While these days mid-engine and four-wheel-drive sportscars are somewhat less than remarkable, in the 1960s, they were pretty novel ideas. To say that the 1964 Chevrolet CERV II Concept ($1.1 million) was ahead of its time, might be a bit of an understatement. As CERV stands for Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle, this was really more of a proof of concept than anything ever slated for production. But as it stands, this V8-powered 550-horsepower 1,900-pounder is a thing of beauty, and a marvel of midcentury American engineering might. And while the price tag might be steep, there's no questioning the historical importance of this one-of-a-kind car.
We're willing to bet you've never seen anything quite like the Nissan BladeGlider Concept ($TBA) before in your life — and for good reason — it is one radical ride. Based on a delta (or triangular) shape, this electric sportscar features a one-plus-two interior layout, with the driver seat isolated up front and the passenger seats in the rear. This design, along with plenty of surfaces designed to create downforce and minimize drag, help to optimize its aerodynamics, while carbon-fiber body panels and a lightweight battery help keep weight down. Little is known yet about the power output of its in-wheel motors, but chances are this thing will be as fast as it looks. The best thing about it: the BladeGlider isn't just a concept, it's also a plan for the future of Nissan's electric sportscar lineup.
The Wazuma V8F Matte Edition ($TBA) might just be the most fun you could possibly have on four wheels, if you have the guts to actually turn the thing on. This vehicle — some kind of mad combination of a motorcycle, a trike, and a sports car — is powered by a three-liter Ferrari V8 engine driven through the gear box of a BMW M3. Its massive wheels (two 285 millimeter slicks up front and two connected 315s around back) keep what is essentially an engine, a seat, and handlebars on the ground, while huge Brembo brakes and a highly-customized suspension system keep it from launching into orbit. It might be the strangest combination of vehicles we've seen, and we're not even sure it's street legal, but it definitely looks like a hell of a rush.
Own a spectacular, one-of-a-kind piece of automative history, the 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study ($TBA). This exclusive concept vehicle was made as a partnership between the Detroit luxury carmakers and Carrozzeria Boano, an Italian body manufacturer and designer as a study in forward-looking sports cars. It features a 200 horsepower V8 engine driven through a four-speed automatic transmission, and some of the most original body styling we've seen. Completely restored to its original working condition — and finished out in an ostentatious orange — it will be available at auction this November.
If the Frankfurt Motor Show is any indication, this is shaping up as the year of the crossover SUV — and if that means the Jaguar C-X17 ($TBA) is the new standard, you won't hear much complaining from us. While not particularly daring in terms of style, it has a look that fits surprisingly-nicely with other models we've seen so far from Jaguar, in spite of its higher stance. It's still just a concept, and as is typical, there are scant details about the engine, though it will likely bare some resemblance to its cousins at Land Rover. With any luck, it'll make it into production some time in the near future, making it the first SUV from a company typically known for sports coupes and luxury sedans.
Unfortunately, the Audi Nanuk Quattro Concept ($TBA) is just one of those things that's too good to be true — too strange and too exciting to ever make it into production — but that shouldn't stop you drooling over it. A sort of supercar crossover, this Audi boasts a twin-turbocharged V-10 diesel TDI engine that outputs 544 horsepower and a staggering 738 pound-feet of torque. All that muscle coupled with a special variant of their Quattro all-wheel drive system and adjustable ground clearance would make this car fairly capable on even the roughest roads. As if that wasn't enough, it gets 30 miles to the gallon, and features integral steering (the rear wheels turn slightly in the opposite direction of the front wheels, giving it better handling in turns). Here's hoping at least some of this tech sees the streets one day soon.
We've watched as a slew of luxury crossovers have either entered the market, or been teased as concepts at various auto shows — but none of them look quite like the Lexus LF-NX Crossover Concept ($TBA). Its creased design and spindle grill look sharp enough to cut you if you get too close, and the headlights suggest the face of a Japanese mecha ready to battle a kaiju onslaught. Details on the power plant are still fuzzy (though they may become clearer when it debuts in Frankfurt), but apparently it will sport a hybrid engine tuned for the kind of torque an SUV demands.
Whether or not you'll miss the characteristically boxy shape of the 240s and 640s of yesterday, it's time to say goodbye for good — the Volvo Concept Coupe ($TBA) is the future. With it's swooping, sporty lines, low stance, and rearward cockpit, it's every bit the forward-looking machine. Under the hood you'll find a gasoline plug-in hybrid two-liter four-cylinder engine that is both supercharged and turbocharged, resulting in a fairly-impressive output of around 400 horsepower. Not to be outdone by its exterior, the inside features a handcrafted crystal shift knob, a massive touch screen, and accents of leather and aged wood.
The logo isn't the only thing changing at Cadillac — the Cadillac Elmiraj Concept ($TBA) signals a refreshing design direction for the guys in Detroit. Think of it less as a teaser for an upcoming model, and more as a showpiece for what they think an updated two-door grand coupe should look like. The Elmiraj gets its power from a twin-turbo, 4.5-liter V8 producing an estimated 500 horsepower. It sits on 22- by 9-inch wheels with ceramic brakes and Cadillac mono-block calipers. The interior is driver-focused, with front seats built to accommodate aggressive motoring, titanium accents, Brazilian Rosewood trim, and camel leather.
While very little is known yet about the 2015 BMW M4 Coupe Concept ($TBA) early shots have leaked, and it looks gorgeous (we'll forgive them for the awful metallic yellow color this time). They're expected to ditch the V8 in favor of an inline-six similar to the beloved engine found in the E46 M3s, which drivers raved about for its incomparable smoothness. Early estimates put this turbocharged engine's output at somewhere around 450 horsepower. Regardless, this looks like an exciting direction for the 4-series' sportier sibling.
Plenty of cars — even Lamborghinis — draw inspiration from aviation, but few take the concept as far as this. Created to celebrate Lambo's 50th anniversary, the Lamborghini Egoista Concept ($TBA) takes many of its styling cues from the Apache helicopter. Named after the Italian word for "selfish", this unique concept is centered around a single-person, carbon fiber and aluminum cockpit that's actually removable, and is designed around the driver, with a racing seat, four-point restraints, and a heads-up display. LED clearance lights replace traditional headlights, hidden xenon headlamps provide distance lighting, and flaps on the bodywork help increase stability and airflow to the 600hp, 5.2L V10 engine. If that wasn't enough, the body and wheels are made from anti-radar material, giving us just one more reason to believe that this beast won't be going into production any time soon.
And here you thought your hatchback was fast. The Volkswagen Design Vision GTI Concept ($TBA) is a study in compact speed with looks to match. Wider and lower than a stock Golf, it's powered by a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 pumping out 503 hp — the regular GTI offers just 200 — that's mated to a dual-clutch DSG transmisison and an all-wheel drive system. The result? A 0-62 time of just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph. The exterior has also gotten a large makeover, with aggressive fins, a popped-out C-pillar, and 20-inch rims. We're pretty sure it won't be coming to a dealership anytime soon, but if you want a clue as yo the design direct of the next-gen GTI, this as close as you're going to get.