Making the models of tomorrow means car designers can have some fun but don’t expect these prototypes on the road any time soon, says Alvin Thomas.
As the motoring industry continues to evolve, carmakers have been raising the bar and working hard to stand out from the crowd and increase their market share.
However, in recent years, more manufacturers have proven that car making isn’t simply about cramming expensive technology into a lump of metal but is also about integrating elements such as vision, design, passion and practicality into these models.
Still, every now and then (almost always after the success of a particular car), engineers and designers are given a free pass to go gaga with technology and design to produce – what we call – a concept car. This will one day form the foundation for a car that will eventually resemble it but will be toned down for production. Today, we take a look at some of the best concept cars that have graced the red carpets of car shows recently, and have stolen our hearts.
A while ago, we tested the all-new F-Pace. It looked amazing, and it drove like a peach. We were so blown away by it we actually think it is one of the most soulful SUVs ever made. However, come 2018, we may actually see the manufacturer enter the industry with its first-ever battery-electric SUV, the I-Pace. Tesla has been the lone manufacturer of electric-powered SUVs for a while now, and Jaguar’s entry into the scene is most likely to change that. The I-Pace looks just like the F-Pace, albeit with a few changes to the exterior. It also looks a tad more aerodynamic and sporty. If it looks like this in production form then Tesla better up its game real soon. The I-Pace debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show and, as an added treat, Jaguar says the I-Pace will whizz from 0-100kph in a mere four seconds – that’s supercar territory.
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class Concept gives us a preview into the brand’s first pick-up truck. But there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, the X-Class is most likely to be based on the production variant of the Nissan Navara, and that means it probably will not enter the GCC-market. But that won’t stop an enthusiastic few from importing the pick-up truck here. It looks absolutely gorgeous with its flared arches, wide stance and monster-truck tyres. The X-Class should add some luxury to the mid-size segment pick-up lineup, and will most likely adorn the tagline “Powerful adventurer”. Rest assured: this is not your average fleet pick-up truck.
When it comes to expressing itself, Infiniti is a step ahead of most car manufacturers in terms of design. And with its elegant and progressive SUV design, the QX Sport Concept raises the game when it comes to designing truly groundbreaking mid-size crossovers. This concept will most likely take the shape of the now discontinued QX50. This should certainly come as a worry to certain Asian and European manufacturers who have been touting bland designs in their crossover lineup.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: the production-version of the Renault Trezor will not look one bit like this concept car it features at car shows today. But that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the French giant for trying. We’re particularly impressed by its gloriously cartoonish looks and that elongated hood. It has a few party tricks up its sleeve too. For instance, there’s a grid of hexagonal openings – air intakes we’re told – that pop open when needed. The effect is striking if a tad impractical. Another interesting touch is the exterior lighting, which changes to indicate to those around it that it’s in fully-autonomous mode. Expect to see this at your local Renault dealerships – never.