Remembering Iconic Concept Cars, That Came Before Time

Remembering Iconic Concept Cars
Remembering Iconic Concept Cars

Iconic Concept Cars

When designers are allowed to open their minds and think beyond reason and logic, extend the reach of imagination and go crazy with their thoughts and pencils and pens and whatever they have, concepts are born.

Some of the most brilliant concept cars have been decades ahead of their time and sadly, never went beyond the occasional motor show.

Designed and built in order to deliver a better aerodynamic performance than a fighter plane, the Ford Probe was a four- seater concept car with a drag coefficient lower than any production car of modern times. It was styled to appear like it was hovering and named after a rather awkward and uncomfortable medical  procedure.

After a decade of totally crazy concept designs, Ferrari got down to building a car that was as flat as cars could get. In 1970 they achieved what they set out for, except it was near impossible to get inside and attempt to drive it. The Ferrari Modulo, as it was called was beautifully aerodynamic and sadly, required someone with a very light and petite build to be able to fit behind the steering wheel.

The pinnacle of concept design

The Italdesign “Aztec”, as it was called, was an example of how the designers’ imagination would function – boundlessly. Put together using a variety of the most light weight materials like carbon fibre, kevlar and aluminum, the Aztec was the pinnacle of concept design madness. The driver and passenger would sit in two separate cockpits and would surely need an intercom or walkie talkie’s to be able to interact. It was powered by a 250bhp Audi, five cylinder engine. The company never intended to build the Aztec, but a millionaire Japanese gentleman ordered 50 of them. The company built only 18.

One look at  the Ford GT90, and it’ll be quite difficult to believe that it was designed and built more than two decades ago. Powered by a quad turbo V12, it was capable of pumping out 720 bhp and would accelerate to 100 kmph in 3.1 seconds. It would achieve the 100 mph mark in 6.2 seconds  and shoot onward to do an incredibly fast speed of 235 mph – which is supercar terrain even today. The heat signature was extremely high and the car was said to employ ceramic tiles used on space shuttles to keep the exhaust from melting the body panels.

The Corvette Stingray was built to celebrate 50 years of the Stingray model. It has also played an important character called “Sideswipe” in the second part of the Transformers movie franchise. It is a combination of the original style cues from the Stingray DNA and modern design elements like scissor style doors, dark and sinister looking twin tail lamps, night vision on the rear view camera and a hybrid engine.  The car looks so sharp you could cut yourself just by staring at it too long. It was received well and with a lot of enthusiasm, considering the fact that this new age concept comes from a lineage of the 1950’s Corvette.

Enigmatic, nightmarish, blinding…

A few years ago, Japanese auto manufacturer Mazda came up with the Furai, which pretty much blew every automotive enthusiast, designer etc. away. The Furai is a strikingly amazing car to look at and is said to be fast enough for you to leave your face behind if you get to drive it. It’s a functional concept prototype and to say the least, is a Porsche’s nightmare – as is evident by the test track video on Youtube. The Blue LED lighting on the front gives the car a sinister, menacing smile that would leave you open mouthed and motionless. The same can easily be said about the tail lights which look like they’ve been sculpted keeping tribal symbols and organic design right on the front of one’s mind.

The 60’s and 70’s have brought forth madness in the form of concept cars with edges that would blind you if you stared too hard and some of the most bizarre seating arrangements and driver cabins. But if some of them lacked in style, they surely made up with power deliverance.

As said by Enzo Ferrari himself, the Jaguar E-Type was amongst the most beautiful cars ever built and that is quite a statement coming from someone associated with building some of the most amazing supercars that the world has seen. The E-type “Growler”, later renamed the “Lyonheart K” is up for grabs, if you can afford it that is. And even if you can afford it, it’ll be pretty much difficult to make the waiting list.