Concept Cars – Excitement and Promise
They are a staple of motor shows across the world and are designed to excite, provoke but also to gauge reaction. The concept car exists to tantalize by offering a glimpse of what’s to come and to act as a canvas on which the full potential of car design and automotive engineering can be realized. Below are some visually stunning and technologically notable concept cars that have caught our eye.
1. Bugatti Veyron Fbg Hermès
The Bugatti Veyron Fbg par Hermès saw two of the world’s biggest luxury brands collide. Italian designer Gabriele Pezzini conceived the car and together with Hermès created a bespoke entirely hand-made leather interior. Though the car features cutting-edge technology, its use of haute couture combines the classic and the modern in an “uncompromising product of a perfect synthesis”. It won the 2008 Concorso d’Eleganza Design Award in recognition of its elegance.
2. Maserati Alfieri
The Alfieri is a stunning car that with its long nose and futuristic front grille is unique, but unmistakeably a Maserati. Named for driver and co-founder of Maserati, the Alfieri is not a throwback or a nostalgic tribute, but a statement about the future of the Maserati brand and its continued dedication to excellence. Inspired by the 1954 Maserati A6 GCS, the car was released to mark the 100th anniversary of Maseratri in 2014.
3. Aston Martin CC100
Another centenary special, the CC100 celebrates one hundred years of Aston Martin excellence in design and manufacture. Revealed at the 2013 Nürburgring 24 hour race its design is a nod to the DBR1 which dominated the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1959. The look, the speed, the recognition of history and the fact that the CC100 was designed and built in six months is a perfect celebration of the heritage and spirit of the Aston Martin brand.
4. Alfa Romeo Zagato TZ3 Corsa
The TZ3 was built as built as a one-off, commissioned by Germany car collector Martin Kapp, a man with an extensive Alfa Romeo collection that includes three different TZ models. The car had actually already been in development to coincide with Alfa Romeo’s 2010 centenary celebrations. It’s top notch racing credentials mean you’re unlikely to see it on the road, which is unfortunate, because for sheer magnificence of design, the TZ3 is a sight to behold.
5. BMW Vision Future Luxury
The BMW Vision Future Luxury does not mess around when it comes to letting you know its intentions. Vision. Future. Luxury. Vision in the sense that this is a prediction of the next generation of luxury vehicles and possibly in the way it incorporates visual technology at the core of the vehicle that features in-car panel communication and augmented reality that can show information on buildings and roads as you whiz by. And whiz you will given the trend for luxury is lightness, cars that feel as if they could float down a highway.
6. Volvo Concept XC Coupe
The XC Coupe may not quite have the sex appeal of some of the cars on the list, but its innovative look, build and technology were what caused excitement among motor aficionados. It shows off Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture, design technology that Volvo say will eliminate deaths and serious injuries caused by crashes entirely by 2020.
7. Ferrari 612 GTO
The Ferrari 612 GTO is an anomaly on this list as it was never actually built. We couldn’t resist however including a design that seems to bring to life the sportscar of your dreams. Berlin-based Sasha Selipanov, also known as the ‘Angry Car Designer’ created these renderings that borrow from the 250 GTO but add some unique twists and updates. We may never see it rendered in real life, but can still enjoy this wonderful concept.
8. Jaguar C-X17
The C-X17 is a crossover concept which fuses the design and performance of Jaguar with the innovation, comfort and flexibility that drivers expect from modern sports vehicles. The all-aluminium architecture is reassuringly expensive and eliminates any compromise on speed. This is a concept car designed not just to please the eye, but to please shareholders, Jaguar will be hoping this model lights a fire under the brand’s future by delivering excellence in engineering and experience.
9. Aston Martin Lagonda One 77
The One 77 was first teased in 2008 before being revealed at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show where it wowed spectators with its combination of artisan design and contemporary engineering. It scooped several awards, including best concept at the Concorso d’Eleganza, The Good Design award in Chicago and Best Design by Auto Express. Only 77 were eventually manufactured, as reflected in the model name and were sold at 1.15million pounds each. The 7.3 litre engine and 200+mph top speed reflect the fact that there’s serious bite to go with this supercar’s beauty.
10. Aston Martin V12 Zagato
The V12 Zagato was designed as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of DB4 GT Zagato, unveiled in 2011 it wowed crowds with a look that seemed to fuse the past and future together in one elegant design. Not content with looking good the V12 Zagato was entered, just two weeks after its unveiling into the Nurburgring 24hr race, where it finished fifth in its class.
11. Maybach Exelero
Unique. Literally the Maybach Exelero was built as a one-off at the request of Fulda Tires as a way of testing their products. Some of this cars in this list are built in celebration of brands and anniversaries, some to show off technological or design innovation, the rest are built purely as a statement. The Exelero with its record $8million price tag is the king of that final group.
12. Mercedes F400 Carving
The F400 Carving was first unveiled back in 2002, but its distinctive shape and finish still seems radical over a decade on. The technology inside was pretty radical too, Active Tyre Tilt Control which changed the angle of the tires when cornering to optimize the grip. It is a fantastic example of how a concept car can grab your attention with changes inside and out.
13. McLaren P1
Debuting at the 2012 Paris Motor Show the McLaren P1 was designed as ‘the best driver’s car on the road’. This was followed by a limited production run in 2013 of 375 vehicles. It bears comparison with the McLaren F1 of the 90s, but has a plug-in hybrid engine and sets a new standard for ‘hypercars’.
14. Alfa Romeo 4C Concept
The 4C concept sprung up in 2011 and foreshadowed Alfa Romeo’s delivery into the US market of the 4C model in 2014. Incredibly lightweight and built on a carbon fiber body, its fiery red exterior is the perfect compliment for a statement car. It went on to win Auto Bild Magazine’s Design Award in 2011, also scooping the audience award for concepts and prototypes.