Concept cars aren’t designed to enter production: they’re designed to present new technology and designs to the public, to gauge their reaction and get a sense of how they might be used in the real world. It’s rare for a concept car, which has to be heavily reworked to match federal standards, to enter production. But here are ten that are so awesome that they should have been released.
1) Cadillac Cyclone
The Cyclone was inspired by the rocketry and aviation designs of the 1950s, and was designed by Haley Earl, the legendary concept car designer. It even had a radar “crash-avoidance” system. Why this was never released, we have no idea: considering the ridiculous fins on Cadillac’s, they could have gotten away with it.
2) Holden Efijy
Holden, a GM subsidiary in Australia, put together this passion project solely as a tribute to the design of the 1930s. Yes, you read that correctly; this is a modern car, with all the modern amenities, but with the styling of a classic. Holden has stated this will never see production, which is a shame: we’d drive one.
3) BMW GINA
What, you might ask, is unique about the Gina, aside from the shape? The body: that’s not steel or plastic, it’s a special Spandex with an armature of aluminum wires underneath. The GINA is a car that literally shape-shifts to fit your driving; as you go faster it “grows” a spoiler for stability.
This will never see production for two reasons: safety, as Spandex has a terrible crash rating, and cost, as this is an insanely expensive car to produce. But we can dream…oh, we can dream.
4) GMC Terradyne
The Terradyne was designed to be the ultimate practical vehicle. It came with a 5000 watt generator installed, enough to run your entire house. The doors were on sliding tracks to make getting in and out easy. The entire cabin was made of stainless steel so you could clean it just by breaking out the hose. In short, it’s a man car, or at least one you really want to take with you when camping.
5) Audi Shark
OK, so we’re cheating a little: the Shark is technically a hovercraft. Still, it’s a neat design, combining the thrill of a motorcycle with the safety of a car. Now, does it come with a disintegrator ray, or is that an after-market extra?
6) Jaguar C-X75
What makes the C-X75 unique? It’s an electric muscle car.
No, seriously. Powered by twin turbines, the C-X75 can get up to 205 miles per hour, without gasoline. Just when you thought the Prius couldn’t be made to look more wussy, Jaguar proves just how possible it is.
7) Kia Pop
You wouldn’t expect something this unusual from Kia, of all people, but the Pop is their concept car for electric driving and urban living. A three-seater, getting 87mpg, the idea is to make electrics cool, not boxy. Or maybe they wanted to see what would happen if a Prius and a Scion got drunk and had a baby.
8) Bertone Pandion
We love European designers, because they’re loons, and the Pandion is just further proof of the concept. Built entirely on “mathematical principles and organic forms” (their words), the idea is that the car looks like it grew naturally instead of being built. Personally, we just love those awesome guillotine doors.
9) Honda P-NUT
P-NUT stands for “Personal-Neo Urban Transport”. Despite the absolutely ridiculous name, we do have to admit that the P-NUT looks really cool, especially for a small car. We’d just be forced to tell people it’s called something far less ridiculous and dorky. “Oh, it’s the Urkel!”
10) Ford Interceptor
The Interceptor is, of course, the classic Ford police car, designed for high-speed chases and durability. That doesn’t mean Ford can’t make it look cool, as the Interceptor concepts that went around when the news of the original design being retired demonstrate. And, really, if you’re going to chase down crooks, you should look cool doing it.