Concept cars are usually built to showcase a new idea, innovation, or model of a vehicle from manufacturers. These prototypes are showcased at major auto shows and based on the feedback it is decided if they should be taken into mass production or not. Some concept cars that were produced over the years have failed to leave a mark and some did not make it to production. Let us have a look at these concept cars and what went wrong with them.
Some concept cars begin with a certain idea and design in mind but later they completely change into something else. It was the same case with the Toyota FT-1 that was being planned after the fourth-generation Toyota Supra (1993 to 2002) that had raised the bar for the manufacturer. Beating its predecessor was not an easy feat, Toyota first revealed the FT-HS in 2007 which was followed by FT-1 in 2014. The manufacturer also kept teasing pictures of camouflaged prototypes and eventually the vehicle that was launched in 2019 was another version of Supra.
The vehicle had the aesthetics of FT-1, but it did have some design changes such as larger radius creases, reduced sculpting, and virtually eliminated nosecone. All of these changes were subjected to budget and manufacturing constraints. Toyota FT-1 started as a concept that faded as the manufacturer transitioned into a newer version of Supra.
Ferrari is no stranger to supercars and the lineup dates back to 1987 with the 1987 F40 which was succeeded by models such as 1995 F50, 2002 Enzo, and 2013 LaFerrari. Ferrari LaFerrari was designed completely in-house at its new Maranello design center instead of being designed by Pininfarina. Some early concepts were presented by Pininfarina, however, neither of these designs were accepted by the manufacturer.
Two final concepts were designed one of them being Tensostruttura. The concept vehicles had thin sections for the front and rear LED lights whereas the final version had lights that followed the aesthetics of previous Ferrari models.
Pontiac Farago CF428
This vehicle was built on Grand Prix chassis, but the vehicle was considered a direct competitor to certain Cadillac models, so GM decided not to go ahead with production. The vehicle survived the crusher, and the prototype still exists. Pontiac Farago CF428 is currently owned by its lead designer John DeLorean’s nephew. DeLorean had collaborated with Detroit coachbuilder Paul Farago and designer Sergio Coggiola for this stylish coupe.
1979 Ford Mustang RSX
This was designed as an exercise by Ford to determine what a racetrack pony car should look like drawing inspiration from Ford Escort Mark II which was a winner on the racetrack. The concept was designed in Ghia, Italy with a widened track, shortened wheelbase, raised ride height, and fender flares to give it a rally car stance. The blacked-out door panels and an edgier design gave the vehicle a futuristic look as well. The vehicle was equipped with a four-cylinder turbocharged engine that was appropriate for a rally car. The vehicle did not go into production as it was never envisioned to. Instead, Ford continued with Fox Body Mustang for the next 14 years.
This 2016 concept car was presented in Paris and can be considered as a preview for the 2018 UX compact luxury crossover. The concept had a signature spindle grille, and the headlights were similar to the Lexus RC coupe. The original design also had two-tone tyres that did not make it to the production design, but two-tone side cladding did. The taillights at the rear were designed as a bulging bar across the back resembling a lip spoiler. The final product did have highlights of the original design but overall, it presented a boring vehicle that did not impress.
Kia Stinger GT4
This four-door coupe was an unconventional and advanced version of a coupe with its unique design that grabs attention. The vehicle had stylized A-pillar details, a striking headlight design, and a blacked-out section between the taillights at the rear. The design gave the coupe a futuristic appeal, yet the idea of a four-door coupe was not approved, and the vehicle was not picked up for production.
Chrysler owned Lamborghini during 1987 and 1994 and one of the most notable contributions during that period was Diablo. However, the Lamborghini Portofino concept became more influential. This mid-engined touring car was based on the Lamborghini Jalpa platform and it was an extension of a Chrysler concept called Navajo.
1964 Pontiac Banshee
Another concept car was designed by John DeLorean to compete with Ford’s Mustang. The vehicle had a resemblance to the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette, and it seemed that it would become a direct competitor of Corvette. Therefore, it could not make it to production after not getting a nod from Chevrolet. Instead, Pontiac got its Firebird version which had louvered taillights that were inspired by the 1964 Pontiac Banshee.
Concept cars are usually a risk that many manufacturers take for the sake of introducing something new to the industry. Unfortunately, not all make the cut and are often dropped by the manufacturer owing to constraints during production or budget. Some models do not propose a practical appeal therefore, they fail to get acceptance among the majority. The above-mentioned vehicles are just a few such vehicles that did not manage to impress enough to make it to production even though some belong to leading car manufacturers.