There are plenty of things that everyone looks forward to at a car show. Yet, nothing gets people hyped up more than the unveiling of a brand new concept car. No matter where in the world they’re revealed, concept cars are always the sleekest, most high-tech vehicles ever seen. After all, they’re supposed to be representations of what the future of cars could look like.
Is it possible to buy a concept car? Generally, no, concept cars aren’t for sale to the public, although it’s known that they oftentimes end up in private auctions. Concept cars aren’t road legal, if they’re functioning at all. Their sole purpose is to showcase a new design concept or future technology.
Keep on reading this article, and you’ll discover everything you need to know about concept cars, why they exist, and why they can’t be bought like other cars. As a bonus, we’ll even look at a few Holden concept cars that have captivated Australians over the years.
Let’s get started.
What Are Concept Cars?
Let's start by exploring the idea or 'concept' of concept vehicles. In simple terms, concept cars are a way for automakers and their designers to showcase a brand new style of automobile design or some cutting edge technology. They're prototypes, essentially.
Automakers will typically produce a single concept car to show off at major industry events like international car shows. Once the vehicle has served its purpose, it’ll be stored away or even scrapped, never to be seen again.
In many cases, concept cars are never mass-produced. Instead, their design serves as inspiration for later models that eventually appear on the production line. However, there are cases where concept cars evolve into full-fledged production models available for purchase to the general public.
Why Do Automakers Produce Concept Cars?
Seeing as how there’s a good chance the concept vehicle won’t ever see the light of day again, why do automakers invest so much time, energy, and resources into building them at all?
For one thing, it’s a way to show off a company’s design capabilities. Think of it as a fashion show where designers get a chance to demonstrate their wildest ideas on the catwalk for the world to see, even though regular people might never get to wear the same clothes.
The same is true with concept cars. Even though regular people like you and I will probably never own those cars, it gives the world a chance to see which companies push their creativity and how they’re doing so.
Still, it’s not all for show. Some car companies produce concept cars as a method of speeding up the development process. Suppose a car brand wants to develop a particular design style or cutting-edge technology, but they’re unsure how the market will react.
By designing a concept car and revealing it at a car show, they’ll see how the auto industry reacts to it. Plus, they can also use any critique of the concept car to improve their designs for the future.
Can You Buy a Concept Car?
No, you can’t buy a concept car. They’re not for sale to the general public for several reasons.
Firstly, it’s expected that concept cars aren’t fully functional vehicles, to begin with. Remember: they’re built to show off a new style of automotive design or a new type of automotive technology. They’re not necessarily built to be driven from Point A to Point B.
Secondly, even if the concept vehicle was functional, it’s too risky for the company to sell it to anyone from the general public. They call it a ‘show car’ after all, which means that it’s not built for safety or reliability the same way production cars are made.
Having said that, it’s an open secret that some people can and do buy concept cars. They typically consist of wealthy private collectors who find their way into clandestine private auctions where concept cars are sold.
So, to summarise, is it humanly possible to buy a concept car? Well, yes. Is it a possibility for most people on the planet? Unfortunately, no, it’s not.
Are Concept Cars Street Legal?
No, it’s safe to assume that concept cars are not street legal. They’re built purely for show, whether it’s to show off their design or a piece of technology they carry. So, they’re not built following any type of regulation to deem it road-worthy.
What Were Some of the Best Holden Concept Cars?
While most people are familiar with Mercedes concept cars or any other international brand, we need to remember that there are plenty of homegrown ones to admire as well.
Holden concept cars have brought Aussies great pride over the years thanks to their impressive designs. Some of the best Holden concept cars over the decades include:
- Holden Hurricane (1969) - a two-seater coupé with a V8 engine, designed as a ‘research vehicle’ to study trends in automotive design, among other things.
- Holden GTR-X (1970) - a two-door coupé. Holden was very serious about turning this into a production car at the time. Sadly, doing so would be too costly, so it never became a reality.
- Holden Torana TT36 (2004) - This concept car was said to be the follow-up to the Commodore, and it was designed to see how the Aussie public would react to a high-performance, rear-wheel-drive sedan.
- Holden Efijy (2005) - A pillarless custom coupé with a V8 engine and an old-school exterior design. According to stories, this concept car was sought after by some of the world's wealthiest and most influential people.
Learn More about Concept & Production Cars from CarpartAU!
To stay up-to-date on the latest concept cars in the automotive industry in Australia and beyond, check out the Carpedia at Carpart.com.au. The blog has frequent updates with plenty of how-to articles, helpful guides, and the latest car news from Australia and the rest of the world!
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By Ray Hasbollah