By their very nature, concept cars seek to push the envelope, showcasing cutting-edge technologies, extreme design language, and the future’s soon-to-be latest features. Many concepts never make it to production but they often influence the cars that do hit the assembly lines. Over the years, we’ve seen some truly amazing and radical concept cars. That’s why we want to take a moment to highlight some of the most extraordinary ones.
The Toyota Setsuna
Classic cars are all the rage these days. Many collectors are passing up the hottest new set of wheels for iconic classics. With this in mind, Toyota designed the Setsuna to be not just a car, but an heirloom. The car actually has a 100-year meter inside, so future generations can see how old it is. Oh, and it’s body is made mostly out of wood.
Sadly, there are no plans to put the car into production.
2011 BMW 328 Hommage Concept
The 1930’s BMW 328 Touring Coupe was one of the greatest cars of its generation. A speed demon of its day, it remains popular among collectors to this day. The 2011 BMW 328 Hommage concept never saw production but it did pay tribute to its forbearer.
It’s hard to replicate 1930’s roadsters with modern design language. Cars have come a long, long way since back then. While the BMW 328 Hommage is clearly a modern car, its striking headlights and simple curves are reminiscent of roadsters past.
Audi Quattro concept of 2011
The Audi Quattro concept of 2011 was also designed to pay homage to classic roadsters. While not as extreme in its styling as the BMW, this Audi is still striking. Even 7 years later it looks like it’s about a decade ahead of current design languages. And while the BMW 328 Hommage was never intended for production, the Audi nearly made it to the streets.
Built largely of lightweight materials, such as carbon fiber, and featuring an exotic, highly customized interior, the concept version of the Audi would have been too expensive to mass produce. While Audi toyed with revamping it for production, the company ultimately whiffed. Too bad, the 2011 Audi Quattro Concept was a beautiful car indeed.
Toyota Kikai Concept
Toyota loves toying with radical ideas, even if many of their production cars ultimately play things close to the chest. The Toyota Kikai exhibits this better than perhaps any other car. This adorable city car doesn’t try to cover up its guts as many cars do. Instead, many of the mechanical features are put proudly on display rather than hidden under sheet metal.
Simply putting the engine and other mechanical features on display is a radical break from modern design philosophy. Along with the design language, the Toyota Kikai looks both adorable and industrial. Sadly, the Toyota Kikai was designed only for display and isn’t planned for production.
Ferrari 512 s modulo
We’ve focused mostly on more recent concept cars, but the 1970 Ferrari 512 S Modulo is so stunning in its design it deserves a shout out. How does one describe the Ferrari 512 S Modulo? To be honest, it looks a bit like a UFO, or something you might see from a 1970’s Sci-Fi set a hundred years in the future.
The flat car seems to nearly hover. Meanwhile, the huge windows are something that many modern car makers are actually using in their designs these days. Despite its wacky design, the car could hit 60 in about 3 seconds, making it fast by even today’s hypercar standards, let alone the 70s.