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25 Astounding Concept Cars We Wish Went Into Production

A Round Up Of The Best Future Cars That Never Were

Updated November 18, 2018

We can’t help but feel sorry that these concept cars didn’t make it into mass production. Some of them seem really revolutionary. We can only imagine how different the world would be today if these cars were on the roads. Some of the concept cars on the list came from the minds of designers from big car companies, while others were ambitious one-time projects of car enthusiasts.

#25. Ford Seattle-ite XXI – 1962

#25. Ford Seattle-ite XXI – 1962

The first concept car on our list is this Ford from 1962. That decade was really a period when you could’ve expected to see all sorts of cars with peculiar designs. However, it seems this one was too peculiar for Ford to start producing it on a large scale. Instead, the dream of Ford Seattle-ite XXI ended with one 3/8 scale model of the car, exhibited at the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle. The first thing that everyone notices about this version is that it has three pair of wheels.

#24. Toyota Kikai – 2015

#24. Toyota Kikai – 2015

We certainly hope we made a mistake by adding this concept car to our list. Because it was presented only a year ago, Toyota Kikai still has a chance to become a commercial car. We certainly hope so, because the design of it reminds us of sci-fi version of a dune buggy, which we instantly fall in love with.

#23. Ford Probe IV – 1983

#23. Ford Probe IV – 1983

Ford designers tried to come up with a design with extreme aerodynamic properties, so in 1983 they come up with the Probe IV. This car prototype was even more aerodynamic that they thought it would be. In fact, the Probe IV had the same drag coefficient as an F-16 fighter.

#22. Buick Y-Job – 1940

#22. Buick Y-Job – 1940

In the late 1930s, Buick designer called Harley Earl came up with an idea for creating an ultimate show car. He called it the Y-Job and loved it so much that when the company decided to pass on its production, Earl kept it for himself.

#21. Dodge Deora – 1965

#21. Dodge Deora – 1965

Harry Bradley worked as a designer of die-cast toy cars in Hot Wheels, before getting a chance to design a proper sized vehicle. Dodge appointed him to develop Deora, a pickup truck based on Dodge A100. With the help of Alexander Brothers, a car customizing company, Bradley was able to manufacture the Deora for the 1967 Detroit Autorama. Unfortunately, the pickup truck didn’t get into mass production, but the original vehicle was sold for $230k, nearly half a century later.

#20. Toyota CX-80 – 1979

#20. Toyota CX-80 – 1979

At the 1979 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota presented three different models. One of those was CX-80, a light city car that was designed to be an extremely low fuel consumer. Unluckily, the concept car didn’t make much of an impression for the judges, so it never went into production.

#19. Frisky Family Three – 1959

#19. Frisky Family Three – 1959

Frisky Cars Ltd was a British company, which found a loophole in the law that allowed registering three-wheel rides as motorcycles. That cleared the room for the construction of small cars that would be very cheap. Among the cars that this company planned to make was the Frisky Family Three, a concept that unfortunately never saw a day of light.

#18. Plymouth XNR – 1960

#18. Plymouth XNR – 1960

In the early 1960s, people from the United States were fascinated with jet engines. It was all about rockets and space travel. Even the President promised US astronauts would go to the Moon by the end of the decade. That is why it’s not a surprise that a concept car like the XNR was proposed. Its asymmetric design was clearly inspired by rockets, but it seems it was too ahead of its time. Despite not going into massive production, one XNR was actually manufactured.  The original was sold at an auction in 2012 for $935,000.

#17. Toyota EX-III – 1969

#17. Toyota EX-III – 1969

Three versions of the EX were presented at the 1969 Toyota Motor Show. Toyota EX-III unfortunately didn’t grab too much attention, despite the fact that it was more aerodynamic than the other two versions of this car.

#16. Buick Centurion – 1956

#16. Buick Centurion – 1956

As you’ve probably noticed yourself, Buick was a very creative company back in the 1950s, designing a bunch of concept cars. The problem with making a lot of prototypes is that you just can’t put all of them in production. One of the concept cars that never made it was the 1956 Centurion, which was first presented to the public at the GM Motorama Show. The car was vanguard at least, with features like rear view cameras for example.

#15. BMW LOVOS – 2009

#15. BMW LOVOS – 2009

LOVOS stands for Lifestyle of Voluntary Simplicity, which is the name given by BMW to this concept car. It was designed as a roadster covered with solar panels and presented to the general public in 2009, at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main.

#14. Bisiluro Damolnar – 1955

#14. Bisiluro Damolnar – 1955

Winning Le Mans was the goal of Italian car designers Carlo Mollino and Enrico Nardi, who in 1955 came up with an idea for an ultra-light aerodynamic race car. They named it Bisiluro Damolnar that means “twin torpedo”, which is what this car’s design resemble. Although it never went into mass production, the original was tested on the track. Apparently, it was able to reach a top speed of 215MPH!

#13. Ford GT90 – 1995

#13. Ford GT90 – 1995

This concept car was manufactured by a small team of engineers at Ford in 1995 in less than 6 months. They mostly used materials like carbon fiber and aluminum in order to make it light enough to enable its quad-turbocharged V12 to produce a top speed of 255MPH.

#12. Peugeot Egochine – 2012

#12. Peugeot Egochine – 2012

Paolo De Giusti is the man behind the Peugeot’s concept car named Egochine. According to the designer himself, the goal was to create a functional mixture of retro and futuristic designs. Four years have already passed and it seems the retro-futuristic car is not going to come alive.

#11. Volkswagen W12 Coupe – 1997

#11. Volkswagen W12 Coupe – 1997

Volkswagen isn’t well known for making coupe cars. In fact, in the mid-1990s, they started to realize that themselves. VW’s CEO at the time, Ferdinand Piech personally requested development of a supercar. Italdesign team came up with an idea for a coupe that would feature a 12-cylinder W engine, positioned in the middle. In 1997, first such car was constructed. The W12 debuted at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show. Two other concept supercars followed in 1998 and 2001, named Roadster and Nardo, respectively.

#10. BMW GINA – 2001

#10. BMW GINA – 2001

Apart from looking amazing, there’s one more fact that makes BMW GINA stand out from the crowd. The material used for this car is modified Spandex, which is resistant to water and much more durable than other materials used in the automobile industry.

#9. Ford X2000 – 1958

#9. Ford X2000 – 1958

Famous car fabricator, Andy Saunders discovered the concept of Ford X2000 in a book and decided to bring it to life. He spent 3,500 hours on the car’s construction before finally completing it in 1996. It looks like his efforts paid off as the car became an instant celebrity and appeared in many TV shows and commercials since.

#8. Alfa Romeo Caimano – 1971

#8. Alfa Romeo Caimano – 1971

The man who is responsible for designing this Alfa Romeo concept car also brought to life a number of cars made by other manufacturers, most notably BMW, Audi, Mazda, and Toyota. Still, the car for which we will remember Giorgetto Giugiaro is DMC-12 DeLorean, featured in the Back to the Future movie.

#7. Ford Gyron – 1954

#7. Ford Gyron – 1954

Described as “visual futurist”, Sydney Mead is an American artist, who in 1954, came up with the design for a two-wheeled gyrocar. Being beyond avant-garde, this concept car never went into mass production. Its designer turned to other arts, eventually doing the artwork for sci-fi movies Blade Runner and Tron.

#6. Alfa Romeo BAT 5 – 1953

#6. Alfa Romeo BAT 5 – 1953

When they started designing the BAT 5, Alpha Romeo designers wanted to produce a low drag coefficient. Although they succeeded in that, the company management decided not to produce this car model.

#5. Vauxhall SRV – 1970

#5. Vauxhall SRV – 1970

This car’s looks suggest that it’s a sporty two-seater, but in fact, it was a four-door car. Wayne Cherry from GM was the man behind the design, but quickly after the concept car was presented to the public, he went on working on other projects.

#4. Citroen GT – 2008

#4. Citroen GT – 2008

Citroen and Japanese racing simulation company, Polyphony Digital, joined forces in creating this concept car. When Citroen GT premiered in 2008, everyone expected to see its production commencing soon. However, 8 years have passed since and apart from being able to download it in Gran Turismo 5, people can’t enjoy driving it.

#3. Mazda Nagare – 2006

#3. Mazda Nagare – 2006

Inspired by nature, Mazda developed a concept car in 2006 and premiered it at the Los Angeles Auto Show. We assume its engine was hydrogen-fueled, although the Japanese company never confirmed it as they gave up on its production soon enough.

#2. General Motors Firebird III – 1958

#2. General Motors Firebird III – 1958

Once again, Harley Earl’s design made it into our list. This time, the case is about Firebird III, a concept car that debuted at the 1958 GM Motorama, alongside three other prototypes designed by the same person. Although neither of the Firebirds made it, Harley Earl’s career was a rather successful one – he was one of the people involved in designing the Corvette.

#1. Ferrari 512S Modulo – 1970

#1. Ferrari 512S Modulo – 1970

For the design of this concept car, Ferrari let Pinnifarina do the whole work. The car premiered at the Geneva Motor Show in 1970 and was met with a high acclaim. In fact, both the public and the car critics were impressed with its futuristic design. The problem was, its design was too futuristic apparently, so the Modulo never became a mass-produced car.

In all honesty, Modulo’s design truly was ahead of its time – we thought it was a car model from the mid-1980s. Today, there’s only one Modulo in the world, owned by a famous car collector, James Glickenhaus. He is putting an effort to restore this beast to its original condition, making it capable of producing a top speed of 200 MPH and to accelerate from zero to sixty in just over 3 seconds.

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Meet Morakhiya
About Meet Morakhiya

I'm an all around content creator and technologist. After more than two years as an engineer in the auto industry I switched to writing about the industry. As a journalist, product communications writer and now industry analyst, I've covered the state of the business and technology and where it's going in the future.

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