Concept Cars: cars of the past looking to the future

Researching new technologies for the automotive industry leads car manufacturers to experiment with new solutions for tomorrow’s cars.Styling offices open up a door on the future through concept cars: limited-run vehicles aimed at exploring new technologies
Often introduced in car shows, concept cars  also aim at gathering feedback from enthusiasts. Concept cars are, by definition, style experiments but sometimes they can be used as starting points for cars produced on a large scale. It happened with the Fiat X1/9, the car takes its shape from the Runabout made by Marcello Gandini for Bertone.
Let’s start with the Maserati Boomerang: 4.3 meters in length, 1.8 in width by just over a meter in height are the dimensions of this fantastic car designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro presented in 1972 at the Geneva Motor Show. Under the hood we find a 4.7 cm2 engine that puts out 315 hp and a top speed of 300 km/h, but it is inside that things get interesting. The driver's side presents a single block that encloses the controls and the dashboard surrounded by the steering wheel that rests on the fixed part. Despite being registered as a road car the Boomerang has never touched the tarmac but has been spotted several times at car shows as well as in a 2014 Louis Vuitton campaign.
We’re staying in Italy for the Lamborghini Bertone Athon. The vehicle was made in 1980 by Marc Deschamps who took over from Marcello Gandini. It takes its name from the Egyptian deity and is reminiscent of the legendary Urraco. 3.8 m by 1.8 m and still a meter in height are the dimensions of the car that hides a 3 L V8 engine and 260 hp of power. The Bertone Athon looks like a spider with a revamped cabin and other rear-end accouterments. The Athon's steering wheel lacks dedicated controls for the turn signals and windshield wipers while the ignition system is placed in a dedicated section on the left side of the steering wheel.
Giugiaro collaborates again with Oldsmobile to create the Incas: The futuristic car features a domed roof interrupted by gull-wing doors that open to the interior composed of four individual armchair-like seats. The Incas takes direct inspiration from the DeLorean in Back to the Future (also from Giugiaro) and brings inside a cloche where all the controls are placed that can be activated without the need to take the hands off the steering wheel. Under the hood is a 4-cylinder 16V engine with 230 horsepower.
In 1980 the Citroen Karin was introduced at Paris Motor Show. The car designed by Trevor Fiore takes from the Aston Martin Bulldog the angular lines that converge to the very small roof. The "pharaoh's" car accommodates 2 passenger seats that almost flank the center driver's seat slightly forward of the side seats. The on-board computer where the steering wheel rests constantly communicates, via a screen, the state of the road surface. 4 cylinders also for the Citroen Karin's engine, which, supported by hydropneumatic suspension, offers an innovative driving experience destined to remain a dream.
The Citroen Eole was born in 1986 through a revolutionary design process with the computer at its center. In creating the car Geoffrey Matthews has the idea of entrusting his sketches to the reworking of a computer: The result is a decidedly distinctive car with the four wheels completely covered and a hydraulic system that allows the wheel arches to open to accompany the movement of the front wheels. The Citroen Eole can accommodate up to four passengers and, in the center of the cabin, there is a console, stereo and computer. On the driver's side we find all the controls grouped on either side of the steering wheel flanked by the CD player.
Concept cars give us an idea of what automotive’s future might look like. The extraordinary work of styling offices not only explores the performances but it also breaks the common conception of aesthetics we’re used to making enthusiasts dream of having one of these pieces of art in the future.
Latest news