Auto shows are held all over the world for decades to showcase vehicles that have futuristic designs, latest technologies and unique features. Some of the most common vehicle segments featuring in auto shows include vintage cars, classic, cars, sports cars, luxury cars and concept cars. Concept cars are a protype vehicles that are engineered to exhibit an interesting idea, highlight advanced technologies and test a new styling direction. The primary aim of developing and showcasing a car concept at auto shows by automakers is to take car enthusiasts opinions and needs into consideration. In 1938, concept cars appeared for the first time with the Buick Y-Job at auto shows. However, since then exterior and interior features and designs have continuously changed over time.
Let us discuss some of the most popular concept cars that were introduced at auto shows.
Buick Y-Job has been widely considered as the world’s first concept car, which was introduced in 1938. This idea car was designed by the General Motors (GM) chief designer, Harley Earl. The vehicle was built on a Buick chassis, featuring advanced technologies such as a power top that disappeared under a hard tonneau, Power windows, and hidden headlights. The Y-Job had a sleek body, boattail rear deck and glossy black color. The Buick Y-Job was slightly redesigned in 1947 with push-button door handles and rear fender skirts.
The conception and development of the Ford Gyron has been one of the most intriguing space-age-inspired concepts. The vehicle was designed by Alex Tremulis as a lead designer and Syd Mead. The lead designer had a long history that fueled a lot of controversies. Tremulis was involved several top-secret activities such as designing advanced aircrafts, cutting-edge aerodynamics and gyroscopic theory. Ford Gyron made its debut at the New York auto show in 1961 and garner mad interest from space-obsessed enthusiasts to check the new technologies and futuristic features. With a cosmic fiberglass bodywork, the Ford Gyron was powered by a small motor that produced only 5 mph and had console-activated steering wheel.
GM X Stiletto
The GM X Stiletto was conceived and developed in the 1960s that made its debut at the World’s Fair in New York in 1964. This concept car looked like a Toyota 2000GT that offered high performance. In addition, the front of the X Stiletto was more like the 1960s Pontiacs, whereas the back was like 1967 Cadillac Eldorado. However, some of the notable features that lacked in the vehicle were window pillars and door cuts. Only the front fenders of the GM X Stiletto had cuts made for its vents aft, whereas behind the rear wheels there were retractable air brakes that would pop out.
An impressive line of concept cars was released in the 1990s by Chrysler and displayed several interesting ideas at auto shows. Some of these unprecedented breadths of motor car concepts included four-door convertible Chrysler Phaeton, Jeeps, Plymouth Pronto and original Viper. However, the 1995 Chrysler Atlantic is among the best concept cars that generated frenzy at the auto show. This car concept featured a straight-eight engine created from two Neon four-bangers. In addition, the body of the Atlantic has been extravagantly proportioned.
The Italian Lincoln Futura was manufactured in Italy by Ghia, and it was displayed for the first time in 1955 at the Chicago Auto Show. Unlike most concept cars, the Lincoln Futura was built atop on an actual chassis that come with a steel body and painted pearl white. The vehicle also featured in the 1959 film by Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds, and it was painted red. However, when a Batmobile was needed for a TV series in 1966, the Lincoln Futura was all reshaped to give it a bat face, painted it black with orange trim, bolted on some Rader wheels and redesigned rear wings. Since then, the all-new Lincoln Futura has been the Batmobile. Reportedly, the Futura concept car was built by the Ford Motors for $250,000 and sold at an auction for $4,620,000, at the 2013 Scottsdale auction.
The Japanese automaker has been experimenting with several designs since the launch of the first-generation Mazda 3 in 2004. The Mazda Furia made its debut in 2007 with a unique, organic and funky design. This vehicle featured a “Nagare” (flow in Japanese) style to have lot of undulating and flowing lines on the vehicle’s body. Despite, the splendid engineering and futuristic design, the Mazda Furia never made it into the production. Mazda 5 mini-minivan was the only production car that imitated the look and design of the Furia car concept but in a quite limited way.
Mercedes-Benz C 111
The C 111 car concept by Daimler made its debut at the Frankfurt auto show in 1969, shocking the automotive industry. This pure showpiece was a mid-engine two-seater, with upward opening doors, and flying-wedge body. However, Mercedes took this car concept to a next level by powering it with a rotary engine that pumped 280 horsepower and enabled 162-mph top speed. An all-new C 111 made its appearance in 1978 with a slight design change and a 500-hp V-8 engine.
The Cadillac Sixteen made its appearance for the first time at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2003. This concept vehicle has been manufactured in honor of the 1930s V-16–powered Cadillacs. However, many considered that Cadillac Sixteen will never make it to the production unit but in late 2007 the speculation continued about Cadillac launching a vehicle that resembles with the Cadillac Sixteen car concept. Many of the Mercedes models were inspired by the Cadillac Sixteen such as the high-performance 2002’s Cien supercar concept, the current ATS and third-generation CTS. In addition, the upcoming Cadillac CT6 is not equipped with 16-cylinder engine but design language is based on the Cadillac Sixteen.
Concepts cars are some of the most anticipated vehicles that generate excitement due to their fascinating features, designs, and performance capabilities. These dreamy car concepts are showcased at auto shows to consider the reaction and needs of the car enthusiasts. In addition, concept cars are also exhibited by automakers to give motorists a glimpse into the motoring future.