Audi AI:Trail Quattro
Audi MediaCenter

Cool Concept Cars We Hope to See on the Road in 2020

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Audi AI:Trail Quattro
Audi MediaCenter

Get Wheel

Concept vehicles bring out the kid in car lovers everywhere, and while many never make it past the concept stage, some actually wind up on America's highways — or at least its racetracks. The past few years have seen some of the decade's most promising, most unbelievable, most please-make-that-right-now concept cars unveiled at major auto shows across the world. Here are a few that could actually become a reality in 2020 or a little bit beyond.

Related: 23 Places to Get Behind the Wheel of a Sports Car You Can't Afford

Click here to see concept cars from 2019 and decades past

Tesla Roadster
Tesla

Tesla Roadster

Tesla is taking reservations for the long-awaited Roadster — for which Elon Musk is promising some specs that will simply have to be seen to be believed. Among them are a range of 620 miles, top speeds surpassing 250 mph, about 7,400 pounds of torque driven through all four wheels (that's not possible, right?), and perhaps most fantastically, zero-to-60 acceleration in 1.9 seconds.

Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo
Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo

The VW ID. Buzz Cargo concept is based on bringing back the classic VW Bus, but with all kinds of upgrades to position it as the work/delivery van of the future. It has an estimated range of 340 miles on 201-horsepower engines powering rear wheels. It also has high-voltage outlets for power tools, a fold-out workbench, and a solar roof.

Related: 22 Most Popular Volkswagens of All Time

Volkswagen ID. Vizzion
Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID. Vizzion

Another one from VW is the ID. Vizzion, the maker's first serious bid for the luxury limousine market since the ill-fated Phaeton of the early 2000s. This one is voice-controlled, and features augmented reality, but little else is known about it — save for its 225 kW motor, fully electric four-wheel-drive powertrain, and range of more than 413 miles.

Aston Martin Lagonda
Aston Martin

Aston Martin Lagonda

This hyper-luxury concept car debuted at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show; in 2019 it was revealed that the Aston Martin Lagonda had been updated to an all-terrain format. Essentially a space-aged yacht on wheels powered by a supercomputer, the zero-emissions Lagonda is reported to have an auto-drive feature that, when engaged, allows the driver and front-seat passenger to swivel and face the back-seat passengers. Also, its key levitates electromagnetically between the two front seats.

Related: 14 Car Innovations We Could See in the Next Decade (And One We Won't)

Audi E-Tron GT
Audi of America

Audi E-Tron GT

The Audi E-Tron GT debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show promising sports car performance from its Quattro all-wheel drive. With a fully electric motor that can generate 590 horsepower, it's got power to match. The luxurious interior is made from vegan materials and recycled fibers, and its 800-volt charging system can work with cable and by Audi wireless charging. It has a range of more than 248 miles and can go from zero to 62.1 mph in 3.5 seconds.

Audi AI:Trail Quattro
Audi MediaCenter

Audi AI:Trail Quattro

The 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show saw the unveiling of the Audi AI:Trail Quattro. Sort of like lunar rover meets "Total Recall," the concept car is like the Lagonda in that it's built for off-road excursions and comes with autonomous driving capabilities. Thanks to the use of superlight materials, it weighs in at less than 4,000 pounds, which is quite a feat considering it has a large lithium-ion battery and four electric motors, each installed by the wheels they power. On the highway, it promises a range of up to 300 miles. (On the trail, that number drops to 150 miles.)

Related: 25 Great Places for Off-Roading Adventures in the U.S. and Canada

Audi PB18
Audi MediaCenter

Audi PB18

Also from Audi is the fully electric PB18, which premiered in 2018 at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The three-door hatchback supercar holds the promise of 671 horsepower. Its 95-kilowatt-hour solid-state battery could make possible a range of more than 310 miles, theoretically, while an 800-volt charging system could top off the battery in just 15 minutes.

Related: 15 Reasons I Drive An Electric Car

Polestar 2
Polestar

Polestar 2

Volvo's fully-electric performance brand Polestar will begin production on the Polestar 2 model in 2020. Starting in the low-to-mid $60,000s, its battery will deliver an estimated range of 275 miles, though battery options can bring that number up to 325 miles. In terms of horsepower, the stated estimate is a nasty 408, and it can go from zero to 60 in less than five seconds.

BMW Vision iNext
BMW Group

BMW Vision iNext

Slated for production by 2021, the BMW Vision iNext follows a trend in modern concept cars: It's fully electric and offers autonomous driving. Intelligent materials allow passengers to control settings and features by making gestures on their seats or a wood panel with their fingers, whether it's to turn up the volume on the music or to drive. The interior has been rethought to feel less like a car and a little more like a living room.

Lexus LF-1 Limitless
Lexus

Lexus LF-1 Limitless

Promising a new genre of luxury vehicle, the LF-1 Limitless appears to cross a sports car and futuristic station wagon. In 2019, Lexus said it could be powered by gasoline, hybrid, fuel cell, plug-in hybrid, or go fully electric. Like so many others vehicles on the list, its most promising features are artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.

Related: 29 Classic Station Wagons We Miss From Childhood

Genesis Essentia
Genesis

Genesis Essentia

Making its debut two years ago at the New York Auto Show, the luxurious and aesthetically stunning Genesis Essentia will likely not be on the road in 2020 — but it's hopeful for 2021. Little is known about the electric coupe except that it's stunning inside and out (and that the production model won't have butterfly doors). Oh, and it goes from zero to 60 in around three seconds.

Ferrari FUV
Ferrari

Ferrari FUV

The reality is, the world likely won't get to meet the Ferrari utility vehicle until 2021, but at least it's all but certain that it's coming. Ferrari dubbed the concept car an FUV unofficially because the company could not tolerate hearing "SUV" in the same name as Ferrari; its newly unveiled actual name is Purosangue, which translates into Thoroughbred. Ferrari has been tight-lipped about the details, but the FUV will likely be built on an Alfa Romeo platform and cost at least $300,000, competing with the likes of the Bentley Bentayga.

Related: 20 Classic Italian Sports Cars We Wish Were in Our Driveway

Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet
Mercedes-Benz

Driven By Inspiration

Vehicle prototypes that give automakers the chance to spread their creative wings, take radical chances, and introduce new designs, new technologies, and new styles are nothing new — there was a crop last year, and for decades into the past. Here's a look at the Class of ’19 as well as some of history's most amazing prototypes.

Volvo 360c
Volvo

Volvo 360c

One of the newest concept cars to dazzle the imaginations of gearheads everywhere, the fully electric Volvo 360c is the Swedish automaker's alternative to short flights. The driverless pod is the brainchild of Volvo's automation division, and it promises to deliver all the luxury of a private jet without the headaches or cost. If it ever becomes a reality, Volvo vows that the 360 will change the nature of medium-length road trips consisting of a few hundred miles.

Dymaxion
Dymaxion by Sicnag (CC BY)

Dymaxion

Daredevils would love to take Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller's 1933 Dymaxion prototype for a spin, if only to stare down death. Three prototypes were built for this 20-foot, three-wheeled, spaceship-esque beast, the first of which killed its driver in 1933. When pros at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville dared to build a replica in 2015, Autoweek claimed it was the scariest rides of their lives. During the Depression, however, the visionary inventor billed the Dymaxion as the car of the future, promising it would eventually fly.

GAC Enverge
GAC Enverge by Matthew P.L. Stevens (CC BY-NC)

GAC Enverge

Before GAC unveiled the Enverge at the Detroit Auto Show in 2018, few people beyond automotive insiders had even heard of Chinese automaker. But the company's creation certainly helped get the GAC name out there. The electric Enverge features a floating digital dash screen, gullwing doors, and, if GAC's calculations are correct, 370 miles on a single charge. Perhaps the coolest feature of all, however, are the headlights, which detach to become flood lamps.

1938 Phantom Corsair prototype
1938 Phantom Corsair prototype by Alden Jewell (CC BY)

Phantom Corsair

Another oldie we'd love to see come to life in the modern age is the Phantom Corsair, a six-passenger coupe designed in 1938 by Heinz 57 ketchup heir Rust Heinz. The original concept car was a Batmobile-esque rocket with a V8 engine capable of pumping out 190 horsepower and propelling the aerodynamic wonder to 115 mph. Plans for production died with Heinz in 1939, though the prototype did make an appearance in the film "Young at Heart." Today, it resides at the National Automobile Museum in Reno.

Fiat Turbina
Fiat Turbina by Rahil Rupawala (CC BY)

Fiat Turbina

In 1954, Fiat unveiled the Turbina, a rocket-shaped concept car that featured a then-unheard of gas turbine propulsion system — hence the name. With declared horsepower of 300 at 22,000 RPM, the Turbina held the record for the lowest drag coefficient for three decades. The Turbina was abandoned due to poor fuel economy and overheating issues.

NISSAN IMX
Nissan

Nissan IMX

Nissan has promised the world that its IMX concept car will be available to the masses in 2020. It will probably be built on a modified version of the hugely successful LEAF chassis. Its dual motors generate 429 horsepower and 516 foot-pound of torque and its battery has a stated range of 380 miles. When EPA standards are factored in, that will likely drop to a still-impressive 250 miles, which it will traverse through the self-driving ProPilot system.

Oldsmobile Golden Rocket
Oldsmobile Golden Rocket by Insomnia Cured Here (CC BY)

Oldsmobile Golden Rocket

In 1956, Oldsmobile unveiled a concept car with a name that summed up its entire essence: the Golden Rocket. With a body designed to look like an airplane's fuselage, the front end features bullet-shaped chrome inserts to really give it a Buck Rogers feel. Light as a Porsche Cayman, the futuristic car wasn't just a pretty face. With a 3.8-liter Rocket V8 that could generate 275 horsepower, the Golden Rocket was as serious about performance as it was about design.

Jeep 4SPEED
Jeep

Jeep 4SPEED

Jeep fans, rejoice. The 4SPEED concept car is nearly half a ton lighter — 950 pounds, to be exact — than the standard Wrangler. Such a load off the suspension lifts the 4SPEED by a full 2 inches. A combination of ultra-light concepts from 2011 and 2013, the 4SPEED has the same wheelbase as the classic Wrangler, but it's 22 inches shorter, which makes it among the most nimble four-wheel drive vehicles you'll ever see off road.

AMC Amitron
AMC

AMC Amitron

Once billed as the future of transportation, the AMC Amitron was released in 1967 in anticipation of a coming oil crisis. A hair smaller than today's popular Smart models, the Amitron looked sort of like a "Jetsons" golf cart, but much cooler. Although it was tiny, the wheels were at the corners so passengers could fit inside comfortably. Designed with space economy in mind, the inflatable seats could be deflated to increase cargo room when passengers weren't sitting on them.

Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet
Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet

The Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet slingshots classic Mercedes luxury into the future. The two-seater comes with a shallow under-seat battery that allows for more than 200 miles when meeting EPA standards. Curved and sporty, the radiator stretches the entire length of the grill, making it arguably the most attractive cabriolet ever built.

Chevrolet Aerovette
Courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet Aerovette

Corvette, meet Lamborghini. Lamborghini, Corvette. Introduced at the New York International Auto Show in 1976, the Chevrolet Aerovette was a sport coupe from the future with an unmistakable touch of Countach, gullwing doors and all. Almond-shaped and aerodynamic with a minimalist interior and a cartoonishly giant windshield, the Aerovette just might be the greatest Chevy that never was.