Concepts are four-wheeled exhibits that automakers create to show their wildest ideas. Some of those ideas get turned into production vehicles, while others are doomed to be shown in a few events, and end up in a warehouse or a museum. Other concept cars become an inspiration for production cars in the form of styling cues.
We are referring to a few lines or shapes that are first displayed in an exaggerated form on a concept vehicle, and then put on a production automobile in a more civilized version. Every once in awhile, a wild concept car gets turned into a production car without too many modifications. For petrolheads and the regular Joe, those are the best things to happen, especially if you can afford to buy the creation.
In this story, we glance back at the coolest concept cars shown in 2016 at various events. We only selected five of the dozens of exhibits that have been presented this year, because there is no point in mentioning every shiny concept vehicle that has set its wheels in a show in 2016.
Without further ado, these are the five coolest concepts presented this year.
This spring, Opel brought a fabulous concept vehicle to the Geneva Motor Show. It was dubbed GT Concept, and it will not be turned into a production car. Even if that is sad to hear, we cannot help but admire the bold lines of this concept, which still manages to integrate plenty of retro elements.
Any petrolhead likes retro styling, because old cars have turned most of us into car fans, but Opel has succeeded in bringing those elements together with futuristic shapes. We find this blend particularly appealing, just like a glass of finely mixed spirit from Scotland. You all know the kind, and those of you that are aficionados of the genre know what a 21-year-old blend brings to your palate.
Just like we explained in the introduction of this story, some concept cars never get turned into production models, but they do inspire future vehicles of their manufacturer. The GT Concept will surely inspire the lines of some cars from the German brand, and we are expecting to see the front grille in an Opel showroom in a few years. Who knows, maybe those tail lights will also get the final approval.
MINI Vision Next 100
If Opel’s creation was not inspiring enough for you, MINI has something that might raise your heart rate in a healthy way. They called it Vision Next 100, and it was made to celebrate 100 years of existence of the BMW Group, which is the current owner of the brand from Oxford.
Just like the GT Concept from Opel, MINI’s creation will not get turned into a production car. This is evident for too many reasons to mention, but we cannot help but dream of a vehicle that would have some of the bold shapes and materials are seen in this exhibit. Fortunately, MINI’s design team gets a few courageous things past the company’s leaders, so we should see a few elements from this concept in production models.
First of all, the wheels of this concept vehicle are bound to inspire a smaller version for production cars. The look amazing, and their pattern is not that eccentric for a road-going car. The second thing from the Vision Next 100 we would like to see on the road are the “hips” of this car, which are greatly exaggerated to bring a fabulous look.
At first glance, this concept vehicle is not as impressive as the rest. Some of its elements appear to be close to production, but the I.D. Concept from Volkswagen does earn its spot on this list because of many individual shapes. Because this is an electric vehicle, VW can get away with joining several parts, and the mash-up looks inspiring.
The coolest bit of this concept is the way the headlights are integrated into the front of the vehicle. The front badge is an excellent reinterpretation of the existing unit, but those headlamps look like they are out of this world. The rear end is simple, but so is a tailor-made suit. It might appear that the end has been abruptly cut, but we like what we see in this exhibit.
Volkswagen will bring a few of the shapes of this one-off creation to their production cars. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a few years until the boldest lines reach the production line, but there is a hope that VW will get the courage to take these cues to its factories.
Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6
Another exhibit that will not be turned into a production car is the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6. However, it will inspire future designs that will be sold by both of the brands owned by the Daimler Corporation, and we are sure to see at least a few of them on the road in a few years.
This concept is cool because of the way it manages to evade its size. Some of you know that the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is 5.7 meters long (224.4 inches), and its width is 2.1 meters (82.6 inches). That usually means that you should see a large vehicle, usually an SUV or a stretched limousine. Mercedes-Maybach evaded the obvious choice and built a 2+2 coupe. We must admit that the rear seats are probably useless, but this does not take away the shine of this creation.
Out of all the elements of this vehicle, the front end and the taillights appear to be the most likely candidates to be placed on a production vehicle from the German corporation. The front grille is stunning, and so are the thin headlights that are placed next to it. The tail lights are even smaller, and they will be feasible for production with the current state of LED and OLED technology. The interior is not too shabby, mind you.
You might have noticed that there was no SUV on our list so far. That is because crossovers and SUVs usually do not inspire people. Their utilitarian cousins are working for their owners, while CUVs never use their all-wheel-drive systems to the maximum of their potential. However, Lexus has come up with a concept vehicle that is so bold that it is worth a second look.
They call it the Lexus UX Concept, and it stars the massive front grille in the style that the Japanese brand has recently introduced in production. That grille is matched with a set of sharp headlights, which have already been surpassed in aggressivity by the elements placed on the Lexus NX.
The rear end is not as aggressive as the front, but it mirrors its shape if you observe carefully. We also like the profile of this concept, which has a courageous contour towards the rear of the vehicle. Lexus has mated it to a bold interior, which includes seats like you have never seen before. Sadly, those units will not reach production in their current form.
Feel free to tell us what was your favorite concept car of 2016 in the comments section.