Car designers are a creative bunch! But making the imaginary a reality is not always possible, often for practical reasons. Science can’t always bring to life a dream machine an ambitious designer draws on paper. Most concept cars just epitomize a vision of the future.
Take Phantom Corsair (1938), Alfa Romeo BAT 5 (1953), or Lincoln Futura (1955), for instance. These concepts have never made it to production and now rest in the annals of the automobile history.
But, there are also plenty of cars that most people thought would never make it to an assembly line. Boy, were they wrong! Join us as we take a glance at some models that have challenged the status quo and became part of the automobile landscape.
Porsche 918 Spyder
In 2010, at the 80th Geneva Motor Show, the German automaker presented its first sports hybrid – Porsche 918 Spyder. The supercar was packed with high-tech innovations and features. But with its out-of-this-world look, the concept didn’t quite look like it belonged in the streets. Despite the interest it stirred, we didn’t think it was likely to become a reality.
But three years later, in 2013, to everyone’s surprise, and delight, a production version of the car was revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show. With a top speed of 340 km/h (210 mph), the limited edition beast is the quickest, fastest, and the most outrageous performance car Porsche produced. It was most successful among US enthusiasts, with 297 units sold. Porsche seized the 918 Spyder production in June 2015.
And speaking of successful cars in the US, – a tad more humble, but not less desirable – Porsche 911. Don’t miss our post about the greatest sports car ever!
Compared to our previous contender, Nissan GT-R’s took twice as much time to go from a concept car to production. The concept was first introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2001. Four years later, at the same show, the creators of GT-R unveiled a new concept version of the supercar.
Slowly but surely, GT-R made it to the assembly line with very few changes in design. “Some of the concept’s blunt edges were toned down, but overall the GT-R remained pretty much the same throughout its long gestation period. Then it emerged and became one of the fastest cars… in the world,” according to an article by Top Gear.
What can we say about this car? Doesn’t it look like a classic, but with a modern twist? Doesn’t it make you feel as if you’ve traveled back in time? A product of collaboration between Henrik Fisker and Scott Lempert, the Z8 was designed to commemorate the legendary 507 – a roadster that made many a Bavarian heart tremble.
The world loved the Z8 concept so much that it had to go into production, which lasted from 1999 to 2003. 5,700 units were produced, and about half of them reached the USA.
When first revealed, most concept cars are a bit exaggerated, to say the least. We wouldn’t say that about Audi TT, though. The production version of this sports car looked almost identical to its concept. It was first introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 1995. Three years later the production version of the car was available for purchase. It looked good and was reasonably priced in its class. More than twenty years later, it’s still one of Audi’s most iconic cars.
So there you have it. The Porsche 918 Spyder, Audi TT, BMW Z8, and Nissan GT-R are just some of the lucky concepts that made it to production. And we are more than glad they did. Are there any concept cars you wish were available for purchase? Like BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R we briefly covered in one of our posts. Share with us in the comments below!