The Coolest Concept Cars You Haven’t Seen Yet

The announcement of new models is an exciting reason to visit your local auto show, but simply seeing the year’s upcoming cars isn’t the most thrilling part. The main attractions at any auto show are the concept vehicles. Auto enthusiasts and casual drivers alike love to fantasize about what the vehicles of tomorrow will look like. Of course, not all of these awe-inspiring prototypes end up hitting the road, but concept cars push the limits of our imaginations and inspire automakers.

Two of the world’s largest auto shows, the Los Angeles Auto Show and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, recently showcased several concept models that may hit the roads in the future. Whether or not you’ll ever see these exact models at your local dealership, you’re sure to notice some of their innovative features in the next new wave of vehicles.

Here’s a look at the top five concept cars to come out of the latest conventions:

1. The Infiniti Q Inspiration

The Infiniti Q Inspiration is sure to inspire the rest of the auto world. A sizable car with a 4-cylinder engine, the use of a smaller engine leaves more room for passengers, which was the intention of Nissan’s luxury line. The spacious cabin is minimalistic in appearance, which is consistent with the Japanese car maker’s signature style. Inside, four touch-screen panels can connect with passengers’ smart devices.

Infiniti claims their VC-turbo engine is the first variable compression ration engine ready for production; however, for now, the company has no plans to mass produce the Q Inspiration. Nonetheless, drivers will soon be able to try out the VC-turbo engine since it will be included in the QX50 model set for release later this year. The Q Inspiration is also designed to be equipped with a new ProPilot autonomous driving system, so it can drive itself through multiple lanes of traffic. Infiniti says drivers should see self-driving features in their new vehicles soon.

2. The 2019 Acura RDX

The Acura RDX was unveiled as a concept car, but it’s actually slated for production this summer. Those who attended the Detroit auto show got an early peek at what will undoubtedly become a highly sought-after model. The SUV sits five passengers and packs a 2-liter turbocharged engine with 10-speed automatic transmission.

Compared to the current RDX, the 2019 features a wheelbase that’s 2.5 inches longer and a track that’s 1.2 inches wider. The new version is overall lighter, which allows for better fuel efficiency. The latest model also boasts more passenger room as well as a panoramic sunroof. Its control panel is sure to cause controversy: the center console has a touchpad connected to a 10.2-inch display screen that juts out from the dashboard.

3. The BMW X7 iPerformance

At the L.A. auto show, BMW debuted a hybrid called the X7 iPerformance. Equipped with BMW eDrive technology and powered by a TwinPower Turbo petrol engine, the X7 iPerformance can purportedly run with zero local emissions. The roomy six-person interior offers multiple screens that support connectivity for all kinds of smart devices, so it’s be perfect for taking a long road trip. Passengers can even share content between screens with others in the car through gesture control. The actual engine type has not yet been revealed, but it will be soon since these are set to hit the roads by next year.

4. The Volkswagen I.D. Buzz

Volkswagen designed the I.D. Buzz to resemble the older Type 2 Microbus model, but the concept stands on its own. At first glance, the I.D. Buzz could be mistaken for its predecessor, yet it’s visually distinguished by a light strip that wraps around the vehicle body. More importantly, this concept model introduces autonomous driving technology to the VW line., making it the very first attempt by Volkswagen to remove the driver from the equation. The “I.D. Pilot” mode could start appearing in vehicles by 2025, even if the I.D. Buzz doesn’t make it to the road.

Sitting atop 22-inch wheels with practically no body overhang, the I.D. Buzz has that signature Volkswagen look with modern amenities such as a fold-away steering wheel and an augmented reality-enabled heads-up display. Since it generated a lot of buzz at both the Detroit and L.A. auto shows, the I.D. Buzz has received several awards for its innovation. Unfortunately, most drivers won’t be able to get behind the wheels of one until 2022 at the earliest.

5. The Land Rover Discovery SVX

True its name, the Land Rover Discovery SVX was unveiled to cater to drivers who like to take the road less traveled. Its makers claim their prototype is better equipped for rough terrains and harsh weather conditions than the fifth-generation Discovery. Consequently, it has bigger tires and a supercharged V8 power engine.

In addition to a new and improved terrain response traction management system, the Discovery SVX also introduces hydraulic active roll control, or H-ARC. This feature adds improved wheel articulation and body control, which provides better traction for on-road and off-road driving. The vehicle will come with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine capable of 525 metric horsepower and 561 lb-ft of torque. Adventurous drivers should be able to get one by the end of 2018.

Mikhail Bakunovich / Shutterstock
Mikhail Bakunovich / Shutterstock