There are two types of concept cars that we see today. One type are dream machines that may eventually offer aspects of their build to the lineup but are never actually planned for the build. The other are those concepts that are intended to become the production machine and be offered for sale. While the concept cars of yesteryear weren’t anything but the dream machines, today’s concepts are typical test mules and ideas that a design team hopes will pass by the bean counters to become a reality. Here are some concepts that eventually became the real cars we saw on the market.
Plymouth Prowler – The purple concept car that offered a hot rod look was beloved at the 1993 Detroit Motor Show and eventually became a reality in 1997. Unfortunately, the power under the hood didn’t invoke the feeling desired as it should have been a high powered V8 but instead was a 3.5-liter V6 that only had 214 horsepower to start with and 253 in later models.
Kia Soul – The Kia brand was trying to find a way to bring a youthful exuberance to its lineup in the last decade and when it figured out the Soul, it had found it. This little car is one that we’ve loved since 201 when it made its way to the market and was advertised using hamsters in the ad which have made this the cool and boxy car to drive.
Audi TT – The TT is a car that was built out of the design and feels that a James Bond car offered even though he chose a different brand. This car made its way to the stage in 1995 and then to the production line in 1998 to be a car that we’ve loved to drive as a two-door sports coupe for several years with a variety of powertrains under the hood.
Ford GT – While the Ford GT we know today is one that made a comeback again, this car was on the stage in 2002 to give us a look at what another LeMans winning car would look like and then Ford built this 500 horsepower supercar in 2005. This car looked amazing and gave us the thoughts that harkened back to the 1960s when this car won the race it was built for.
Volkswagen Beetle – While the old Beetle had been produced for many years a new model was needed and in 1994 a simple version of the car crossed the stage to become the new Beetle that we know and love still today. The first production year for this new Beetle model was 1998 and it gave us a modern interpretation of what we’ve already enjoyed on the road from this car.
Dodge Challenger – It only took two years from concept to production for the 2008 Challenger to be offered on the lots around the country. This car showed up on the stage is production ready garb as a concept that was barely changed and it has never looked back. Now we have the SRT Hellcat versions and soon the SRT Demon models to make this a seriously powerful muscle car.
BMW i8 – The Vision Efficiency Dynamics concept the crossed the stages around the world in 2009 was never meant to be a car that would be built, but it was. In 2014 BMW gave us the i8 and allowed us to see this amazing supercar that uses the small engine and have the two electric motors to make it one of the most advanced creations on the road today.
Chevrolet Volt – The Volt is a car that showed up as one that would help with the fuel cost crisis as the cost per gallon of gas was on the rise. When this car made it to the dealerships in 2011, four years after the concept was offered, this car still became a popular model even though the gas prices were dropping. Today, the Volt is one of the most important hybrid cars we have.
Lexus LF-A – This incredible supercar from Lexus took five years from concept to production to be a car that is one that offered us an insane amount of power form the 4.8-liter V10 engine while also becoming one of the most exciting sports cars ever built. The concept was one that caught your attention and had to be brought to production, which it eventually was.
Fisker Karma – A hybrid sedan concept came to the stage in 2007 from Fisker and it looked like a long and lean sports sedan that only the well-heeled would be able to afford. As a production model for 2011, this car was a stunner and looked amazing. Unfortunately, this car did experience some fire incidents and became a tough car for people to choose.