Concept cars come and go and some are more memorable than others.
Each year, dozens of concept cars make their debut at auto shows around the world to never be seen again, a shame considering how great some of these cars look.
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So as we sit in a major lull between major auto shows, AutoGuide.com decided to take a look at the top five recent concept cars that we really hope make their way to production.
5. Buick Avenir Concept
The Buick Avenir concept made a surprise debut earlier this year prior to the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The stunning concept car is being billed as a design exercise for the luxury automaker, potentially previewing what a future Buick flagship model would look like.
What it really symbolizes is that Buick is no longer an “old man’s car,” nor will the American automaker sit around and endure having its cars being called a poor man’s Cadillac. The majority of the concept appears production-ready, including its next-generation V6 engine paired to a new nine-speed automatic transmission. If it does end up being produced, hopefully Buick sticks to the concept’s overall design and style, staying away from the massive toning down other automakers do when pushing concepts to production.
4. Toyota FT-1 Concept
Toyota kicked off 2014 in style, unleashing the FT-1 concept and it’s alright if you believe it should be higher on the list. We had a pretty tough time ranking these concept cars and if there was some sort of point scale, let’s just say they’d be marginally different at best.
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Regardless, the Toyota FT-1 concept previews the successor to the popular Supra and if the automaker carries over even 80 percent of the concept’s design to production, it’ll have a clear winner. Before the year was over, Toyota showed off another FT-1 concept finished in a classy grey rather than a racy red, though we’d take one even if it was white with green polka dots. Typically concept cars are shown so an automaker can gauge interest and we’d find it hard to believe that Toyota had a single person say no to the FT-1.
3. Audi Prologue Concept
Late last year at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi previewed the styling of its future models with the stunning Prologue concept. The reason why it’s higher on the list than the Toyota FT-1 is because Audi has already translated some of the Prologue concept to production vehicles.
But what we’re really hoping for is that the A9 becomes a reality, with Audi competing directly with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe with a stylish and sporty luxury coupe. Just imagine the performance and driving dynamics of an R8 in a package that looks as stunning and subdued as the Prologue concept. Instead of screaming “look at me!” like the R8 does, the Prologue is more of “a smile and tip your hat” sort of car.
2. Honda Civic Si Concept
If there’s one thing Honda desperately needs to do, it’s to make the Civic a true contender in the sports car space. Looking back to the early 1990s when tuners embraced the Honda Civic like it was the best thing since sliced bread, the model has really fallen off the radar and has been relegated to economy, compact car status.
It looks like that is set to change thanks to the Honda Civic concept that debuted at this year’s New York Auto Show. The Japanese automaker also announced that a Civic Type R will head to the U.S. …eventually. We ranked the Civic concept high up on this list because we’re really hoping that Honda won’t change a thing with what they previewed in New York earlier this year. Well, we could do with some less atrocious wheels and maybe a more subtle spoiler, but who are we kidding. There shouldn’t be much more of a wait to see what Honda decides to do with its next-generation Civic and let’s hope it’s closer to the concept than not.
1. Nissan Vision 2020 Concept
You didn’t think we’d possibly have a list of the best concept cars without one made for the Vision Gran Turismo program did you? There’s crazy futuristic concepts like the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X or more realistic ones like the Volkswagen GTI Supersport, but our nod has to go to the Nissan 2020 Vision GT concept. Why? Because it’s a realistic preview of the next-generation GT-R with the automaker saying that the concept is “a vision of what a high performance Nissan could look like in the future.”
Yeah, we have no gripes with that and considering how highly successful the current R35 GT-R has become on and off the race track, we can only imagine how wild the R36 GT-R will be, especially since Nissan has a lot to live up to. And if it looks as outrageous as the Vision 2020 concept? That’s alright too, because the crazier supercars go, the better – just look at the Lamborghini Veneno.