20 Coolest Concept Cars

Uri Slav

Uri Slav

2015-07-06 12:03:44

Concept cars. When manufacturers let their hair down and create something completely wild and brilliant just because they want to. Here are 20 of the coolest:

Lamborghini Miura Concept (2006)

The excitement was palpable when Lamborghini brought back the Miura in the form of a new age concept. It was probably never intended for production, just something the guys and gals at Lambo designed for fun. Much like the original Miura.

BMW Gina (2001)

BMW's GINA concept tittilated the automotive press in 2001 with its fabric bodied car that would bend and shape itself to adapt to different speeds and weather conditions. The car's name and suggestively shaped bonnet caused sniggers among many. GINA in fact stood for "Geometry and functions In 'N' Adaptations", so really  should have been called the GAFINA.

Alfa Romeo BAT 9 (1955)

You could call it an honourary Batmobile. The Alfa Romeo BAT appeared in a number of guises courtesy of the legendary coach builder Bertone. Its final iteration, the BAT 9, was the closest to Alfa Romeo's lineup at that point, borrowing cues from the Giulietta Spider, perhaps even being inspiration for the Giulietta Sprint Speciale.  

Ford Nucleon (1958)

Ever since there have been cars, there has been the search for the best way to fuel them. Ford at one point suggested a nuclear reactor in the form of the Nucleon. If what happened with the Ford Pinto is anything to go by, perhaps it's best the Nucleon never made it into production - since rear-ending one could result in the destruction of a small town.

Aston Martin CC100 (2013)

In celebration of its 100th birthday, Aston Martin created the brilliant CC100, which not only looked and sounded the business, but was fully working so could have made it to production.

Here Aston created a car that harked back to its historic successes with the DB3S and the DBR1, complete with those all-important pods on the rear. Sadly it was not to be, and one of the most exciting Astons of recent years was consigned to the annals of automotive pub-quiz-style trivia. 

Jaguar XJ13 (1966)

By the time Jaguar had finished developing the XJ13 for the 1966 race season, it was already uncompetitive compared to the Ford GT40 MKIV and the Ferrari 330 P4. Doesn’t stop it from being possibly the prettiest Jag ever made. The XJ13 was also the first time we saw Jag's V12 engine which would go on to appear in the later E-types and the XJS. 

Citroen GT (2008)

Citroen's Gran Turismo concept did see mass production… from a certain point of view. The car was designed specifically for the purpose of appearing in video game Gran Turismo 5.

The concept caused such a buzz that Citroen made a working model with a Ford V8. The idea of car companies imagining cars solely for video games became so popular that Subaru, Mercedes and Aston Martin all made impossible concepts for 2013's Gran Turismo 6.

Fiat/Abarth X 1/9 Prototipo (1978)

The Fiat X1/9 commands a certain amount of respect for being essentially a baby Lancia Stratos.

Unlike the Stratos, however, the X1/9 never saw fame on the rally circuit, although it turns out that Abarth did at least toy with the idea.

The two candidates presented as replacements for the Fiat 124 were the X1/9 and the 131, with the 131 ultimately being chosen, which went on to enjoy a successful stint as a rally car.

Abarth did create an X1/9 rally prototype however, which going by the giant air intake, at least looked sufficiently bonkers.

Toyota pod (2001)

This is what we were promised the future of motoring held, intuitive cars like the Toyota Pod.

The Toyota Pod could detect the driver's mood and offer helpful ways to lift their spirits if they were down. Most importantly the Toyota Pod had a colour changing tail on the back that wagged when the car was happy.

Ford/Shelby GR-1 (2005)

Another 'what-if' car, the Ford / Shelby GR-1 was designed as a hypothetical replacement to the Ford GT and was based on the similar Cobra concept unveiled a year earlier. It harks back to Shelby's all-around awesome Cobra Daytona Coupé.

Jaguar CX-75 (2010)

The CX-75 pays homage to the old XJ13 through a number of styling cues.

It has also been an important test bed for new engine technology Jaguar is dabbling in, ranging from a turbo charged 1.6 to turbines. The CX-75 played a starring role in 2015 James Bond film SPECTRE. 

Quant e-sportlimousine (2014)

Originally an idea from the insanity wizard mechanics at Koenigsegg, the Quant e-sport is the perfect combination of drop-dead gorgeous looks and futuristic technology. The Quant is an electric car, like many others these days. But unlike a Tesla it gets its charge from sea water. Working prototypes are due soon but at present the technology involved still sounds a little too good to be true.

Prodrive P2 (2006)

Prodrive has been the successful name behind many successful Rally, Formula One and Le Mans winning cars. In 2006 it put all of that know-how together and made the P2.

The fully working prototype had a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds, a top speed of 174mph and a hypothetical price tag of anywhere between $60,000-75,000. Prodrive never intended to actually build the P2 for sale to customers, however, so they just sort of didn't.

Cadillac Cien (2002)

Caaillac has slowly been edging away from its reputation of 'the cars bought by the elderly and driven around at 5mph' for a few years now with help from such notable vehicles as the CTS-V.

What would have done it immediately is the Cien prototype, which debuted in 2002, complete with a 7.5l V12 engine which put out 950hp. Some 15 years since that concept came out have passed, yet whenever the company announces a new car, it's still met with replies of "make the Cien."

Citroen Numéro 9 (2012)

The Numéro 9 concept car is what Citroen do best: big, comfortable saloons with hints of madness. The design has since been watered down a bit and turned into the catchily named DS 5LSR but it lacks the 'wow' factor of the original concept which thought that grilles weren't necessary and that overheating was cool.

Horsey Horseless (1899)

Aside from the name, which is kind of priceless in itself, the idea behind the Horsey Horseless was to ease customers into automobiles by making the vehicles resemble something they were more used to, namely a horse drawn carriage.

And what better way than by mounting a horse's head on the front of a car? The horse's head was also hollowed out to hold petrol, of course.

GM Firebird I (1953)

Wonderful though the Pontiac Firebird is, it doesn't come close to the original General Motors car to bear the same name.

Three variations of the Firebird concept were built, one looking like a Batmobile, one looking like Jerry Anderson's Supercar and one basically being a rocket. The rocket, 'Firebird I', was the first jet turbine car tested in the United States and was essentially a fighter jet that couldn't fly.

Chevrolet Aerovette (1977)

Mid-engine Corvettes have been just this far away from production more times than we can count.

There have been a few working concepts over the years, with the coolest being the '77 Aerovette. Not only does it have those great (almost Maserati Bora) looks, but you can actually see how it would have worked and fitted into Chevvy's lineup.  

Cadillac Cyclone (1959)

Look at pretty much any concept car made by American companies in the 1950s and you'll see a lot of similar traits: fins at the back, cones at the front and often a bubble canopy on top.

The Cyclone had all of these. It's a shame it never made it to production.

Ferrari Dino 206 Competizione (1967)

While it would be impossible to fault the Ferrari Dino's looks, there's always the possibility of that extra room for improvement.

Produced as a one-off prototype, the Dino 206 Competizione is probably what a baby version of the Ferrari 330 P3 would have looked like. Oh, and it has gull wing doors.

The Dino was owned by Ferrari until recently when it was bought by renowned collector, avid petrol-head and all around good guy James Glickenhaus.

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