The thoughts of Chris Gurton on motorsport, his photography, his work and his life in general. The thoughts, views and opinion's expressed in this blog are those of Chris Gurton and not necessarily those of any publication that he contributes to.

Why Do Concept Cars Remain As Concept Cars?

Go to any major motor show in the world and you can be sure to see a number of things; smiling long-legged women in sponsored clothing, hi-tech lighting and white plinths, and of course a smattering of eccentric and eye-catching concept cars. But why do so many of these unique designs – the concept cars, not the ladies – fail to make that next step, from concept to production?

The name is a bit of a give-away admittedly; concept cars are for the main ideas on four wheels. They are designed and produced to demonstrate a new approach, to test out new technology, or often just simply to get the press flashbulbs going and ensure people are talking about that particular manufacturer.

Some concept cars, such as the Audi Nanuk Quattro showcased in Frankfurt this year, are relatively subtle, designed to explore a slight tweak in set-up, others however are much more extreme, and offer a significant challenge to insurance firms, even short term car insurance company. In 2011 Toyota unveiled the Fun-vii in Tokyo which was described by the company’s President Akio Toyoda as a smart-phone on wheels, albeit one that looked like an oversized computer mouse gone rogue.

The Audi Nanuk Quattro Concept

The Audi Nanuk Quattro Concept

The interior colour scheme of the Fun-vii could be changed and altered to suit your mood, whilst the exterior of the car was in effect a huge display screen able to show any image or message. The Fun-vii was even designed to be capable of driving itself; try taking out temporary car insurance for a test drive in that?

It sounds outlandish, but it could be argued that the Fun-vii was just ahead of its time, especially as Toyota have form when it comes to pioneering new technology way ahead of the curve. At the Tokyo Motor Show in 1975 Toyota demonstrated a hybrid-electric concept car, and though it may not have taken off back then, come 1993, this technology had been refined enough to launch the Prius, a dream car for owners seeking low one day car insurance on the Asian and American markets.

Toyota's bizarre fun-vii

Toyota’s bizarre fun-vii

Some vehicles will only ever be destined to be concepts, and if you want to pick out which then elaborate angular bodywork or lots of glass and chrome should give you an early heads up. However, as the industry moves onwards into newer technology, the chances of concept cars becoming production cars do seem to be increasing.


One response

  1. Wonderful read. Very good points, well-made. I do believe your are spot on.

    March 3, 2014 at 8:05 pm

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