DETROIT, Mich. – Rarely is a concept car a pure flight of fancy. Expensive undertakings that siphon money and talent from more pressing projects, concept vehicles more often than not constitute rolling test beds for technology and design, built to give hints of the future or test consumer reaction. If they weren't designed to push the envelope with some basis in reality, there's little point in spending the time or money.
The vehicles in this photo gallery all point to production cars of the future, with the exception of the Infiniti Kuraza, an upright and somewhat ungainly SUV with the sole mission of exploring people packaging. Others, like the Mazda MX-Crossport, and Suzuki Concept-X hint at future sport-utilities to come.
Closer to reality are the Jaguar Advanced Lightweight Coupe Concept, Mercedes-Benz Compact Sport Tourer Vision B, Rolls-Royce 100EX, and Volkswagen Ragster, each of which displays strong flavor for vehicles arriving at a showroom near you by 2008.
Finally, the Volvo 3CC is the Swedish automaker’s display case for future propulsion systems, be they gasoline-fired, electric, or liquid hydrogen burning. The package isn’t important; what’s inside counts.