Expenses and consumer demand are primarily why a concept car never makes it to the roads. While those with the deepest pockets could drive home any vehicle, for the average man, cool concept cars are merely daydreams. That said, dive in for why these nine awesome concept cars never made it to production.
9 Ford Shelby GR-1
There is no shortage of cool cars made by Shelby. And although the GR-1 never went beyond the prototype stage, it still is one of those cars. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the Ford GR-1 was the seamless blending of a modern Mustang GT with a Ford GT to bring out one unique vehicle. Designed as a successor to the Ford GT, the GR-1 was excellent in every aspect.
When it was unleashed, Ford contacted a comprehensive feasibility study on the GR-1, and all the executives needed to do was say yes to the project. So why didn’t it happen? Looking at the GT’s poor performance towards the end of its lifespan, the brand couldn’t risk it with the GR-1.
8 Jaguar C-X75
The C-X75 is the first supercar concept Jaguar has unleashed in nearly two decades. It was an electric hybrid supercar designed to compete against the world’s best road-legal performance EVs like Tesla cars. The car’s styling was unique, and the design has stayed alive all these years despite being shelved.
The folks at Jaguar thought it wise to cancel the mass production of the C-X75, but why? In December 2012, the brand’s global director announced that production was canceled due to the ongoing economic crisis. The automaker said it wasn’t the right time to launch a car that would cost the company over a million dollars to build.
7 Saleen S5S Raptor
Saleen has been a big player in the performance car segment for a long time, and with its beautiful selection of supercars, the S5S Raptor was about to be yet another beast from the brand. With its beautiful design, the S5S Raptor looked like a tried and tested supercar ready for production.
Even though there’s no documented reason for its shelving, the car never made it to production. The automotive community has lauded the Saleen S5S Raptor for its outstanding modern styling and excellent performance. It had it all in terms of beauty and brown.
6 Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force
Although electric vehicles have dominated automotive headlines nowadays, there was a time when fuel cell was the future of green energy in the car industry. Mercedes-Benz wanted to take the lead in this segment with the Ener-G-Force, a unique fuel-cell SUV that never went into production. The proposed Highway Patrol Vehicle featured an ambitious design and was slotted to begin production in 2025.
The SUV was equipped with water collecting tanks on its roof that converts the water into fuel, with enough power for 500 miles of zero emissions. The Ener-G-Force was developed for the Los Angeles Design Challenge 2012, and it was awesome. But with battery power being the popular alternative to internal combustion engines, the Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force is most likely to never see the light of day as a production SUV.
5 Lamborghini Estoque
The Lamborghini Estoque looked razor-sharp when launched as a concept. Unlike other sedans with curvy design cues, the Estoque featured sharp edges and straight cuts in its design profile. And for a car showcased as early as 2008, the Estoque concept still holds relatively well. Reports suggest that the concept was supposed to be shelved for only a year after its global premiere and then go on to mass production. Interestingly, Porsche had also showcased the Panamera.
While there are no official reasons explaining the shelving of the Estoque, there are some theories elaborating on the unfortunate events. He is believed that the Volkswagen Group could only finance one project between the Estoque and the Panamera. Unfortunately, the VW Group chose to go the Panamera way.
4 Cadillac Ciel
It’s no secret that Cadillac suffered some notable failures at the beginning of the 1990s – the Cadillac Catera was the most outstanding one. However, there were some pretty concepts the brand during this time, and the Ciel was one of the coolest developed. The car featured a retro-themed body design that utilized the new Cadillac art & science design language.
The Ciel was meant to be Cadillac’s flagship model, but ended up being a luxury car living on the shelves. General Motors executives concluded that the car was overly expensive to manufacture and had little to no brand appeal to justify the investment. And although it never made it to the showrooms, it starred in the 2015 Entourage movie.
3 Bugatti Galibier
The Galibier was one of the best automobile designs of 2009. It was a beautiful design that looked much like Rolls-Royce luxury cars, mostly the Ghost. The most surprising aspect of the Galibier is that it was a sedan, the first from the brand, but it didn’t go through to production. Rumor had it that in 2011, Wolfgang Durheimer put the car on ice since it wasn’t designed to Bugatti standards.
The new Bugatti chief, who also headed the Bentley brand for VW Group, believed that for the Galibier to be produced, it had to be top-notch in every aspect to appeal to the billionaire folks – the typical Bugatti buyers. The Galibier was meant to succeed the Veyron. So, when Bugatti realized the VW Execs had killed the Galibier, they started developing a Veyron successor in secret, explaining how the Bugatti Chiron came to be.
2 Chrysler ME Four-Twelve
The ambitious, mid-engined Chrysler ME Four-Twelve was first introduced at the 2004 North American International Show. This was a time when the Daimler Chrysler relationship was at its peak. The car utilized carbon fiber wisely, using the lightweight material to build parts of the chassis and its body panels. With Chrysler’s healthy relationship with Mercedes at the time, the brand didn’t want to go far to source a reliable power source.
As a result, the ME Four-Twelve was fitted with a modified version of the AMG 6.0-liter V12. The result wasn’t just a shiny show car; it was a fully operational prototype that Chrysler engineers took through the due testing process and affirmed for production. Unfortunately, the same healthy relationship between Chrysler and Mercedes that brought the cool concept to life caused its demise. Mercedes couldn’t approve a Chrysler-built supercar with AMG power to go to production, especially a model that would challenge and outperform Mercedes’ own SLR McLaren.
1 Volkswagen W12 Nardo
The Volkswagen W12 Supercar hit the automotive waves in the 1990s with a 5.6-liter W12 built from two 2.8-liter VR6 units. Every design aspect of the W12 was impressive, from its exterior styling to the interior appointments and the power below its hood. But the exotic W12 never saw the light of the day as a production vehicle. But why?
One reason, and perhaps the only viable reason for the failure of this supercar, was the complexity of its powerplant. It was complicated and expensive to manufacture the W12 engine.
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