Concept cars are often displayed at major car shows, such as Auto Shanghai, the annual International Motor Show in Detroit, the Tokyo Motor Show, and the Frankfurt Auto Show. These vehicles feature new or improved technology and styling to gauge reaction and interest from potential future customers. Harley Earl, a General Motors designer from the 1950s, is usually credited with making the practice of manufacturing and showing concept cars at auto shows mainstream. The first concept car ever shown was a 1938 Buick Y-Job. When compared to this Buick, the vehicles on this list prove just how far the idea of concept cars has come since then. Here are six stunning concept cars that look just like their production versions.
BMW M4 Iconic Lights Concept (2015)
The BMW M4 contains a powerful 3-litre, twin-turbo engine that produces 425 horsepower and a zero-to-sixty miles-per-hour time of just 4.1 seconds. Weighing just under 3,500 pounds, the vehicle also has a respectable power-to-weight ratio. The name 'Iconic Lights' comes from the OLED lights on the rear and the laser headlights on the front, which allow the driver to see up to 650 yards ahead. The lights also provide an indication of narrow roads and if the vehicle will be able to make it through a small gap. This vehicle is best known for its luxurious, high-end performance driving experience and design. Compared to the standard 4 series, it is lighter, has better handling and suspension, and contains aerodynamic features that make it stand alone as the best 4 series BMW has to offer.
Aston Martin Rapide Concept (2006)
This vehicle was first displayed as a concept car at the International Auto Show in Detroit in 2006. The production version was showcased at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2009. The concept behind this car was to create a DB9 with four doors and unmatched styling. The finished product is a sleek fighter-jet-styled vehicle with an engine that matches the aesthetic. The production model of this vehicle made its debut in 2010, and the vehicle continues to be manufactured today. It represents the manufacturer's first four-door vehicle since the Lagonda was discontinued in 1989. The 2015 Rapide S model produces a staggering 552 horsepower from its 5.9-litre V12 engine, which gives the vehicle a zero-to-sixty miles-per-hour time of just 4.4 seconds.
Audi TT/TTS Concept (1995)
The concept of this car was to create an object of desire that is still affordable. Designed by a team of young engineers, it looks and drives like a top-of-the-line sports vehicle but does not have the heavy price tag. The concept version produced 210 horsepower from a 1.8-litre, turbocharged engine, but the modern incarnation of the TTS produces 292 horsepower from a 2-litre engine. The TTS also features an upgraded suspension, wheels, and brakes, which gives the driver good control over the power of this reasonably affordable sports car. Some reviewers have called the TTS effortlessly fast because it has a zero-to-sixty miles-per-hour time of 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 155 miles per hour. This Audi has certainly outlived and outperformed the original concept it was based on.
Nissan GT-R Concept (2001)
Every generation of the GT-R has impressed fans with its high performance and aggressive Japanese stance on the road. The 3.8-litre, six-cylinder, twin-turbo engine gives drivers of the 2017 model 565 horsepower to play with; these are staggering numbers for a street-legal Japanese production vehicle. Over 10,000 models of this version of the GT-R have been sold in the United States alone. Although the styling of this car is particularly bold, it generated enough interest for Nissan to build the R35 model GT-R in 2007 and continue its production to this day. Plenty of concept versions of this vehicle, which are produced by tuning companies, can be found online.
Ford Mustang GT Concept (2003)
The Ford Mustang will forever be associated with classic, American muscle cars. This concept from 2003 included many iconic design features that made the original Mustangs as popular as they have been. The 2016 model is capable of a quick zero-to-sixty miles-per-hour speed of just 4.3 seconds, placing it among some of the highest-performing road-legal vehicles available. The rear-wheel-drive configuration and six-speed manual transmission give the driver an experience that is missing from many vehicles available today. A new Mustang is reasonably priced, ranging from $29,000-$54,000 depending on the model and options. The most powerful engine in the latest generation of Mustangs is a 5-litre V8, which produces 435 horsepower.
Chevrolet Camaro Concept (2006)
After production of the Camaro was halted in 2002, this concept car brought the model back to life in 2006. The concept vehicle had a 400-horsepower engine, which is outperformed by many newer Camaro models. Chevy took the car's aggressive, muscle car styling from one of its most loved predecessors, the 1969 Camaro, and added modern lines. Commercial production of the Camaro began in 2009 and continues today. Motor Trend Magazine gave the 2016 Camaro its Car of the Year award, which provides proof of the vehicle's appeal, build quality, and safety. The 2018 ZL1 1LE Camaro has a supercharged V8 that is paired with a six-speed transmission and produces a whopping 650 horsepower.