Top 10 Best Concept Cars of 2016

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Automakers love to stun and surprise with radical concept cars, and this year was no different.

As 2016 comes to an end, takes a look back at the best concept cars that debuted this year. Some are so wild that they likely will never see production, while others preview a future model that will be seen roaming the streets in the coming years.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best Car Debuts of 2016

10. Volkswagen I.D. Concept

Trying to turn over a new leaf following its massive diesel scandal, Volkswagen is placing an emphasis on electrification for its future. The German automaker previewed that future with the I.D. Concept, powered by an electric motor with 167 horsepower. Volkswagen has set a goal of selling 25 million electric vehicles by 2025, and you can expect to see a production version of the I.D. Concept by 2020. The company estimates it will deliver between 248 and 372 miles of all-electric range.

Learn more: Volkswagen I.D. Concept Promises up to 370 Miles of All-Electric Range

9. Lincoln Navigator Concept

Lincoln is working on a next-generation full-size SUV and previewed the model with the Navigator Concept earlier this year. Drawing inspiration from luxury sailboats and yachts, the Lincoln Navigator Concept was big and bold, powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with more than 400 hp. Along with its attractive and sleek styling, the Navigator Concept made headlines with its gullwing doors, like what you’d find on an exotic sports car.

Learn more: 2018 Lincoln Navigator Concept an Outrageous SUV with Supercar Doors

8. Subaru Viziv-7 Concept

Like many other automakers, Subaru is looking to strengthen its presence in the crossover and SUV segment. At the 2016 L.A. Auto Show, the Japanese automaker rolled out the Viziv-7 Concept, its largest concept ever. The model previews an upcoming seven-seat SUV that will serve as a replacement for the brand’s Tribeca. Unfortunately, Subaru cautioned that the concept doesn’t preview how the Tribeca’s replacement will look, but rather how large it will be when it hits the market. In other words, the company is trying to keep expectations low after disappointing so many with their wild concepts that looked nothing like their conservative production models.

Learn more: Subaru Unveils Its Biggest Concept Ever to Preview Upcoming 7-Seat SUV

7. Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Concept

Mercedes is trying to get serious with its Maybach luxury nameplate, unveiling the ultra-luxurious Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Concept during 2016 Monterey Car Week. Measuring 18.5 feet long and nearly seven feet wide, the concept is designed as an electric car boasting 738 hp and more than 200 miles of range. Inside, things get futuristic with an entire windshield serving as a head-up/augmented reality display controlled by gestures.

Learn more: Mercedes-Maybach Reveals Outrageous Electric Ultra-Luxury Coupe with Gullwings

6. Cadillac Escala Concept

Earlier this year, Cadillac gave a preview of the next evolution of Cadillac design with the Escala Concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The American automaker said the Escala Concept is designed to be both a driver’s car and an indulgent flagship sedan, with the large four-door concept boasting an expansive liftback design. It measures roughly six inches longer than the CT6 with its overall length of 210.5 inches. The concept also gives us a look at new technical concepts that are in development for future Cadillac models.

Learn more: Cadillac Escala Concept Previews the Future of American Luxury

5. Buick Avista Concept

After making a surprise debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, the Buick Avista Concept went on to become one of the most interesting debuts of the year. All year, there were rumors that it would be produced, then it would flip back to just being a concept and nothing more, and people haven’t been this excited about a Buick in a very long time. Regardless, the 2+2 coupe features a stunning design and is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with 400 hp.

Learn more: The Buick Avista Concept is Half Camaro, Half ATS and Completely Stunning

4. Hyundai RN30 Concept

Hyundai is getting serious about performance and the Korean automaker proved that with the RN30 Concept. The wild-looking hatch debuted at the 2016 Paris Motor Show powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 380 hp and 330 pound-feet of torque. Based on the existing i30 hatch, the RN30 has been tested and developed at the Nurburgring. Hyundai promises it will sound really aggressive and that its low center of gravity and lightweight construction will provide a thrilling drive. Look for the production Hyundai i30N to make its debut sometime next year.

Learn more: Wild Hyundai RN30 Concept Debuts Previewing N Performance Brand

3. BMW 2002 Hommage Concept

The BMW 2002 Hommage Concept first made its debut in May at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, winning over BMW enthusiasts worldwide. The German automaker followed up on the concept by giving it a fresh two-tone color scheme just in time for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Paying tribute to the BMW 2002 Turbo, the 2002 Hommage Concept is just another example of a brilliant BMW model that will likely never see production, making car enthusiasts really sad.

Learn more: BMW 2002 Hommage Looks Even Better in Orange and Black

2. Jaguar I-Pace Concept

The crossover segment has become one of the hottest in recent years, and now electric vehicles are having a moment in the spotlight. So what better time than now to produce an all-electric crossover that actually looks stylish? The Jaguar I-Pace Concept made a surprising debut at the 2016 L.A. Auto Show, seemingly coming out of nowhere. What makes the Jaguar I-Pace concept so exciting is that it doesn’t resemble other electric vehicles available today. But there’s something about the I-Pace that makes it so satisfying to look at, especially if it delivers the same 400 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque found in the concept. The British automaker is expected to show off a production version late next year.

Learn more: Jaguar I-Pace Debuts as an All-Electric Crossover Concept That Actually Looks Cool

1. Acura Precision Concept

Now that the Acura NSX has finally arrived, the Japanese automaker is focusing on the rest of its lineup. Kicking off the year at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, Acura rolled out the Precision Concept, previewing how the brand’s design may look in the future. The four-door concept features a low and wide stance and deeply sculpted rear fenders, while up front are “Jewel Constellation” LED headlights and a new Diamond Pentagon grille that will likely be seen on future Acura models. At the time of its debut, the company’s global creative director, Dave Marek, confirmed the Precision Concept isn’t just a design study, but something that will shape the look of all future Acura products.

Learn more: Acura Precision Concept Looks Even Hotter Than the NSX

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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 1 comment
  • Oli Oli on Dec 28, 2016

    Are you kidding? You open the article with the Lexus UX concept picture and it's not on the list... it's a joke.