concept cars

concept cars

  A concept car is a car prototype made to showcase a new vehicle's styling, technology, and overall design before production. They are often shown at motor shows to gauge customer reaction to new and radical designs which may or may not have a chance of being produced.

If Lexus wanted to make a splash at Frankfurt with its LF-NX Concept, it sure did pick a good design to get it done.

Redefining — yet again — what we’ve come to expect from its new and drastically improved design language, the Japanese automaker has once again thrown us all for a loop with its latest concept vehicle.

Suffice to say, the LF-NX Concept looks like its going to be one of the most popular cars that will be at Frankfurt next week. It looks absolutely stunning, combining its mean visage with a low-lying profile that makes you wonder if this is an actual crossover or an oversized coupe.

Obviously, it’s the former, but the mere fact that there are hints of sportiness and aggression on the LF-NX Concept that are normally attributed to coupes goes to show the lengths Lexus is taking these days to completely change the way we think about the brand moving forward.

Updated 1/29/14: At the 2014 NAIAS, Lexus revealed an image of the LF-NX that looks nearly nothing like the concept that we saw earlier. This leads us to believe that this is a preview of the production model. Unfortunately, this preview version is toned down to look like a traditional Lexus, as opposed to the hot concept that we all fell in love with. You can see the preview image after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus LF-NX Concept

A few years ago, Audi gifted us with an RS5 -based Audi Quattro Concept that was supposed to hit production until the German automaker decided to nix the idea shortly thereafter.

Well, now it looks like Audi is going to redeem itself, as the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show will bring a revised Quattro Concept . The model arrives just in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sport quattro. Audi launched the first "Ur-quattro" in 1980 and since then "quattro" technology became a true Audi marque, as more than five million cars with permanent all-wheel drive were sold all over the globe.

Just like with the previous Sport quattro model, the new Audi Sport quattro concept was designed in the spirit of motorsport and following the tradition of all the recently launched supercar, it is a high-performance model offering three driving modes: EV, hybrid and sport.

Updated 10/28/2013: Audi is celebrating its 100,000 likes for its German Facebook account with the unveiling of a very cool video featuring the new Sport quattro concept that was unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read about the Audi Sport Quattro Concept.

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A Moroccan supercar is not an oxymoron. The 2013 Laraki Epitome Concept is a prototype showing off the otherworldly style of this $2,000,000 exotic, with nine production cars possible for sale.

There are dozens of really worthwhile supercar startup companies out there, and car guys generally root for all of them to succeed. After all, a world with more horsepower and exhaust rumble can only be a good thing, right?

The standard article caveat for even the most impressive new brands might as well be boilerplate stamp: most new supercars fail rapidly versus the rapidly evolving tech and style of giants, like Ferrari and Porsche .

This will make Laraki’s third concept launch since 2003, with none of the previous Borac or Fulgura models ever making production. A healthy bit of skepticism is only natural.

Laraki Automobiles folded in 2008 without making a single car for sale. Signs are not good for the Epitome’s success either.

Without a functioning Website, press releases, real specifications or any path to ordering one of these models (if you are not already a Laraki Yachts client like the King of Bahrain), the Epitome is not off to a good start.

Click past the jump for more info on this unique hypercar, which promises up to 1,750 horsepower and a 205 mph top speed for its outrageous price.

Ford’s S-Max MPV is widely regarded as one of the Blue Oval’s most popular and successful models. Back in 2007, it even won the prestigious Car of the Year award in Europe, which goes to show that the reach of the S-Max knows no geography.

Now that the current model is long in the tooth, Ford is ready to unveil a successor at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show .

Called the S MAX Concept , the vehicle is less of an actual concept than it is a preview of the future production S-Max model. Not that there’s anything wrong with that because one look at the concept and you’re immediately pining for the production version to come out sooner than later.

In addition to adopting the modern global design language of Ford, the S Max Concept also makes use of new some nifty new features from Ford’s SYNC system while also boasting of an interior that should make its customers happy.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ford S MAX Concept

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This fall’s second Mitsubishi lifestyle concept car looks good enough to cause a double take. The 2014 Outlander H360 Winter Edition adds rich white paint and 20-inch wheels outside, plus a gorgeous quilted leather and suede cabin, to create a very cozy and fashionable way to hit the slopes.

In partnership with lifestyle brand H360 and professional snowboarder Bryan "Guch" Iguchi, Mitsubishi has transformed their popular seven-seat crossover into the ultimate winter shuttle. The styling outside is refined and classy, with those giant wheels really transforming the regular Outlander’s lines into something much sleeker and sportier than the standard model.

The beauty of these H360 makeovers is that they can inspire other Mitsubishi owners to personalize their own cars, and draw people into the brands by reinforcing their outdoor credentials.

Looking like a mix between a Range Rover Evoque and an Audi RS4 Avant , the Outlander H360 Winter Edition is powered by a smooth V-6 engine with S-AWC traction and a very quick sprint pace versus some four-cylinder crossover competitors.

More importantly, the H360 Winter Edition will look at home in Beaver Creek Ski Resort’s valet parking line. A host of interior and exterior additions make up this concept car, which will do the rounds at major auto shows this year.

These H360 concepts are just design exercises, and are not for sale themselves. Even so, they show the scope of accessories and versatility of one of the only value-priced crossovers to offer a third row of seats.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander H360 Winter Edition, with high-res images of this beauty’s quilted leather interior and trunk-mounted coffee maker.

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Mitsubishi just revealed a pair of fitness and adventure-themed concepts, based on the best-selling Outlander and Outlander Sport . The Summer Edition is a thorough personalization effort, on par with the high-dollar luxury car makeovers from Kahn Design .

The custom Outlander Sport shows off: unique burnt orange metallic paintwork and 20-inch Vossen wheels, with matching satin graphite accents all around and sticky track tires. The wheel size jumps a full 2 inches over the 18-inch rims that are otherwise standard on all the Outlander Sport trims, which start from just $19,170 in manual front-drive configuration.

This H360 Summer Edition is based on the higher-range model, with a SportTronic paddle shift automatic and Mitsubishi ’s AWC four-wheel-drive system. Thule roof bars and matching Trek bikes are only a preview of the inside of this fitness machine.

Created with the help of celebrity fitness coach Jay Cardiello, the Outlander Sport Summer Edition is packing some bold color accents and numerous fitness and outdoor adventure gear. Hard-wired chargers are awesome details for the built-in GoPro and iPad mini in the grey suede headlining.

Click past the jump to get a closer look at those semi-slick Nitto 420S tires of the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport H360 Summer Edition.

Concept cars have always served the purpose of introducing to the public the future styling direction an automaker has in store for its next generation model lineup.

Opel and sister company Vauxhall are the latest to do that with the introduction of the Monza Concept. Set to make its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show this coming September, the Monza Concept represents what the automakers describe as "sculptural artistry meets technical precision."

Those are big words but not necessarily exaggerated, especially when you get a close look at the fancily designed Monza Concept. Even though we only have a pair of teaser photos to look at, you can definitely see hints of what the two automakers are preparing, particularly with the concept’s frontal styling.

Everything about what we can see speaks to an athletic and clearly defined design, highlighted by a clearly defined bonnet, a striking headlamp treatment and the overall low stance of the concept. Take a closer look at the headlamps and you’ll notice a pair of blades underneath it, signifying an extra level of appeal and sporty aggression you normally don’t associate with both car brands. Finally, the chrome grille bar proudly and prominently displays the brand logos and extends long enough to sweep up with winglets at its tips.

All that and we haven’t even received images of the rest of the car.

Clearly, the Opel Monza is a concept we all should be looking out for when it makes its world debut at the IAAs in September.

UPDATE 08/07/13: A new teaser photo of the Frankfurt-bonud Opel Monza Concept has just been released. Check it out and let us know what you think of the revealed front end of the concept!

Click past the jump to read about Opel’s history with the "Monza" name

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Shocking news this morning from Volvo ! The 2013 Concept Coupe has looks to make a Camaro and M6 weep with envy, 400 horsepower via a plug-in, all-wheel-drive chassis, and gorgeous LEDs inside and out.

The Volvo cargo trucks will be loaded to the brim on the way to Frankfurt , as this is also the debut of the not-yet-seen XC90 replacement.

If the Concept Coupe’s intricate and taut surfacing, stunning proportions and cool new Maserati-style inverted grille make it to the XC90 : Volvo’s American showrooms have quite the sharp new seven-passenger crossover on its way.

The VCC’s styling is really fantastic. It is great news for all fans of Swedish cars, with beauty as deep and marvelous as the Roman statues of the press photos. It shows a number of important steps in one single image, and gives Volvo ’s semi-independent new company identity a goal at which to strive in the mainstream S60 segment, where the current model is lost in obscurity.

A feast of details about the VCC’s styling floods over you like the wave of relief, with a roof pillar layout that is almost as racy as the Nissan 350Z . A new portrait-style navigation system shows Volvo admires the Tesla Model S . Overflowing with good looks outside, the VCC is also quite potent underneath.

An all-new 2.0-liter engine up front is paired with a plug-in battery pack and a rear axle electric motor. Supercharged as well as turbocharged, the combined power outputs are 400 horsepower and 440 pound feet of torque.

Come see the future of Volvo after the jump, with a giant image gallery of the 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe in all its glory.

Infiniti unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show the Q30 concept - a mixture between a coupe, hatchback and crossover set to be put into production in 2015.

The design of the Q30 Concept looks sharp and appears to have been designed with plenty of inspiration from other Infiniti concepts from previous years, including the Etherea . Incidentally, the latter was also a compact concept that was introduced a few years ago.

One of the few details we have of the Q30 Concept is that it will carry the same front-wheel-drive platform that you can find in the new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class . That’s not a coincidence, considering that the two brands joined forces a few years ago to share some of its technology and development know-how with each other.

The engine for the concept will likely come in the form of a hybrid although don’t be surprised if the production version opts for the more traditional four-cylinder engine.

Another curious tidbit about the Q30 Concept is the involvement of Infiniti’s director of performance, Sebastian Vettel. Yep, the reigning F1 world champion will be heavily involved in the development of the production model so that’s something we can all look forward to as well.

Updated 09/11/2013: The new Infiniti Q30 made its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and the production version is expected to arrive in 2015. Check out the picture gallery to see the new Q30 in all its glory.

Click past the jump to read about the new Infiniti Q30 Concept.

If there’s one thing we can accuse Volvo of, it’s that the company has never been the type to value style over substance. As other automakers have taken immeasurable leaps to become more aesthetically appealing, Volvo continues to tread water, content on what it has at its disposal with little to none discernible outlook towards the future.

Everything changes, though, at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show because in Volvo’s own words, “The Vanilla Days are Over.”

To drive home this point, Volvo has released a teaser video of a mysterious concept that the company is promoting as the precursor for all of its upcoming transformative models. Though the details behind this concept are still being kept tight lipped, we can draw enough from the numerous teaser images that there really is something to this concept that we probably haven’t seen from Volvo in quite some time.

In one of the teaser shots, you can clearly identify that the absence of rear doors suggest that this concept could very well be a coupe. Parts of the front profile can also be seen in the other teaser video, showing hints of a vertical grille that we haven’t seen since the days of the classic Volvos. The large air intakes aren’t your typical Volvo designs, either, and do we even have explain why the headlight setup already looks far superior to anything we’ve seen from production Volvos in, like, forever?

Even the single shot of the rear gives us a hint of a potential name for the concept. There’s a big “C” badge that’s visible, possibly an indication that this concept will be called the Volvo C (fill-in-the-blanks)?

All our questions should have answers when the Frankfurt Motor Show opens its doors soon.

For now, click past the jump to watch Volvo’s Concept Trailer


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