What’s the Deal With Concept Cars?

February 7th, 2013 by

Middletown HondaNo, it’s not a Jerry Seinfeld bit, but you might be asking yourself this question if you’ve glanced at a car blog or magazine lately. The North American Auto Show recently held in Detroit showcased a wide range of concept cars from auto manufacturers all over the world. But what is a concept car exactly? Do they actually work? And can you buy one? The answers are: yes, they usually work; and no, you can’t buy one, not yet anyway.

What is the Benefit?

Concept cars are exciting for a company for a wide range of reasons. First, it can be a complete field day for the design team. Because they’re not designing a model that is meant to be driven by the public as a whole, the rules of design can be generously bent. Design choices can be made that would never pass on a market ready car. In the past, manufacturers normally would only offer a scaled down model, while today, car show goers expect the life-sized real deal.

Often concepts give us a glance of what’s to come. It’s a company’s chance to present a design direction to an audience. This allows them to show off their skill, give a preview of what’s in store, as well as gather feedback. The minivan actually started as a concept vehicle before becoming available to the public, though many concept cars are not so lucky. Depending on how much demand there is for the vehicle, it’s possible it will never leave the showroom, while some of them become the best-selling vehicles we know and love.

Honda Beyond Conception

Honda has debuted some interested concepts lately. An Urban SUV concept made its debut at the North American Auto Show in Detroit. Shorter than the CR-V, Honda is experimenting with a crossover that’s perfect for the tight conditions of city driving. A US market ready edition is predicted for 2014. At the Montreal Auto Show, Honda gave crowds a glimpse of the new Honda Gear. This unique looking compact three-door is smaller than the Fit and is intended as a city car. A fun design matched with utility should make this a popular vehicle if it hits the markets.

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