Top 5 Production Cars that Stayed True to Their Concept Designs.
Concepts. Unrealistic, wild, and they usually set a preview for the future of a car brand. They are usually a set of wavy, angular lines with usually an unrealistic amount of technology. Concepts could be a preview of a future product which will be produced, or it gives a preview of the brand’s future design. Unfortunately, most concepts are rarely produced, due to impossible designs to be mass-produced, lack of technology for the body panels and sometimes it gets produced, but looks very different from the concept model.
But rare chances still happen, even if they’re one in a million. Some concept cars get produced, and they stay true to their concept design. This blog embodies some of the cars that made it into production and stay true to their initial design, or even better, cars that look better than the concepts themselves. So here are five of the best cars that got produced and looked like their concept design.
In 2011, Acura announced that they will be unveiling the successor to the legendary Acura NSX in 2012, after the V10 Front-Mounted NSX successor failed due to financial problems. The Acura NSX Concept was unveiled at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show. It was a 2-Door Supercar, with a mid-mounted V6 engine with a 2-electric motor hybrid system. It also previewed Acura’s future hybrid drive system, called SH-AWD (Sport Hybrid-All Wheel Drive), which implements torque vectoring for better handling.
Four long years later, Acura unveiled the production version of the Acura NSX. It didn’t look much different from the exterior, as it still retained the same look of the concept. The only differences were drive dimensions, lights, grille and exhaust position. The interior did not look like the concept’s at all, going for a more minimalist approach, featuring Acura’s button-drive mode changer, which looked more tacky than futuristic.
Back in 2004, Audi decided to design a concept supercar because of their three consecutive wins at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. It was called the Audi Le Mans Quattro concept. It had LED Headlights, which was pretty advanced at that time. It also had Audi’s Space Frame used in the Gallardo at that time. It also had magnetic dampers, used in the Audi TT. Its engine was derived from the Lamborghini Gallardo, which was the base of this car, only with twin turbos and FSI technology producing 610 HP.
Three years later, Audi produces the Le Mans Quattro concept, calling it the R8, the badge that we all know and love today. Initially, it was powered by the Audi S4’s V8 engine, soon to be replaced by the Lamborghini Gallardo’s V10 engine, producing 420 HP. It retains its sleek and beautiful lines, with the very beautiful single intake design, which runs across the car’s B pillar. The only thing that changed was its lights and front intakes. It is still one of the most beautiful cars today, despite being replaced by the more angular 2016 R8.
Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda took a look at the Pebble Beach motor show one day, and one thing came up into his mind. There was not a single Toyota or Lexus. So he assigned the Toyota Design studio in California to come up with a beautiful coupe with swooping lines. It was called the Lexus LF-FC Concept, which meant Lexus Future-Future Coupe Concept. It was designed as a Grand Tourer with the aesthetic of a supercar, with angular, smooth lines and a very stand-out look from the competition.
In 2016, Lexus unveiled the production version of the Lexus LF-FC Concept at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, called the Lexus LC. The car looks the same like the concept, only changing it’s light design. It still featured that angular aesthetic, which stood out from the competition. It featured a triple-LED light projector in order to fit into the triangular headlight and active aerodynamics. It is powered by a Lexus V8 engine, making 471 HP, the same engine found in the Lexus RC.
In 2011, BMW unveils and launches its BMW i division, which is a lineup of eco-friendly cars. It launched with two concepts, one greater than the other. The BMW i3, which is an all-electric hatchback with a rather quirky design. Meanwhile, the BMW i8 is a hybrid sports car with an ultra-futuristic design with swooping lines, and a three tone paint. It featured a windshield that went all the way to the hood, and an extremely streamlined and swooping body.
In 2013, BMW unveils the production version of the i8, still retaining that extremely futuristic design with swooping lines and blue accents. It is powered by a Mini derived 3-cylinder engine paired with a hybrid system producing a total of 362 HP. The only differences the car and the concept had was it’s headlights, its doors and its windshield to the hood, which is obviously to make the car safer and street legal.
In 2010, Porsche unveiled their 918 Spyder concept, which previewed the future of the German sports car manufacturer’s brand for cars with high performance combined with low efficiency. The 918 Spyder featured an aerodynamic design, side exhausts and cameras in place of side mirrors. It featured Porsche’s all new E-Hybrid system which featured superb handling. One year later, Porsche unveiled the 918’s racing variant, the Porsche 918 RSR, which unfortunately, never saw the light of day.
Three years later, Porsche unveils the 918 Spyder, a member of the Hybrid Hypercar trio, followed by the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari. It looked exactly like the concept. But the production version looked even better thanks to this one very small detail. Its exhausts were placed above the car, instead of its intended position, on the car’s side. It featured a V8 engine with hybrid motors making 887 HP, with emissions lower than a Toyota Prius. Only 918 units were made.
In September 2014, a Porsche 918 fitted with the Weissach racing package lapped the infamous and challenging Nurburgring circuit with an astonishing lap time of 6:57:00, making the car the record holder of the fastest Nurburgring lap until 2017, which was beaten by the Lamborghini Huracan Performante, which is rumored to be faked. But until that rumor is proven wrong, Porsche holds the Nurburgring lap record until today.
In 2006, Chevrolet unveiled their Camaro Concept, based on the GM Zeta platform. It was to revive the Camaro name after the 2002 Model was discontinued. It had an LS2 engine in its hood, making 400 HP, paired to a 6-speed manual. In 2009, the production version was released. It looked exactly the same as the concept model back in 2006, which was only available in coupe form at that time.
I decided to put this in honorable mentions because it didn’t have many crazy or standing out designs compared to the cars mentioned above. It looks simple, and relatively easy to produce without much work to transfer from concept to production. But it is the most accurate to the concept model in the list, as it looks exactly like the concept model.