10 Killer Concepts of 2015
Updated May 19, 2018
Concept cars are enigmas, as you just never know what you’re going to get. In some cases, you get the most amazing pieces of machinery you’ve ever seen, but oftentimes, you are stuck looking at a real-life version of “The Homer.” Today, we reflect on the concepts we’ve seen in 2015 and show you the 10 that we loved the most.
Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept
I may not have found the Santa Cruz Concept the best thing since streaming video, but I guess plenty of people did, as Hyundai is actually considering building this half-truck, half-crossover concept. There is no denying that this is one stunning concept, but I question its usefulness as a truck. Apparently, the latter isn’t of importance to its fans.
Despite its obvious lack of truck-ness, the Santa Cruz’s powertrain caught my interest, as the concept version arrived with a 2.0-liter diesel engine that produced 190 horsepower and a mighty 300 pound-feet of torque. Hyundai’s HTRC all-wheel-drive system further improves this concept’s drivetrain offering.
Aston Martin DBX
It’s a virtual certainty that Aston Martin will soon develop a production electric vehicle, and it has created several concepts that indicate this. One of the latest was the rather un-Aston-like DBX. This concept car made use of an electric drive unit that produced an undisclosed amount of horsepower and an all-wheel-drive system to deliver maximum traction and great off-the-line acceleration.
Setting the DBX concept apart from the rest of Aston’s lineup is the fact that it is built more like a GT crossover, thanks to its chunkier body, increased ride height, and mammoth 22-inch wheels.
Porsche Mission E
The Mission E concept may not be the sexiest Porsche ever built, as its mashup of the 911, Panamera, and Carrera GT doesn’t quite look as great as it sounds, but it is still an awesome concept.
Where the Mission E makes up for its odd looks is its powertrain. This plug-in super-sedan produces more than 600 horsepower, which helps it get to 62 mph in less than 3.5 seconds and to 124 mph in under 12 seconds. What really pushes the Mission E over the edge of awesomeness is its driving range of more than 311 miles and its ability to recharge its battery to 80 percent in just 15 minutes.
Nissan’s had rumors swirling around the possibility of it creating a Z crossover for some time now, and the Gripz concept seems to preview such a rig. While many Z car enthusiasts may see this as blasphemy, you have to keep in mind that volume-selling crossovers like this help drive up profits, allowing manufacturers to build more awesome, low-volume cars – just ask Porsche how this works.
While the powertrain details behind the Grips are not fully available yet, we do know that it will have a series hybrid powertrain that is loosely related to the Leaf. The Leaf may not be a car that makes you think of performance, but remember that electric motors are fairly simple to milk more power from.
Plus, just look at this crossover and tell me it is not sexy…
Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept
Electric and plug-in hybrid crossovers are the newest craze in the automotive space, as buyers are looking for the extra ride height and cargo-carrying capacity of an SUV with the efficiency of an electric or hybrid sedan. Audi is now getting in on this trend with the introduction of its powerful and efficient E-Tron Quattro Concept.
This concept crossover has a trio of electric motors – one up front and two in the rear – that team up to inject 496 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque into the Audi concept. This helps get the crossover to 62 mph in just 4.6 seconds and up to a 130 mph top speed. What’s more, the concept can travel up to 310 miles on a single charge, and recharging takes just 50 minutes on a 150 kW charging station.
BMW M4 GTS
The only model on this list that has already become a production model is the M4 GTS. From concept to production, very little changes, as the production GTS still has the water-injection system, gobs of extra power, and an aero kit to make the cast of Tokyo Drift jealous. To say that this was one awesome concept would be an understatement, and the fact that a production model quickly followed it makes it even more incredible.
Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA
Sure, the Concept IAA from Mercedes-Benz was your typical concept car, as it featured a look that would never make it to production and tech that was at least a decade ahead of its time. However, that didn’t mean it wasn’t downright awesome. It produced a meager 279 horsepower from its hybrid powertrain, but its awesomeness was mostly in its aerodynamics.
At 50 mph, the IAA went through a series of changes that made its rear end 15.3 inches longer, extended its front bumper by 0.98 inches and its rear bumper by 0.79 inches, moved the louver in the front bumper rearward 2.4 inches, and reduced the cup in its rims by 2.2 inches. Imagine, cruising down a road and seeing the Benz next to you going through this shape-shifting routine.
Honda Project 2&4
The Honda Project 2&4 took all the greatness of cars and motorcycles, and mashed them up into an open-wheel racing concept. This model used a 999 cc V-4 engine from Honda’s RC213V competition motorcycle that produced 212 horsepower at 13,000 rpm and 87 pound-feet of twist at 10,500 rpm.
Sure, that was not much power, and the torque was oddly low for a concept like this, but at just 893 pounds, that was plenty to make things pretty interesting.
Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept
Bentley had a rough run of it with the EXP 9 concept crossover, but it knocked people of their feet with the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept. This model had all the proportions and shapes one would expect from the brand, but with a modern twist that gave us a great idea of where the brand is looking to move in the future.
Under the long hood of this sexy concept was Bentley’s twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12 with its juice cranked up a bit. Instead of delivering the usual 567 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, this retuned W-12 pumped out 582 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of twist.
Volkswagen Golf GTE Sport
Volkswagen loves to use its Lake Wörthersee meet to show off its latest concepts, and it did plenty of that this year. The star of its 2015 meet was the GTE Sport, which was a modified Golf GTI with a plug-in hybrid powertrain that delivered 395 horsepower. This powertrain got the GTE Sport to 62 mph in just 4.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 174 mph.
Also amazing was the design of this concept, as its low roofline and hatchback look went together surprisingly well.
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