All of the Greatest New Concept Cars That Will Never Be Made, in One Convenient Place
This week, Volvo unleashed the mindblowing Concept Coupé, a car so futuristic and lustworthy that the eclectic Swedish manufacturer will never, ever put it into production. Closer in spirit to the pie-in-the-sky Cadillac Elmiraj than the BMW M4 Concept (which is likely to be very close to what the actual M4 looks like), the Concept Coupé is a beautiful mishmash of other design cues combined to create something very unVolvo-ish. I see a lot of Maserati influence in the grille, and the taillights are reminiscent of the Volkswagen XL1. There are nods to the Volvo P1800 (undoubtedly the most beautiful car Volvo has ever made), but the sideways T headlights are all new. Because talk is cheap and concept cars can be powered by whatever ridiculous motors that engineers can dream of, the Concept Coupé is driven by a 2.0L 4-cylinder that is turbocharged, supercharged, and mated to an electric motor mounted at the rear axle. The entire system develops 400hp, because Volvo can make up any number it damn well pleases, alright? One thing that is for certain, however, is that the headlights debuted here will eventually adorn all future Volvos. That’s great news, because the lights give the Volvo a unique rearview mirror appearance that instantly identifies the car.
A few more concept cars have debuted over the last few weeks, and some of my favorites, including the Jaguar Project 7, Opel Monza, and Infiniti Q30 are detailed here.
Automobile classification has become more a marketing exercise than accurate descriptor in the post-Mercedes CLS world. Ever since Merc debuted the “four door coupe,” not only have copycats emerged in the form of the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé and Audi A7, but a slew of other hard to describe cars have seen the light of day. Results have been mixed, especially from BMW’s end, as the X6 and 5 Series GT have rightly suffered a metric ton of terrible reviews and piss-poor sales figures. Others, like the Audi Allroad and Nissan Juke, have enjoyed more favorable feedback from the press, and more importantly, from buyers. Next up for the oddballs: the Infiniti Q30. Like the Allroad, it straddles the line between short CUV and tall wagon, and the swoopy character lines lifted from all of Mazda’s concept cars work well with the elongated design. Unlike the other concepts, there is no Doc Brown-imagined engine under the hood, so let’s make one up. How about a motor running on the static electricity built up in the air, and it develops 540hp. Wait, where have we heard this insane technology elsewhere? Oh my God, ATLAS SHRUGGED IS BECOMING A REALITY.
Whew, calm down Cameron. Let’s move on. Let’s move on to gullwings. A concept car staple for decades, gulllwing doors almost never make it to production except for the DeLorean DMC-12 and Mercedes 300SL and SLS AMG. The production Tesla Model X may have them, but probably not. The Opel Monza concept’s roof-hinged doors open to reveal four bucket seats so deep that they could be used in centrifuges for astronaut training. Minds more crass than mine have described the Monza’s shape more at home at an adult toy store than a dealership showroom, but we would never stoop that low at Downshift Autos. Aside from the rear end that unfortunately apes the Honda Accord Crosstour abomination and the gaping grille, the rest of the concept is pretty good looking. It certainly is more interesting than Opel’s current lineup of rebadged General Motors products.
Last but certainly not least in the Jaguar Project 7, a track-ready version of the F-Type. Thing is, though, the Project 7 actually drives and utilizes Jaguar’s eight-speed transmission and 5.0L supercharged V8 to torture the rear wheels with 542hp. It is a hilarious single seat race car with a phenomenal carbon rear wing with an exhaust note that sounds like a donkey kicking a bull elephant right in the trunk. The F-Type is set to enter production at the same time as a mid-engined Corvette, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to see this thing tear up Pacific Coast Highway any less.
Jaguar Project 7 Exhaust Note
Volvo Concept Coupe Gallery
Opel Monza Concept Gallery
Jaguar Project 7 Concept Gallery