From wacky design visions to mind-boggling technologies, concept cars can often seem like far-fetched anachronisms. Yet there are times when mirages of the future land in the showrooms of today, and we get treated to truly groundbreaking new models. Concept cars lead the way when it comes to environmentally-friendly projects, breathtaking engineering and sheer good looks. Here we take a look at five incredible concept cars that became reality.
BMW Concept Vision EfficientDynamics
A car that launched a whole new brand, BMW i, the BMW Concept Vision EfficientDynamics was first introduced to the world at the 2009 International Motor Show in Frankfurt. Reaching production five years later, this futuristic looking motor changed the way that many people thought about electric cars. For what became the BMW i8 is a plug-in hybrid sports car, and as well as being incredibly efficient, is a real thrill to drive. Offering performance levels such as a 0-60 time of just 4.4 seconds, it also has an all-electric range of 23 miles and you can get up to 134.5 miles per gallon.
Land Rover LRX
When Land Rover unveiled the LRX Concept in 2008, it was a huge departure for a company known for its big, imposing 4x4s. True, other models may have the word ‘sport’ in their names, but nothing came close to the compact design and sporty lines of what would turn out to be the Range Rover Evoque. More environmentally conscious and affordable than other Land Rovers, it was heralded as a cross-coupe and certainly delivered on the excitement of the concept.
Being the luxury division of Japanese giants Toyota, Lexus has always had a reputation for style and comfort. With the LFA however, the manufacturer took things to the next level, as they looked to bring the speed and power of Toyota’s Formula One racing team to the road. What they came up with did not disappoint, with the LFA rivalling some of the best supercars on the market. A 4.8-litre V10 engine pumped out over 550 horsepower, giving the LFA stunning performance. The rare car was only built for two years between 2010 and 2012, with just 500 produced in total. Each vehicle carries an individually numbered plaque, with engines bearing their creator’s signature.
If you’re looking to spend some money on a classy sports car that’s downright beautiful, the Jaguar C-X16 concept may be of interest to you. Initially unveiled as a hybrid sports car in 2011 at Frankfurt’s motor show, the Jaguar F-Type was released as a non-hybrid convertible in 2013, before a coupe version emerged the following year. The smallest car Jaguar had built for many years, the F-Type is the spiritual successor to the iconic E-Type and is a joy to drive as well as to look at.
Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4
The Veyron EB 16.4 almost seemed to be an exercise in testing what is physically possible in a motor car when it was released as part of a series of concepts in the late nineties. Volkswagen had taken control of Bugatti, and were determined to revive the brand in some style. The figures that the Veyron produced in 2005 were awe-inspiring. An 8-litre, quad-turbocharged, W16 engine that pumped out over 1,000 horsepower. 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, a top speed of 253 miles per hour, the numbers were as astronomical as the price tag. However, the Veyron proved to be so successful in production that it now has a successor, the Bugatti Chiron.With so many great concepts in the pipeline, we can only dream of what the cars of the future are going to be like. For now, we certainly have some special ones to enjoy while we wait.