Following in the footsteps of the Audi E-Tron SUV, the Audi E-Tron Sportback Concept is a sleek, muscular take on an all-electric vehicle. It's powered by one electric motor on the front axle, two on the rear, and a low-mounted battery pack. The system is capable of delivering 370 kW, or roughly 500 hp, good for a 0-62 time of 4.5 seconds and range over 300 miles. It's similar in size to the A7, with 23-inch wheels, digitally-controlled Matrix LED headlights and a futuristic interior that uses screens to replace everything from gauges and controls to the exterior mirrors. Unlike most forward-thinking concepts, this one's already slated for production, with an expected introduction in 2019.
Mercedes' recent string of compact vehicles has led to record sales. The Mercedes-Benz Concept A Sedan is our first look at what the next generation might look like. Its exterior design is notable for its reduction in lines and gaps, Panamericana grille, oversized lower air inlet, 20-inch alloy wheels, and headlamps with a unique grid-like structure made using UV paint, so they glow different colors depending on the light selected. Inside, passengers can enjoy the added room afforded by the offset greenhouse and the views offered by the panoramic glass roof.
Hyundai makes SUVs, but until now, its luxury brand hasn't ventured beyond sedans and coupes. The Genesis GV80 Fuel Cell SUV Concept is the first look at the brand's take on an SUV, mixing a muscular, sporty body with a forward-looking interior. A plug-in hydrogen fuel cell system provides the power, while a 22-inch curved OLED infinity display keeps the driver and passengers abreast of remaining range and other information. The interior is otherwise covered in semi-aniline leather and ash wood, with metal used sparingly on the trim and knurled physical controls. Outside, there's the signature Genesis crest grille with a lower line that extends the length of the body, 23-inch mesh alloy wheels that help to cool the oversized brakes, laser fiber-optic tail lamps, and an eye-catching Ice Granite finish.
Penned by the company's Calty Design Research in California, the Toyota FT-4X Concept is meant to accommodate the modern urban explorer. Its small footprint lets it easily maneuver around city streets and parking spaces. The rear Multi-Hatch can open horizontally or vertically, depending on the direction of the rotating handle, letting you access your gear no matter the space available. Tie-down hooks abound on the bumpers, roof, and spacious cargo bay, and color-coded storage areas make it clear what each is for, with heated and cooled boxes in the rear. It's still a concept, of course, so you also get some features not likely to ever reach production, like a compact The North Face sleeping bag that doubles as an armrest, and a GoPro HERO5 Session camera built into the driver's side rearview mirror to record your adventures.
Designer Joey Ruiter is adept at reimagining common modes of transportation — the Snoped and Tinnie 10 are proof. The Consumer Concept Vehicle is his latest, taking on the conventional car. As with his prior work, it sports an angular design finished primarily in black. The front "grille" is a two-way mirror, with an air intake on its edges and ultra-bright LEDs behind it that shine 54,000 lumens onto the road ahead. The slab-like cabin all but hides the wheels, giving the appearance of floating, and the rear portion is clad in versatile, outdoor-friendly Xorel fabric, while the front is made from metal and flips forward for access to the engine. Measuring just 135 inches long, it's surprisingly well-suited to urban environs, but like most of Ruiter's other work is unlikely to hit the market anytime soon.