10 Concepts We're Praying Find their Way to Production
Geneva 2014 Concept Cars: Beautiful, Daring and Downright Awesome
We love Maser’s GranTurismo, but the Trident brand needs to plan for a replacement. Plus, in the carmaker’s 100th anniversary year, a bold statement is not only needed but expected. In comes the Alfieri Concept — a 2+2 that’s more sporting focused due to its shorter wheelbase and overall smaller size compared to the GranTurismo. It’s named after Tipo 61 Birdcage designer Giulio Alfieri and harkens back to the 1954 Maserati A6 GCS-53 with its muscular and tapered rear end. No word on whether or not the next GT will look like this, but we love what we see.
Talk about worlds colliding — this time in a very good way. Students at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Turin submit something to the Geneva Motor Show every year, but this time it wasn’t for an Italian brand but rather in collaboration with Hyundai’s European design center (who knew they had one?). The mid-engined small sports car is designed to be powered by a small but potent 1.6-liter 4-cylinder with 266 hp going to the rear wheels. It’s got vents aplenty and some pretty sweet top-mounted exhaust pipes. The only question is whether or not this is simply a design exercise. We hope this car comes to life in some form; with Hyundai’s recent direction, it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility. Our vote is to keep the orange paint job.
Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge
There was really nothing mysterious about Infiniti’s Q50 Eau Rouge Concept when it showed up in Frankfurt last year — except for the engine. That is, there wasn’t one at the time. It’s been announced at Geneva as the heavy-breathing twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 from the Nissan GT-R. Does that ever change things. It’s tuned to spit out 560 hp and 443 lb-ft of street ripping torque to all four wheels. No word on production, but with a 0-60 time of less than four seconds and a top speed of 180+ mph, it’s high time us dads got a four-door GT-R. Right, honey?
Italdesign Giugiaro Clipper MPV
This one’s high on the list of our favorite concepts for its innovation. Italdesign Giugiaro has used Volkswagen’s versatile MQB platform to create this three-row, six-passenger, all-electric people mover. Two 110-kilowatt electric motors, one per axle, provide an all-wheel-drive-like setup. Its range is an impressive 335 miles between charges, trumping even the Tesla S. But that’s not our favorite feature. That goes to the combination of rear gullwing doors and front butterfly doors, such that the whole cabin is open when the doors are deployed, ideal if you have gassy passengers.
Volvo Concept Estate
Volvo’s been churning out one great concept after another, and the Concept Estate rounds out the trilogy that started with the Concept Coupe and the Concept XC Coupe. The two door wagon (or “shooting brake”) borrows elements from the classic P1800 without going too retro, and the result is elegant and sporty at the same time. The white leather interior with tweed seatback pattern is as beautiful as it is original; the orange seatbelts don’t hurt. We’re hoping that most, if not all, of it makes it to Volvo’s next generation XC90, as that car is in desperate need of a redesign. We can hold our breath for their next wagon to take on the Estate’s form, but then we’d probably pass out.
Honda Civic Type-R
Though we’re pissed that we never get the bonkers version of the Civic, our fanboy self still loves to admire from afar. This time, Honda’s injected their spoiler-festooned hatchback with a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine good for 276 hp. The less-than-simple exterior design, with fattened fenderwells, big air intakes, 20-inch alloy wheels, and ginormous rear wing, doesn’t make any apologies about the car’s uber-hothatch intentions. Even though we love the overly ornate look, the rear end looks like an automotive triple-decker turkey club sandwich. Tasty.
The diminutive Mazda2 never did all that well here in the states; it lacked the chutzpah of the fantastic Mazda3 and wasn’t that much cheaper. Well, Mazda just might have planned for an appropriate change to their smallest car, if the Hazumi Concept shows where the next 2 is headed. The new Kodo design language that shows up in the CX-5, 3 and 6 works well in the Hazumi, providing a much more aggressive look than the mildly emasculating 2. Power might come from a 1.5-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine, but that’s by no means official. Build it, Mazda. Small hatches here need more masculinity, badly.
Audi TT Quattro Sport Concept
The TT Quattro Sport Concept is by far the most radical TT to date. The small sports coupe is powered by a 420 hp, 331 lb-ft 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that rockets it to 60 in about 3.5 seconds. That’s supercar territory for a 2-liter engine. The car has been lowered; the suspension has been made stiffer for enhanced performance and handling; the wheel wells have been upsized by 1.18 inches to accommodate 20-inch center-locking hub alloy wheels. Showing off its performance focus, the Concept drops weight by killing off the superfluous armrests and speakers and inserting lighter racing seats. Just don’t tell us Americans the cupholders are gone. Oh, and Audi might want to lose that “420” decal on the rocker panels. We know it stands for horsepower…but just to avoid confusion.
Hyundai’s concept just might see production — in some form — in the not-too-distant future. The Intrado (meaning “underside of an airplane wing”) is a hydrogen fuel-cell powered CUV that’s intended to be “more than just a styling exercise”, according to Hyundai. With big air intakes and very unique caliper-shaped fenders, the Intrado looks like no other CUV we’ve come across. Power comes from a hydrogen fuel-cell stack and a 36kW li-ion battery, giving the car a range of 375 miles. This makes the current Tucson look like a Ford Model T.
Volkswagen Multivan Alltrack
This one might just take the cake for our favorite concept. VW has injected our kind of excitement into the minivan category (yes, this is possible). The utilitarian MultiVan’s interior has been decked out with Poltrona Frau blue leather seats, an all-wood floor and wood door trim for a clean nautical look. 19-inch alloy wheels, bumper trim and mother-of-pearl paint set it apart from your average MultiVan. Throw in an efficient but torquey 177-hp diesel engine and 4Motion all-wheel-drive, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate minivan. If only VW would build it and bring it here, we’d be first in line.