- Concept cars allow auto companies to lay out their vision for the future.
- While the specs and features assigned to these vehicles may be far-fetched and somewhat arbitrary, their basic features can point toward where auto companies are spending their research and development money.
- Autonomy and electrification were two of the biggest themes that characterized many of this year’s concept cars.
- BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche released some of 2018’s coolest concept cars.
Concept cars allow auto companies to lay out their vision for the future. While the specs and features assigned to these vehicles may be far-fetched and somewhat arbitrary, their basic features can point toward where auto companies are spending their research and development money.
Taken together, the concept cars released in a given year can serve as a preview of where the auto industry is headed or as an opportunity to show off ideas that may never be commercially viable or technologically feasible.
Autonomy and electrification were two of the biggest themes that characterized many of this year’s concept cars. Some concept cars didn’t have steering wheels or traditional front and back seats, allowing them to imagine seating arrangements where passengers might face each other or lie down and sleep on a full-sized bed. Businesses could use these speculative, driverless vehicles to deliver food or packages.
Other concept cars embodied the auto industry’s past and present, appealing to fans of gas-powered SUVs, pickup trucks, and sports cars.
Unconventional styling is also a feature common to many concept cars, as designers take the opportunity to test out exterior and interior designs that may never actually get used in production cars.
These are the 31 coolest concept cars of 2018.
BMW Vision iNext
Highlights: autonomous driving technology, a projector that can show images or videos on objects held by passengers, a touch control feature that allows drivers and passengers to change vehicle settings by drawing on their seats with their fingers
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Cargo
Highlights: solar roof, Level-4 autonomy, over 340 miles of range
Highlights: Level-4 autonomy, up to a 325-mile range
Highlights: individually-adjustable seats, gesture control features, 49-inch touchscreen
Audi E-Tron GT
Highlights: 248 miles of range, 590 horsepower, 0-60 mph in about 3.5 seconds
Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion
Highlights: Level-5 autonomy, 302 horsepower, 413-mile range
Highlights: over 249 miles of range, ability to charge in 30 minutes using a 150 kW charger
Infiniti Q Inspiration
Highlights: variable compression ratio engine, touchscreens for each passenger
Infiniti Prototype 10
Highlights: single seat, electrified powertrain
Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
Highlights: 355 horsepower, 266 pound-feet of torque
Lexus LF-1 Limitless
Highlights: motion-activated controls, autonomous driving technology
Lexus LC 500 Inspiration
Highlights: 471 horsepower, 5.0 liter V8 engine
Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak
Highlights: 276 horsepower, 266 pound-feet of torque
Highlights: 0-60 mph in three seconds, multiple motors
Highlights: autonomous driving technology, customizable interior
Hyundai Le Fil Rogue
Highlights: ergonomically-optimized driver’s seat, large touchscreen
BMW M8 Gran Coupe
Highlights: light-alloy wheels
Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo
Highlights: over 600 horsepower, around 250 miles of range
Porsche 911 Speedster
Highlights: over 500 horsepower, six-speed manual transmission
Aston Martin Lagonda Vision
Highlights: Level-4 autonomy, rear-hinged back doors
Mercedes-Benz Vision EQ Silver Arrow
Highlights: 738 horsepower, over 250 miles of range
Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic
Highlights: customizable platform, autonomous driving technology
Highlights: Level-4 autonomy
Highlights: Level-4 autonomy, swiveling seat
Highlights: autonomous driving technology, four-wheel steering
Highlights: digital mirror, gesture control
Highlights: 2.0-liter, I-4 turbocharged engine, eight-speed automatic transmission
Highlights: 6.4 liter V-8 engine, six-speed manual transmission
Highlights: augmented reality heads-up display, 370-mile range
Audi PB 18 e-tron
Highlights: 310-mile range, 612 pound-feet of torque
Highlights: autonomous driving technology