One of the trademarks of the Detroit Auto Show has always been the concept cars. While there are far fewer concepts than in years past, there are some very important concepts that may show us the future of some models. For example, the Toyota NS4 is a Plug-In Hybrid that looks stunning, unlike the current Toyota Pruis. The NS4 gives us a glimpse of the future for the Toyota hybrid line.
The Lincoln MKZ Concept and Honda Accord Coupe Concept show us what the future models for each may look like when the due for a refresh in 2013. The problem here though is that neither look quite right. The Lincoln MKZ Concept uses Lincoln’s new grille and the body from the new 2013 Ford Fusion, and they do not go well together. Clearly Lincoln needs to rethink its design of its grille. The Honda Accord Coupe Concept shows us that Honda is still struggling to find a grille design and does not offer much of a shape difference from the current Accord Coupe. Others that hind at future designs of vehicles include the Nissan Pathfinder Concept and Acura ILX Concept.
Some concepts are incredibly beautiful, such as the Lexus LF-LC Concept and Acura NSX Concept. Amazingly, both have hybrid engines while retaining sporty looks and performance. The Acura NSX is a comeback for the 1990s Honda NSX, and Acura insists it will build this car in the United States.
Chevrolet brought a pair of concepts, the Chevrolet Code 130R and Chevrolet Tru 140S, that do not appear to have any real purpose. Although, the Chevy Tru 140S is supposedly what the Chevrolet Cruze would look like as a coupe. Perhaps the biggest story on these concepts is the modified version of the Corvette badge they both feature.
Other concepts from the show include the electric (and ugly) Nissan e-NV200 and Volkswagen E-Bugster Concept. The Smart For-Us Concept shows us what a Smart off roader would look like, although an electric off roader would not be exactly brilliant. And the Chrysler 700C Minivan Concept is an attempt to cling on the minivans when everyone is switching to cross-over SUVS.
The selection of concepts this year was fairly slim. I believe there are fewer concepts in Detroit this year because the auto industry has learned to focus its funds on production models and back off the unnecessary concepts. While some of these concepts may become or inspire production vehicles, the majority are just for show.
If you get a chance to visit the Detroit Auto Show, the show will be open to the public through January 22. If not, check out the reviews of each concept car listed above by clicking the link (will take you to Autoblog). Also, be sure to check out the gallery below.