Top 10 concept cars that made the most impact in 2015

Article by Christian A., on December 26, 2015

The automotive industry has a very unique way of doing business. Generally it comes out with products that it hopes will not only set the trend but will also make the consumers love it enough to buy it. However, there are times when automakers will indulge in the imagination of the people with concept cars.

Concept cars have two main objectives. The first is that it is a way for automotive companies to test out the new ideas being proposed by their development teams. The second is that it gives consumers a preview of what future models may look like.

If anything though, car companies hope that it will be amazing enough to attract the attention of people around the world. Over the course of the year, we have been treated to different concept cars through car shows from Paris to as far as Shanghai. From hybrid sports cars to electric SUVs to self-driving cars, here are the 10 best concept cars of the year.

Mitsubishi GC-PHEV Concept

The Concept GC-PHEV from Mitsubishi is a full-sized SUV which celebrates the possible comeback of a cult classic but with a twist. This concept car has that off-road and boxy appearance which makes it look like the Montero.

The difference however is that this one is equipped with next-generation technology and has a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The GC-PHEV is powered by the supercharged V6 3.0-liter engine which is paired with the automatic eight-speed transmission.

Combined with the electric motor and its lithium-ion 12-kilowatt-hour battery pack, Mitsubishi's concept car can reach power of up to 335 hp. The interior has different kinds of technology. For example it has the augmented-reality windshield.

Another important and useful technological feature is the Driver Monitor which utilizes cameras to determine the level of alertness of the driver. Then there is a giant screen that has been put in between its four seats called the “Tactical Table.”

Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion Concept

Analysts and consumers are predicting that in the future, cars will be self-driving. The reality is that the current technology is still far from ready. Mercedes-Benz however is taking a stab on what it could be with the F 015 Luxury in Motion.

This concept car was unveiled during the 2015 International CES. So what does Mercedes-Benz think cars in the future will look like? For starters, it appears that cars will appear to be a hot dog that has been wrapped in aluminum.

There is however a reason for this as it is aimed at improving the flexibility and maximizing the space on its interior. The increased space is necessary as when manual driving is no longer needed, car owners will likely prefer their vehicles to serve as mobile lounges.

When the self-driving mode is activated, the steering wheel is retracted. After that the two seats on the front will turn 180 degrees in order to face the two other seats in the rear.

Lincoln Continental Concept

Nowadays, the Lincoln has become nothing more than rebadged Fords. However the Continental Concept car is showing people why it was a big hit in the past. This concept car was first shown to the public during the New York Auto Show in March 2015.

There is the expectation that if Lincoln goes through with it, it would help restore the brand's reputation. That it's a Lincoln is quite obvious as you only need to look at the grille and headlights to see the brand's logo. Lincoln spared no expense with the concept car as the interior has the same luxury feel compared to its predecessors.

Some of the new features include the fully-reclining seat in the rear and the 30-way adjustable seats. It is possible that this was done in order to make it easier to sell on the Chinese market as people there prefer to sit in the back and be driven rather than do the driving themselves.

This is already part of the EcoBoost family of Ford and with the V6 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine, efficiency is assured.

Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 Concept

Lamborghini first revealed the Asterion LPI 910-4 during the Paris Motor Show back in 2014. This plug-in hybrid is referred to by the company as the “hyper cruiser” and there are no other words that describe this concept car perfectly.

In addition to the V10 5.2-liter engine, it has three electric motors that when combined gives the Asterion a maximum 910 hp. Due to the power, the Asterion can reach a maximum speed of 198 mph and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in merely 3.0 seconds.

The Asterion came as surprise to many as the brand initially had no plans to build such a car. The brand has long been against making hybrids, but the need came due to increasing emission standards across the world. When the standards do become stricter, Lamborghini is more than prepared with the Asterion.

Hyundai Santa Cruz Concept

It is rare for a pickup truck to be considered as a concept car but Hyundai manages to make it work with the Santa Cruz. Appearance-wise, the Santa Cruz Concept is not your typical pickup as it looks like a pickup has been combined with a car.

Hyundai's purpose of doing this is to give consumers the best of both worlds. The Santa Cruz gives the fuel economy and comfort of a car with the style and utility of a pickup. This concept car was unveiled during the Detroit Auto Show.

Its all-wheel drive HTRAC system has been paired with a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel engine, allowing the Santa Cruz to reach 190 hp with maximum torque of 300 lb-ft.

The company has yet to confirm if the Santa Cruz will eventually go to production. However when it does, it will likely further remove the line that divides trucks and cars.

Honda Civic Concept

Fifth on the list is from Honda with the Civic Concept. You're probably asking why a Civic made it to this list. Well, when this 10th-generation Civic was shown during the recent New York Auto Show, everyone was indeed surprised.

Civic has long been the brand's main bread-and-butter but with this one, more style was added. The new design language is the first change to this model that the company has done since 2006.

Now it has a lower stance and it features wraparound taillights, and a number of spoilers and scoops. The sporty style is significant as the Honda has already scheduled the release of the Civic Type R to the U.S. market.

A production model of this concept car is expected to debut sometime soon. Though there have been changes in the style, buyers can still expect the crazy green paint as an option.

Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept

Originally Chevrolet released the Volt. With the Bolt, the difference is more than the one letter change. This concept car marks the company's move to launch its very own and first-ever all-electric car to the mass market.

Chevrolet has confirmed that the Bolt EV will replace the Spark EV. What makes the Bolt better than the Volt is that it runs purely on battery power with no gas engine serving as a backup.

The American manufacturer offers the Bolt EV at $37,500 and claims that it has a range of 200 miles. If the brand can ensure these two things, then it would indeed be good news for electric cars.

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept

Bentley has long been known to be a brand that rarely makes any big changes to the cars that it releases. The Continental for example goes as far back as 2003. Even today the company continues to boast about its wins on the 24 Hours of Le Mans even if it happened during the 1920s.

This is what makes the EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept exciting. Despite being a luxury car, its small size means that it is the closest thing the Bentley has to a traditional sports car.

The hybrid powertrain of the EXP 10 Speed 6 allows it to reach speeds of 200 mph. The interior also offers something new with its 3D-printed components and the infotainment system with its 12-inch touchscreen.

Aston Martin DBX Concept

Would you ever expect Aston Martin to offer an electric SUV? You probably won't. That's why many were surprised when they came out with the DBX Concept. Exhibited during the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the DBX had features that Aston Martin was not known for.

While it was as sleek as its usual models, the profile of the DBX was taller. Even with an electric motor, the DBX gives the same driving experience one would expect from Aston Martin. The company expects that this SUV will have a production version in the coming years.

With the DBX, the brand hopes that its unique characteristic will be able to carry over to a time when SUVs will be the vehicle of choice for the luxury market. New emission standards will also mean that engineers will need to find a way to develop powertrains.

Audi Prologue Concept

We start off the list with the Audi Prologue Concept which was originally shown during the Los Angeles Auto Show back in 2014. It’s clear that the name Prologue was chosen as it gives a preview of what Audi plans for its next generation models in terms of technology and style.

This two-door model not only has a longer front compared to the current offerings but it is also lower and wider. The car is powered by the V8 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged engine which gives 605 horsepower and maximum torque of 553 pound-feet.

Inside the Prologue, the whole dashboard is now a touchscreen with the center console being made out of a thin OLED film which is also bendable.

Due to the technology inside the Prologue, Audi needed to install a 48-volt electrical system in order to provide power for everything. Audi intends for the Prologue to be the first of the many concepts that it will roll out including an all-road wagon and a self-driving car.

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