We asked our editors about all the features from concept cars that they’d like to see make it into production vehicles. Here’s what they had to say.
Every auto show, there’s a dramatic reveal of a brand new concept car. These cars are designed to be provocative, pointing to the future and showcasing the direction of a given brand. But sometimes the ideas never really come to fruition, and we are hoping the following features that we’ve seen on concept cars makes it to the big time.
Jodi Lai, Editor-in-Chief:
“One thing concept cars always have that never makes it to production cars is really sweet interiors. Automakers have been stepping up their interior game, but nothing that makes it into a production car is as pretty and exciting as the interiors in concept cars. From new fabrics and textures to matte finish wood, rose gold and copper details and minimalist layouts, these fashion-forward ideas really make the interiors look welcome and avant-garde.
The interiors, for example, in the Cadillac Escala and most Genesis concepts are stunning and it’s a real shame these designs haven’t made it to production cars yet. I guess the hardest thing is making sure a beautiful interior is also functional, but I might be willing to sacrifice some functionality for some serious aesthetic appeal. I want a car’s interior to look like a showroom from a fancy Scandinavian or mid-century modern furniture store.”
Jonathan Yarkony, Editorial Director:
“I get a little excited about all the latest in-car graphics gizmos, and I look forward to the day when automakers start to make full use of the windshield as a projection area as parts of the driving experience become more and more autonomous. In 2012, Mercedes-Benz brought an interior concept that combined gesture control and projection of communication and navigation information across the entire windshield. I say bring it on.”
Dan Ilika, Road Test Editor:
“Center console that doubles as a sleeping sack.” Either Dan the Millennial hates paying rent or loves camping.
Craig Cole, Detroit Bureau Editor:
“One concept-car ‘feature’ I’d love to see on more production vehicles is the shooting brake body style. Yes, I realize there have been mass-produced versions of these cars, but there are scarcely any on the market today, which is a travesty. Think of shooting brakes as the result of a romantic tryst between a nebbish station wagon and debonair coupe. With a powerful engine, manual transmission and rear-wheel drive platform, one of these vehicles could be the perfect car, providing versatility, arresting design and more driving fun than you could shake a stick-shift at.”
Stephen Elmer, News Editor:
“My gut reaction is to bring up the Jeep Hurricane Concept and demand two V8s in one vehicle, but even I’m not that insane.
No, what I would actually love to see is some take on the clear hood found on the Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner ‘project truck.’ Nissan put this little truck together to gauge the public’s reaction to a diesel engine in its midsize truck and included a concept hood that has a transparent section, allowing you to see right through to the engine.
The trend these days towards plastic covers over engines is frustrating to people who like to appreciate a nice engine, so why not put all that engineering on display?
Supercars have mastered the see-through engine bay, but that’s always on mid-engine models. I want to see a beautiful front-mounted V8 peering back at me from under the hood of the sports car sitting next to me in traffic, or better yet, from the hood directly in front of me as a pilot a car. Plus, like Nissan did, automakers could make interesting designs with the transparent parts.”
Sami Haj-Assaad, Features Editor:
“I always talk to myself in my car. That surely sounds insane, but imagine if our cars could talk back! Automakers have been showing off cars with artificial intelligence (AI) that can not only talk back (hopefully without any snark like that robot in I, Robot) but hopefully provide me with important information while I’m driving. I actually love using voice commands while driving, but if my car can learn what I’m saying and make my trips more engaging or less stressful, I’d enjoy that. If it could tell me a joke or where there’s cheap parking in the city, then even better! Finally, if my car can use its headlights to wink at me, like the Toyota Concept-i, then I’m all set.”