Car manufacturers, like most of us holding down jobs, have to listen to their bosses and design and build cars that help the average consumer . So while they might’ve dreamed of building the next Jaguar E-Type, they end up making sure that the new Volkswagen is aerodynamic enough to give great mileage.
But there is one opportunity that designers and engineers get to make the cars of their dreams and that’s the concept car. A concept car is a one-off released mostly for exhibition purposes only, a way for a company to showcase its capabilities. And while most of these crazy ideas never get into production, here are a few that we really feel should’ve.
1. Lancia Stratos Zero
The Lancia Stratos was one of the most famous and desirable cars that had come out of the Italian carmaker’s workshops. It won the World Rally Championship three years on the trot, cementing Lancia as one of the biggest names in racing. But before we saw the Stratos that we all know and love, there was the Stratos Zero. Just look at that design. The wedge design of the Zero made the regular Stratos look like a family saloon. The history, design and pedigree make this one very desirable car indeed. And in case you’re wondering how you get in, the windscreen pops up.
2. Mini Cooper Rocketman
The original Mini was a delicious pocket of heaven, nipping around corners and becoming an overall loveable scamp. And then the new Minis came along — and they had nothing mini about them. They were giant, heavy and had lost the spirit of the original. Which is why we love the Rocketman, it’s finally a mini Mini and it’s electric powered, which is great for the polar bears.
3. Jaguar C-X75
The C-X75 is a beautiful car. And instead of making this beauty a reality, Jaguar decided to go work on its electric car offerings. After seeing it in action in the Bond movie Spectre we were hoping to see it go onto the production lines. First released in 2010, it was a 900+ bhp hybrid-hypercar before the LaFerrari or the McLaren P1. Sadly because of Jaguar’s financial troubles, it never went into proper production.
4. Alfa Romeo BAT
Any discussion about cars would be left incomplete without the mention of the Alfa Romeo (and most often are). Alfas have a certain beauty and grace about them that most other car manufacturers can’t seem to manage. Take the BAT (Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica) project for instance. These concept cars were made to have very little drag. In fact the 1953 BAT 5 had a drag coefficient that rivalled the cars of today. And their beautiful, futuristic style made them a machine unlike anything the world had seen.
5. Lamborghini Terzo Millennio
This one is just Lamborghini being Lamborghini and seeing how far they can take this thing. Made in partnership with MIT, this car is just bonkers to look at. It’s supposed to be an imagining of how Lamborghini’s cars would look like in the 3rd millennium, hence the name. An electric car like no other, it uses electric super capacitors instead of traditional batteries to give it extra power with fewer drawbacks than other electric cars. Crazy crazy thing!
6. Lincoln Futura
Perhaps the most famous concept car in the world, the Lincoln Futura still looks like it belongs in the future. It was a design completely unique in the 50s and when it hit the TV screens in the 60s as the original Bat-mobile, it became a sensation. People were amazed at the car, it’s strange plastic bubble hood and windscreen, the sleek bonnet and wide grille. While the Futura did very well for Ford and garnered a lot of publicity, it’s a shame we didn’t get to see it come into production.
7. Bugatti 16C Galibier
While Bugatti has always been synonymous with high-performance vehicles, they are also synonymous with luxury. Bringing those two ideas together was the 16C Galibier, a 4 door Bugatti fastback which was meant to devour the Alps in a single chomp. First debuted in 2009, it was thought to be the replacement of the Veyron until the Chiron arrived. In fact it was very close to being a reality. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be.
8. Ferrari 512 S Modulo
We end our list with a car from the same auto show as our first entry. 1970 was the year of the wedge and this beautiful Ferrari 512 S Modulo was designed by the famous design firm Pininfarina. It was fitted with a 550 horsepower, 5.0 litre V12 but didn’t come with a steering wheel. Well, you can’t always get what you want.
So here we are. A trip down what could have been. We can only hope that maybe someday we see one of these beauties on the road.