Volvo today announced that it is to unveil a concept car fitted with self-parking technology. Concept cars are a common occurrence in the automotive industry, being a platform to showcase all manner of future developments, from technological features, new design themes and even brand new models.
Like the Volvo V40, some concepts are just currently available cars with cutting edge kit on them, others are more cynical, being a lightly altered version of a forthcoming car, designed simply to get a double round of press coverage.??However, some concepts are quite frankly mad. Free from the legislative and practical design constraints imposed on modern road cars, designers are free to create their wildest imaginings.
?So if you were a tad disappointed that Volvo had to make its self-parking car look so normal, check out our top five coolest concept cars.
Unveiled at the 2008 Paris motor show as a concept for a $230,000 four-door Lamborghini saloon, the Estoque set tongues wagging with what appeared to be an infinitely cooler rival to the four-door Porsche Panamera, which was then being prepared for market launch. There were rumours of hybrid and even diesel power, but alas Lamborghini decided not to put it into production, concentrating instead on their core products: mentalist two-seater supercars.
Perhaps the most exciting concept car to emerge in recent years. Not only was it utterly gorgeous, it featured a hybrid-electric drivetrain powered by gas turbines. Jaguar was all set to launch it, even giving tentative estimates on pricing (around £700,000). However, due to the global economic crisis, the company’s top brass lost their nerve and pulled the plug in 2012. The electric technology exhibited by the C-X75 will instead filter down into future Jaguar road cars.
If the Batman did track days, this is what he would drive. The Furai (meaning ‘sound of the wind’) shocked the world when it was shown off at the 2008 Detroit motor show, being nothing like the sensible-shoes hatchbacks and saloons that Mazda sells around the world. It’s based on the chassis of a Mazda racing car and has even turned a wheel in anger at the Laguna Seca raceway. Any budding gentlemen racers out there will be disappointed to learn that it isn’t available, but Mazda have yet to say never…
The Onyx took pride of place at Peugeot’s home motor show in Paris in 2012, upstaging the highly anticipated 208 GTI. Featuring a mid-mounted V8 engine clothed in copper body panels, it is one of the most radical designs ever to emerge from the French manufacturer’s design studios. While it won’t be going on sale, lucky individuals will be able to sample the Onyx at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it will be taking part in the famous hill climb.
A three-wheeled concept that was very much not what we expected from the straight-laced German brand. Using a punchy 1.6-litre engine and racecar inspired double-wishbone suspension, Volkswagen had originally intended on putting it into production as an open-top weekend car. However, series production would have put the price far out of reach of VW’s core customers, so the project was resigned to concept heaven.