Concept Cars That Turned Out to be Duds
Is it a stud or is it a dud? That is as simple as the question gets but for many automakers this is what faces them when they are ready to take a car from concept to production. The idea behind a particular car is sometimes more enticing and alluring than the car itself. Other times we see production models that have too many problems right from the start, causing the manufacturer to need to go back and try again. There are still several auto shows yet to take place this year and many of the concepts offered may be case studies that are being done to gauge reaction while others are possibly the answer an automaker thinks they have for previous problems. Take a look at these concepts that turned out to be duds and see if you see a few duds coming out of the upcoming auto shows.
Pontiac Sunfire – The concept idea for the Sunfire was amazing. This car showed up at shows with a 2+2 seating in a coupe model that offered sleek lines and great aerodynamics. This car looked great sitting next to a Firebird and had the right engine featured, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that made 190 horsepower, which would have been great. As it headed toward production, the Sunfire was stripped down to be just a Pontiac variant of the Cavalier.
Subaru WRX – The 2013 concept car looked absolutely amazing at the New York Auto Show. With muscular lines and a sharp look this car was ready to be the modernized halo car for Subaru to take it forward. Unfortunately the design aspects were not present when the car made it to production but thankfully the performance parts and features stayed and continue to make the WRX a fan favorite even if it is a bit of a boring design.
Chevrolet Volt – The concept Volt was a large coupe that looked sporty and in some ways mirrored the Camaro with edgy and brutish styling. The model that was finally released is a run of the mill sedan that offers a brilliant powertrain to be a hit, but without any of the awesome design elements that we were presented with in 2007 when the concept car made its way around the show circuit.
Dodge Charger – The 1999 Charger concept was a sports car that looked like a sports car. If you took the silhouette and put it up against a Chevrolet Corvette they would be very similar. Is that the charger you see now or even one you were used to in the early 2000s? Not even close. The Charger did come out a bit bland at first, but the models sold now are very exciting, although it does beg the question of why didn’t we get to see the Charger that was a real four-door sports car that would have had the aerodynamic advantage over the model on the market today?
Pontiac Trans Sport – The concept for this van was one with glass everywhere and wing doors for the rear to open up. This was the first real attempt at a minivan being cool and with this bullet shape the van would look futuristic as well as give families a vehicle to be proud of. The production model unfortunately only kept the bullet shape with the long nose and dashboard, but the rest of the idea, the glass, the winged doors, were all gone leaving behind only a part of an idea and a van that did not gain the sales that GM wanted from this new concept.
Chrysler PT Cruiser – The concept for the PT Cruiser was actually the Pronto Concept and it offered a lower, wider and more aggressive looking stance. The PT Cruiser certainly had a great following for several years and was even mimicked by GM with their Chevrolet HHR, but in the end the PT Cruiser was more of a novelty that might have survived had Chrysler stuck with the Pronto concept as the build to use for the car.
Toyota Corolla – In 2013 we were treated to a concept of the next Corolla in the form of the Corolla Furia. This car offered style and form that we had never seen on what was known as one of the most boring cars on the planet. There are some styling features that made it to production of the Corolla, but not enough to make it nearly as exciting as the concept car that it started out to be.
Dodge Avenger – At the 2003 Detroit Auto Show the Avenger showed up as a concept crossover SUV which became the precursor to the X4 and X6. This was a four-door coupe that offered AWD and a higher ground clearance than any of the cars in production. This idea was really a fantastic one, but the Avenger ended up being nothing more than another sedan that we can choose as our daily commuter vehicle, and not as a great off roading SUV that can take us on an adventure.
Renault Captur – The 2011 concept vehicle was a futuristic looking SUV that offered oversized fenders, swooping curves and large wheels in a sporty looking sedan/SUV look that would be gorgeous on any road. Once the vehicle made it to production it became nothing better than your average every day compact crossover SUV that offered very few of the great design features that were found on the concept.
As you can see many cars show one way and end up another. When you see a vehicle that looks great for the road at the auto shows throughout the year they can only make you wonder, will this vehicle make it to production in this form or will someone at the company make such drastic changes that it will be boring and drab when we get it?