Concept Cars: The dreams that never came true
It was back in the year 2000 when I was playing Need for Speed II, a famous car simulation game where Ford GT90 made its first appearance. I had selected the Mystic Peaks track to race the GT90 against Ferrari’s and McLarens. And boy, the car was fun to drive in the game and it meant the world to me. Little did I know that it was a concept car, which would never make it to the real world because of manufacturing or cost issues. However, it had already imprinted my heart with its flawless design and meaty engine. So, let us dedicate a post to all those concept cars that evolved in the drawing room but never made it to the showroom.
I have a list that dates back to the sixties and yet cover some of the recent prototypes that have the capability to change the automobile landscape. We are talking about those monstrous curves that were quite famous in the United States and about those sleek flat designs, which the Italians and Germans were obsessed. How can we forget the Japs? They had their share too, Japs have designed some of the best-looking cars till date and to prove this we have the Lexus LFA which is was fast like their legendary bullet train.
To start my concept cars list, heading over to Ford GT90
Ford GT 90
Launched at the 1995 NAIAS (North American International Auto Show) in Detroit, Michigan, Ford spent around $3million in six months to create this beauty. A hefty V12 sat on the aluminum honeycomb monocoque which throttled the car to 253mph (407km/h) speeds over three seconds. That is like the grandpa of Bugatti Veyron back in the nineties, insanely fast. Image: Dupont Registry.
Lamborghini Concept S
It was fast and you could actually blow a balloon of your chewing gum without opening your mouth. Yes, make way for the Lamborghini Concept S that was based on the Gallardo having an open roadster body which was exclusively design by Luc Donckerwolke. The Concept S made its presence at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show where it failed to cut the mustard. The cheeky looking Gallardo looked futuristic but lacked practicality eventually failing production parameters, and that is when Lamborghini decided to keep it as a styling exercise. Image: Carscoops.
The Onyx has the killer instinct in its DNA, and if you ask, it can kill someone by just revving loud. Its fire-breathing engine churns out 600bhp to the crank and it weighs only 1,100 kilos, which makes it fast as a heat-seeking missile on tarmac. However, it takes full thirty minutes to be drive ready, something your wallet may not afford. Image: Carbase
Incoming Japs, the Furai was unveiled on 27 December 2007, and it makes me remember die-cast cars created by Hotwheels. Mazda’s big brains came out with this awesome set of wheels which required E100 Ethanol fuel. The Furai witnessed a tragic end at one of the road tests conducted by Top Gear in 2008. For some reason the Furai caught fire and Driver Mark Ticehurst had to abandon before the heat increased, before the crew reached the accident spot Furai was completely engulfed in flames. Image: Pinterest
Maserati Birdcage 75th
The Maserati Birdcage 75th was an amazing concept in 2005, designed by Pininfarina, it was a tribute to its existence of glorious 75 years. Built on the same carbon fibre chassis used by Maserati MC12 GT1 race car, it had a Ferrari-Maserati six-litre F140 V12 engine straight from the MC12 and the Enzo. Delivering around 700 brake horsepower, the Birdcage 75th was unstoppable. Images: fabwheeldigest
Ferrari 512S Modulo
The Ferrari 512S Modulo was designed by Paolo Martin back in 1970, it looked like a mini spaceship or a flat tiffin box on wheels. However, the Modulo developed 550hp and delivered a top whack of 220mph (350km/h) speeds in no time. In 2014, Pininfarina sold the concept to James Glickenhaus who is now restoring the car back to its original design. OldConceptcars
GM Le Sabre
Built in 1951, the General Motors Le Sabre was a legend to be followed by cars of new era. Aircraft inspired design, Harley Earl, Art Department Head, ensured to infuse his experience in creating this car. The body of the car was made from a composite of aluminium, magnesium and fibreglass, all materials that are used in an aircraft body. Inside the hood sat a 3.5-litre V8 which had a jet intake and front bumper dagmars. Image: Hemmings
It was a secret project and a direct competitor to Ferrari. However, blokes at BMW could not position the car where it had direct competitors and it carried misconceptions of having a McLaren F1 engine under the hood. BMW later announced the prototype to be unstable for road/track use, which put a complete stop to its journey. Powering the M8 was a 500bhp engine but was locked away in the company’s Giftschrank (Poison Storage) where other BMW concept cars are stored. Image: BMWblog
Considered as the maddest concept car ever produced in the sixties and seventies, the C111 looked like an alien ship which had popping headlights. Beneath the hood was a 230bhp diesel which managed excessive speeds of 200mph. In addition, it had a 500bhp V8 version as well which could hit 250mph speeds back in 1979. Image: Modular4
Carbon fibre, Kevlar and aluminium components made the Aztec a lightweight car. The best part about the Aztec was its cockpit, yep; if you happened to talk to your co-passenger, you would have to use the intercom system. In addition, it had an Audi five cylinder engine with a four-wheel drive that produced 250bhp of power.
When I look back, I see these ferociously designed concept cars which could have gone off the drawing board and into production. Out of these cars, I really don’t care that some of them didn’t make it to the streets. However, I wouldn’t have minded specifically seeing the Ford GT90 roll down every now and then in its proper production ready avatar.