Every year, car manufacturers produce dozens of concept cars for display at major motor shows or other events. It’s a time-honoured tradition that dates back before World War Two, and even though most of the vehicles are cobbled together with glue and sticky tape, they still generate plenty of media coverage and (hopefully) excitement among the general public.
As well as publicity, concept cars may provide pointers towards future design or technology ideas. Often a manufacturer will preview a new production model as a concept by throwing some bigger wheels and blingy paintwork on it, but the best concept cars are ones which will stop you in your tracks as soon as you lay eyes on them.
2014 was no different to previous years, throwing up plenty of concepts which varied from practical to extremely far-fetched. The following list is the first of our two-part Top Ten feature, chosen for what they represent as much as how they look. Some may see production in a somewhat toned-down form, while others are simply flights of fancy which show off a designer’s flair and try to build brand awareness. Today we are counting down concept cars Number 10 to 6, and tomorrow we will reveal the Final Five…
10. Kia Stinger GT4 (Detroit Auto Show)
Kia’s brand metamorphosis from cheap and (relatively) nasty to cool and desirable has taken place rapidly. Go back and look at a 2009 model Kia and then compare it to the latest models, and they could come from an entirely different car company. But Kia’s plans don’t stop there.
The GT4 Stinger concept was a smash hit of this year’s Detroit Auto Show, and shows clearly where Kia sees itself heading over the next five years; it is a dramatic and stylish design which is almost production-viable. Word is that we may see a slightly tamer production version of the Stinger on the road in 2016, but Kia designers insist that most of the RWD coupé design is very buildable.
The concept version is a lightweight affair, with a manual gearbox and very few luxuries, but a production model would likely beef that spec up a bit and pile on the kilos (airbags and crash-protecion gizmos weigh a lot).