Concept cars are futuristic and beautiful. They showcase new engineering and design and are meant for assessing customer interest that helps to decide whether they can be mass produced or not. It is also true that many of present day cars or their features, including hybrid-electric ones, were concepts at first. But concept cars cannot go straight for production. They need to meet practicality, compatibility, cost, safety and norms before finalizing the design for production. Car makers make production bound cars. Some concept cars are actually launched; like few years ago Porsche made headlines in Geneva motor show with its Mission E concept car – fast, superbly powered, long range electric car – this later manifested in the form of Taycan in 2019. However, many concept cars rarely happen beyond auto show displays too. You can’t predict the future but permitting designers to play with their imagination for a better tomorrow can be helpful.
How they are designed – These vehicles are extreme in structure and engine. Usually expensive and outlandish materials like carbon fibre, paper or polished alloys are used in some concept cars. Many have exclusive designs like more than four wheels, fascinating doors or special features not seen in normal cars. Mostly, concept cars don’t meet functionality and are not of required shape. That’s the reason they are exhibited in locations where motor enthusiasts can only see from a distance and not go closer to check under the hood. Also, if needed, they are pulled by borrowed engines from suitable existing car. In reality, concept cars are formulated to be envisioned by the manufacturer after researching the market trends and consumer expectations. After this cumbersome process, the concept car is designed and outlined by being shaped on computer and then a real model appears which is later restructured and revamped as per consumer’s response. It is a long term process, comprising years of market research, technological evolution, constant design enrichment, till it captures the heart and is launched to conquer the market.
Why they are developed – Concept cars are made with the future in mind. They are experiments with innovative technologies imagined for the future.It may so happen that concept cars may not enter the consumer arena at all, but they do become an inspiration for real cars that come to the market, bearing some of their characteristics. Automakers experiment with concept cars – to showcase new-age technology, where car makers transform their imaginations to reality by engineering a concept model and gauge consumer’s reaction. With these kind of makes, auto enthusiasts remain informed about what more to expect in future. Here is a summary of the reasons.
- To test viability, where probable consumer preference can help the manufacturer in refining the product before launch
- To help car makers in trying and testing different technologies planned to be used in future
- To become source of publicity for the manufacturer in auto show appearances
- To inspire, by allowing makers to explore ideas that could ultimately create history for the automotive industry