Yes, folks, life’s not always fair. Sometimes all you need to be happy is to see gorgeous concepts make it to production, but that rarely happens. I mean, there are tons of Awesome Concept Cars out there – some are top-notch, others not so much, but once in a year, once in a decade, a drop-dead beautiful prototype comes along that makes you believe in the industry again.
However, cars like that almost never go beyond that “concept” stage and are simply meant for making folks talks and bringing some positive heat to the brand.
True, that’s pretty tragical and there are countless forgotten heroes that have fallen somewhere between an auto show debut and our dreams. So, today, in honor of the ones that are no longer with us, I wanna talk to you folks about the best concept cars that never made it to production.
Ready to shed a tear or two? I know that most of these bad boys might be total strangers for you, but I’m sure there are a couple of models that you’ll remember from the past. Alright, get yourselves together, turn that TV/radio/iPhone off and let’s start!
The Mazda Furai Concept
The Japanese are known for out of the box designs and a unique sense of style. A good buddy of mine likes to say that if Batman happened to be the savior of Tokyo and not Gotham, he would definitely be driving this beauty. Mazda rarely ever disappoints, and the only downside to the breath-taking Furai is that it never went on sale. In all fairness, this is one of the most Amazing Concept Cars I’ve ever seen in my life.
It debuted 8 years ago, at the North American International Auto Show 2008 (also known as the Detroit Show) and was the final stroke in the Nagare line-up from the manufacturer. Yep, almost a decade later it still looks like a ride from the future, not the past.
Furai means sound of the wind (come on, it’s Japanese!) and the powertrain makes you wanna fly with the wind: the fancy and sophisticated 20B 3-rotor engine is capable of 400+ Horsepower.
The exterior design is one to strive for: you’ve got eyes-like headlights upfront, a sexy grille, a sleek body that almost touches the ground, ribcage side vents and a huge spoiler. And even though it never made it to production, the Furai was actually tested on the race-track; lucky driver, huh? That’s why the segment goes to the list of Awesome Concept Cars!
The Bertone Jaguar B99 Concept
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. The current Jaguar design and overall styling is definitely on point and makes a lot of folks happy, however, the old designs had their charm as well, and some of us still miss that. The big cat used to be pretty cool half a decade ago, and the Bertone Jaguar B99 Concept was one of its best shapes to date. The conceptual model was introduced back in 2011 at the Geneva Motor show in celebration of the 99th year anniversary.
Equipped with aluminum panels with long and stylish doors the B99 was lower and wider and the bodywork was ahead of the game. Under that hood the Jaguar had a pretty mighty setup: a 1.4-lit gasoline engine and 2 201 Horses-strong electric motors; together they pumped out impressive 570HP. That huge Jaguar grille, the sneaky headlights, and the clean, strict design made the B99 one of the most elegant and sophisticated models out there. Too bad it never made it to production due to a different marketing strategy. It would’ve been a fine addition to the line-up of classics, that’s for sure.
So, this car also stands in the Awesome Concept Cars list.
The Cadillac Sixteen Concept
Do you think the Americans can’t design sexy luxury cars? Think again! How about the lovely Caddy 16 that debuted ages ago, back in 2003? Yep, if you’ve been a fan of the industry for as long as I have, you might remember this one. It was really-really long and carried that Cadillac badge like a true boss. The exterior design was something to die for, with those elegant lines, 24-inch wheels (!) and that classic front grille with a touch of crazy.
On the inside, the Cadillac 16 was a real treat, with top-quality materials and finishing, super cozy seats, all the latest techy features and that unique smell of leather that’s natural only to the luxury vehicles. However, appealing looks and a comfy interior were not the only strong suits of this beast: under the hood, you had a monster of an engine – a 13.6-lit V16 (that’s two V8s working together) that pumped out insane 1K ponies (that’s 1,000 Horsepower)!
The sad part is, the Cadillac 16 never found its place into the line-up and stayed forever in the shadows of the models to come. Still, it has a special place in the hearts of the old guys like you and me. That gotta count for something, right?
The Ford Interceptor Concept
The Interceptor is yet another fine example of how we – the Yanks – can make fresh and sleek cars that turn heads without trying to steal all the smart ideas from our European neighbors. This beast was first introduced to the world back in 2007 at the Detroit Auto Show as the next big thing for the company, with a 5.0-lit, 400 Horses-strong engine, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and a super-long body that almost made the Cadillac 16 blush a bit.
On the inside, the Interceptor introduced a few nifty tricks as well, including some roof-mounted headrests, a leather-lined interior, and more. Unfortunately, much like the other warriors in today’s list, the pride and joy of Ford couldn’t make it into the real world and became just an inspiration for the future models from the Detroit giant.
Take a good look at Ford’s Edge crossover SUV and Taurus full-size sedan – you see the resemblance, right? Well, I guess that’s what the awesome concepts get from the punctilious heads at the companies – cold calculations, constant real-world tests and – at the end – just a reminder in the history books. Pretty cruel, huh? Oh yeah, the automobile industry is quite the harsh one.
Awesome Concept Cars – The Hummer HX Concept
Have you ever seen a Hummer model that didn’t look like a big junk of metal with 4 wooden wheels on it? No? Well, there was an edgy yet eye-catching Hummer once, and it was called the HX concept. It was the little brother to the H3 but still had all it takes to be called a Hummer brat. It was a lot more “civilized” and the exterior design alone could win over your heart.
Along with the smaller size, the HX featured a pretty awesome architecture that allowed you to easily remove the rear roof and turn the car into a pick-up truck. The center roof, fenders, and doors were also removable! How awesome was that?! The Hummer family ensured that the HX came with a four-wheel drive system, 20-inch wheels, Brembo brakes and a 3.6-lit V6 with direct injection that was capable of 304HP.
On the inside the model features a rather attractive design with aluminum dominating the doors, the roof, and the floor and super-cozy (for a Hummer, that is) seats. If you’re thinking I’m making this all up, Google it and get back at me. See, it really was that great – shame it never made it through the concrete jungle. The Hummer HX could’ve single-handedly saved the brand.
The Ferrari P4/5 Concept (Pininfarina)
I’ve got a question for y’all: what happens when an already super-gorgeous and expensive car gets mighty funding from a rich guy and finds itself in the hands of talented engineers and visionaries? That’s right – something awesome happens. That was exactly the case with the Ferrari P4/5 Concept, developed by the Italian company Pininfarina. It’s now a legendary model but it all started with a stock exchange genius (and billionaire), Mr. James Glickenhaus, a fan of automobiles, making a deal with Ferrari that involved the production of a unique car based on the amazing Enzo platform.
Glickenhaus had to invest over 4 million dollars into the project, but it was all worth it. The exterior of the Ferrari P4/5 Concept was entirely made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic and had better aerodynamics, acceleration, and stability on the road than the Enzo it was based on. The seats were custom-made – a combination of black mesh and red leather hand-picked by his daughter.
The amazing fact about this Ferrari is that it’s THE ONE AND ONLY – you won’t find another P4/5 Concept, even if you fly around the world and back. The only way you can drive this baby is if you’re friends with the man. Then again, if you are, you might also be a billionaire genius yourself and own a luxurious sport car (or cars) of your own :). This car deserves its place in our list of Awesome Concept Cars.
Awesome Concept Cars – Summing Up
That’s about it for the heroes of the past – the Awesome Concept Cars that never made it. I’m proud to tell y’all that I’m a part of the industry that makes amazing prototypes like that, even though they rarely do hit the plants and the dealerships.
Obviously, there are tons of other super-sleek and gorgeous concepts out there that struggled with marketing strategies and manufacturing costs, and maybe I’ll tell you about a few of them soon.
But that’s it for now – 6 breath-taking babies that I would’ve given a lot back then to get behind the wheel of. What about you?
Share your personal stories and favorites in the comments!