Concept cars allow automakers to float design trial balloons to the general public without seriously committing to the vehicle in question.
However, increasingly, the label ‘concept’ is being attached to lightly disguised production models that are green lighted for rollout later in the year.
The mix on display at the 2010 Canadian International Auto Show combines the dream machines with the fairly certain. Here’s a look at some of concepts to watch out for at this year’s show:
This vision of Infiniti’s future design language debuted in 2009 just before the Los Angeles Auto Show, and popped up earlier this year in Montreal before arriving at the CIAS this February. Based loosely on the mechanicals of parent company Nissan’s world-beating GT-R, the Essence also uses a slim electric motor to deliver more power and efficiency.
Mazda is showing two versions of its upcoming European-based 2 subcompact car. Called the 2Evil Special and the Active2 Surf Special, they essentially show how a potential owner might modify their ride. The 2Evil mixes flat grey paint and lime-green touches to show off Mazda’s sporting credentials, while the Active 2 Surf is a modern-day surf wagon, complete with roof rack, colour-matched surfboard and bigger wheels.
Making its Canadian debut, the MINI Beachcomber mixes the old Moke’s exposed-to-the-elements design with the modern MINI’s technology. It previews the company’s upcoming small crossover and features all-wheel drive, four seats and no roof. As with another recent MINI concept, this one is decidedly over the top.