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Car companies are always looking for new ways to improve their designs and engineering. The world of car design is incredibly competitive because of it, and you only need to take a quick look at the concept cars that are unveiled at auto industry shows to see that.
A concept car is a car that engineers design—often without limitations placed on them by the car companies. They are often the basis of car designs that make it later on, albeit, typically with minor tweaks.
Some, though, are designed just so that car companies can flex their engineering muscle. Those are often the cars that we wish could have hit the market, but never do.
Though these never really got to see the light of day in production, the following concepts still remain pretty darned near despite all the years that have gone by.
1985 Ford Probe V
The 80s were a great time to be designing futuristic concept cars, and one of the coolest had to be the Ford Probe V that was displayed in 1985. As CDN points out, this car was both aesthetic and one of the most aerodynamic concept designs to be made.
It also looks like it's hovering thanks to concealed tires, and had doors that operated without handles—and a nearly entirely clear roof. (Okay, so there was that one strip, still looked amazing.)
This car eventually was transformed into what we know as the Ford Probe, sure, but we can't help but feel the design was downgraded in the process.
1971 Alfa Romeo Caimano
Though this car looks like it belonged in a sci-fi film, it actually was an experimental design that Alfa Romeo came up with during the earliest part of the 70s.
The top-opening design of the boxy concept car known as the Alfa Romeo Caimano had all the charm and futuristic appeal of the vehicles of Star Wars. Though it premiered at Turin with a lot of applause, it's alleged 86 horsepower meant that it was left in the dust when it came to choosing a production line.
Horsepower be damned, we'd still buy that car—if only to satisfy our inner geek and pretend to be driving through a different planet.
1970 Ferrari 512S
Sporty? Yes, and maybe a bit more akin to a UFO than anything else, really. It's one of the strangest car designs ever created for that reason, but the truth is that it really does stand out in a beautiful way.
When it was presented at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, the 512S definitely turned heads. With a maximum horsepower of 550 and a seriously sleek design, we really don't understand why this wasn't one of the concept cars that ended up being made into a production line.
It had power, style, and class. What more could you really want in a concept?!
2012 Acura NSX Roadster
If you though this was going to be a long list of retro concept cars, think again. This concept car was for a beautiful coupe roadster that Acura was debating producing in the earlier part of the decade. Considering how few convertibles are out there, the NSX Roadster was definitely a needed car.
It looks like it would have been amazing to drive and would have really set itself apart from every other car on the market by looks alone. It was very badass, and maybe that's why it was unveiled at the 2012 Avengers movie premiere!
Yes, this is one of the coolest concept cars from movies in recent years. It's that awesome.
1997 Alfa Romeo Scighera
Yes, it looks like it's supposed to star in the latest Transformers movie, but believe it or not, this Alfa Romeo was invented in the late 90s. The Scighera was designed to make a serious entrance and combine that with some serious speed.
A fully carbon-composite body, four seats, and 400 horsepower made this a truly one of a kind concept that we honestly wish we could see in production on a very large scale. It's safe to say the Scighera would have had a lot of clout among sports car fiends.
What makes this car so tragic, though, was the fact that it's one of the most forgotten concept cars in recent years—despite serious potential being there.
2005 Ford SYNus
Sports cars aren't the only concept cars we wouldn't mind seeing on the road. The 2005 Ford SYNus showed that North American cars still have flair with the car's unique interior lights, backseat arrangement, and boxy feel.
Seriously, though, it just looks so unique, it would have been amazing to see in person—sports car or not. This particular car was made to maximize safety features, so it would have been a very good choice for families who worried about car safety.
Multiple auto shows, though, revealed that there wasn't quite enough executive interest for this concept vehicle to bring it to life. (We want a recount!)
2007 Lotus Hot Wheels
Yes, Lotus named one of their concept cars after the childhood toy you probably played with as a kid. Yes, our inner kid just screamed with joy seeing that they made this into a legitimately drivable car. Oh, and yes, they had a series of Hot Wheels collectibles based on the concept car.
We want the toys and the car. Give them to us, please!
2013 Nissan Mixim
Perhaps one of the only cars to be based on a computer game with gamers in mind, the Nissan Mixim's controls were based on the similar controls you'd see in a typical computer game. The driver would sit in the center seat, with two other passengers on either side.
Though the maneuvering would be awkward at first, Nissan showed that the very futuristic concept really could look amazing. It also boasted the perk of being an EV option... and that would have been fun to see for Mother Earth's sake.
2016 Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100-103EX
One big issue that Rolls-Royce has is that their cars never really seem to age much or change in terms of exterior design. They still look like a Rolls-Royce. That's why the 103EX is one of our favorite concept cars of recent years.
It changes things up, especially when it comes to the wheels and body kit. It's basically a car that looks like a Rolls-Royce, but evolved to the point that it'd look comfy in the 22nd century.
2017 Mitsubishi Emirai 4
In a world where electronic vehicles and compact cars are becoming more popular than ever before, it's easy to see where this smart car would fit in well in city worlds. The Emirai 4 is one of the only concept cars from Mitsubishi to really have that cool futuristic style—and a lot of utility, too.
The Emirai has augmented reality displays, and could potentially also has the option of autonomous driving. It even can sense the driver's head to see if the driver may be distracted or intoxicated.
Yeah, this would be an amazing commuter car, especially with its nice convertible build. In our opinion, it'd also be one of the most beautiful cars of 2017, too.