Concept cars are one of the most exciting segments of the motor industry, where designers can run wild with their ideas and inspirations, free from the constraints of economics, physics, practicality, and perhaps even the law. However, until those production papers have been signed, concepts remain just that - an idea. Here we take a look at five of our favourite concept cars that we wish had become a reality – as well as the production models that later embodied their aura.
First debuted back in 1969, perhaps man should’ve been concentrating more on making this car than landing on the moon. Looking more like a prelude to the Back to the Future movies than a sophisticated German motor, it’s hard not to fall for the scooped air intakes, gull-wing doors and punchy lines on this model that would’ve been a decade ahead of its time. But if you’re looking for a current Mercedes that’s at the cutting edge of design, style and engineering; then it’s hard to beat the breathtaking AMG GT S.
With its contemporary lines and aggressively suave styling, the BMW GINA was an impressive looking concept. Alongside design quirks such as body panels constructed from manmade fabric which were supposed to be as durable as skin, we’re always a sucker for gull-wing doors. Fortunately, if you love the appearance of this car then you can get something which looks a lot like the GINA in the form of the BMW Z4.
Volkswagen W12 Nardo
Originally created as a concept a few years earlier, the VW Nardo that wowed the crowds of the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show was an absolute beast. With stunning looks backed up by a 5.6-litre W12 engine that pumped out almost 600 horsepower, it would’ve been a spectacular entry on the supercar scene. Instead, VW decided to build the Bugatti Veyron, although if you don’t have a million or so pounds knocking around for one of those, the more affordable Audi R8 looks remarkably similar to the Nardo concept.
Another effort from VW, but it couldn’t be any more different to the Nardo. From supercar to super camper, and the most iconic of all camper vans, the VW Microbus was first mooted for a sensational return in 2001. Although the car would’ve appealed to a whole generation of 60’s kids now all grown up, plans to bring it back were shelved. However, with VW’s new electric I.D. Buzz, which has been confirmed for a release in 2022, the flame for that particular fire in our hearts is still burning brightly.
Designed and developed by the Italian design house Bertone, this lavish-looking saloon made its debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. With its beautiful sleek lines and regal door configuration, we can picture ourselves climbing out of this stylish 4-seater hybrid before looking back at the B99 and barely being able to leave it behind. The closest you’ll get if you want a sharp, sporty saloon with the famous Jaguar badge on the front is the all-new XF.
These innovative concepts may not have made it to the production lines, but you’ll still find the car you’ve been dreaming of with Inchcape.