10 Cool concept cars

Posted: November 10, 2009 in News

Concept cars came back – with a vengeance – after World War II when America entered a golden age of prosperity and rising expectations. Nothing said “New!” like the annual GM Motorama shows, where the public caught a glimpse of radical new designs and often bizarre trends. Today, concept cars are like fixtures of the automotive world, showcasing new ideas, designs and features, but most of them never make it to the street. What if they did?

Let’s look at a collection of 10 very cool concept cars from the past few years unveiled at motor shows around the world, and dream a little…

The Mazda Taiki concept


First unveiled at the 2007 Tokyo motor show and featured an incredible sweeping design which seemed to have been inspired by pictures of flying saucers. The car, which Mazda said it wanted to put into production, would have featured a rotary engine based on that which powers the company’s RX8.

Toyota i-Real concept

Toyota i-REAL

Toyota’s successor to the way too sci-fi to be real i-Unit. Just hear the pitch: it’s a car the wraps around your body, allowing you to zip through life with little encumbrance from mortal legs. Meanwhile, when going at high speeds, it will leave an upright position and allow you to lean back, increasing stability and cutting back on the face-first into the wall factor. It seemed like the better Segway because of its ability to cut the bullshit and haul ass as necessary. But alas, the i-Real only goes 18.6 mph, making it little more than the coolest wheelchair on the block.

Audi Locus Concept


The Audi Locus Concept is a sporty coupe which adopts an organic design language made of flowing curves.It was created by Turkish designer Ugur Sahin who also worked on the Lamborghini Spiga concept.

Honda PUYO concept


First shown at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show. The Honda PUYO was designed to convey a warm, friendly impression and bring together ‘clean’, ‘safe’ and ‘fun’ functionality in an environmentally responsible, people-friendly minimalist design featuring an ultra-high efficiency, small frame and fuel cell technology. The car would be operated with a joystick.

Ford Airstream concept


The Ford Airstream concept displayed at the 2007 North American International Auto Show was a crossover influenced by Airstream’s iconic trailer design and the optimism for the future that Stanley Kubrick captured in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The whole idea behind the Ford Airstream concept was to create a vehicle for adventures, touring and traveling long distances in a unique design. It would have been powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Honda Zeppelin concept


The Honda Zeppelin was a design created by Myung Jin Jung, a student of Hongik University’s car design course. The Zeppelin was created for his final year thesis – for 2008 the brief was to design a luxurious sedan for the future. It was partially inspired, as the name suggests, by airships.

Nissan NV200 concept


The Nissan NV200 concept is the neatest thing since sliced bread – it even features a unique pull-out storage module that slides out from the rear doors like a loaf of bread from a plastic bag. In effect, the NV200 turns storage inside out… or is that outside in? Any way – you say it, Nissan’s designers have offered a new option that could be just the thing for certain niche professions.

Mazda Ryuga concept


It’s not often that design and engineering complement each other without compromise, and the Mazda Ryuga concept is an exquisite expression of creative cooperation. With its flowing lines, gullwing (more like bat-wing) doors and retro-futuristic interior, the Ryuga is simply stunning any way you look at it.

Maybach Excelero concept


Maybach is Mercedes-Benz’s icing on the automotive cake and the Excelero, of which only a single concept has been made, is the crèm de la crème. The Excelero certainly looks formidable, and it’s got the power to back it up – though it’s hard to imagine this car ever backing up! It has a twin-turbo, 5.9 litre V12 engine puts out an awe-inspiring 700 hp.

Giugiaro Vadho concept


The Giugiaro Vadho concept was unveiled at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show. It is a V12 hydrogen fueled concept car which is built on a one-off chassis, and is controled by two joysticks, not a steering wheel. Both the V12 hydrogen fueled internal combustion engine and seven-speed SMG gearbox come from BMW.

Toyota Volta concept


The Volta takes the basic hybrid engine blueprint and squeezes every bit of potential out of it. The result? A 435-mile cruising range and an electric 0-60 mph time of 4 seconds flat. Most enticing, the Volta features a unique drive-by-wire control system that allows any of the three – yes, three – front seat occupants to assume control of the vehicle just by having said controls moved in front of them.

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