Concept cars have always been designed to define new concepts of use or to explore – sometimes exceeding – the limits of technique without paying too much attention to the restrictions of the current production standards. Concept cars have been useful in marking out the evolution of styling with an eye on the near future, but also in testing the reactions of the general public and industry insiders to unprecedented stylistic courses. They have been the answer to the crucial question of every car manufacturer, namely whether or not to give the green light to a mass-produced commercial product.
Concept cars have played, and are still playing, the role of advanced technological creations, putting the spotlight on stylistic-constructive paradigms which have been often implemented in the production phase and in our cars – or those we would like to drive – every day. Generally, these prototypes explore multiple areas of function, such as safety, fuel consumption, ergonomics, aerodynamics or usage. In other cases, they are limited to styling, embracing variations on the theme and investigating lines or details that will be adopted in the brand’s future visual language.
Concept cars rarely reach mass production, at least in their original form. In some cases, they are intended to remain a mere exercise in style. In others, they serve as a starting model for the implementation of the new entry in the price list, with all the required adjustments to achieve good results in terms of customer satisfaction, but above all capable of serving the planned budgets and obtaining approval for public roads.
Concept cars have been ahead of their time to a greater or lesser extent and are an extremely heterogeneous aesthetic unicum that we have decided to present here by selecting the ten most advanced and original cars of their time.