The South Korean company built the Essentia from carbon fiber to keep the weight in check. Several electric motors draw power from a lithium-ion battery to bring the coupé from zero to 100 km / h in three seconds. It could reach production; Genesis strongly hinted that it would soon enter the coupe segment.
Volkswagen I.D. Buggy (2019)
Ingo Barenschee / Volkswagen
Volkswagen revived the emblematic Meyers Manx beach buggy as an electric vehicle when it presented the ID buggy concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The buggy is partly retro, partly futuristic and shows the entertaining side of the company's ongoing electrification offensive. At the same time, it shows the Lego-like flexibility of electrical engineering, which he developed for production cars. If you look over the short, curvy front fenders to see the road ahead, there's no doubt that this concept was developed with fun. How do we know We drove it in California.
Although Volkswagen won the I.D. Buggy alone could bring the design study into production with the help of a third party. We are still keeping our fingers crossed and hope that the production model (if it happens) is not far from the concept.
Hyundai prophecy (2020)
Hyundai prophecy concept
Would you believe that this is a hyundai? This shapely, deep-seated fastback called Prophecy should have made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show 2020, but was presented online after the event was canceled. It is electric and autonomous, so it does not have a steering wheel, although it is equipped with a pair of joysticks that the person in the driver's seat can use to steer it if necessary. While this technology won't make it to production, Hyundai has strongly warned that other parts of this concept (including its silhouette and electric drivetrain) will soon appear in showrooms.
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