Concept cars are an odd beast. Sometimes they’re purely made for fun, like Jeep’s Easter Safari lineup every year. Other times, the cars actually are used to create a production model. Sometimes the difference between the concept and the production vehicle can leave you feeling a little disappointed or completely surprised.
The following are 21 concept cars that should be released by 2020.
Shrouded in mystery, the Toyota Supra has been making a painfully long return to the market. While it won’t be packing the legendary 2JZ, it does use a platform co-developed with BMW. All kinds of rumors are circulating about what will be under the hood, but all indications are the engine won’t be monumentally powerful. Instead, the resurrected Supra likely will emphasize balance and sharp handling over straight-line acceleration. We should see this car hit the market sometime in 2019. Tuned versions with oversized exhausts should hit the streets by 2020.
Based on the same platform as the upcoming Supra, the Z4 lives on in an updated form. The good thing about the continuation of the Z4 is that BMW will provide a fun and luxurious roadster at a time when sports cars in general are becoming a rare breed. It won’t breathe fire, but it should still be a blast to drive on the road. Like the Supra, BMW should launch the Z4 in 2019.
Volkswagen I.D. Crozz
The United States will get the I.D. Crozz, VW’s all-electric crossover, by early 2020. It’ll be sleek, include all-wheel drive, boast excellent range, and possibly pack advanced autonomous tech. The rest of the world will see the I.D. first, which is a smaller hatchback. Both will launch Volkswagen’s huge electrification push, after the Dieselgate scandal, partly to make us all forget about spewing toxic pollutants into the air we all breathe. Expected range is over 300 miles, which isn’t bad at all.
Tesla has already launched one into space, but we won’t see a production version of the Roadster until 2020. The California automaker is notorious for delaying new products, so we’ll see when this thing actually is available. Still, the updated Roadster should be worth the wait. It features a sexy, sleek body, active rear wing, plus a claimed 250 mph top speed and a 0-60 time of 1.9 seconds. If that’s not enough, CEO Elon Musk says the new Roadster will go over 600 miles on a single charge.
BMW Concept X7 iPerformance
It’s big, has questionable styling, and is really in your face. BMW looks to bring the X7 to market, and the Concept X7 iPerformance is the concept vehicle on which it is based. Hopefully the weird lateral vents in the front fascia get dumped, along with the right-angle treatments on the sides and rear fascia. One of the biggest advantages of the X7, when it does hit the market, will be the presence of a third row. Presumably it will be large enough to accommodate more than teddy bears, making it a more viable option for parents who want to cram all five kids in a vehicle with BMW badges on it.
Porsche Mission E
Many people have been waiting with baited breath for the Taycan, which is based on the Mission E concept. It will launch in late 2019, ushering the German automotive icon into the future of fully-electric vehicles. Porsche recently revealed some of the Taycan’s specs, including a 311-mile range and the ability to charge 80 percent of the battery in 15 minutes. This EV also will pack two permanently excited synchronous motors for what Porsche says will be overall better performance than other electric cars.
Lexus LF-1 Limitless
Billed as the flagship crossover for the luxury brand, the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept has caused a big stir in the auto industry. Shoppers seemingly can’t get enough crossovers, including the luxury variety, and so Lexus is much obliged to accommodate the craze and grab a bunch of cash. While the production version likely won’t have all the same wild designs, some features just might make the cut. One of the central features of the LF-1 Limitless might be a plug-in hybrid, fully-electric, or even a fuel-cell powertrain.
Hyundai Santa Cruz
Way back in 2015 Hyundai made waves by showing off its Santa Cruz pickup concept. It had a unibody, was compact, and looked super futuristic. But, alas, seemingly nothing was coming of it, until Hyundai announced not too long ago that the Santa Cruz will hit the market for the 2020 model year. Unfortunately, it won’t have seats in the payload, like the amazing Subaru BRAT. We don’t know much about the production pickup, but it will no doubt have a solid cult following.
Honda Urban EV Concept
Hearkening back to design themes from the Civic’s past, the Honda Urban EV concept caught people off guard when it debuted in Frankfurt. What was just as impressive was the fact that the car will be completely electric, features clam-shell doors, and even side-view cameras. There’s also a bench seat in the front, because why not, and both rear seatbelts retract toward the center of the car, not the sides. The production version will hit European streets in 2019, but there’s no word if it’s headed to North America or Asia yet.
Toyota TJ Cruiser
Thanks to a positive reaction to this concept SUV, rumor has it Toyota will get this block on wheels ready for production in the near future. The TJ Cruiser is a monolith of a vehicle in a field of increasingly sleek designs, making it really stand out. While it doesn’t look like it, the concept is smaller than the current RAV4 in just about every way. The production version would go up against the Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade, offering a more rugged and activity-oriented alternative. Still, there’s a chance Toyota might abandon the idea, forsaking yet another interesting idea in favor of bland vehicles.
Mini Electric Concept
While it has a completely unoriginal and unimaginative name, the Mini Electric Concept does mark a big step into the future for the little British brand. Close to 10 years ago, the Mini E was used by a small group of drivers and feedback was excellent. Thanks to technological advancements, when the Mini Electric launches in 2019 the batteries won’t intrude into the tight passenger compartment or cargo area. Range is anticipated to be about 150 miles, making it ideal for urban travel. Likely the production version also won’t have all the yellow highlights featured on the concept, but it should carry some design cues that hint it’s not a regular Mini.
BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept
People were genuinely wowed when BMW rolled out this sexy concept EV in 2017. It’s sleek, athletic, and makes Teslas appear bland. For some time, the German automaker has been signaling it’s going to jump into the electric car market with a fury, but the i3 has admittedly been more of a whimpering battle cry. The BMW i4 is supposed to hit the market by 2020, based on the I Vision Dynamics concept, although some of the wilder styling details probably will be dropped.
Hyundai’s luxury brand has a tough uphill battle, and one thing it’s lacking in a big way is an SUV. That will be corrected when the GV80 concept becomes a production reality. Admittedly, Genesis needs about five other SUV models, and one or two others are supposedly also on their way. Hopefully the GV80 will ditch the wheel patterns inspired by Max Headroom and those creepy headlights before it goes to production. The rest of the concept looks great, but it likely won’t strip sales away from the BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz GLE.
If you haven’t heard of this concept vehicle, it’s because the electric crossover debuted at the Shanghai Auto Show in 2016. The Chinese market is the area of focus for this vehicle, where the government is pushing citizens toward EVs in a big way. It should go well over 200 miles on a charge and pack about 200 horsepower, so it won’t be a performance machine in the least. Of course, GM can’t just build one version of a vehicle, so expect this platform to be used as a Buick, GMC, and maybe even a Cadillac.
While Mazda hasn’t officially confirmed that the Kai concept will be the next-generation Mazda3, it’s not a difficult association to make. The concept screams future Mazda3 hatchback, and that’s a good thing. It looks appropriately aggressive and muscular but avoids the overly angry design elements too many automakers have been piling on lately. We’ll find out for sure before too long, because the vehicle is supposed to hit the market sometime in 2019.
Audi debuted this concept SUV in Detroit in early 2017. Instead of being the behemoth Chevy Suburban competitor some were hoping for, the Q8 is a sleeker, sportier version of the Q7. It packed on the new design language for the brand, including a humongous grille and wide LED brake lights. When this hits the streets in the near future, expect the production version to pack a potent hybrid powertrain that’s supposedly going to put about 700 lb.-ft. of torque on tap. Yes, it should launch from a standstill with a fury.
Subaru Viziv Performance
Subaru got everyone really excited at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show with its Viziv Performance concept. It doesn’t take a genius to see that it previews the next-gen WRX. It’s low, wide, sleek, and decidedly futuristic in design. Still, the concept incorporates some telltale brand cues, like the hawk-eye headlights and hexagonal grille. The large hood scoop and fender flares are a nod to the WRX’s rally racing roots. Since then, a Viziv Performance STI concept has also debuted. Subaru won’t say much about either car, but rumors run the range, including that the boxer engine will be dropped, or both models will be electrified.
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV
SEMA always brings out crazy vehicles, but Chevrolet went for something more realistic when it teamed up with American Expedition Vehicles. The two created an overland-worthy version of the Colorado ZR2 that supposedly will be called the Bison. Unfortunately, the snorkel won’t likely be included in the production truck, along with the roof rack and bedside access panel that included water, electrical, and air access outlets. You really have to wonder why Chevrolet would bother making this truck, considering the plethora of aftermarket parts available to anyone. Yes, everything would be covered by the factory warranty, and Chevrolet can fatten its wallet in the process, so there’s that.
Mercedes-Benz hasn’t shown the EQC in its full glory, but instead keeps flashing photos with different colored camo as official teases. This vehicle will compete in the soon-to-be-exploding performance all-electric crossover segment, which was kicked off by the Jaguar I-Pace. Official specs for the production model haven’t been revealed, but expectations are a range of about 250 miles for the base trim and over 300 miles for the top-of-the-line version, plus blistering acceleration figures. That, and the interior should be sumptuous as well as finely crafted, otherwise this crossover won’t be worthy of the three-pointed star it wears.
Not too long ago Kia was associated with small, crappy cars. Quality has risen dramatically recently, plus the brand has a legitimate full-size luxury sedan and a performance sedan. Next up is taking the Telluride concept and releasing it as a 2020 production model. This full-size SUV will pack three rows of seating and hopefully plenty of interior space. Front-wheel drive will be standard, with all-wheel drive available. The concept uses a hybrid powertrain, which likely won’t make the production model, at least not at first. You can’t have it all, apparently.
Land Rover Defender DC100
The Land Rover Defender had an amazing run, with the design not fundamentally changed since it launched in 1948. A completely new version of this SUV is coming, but it will look and perform more like a modern vehicle. From the rumors, it sounds like while the new Defender will actually be comfortable for driving around the city, at least some versions will still pack plenty of rugged, hardcore trail capabilities. Both long and short wheelbase form factors will be available, and the new Defender will be available in the United States.