Great, in concept

Best Concept Cars at Detroit 2013

The difference is in the details

As nearly every auto show evidences, status quo just doesn’t cut it — and concept cars, as crazy as they can sometimes be, give us a glimpse into the realm of automotive possibility. The concepts of NAIAS 2013 were no exception. Some were radical new designs for existing models and others are new to the field. Whatever the case, the mantra held true: there is no rest in the automotive industry. Here are a few of the best from the Detroit Auto Show.

Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis Concept


The 4-door coupe wars have now traveled from the east to the Far East in the form of the HCD-14 Genesis Concept. With styling not unlike a steroidal Audi A7, the big Korean concept showcases a huge maw of a grille, enough fascia lighting to blind the oncoming, suicide doors and supposedly eye-tracking, hand-gesture-reading controls. The concept is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 that drives the rear wheels. We should see a couple of Hyundai vehicles borrow some of this bold design, along with the futuristic technology. Let’s hope we don’t get the crazy headlights.

Honda Urban SUV Concept


The new small crossover seems to be pulling a reverse genetics move from that of luxury arm Acura, with similar lines to the new RDX. We’ll go so far as to say it even borrows some styling elements from the NSX Concept, such as the character lines along the body. Designed to slot in below the CR-V, the Urban SUV Concept is about nine inches shorter and has some carryover from the great-selling Fit: the rear fold-flat seat and center-mounted gas tank, for example. All signs point to 2014 production. Makes you absolutely not miss the toaster-like Element.

Lincoln MKC Concept


Say hello to a truly attractive and uniquely designed American crossover. The first car completely designed under the new Lincoln Design Center carries over the MKZ sedan’s broad split wing grille and a muscular profile that’s split parts Audi A5, BMW X6 and Range Rover Evoque. The new Lincoln design language works better here than on the MKZ; this concept should be as close as it gets to the production model. Contrary to popular belief, the Lincoln assassination was only a rumor.

Toyota Furia Concept


It’s high time Toyota shredded the current and amorphous Corolla design. The Furia Concept gives us a look into what the new Toyota could be, and it doesn’t disappoint. With styling elements seemingly borrowed from a euro-spec Civic Si and the Scion tC, this concept sets forth a far more aggressive and edgy look for the compact sedan. The arc that spans the grille and headlights looks sharp, as do the prominent taillights. Our country’s youth will have another hot compact to choose from, hopefully soon.

Nissan Resonance Concept


If you think the current Nissan Murano is polarizing, you won’t have to change your feelings about the Resonance, since it hints at what the 3rd gen Murano could look like. Although the design isn’t the craziest concept we’ve seen, it certainly pushes the envelope in certain areas with its V-motion design language. From the headlights to the taillights, the V-shape is evident, and the grille is even more pronounced than its older brothers’. We do like the profile’s taffy-pull crease, as well as the cat shoulder-like front fender and uniquely shaped area behind the C-pillar. The name, however, could use a little work.