Among enthusiasts of Japanese performance cars, no list of greatest rides would be complete without mentioning the Nissan Skyline, in particular its GT-R variant. Popular with the "drifting" crowd, the GTR nonetheless went on indefinite hiatus in 2002.
Nissan unveiled one truly "conceptual" concept of a re-imagined GT-R in 2001, but it was a later concept attempt in 2005, the GTR-Proto, that would eventually see life as a production vehicle. The new GT-R, minus the "Skyline" moniker, went on sale in Japan in 2007 and in the United States the following year, followed later by other world markets.
With original performance of 485 horsepower, 434 foot-pounds of torque and a 193-mile per hour (310.6-kilometer per hour) top speed, the GTR delivered world-class supercar performance for about $80,000. (Performance numbers later improved as both Nissan and aftermarket tuners found ways to free-up and bolt-on horsepower.) Affectionately known as "Godzilla," the GT-R still isn't what you'd call easily accessible to Joe Lunchpail. But it's a much more believable aspiration for working stiffs than the GTR's six-figure competitors from Europe.
So there you have it -- 10 examples of proof that automotive designers' and cool car enthusiasts' dreams can and do come true. For lots more articles, photos and other information about concept vehicles, follow the links below.
- Abuelsamid, Sam. "Frankfurt 2007: Toyota iQ concept details and pics." Autobloggreen. Sept. 12, 2007. (Dec. 15, 2011) http://green.autoblog.com/2007/09/12/frankfurt-2007-toyota-iq-concept-details-and-pics/
- Auto In The News. "Have We Seen the Demise of the Concept Car?" Aug. 23, 2010.(Dec. 13, 2011) http://www.autointhenews.com/have-we-seen-the-demise-of-the-concept-car/
- AutoTalk.com. "Aston Martin Cygnet Confirmed for Production." Oct. 11, 2010. (Dec. 15, 2011) http://www.autotalk.com/aston-martin-cygnet-confirmed-for-production-6743/
- Bowman, Bill. "Mako Shark Chevrolet Corvette Concept." GM Heritage Center. (Dec. 16, 2011) http://history.gmheritagecenter.com/wiki/index.php/Mako_Shark_Chevrolet_Corvette_Concept
- Carautoportal.com. "Audi TT." (Dec. 14, 2011) http://www.carautoportal.com/audi/audi-tt.php
- Edmunds.com. "Volkswagen New Beetle History." (Dec. 15, 2011) http://www.edmunds.com/volkswagen/new-beetle/history.html
- Ford Media. "Living Legend Comes to Life as Ford Delivers First Production 2005 Ford GT." Aug. 4, 2004. (Dec. 14, 2011) http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=18864
- General Motors Press Release (Archive). "Auto Buyers Have Spoken: GM Will Build An All-New Chevrolet Camaro." Aug. 10, 2006. (Dec. 16, 2011) http://web.archive.org/web/20070225053150/http://media.gm.com/servlet/GatewayServlet?target=http://image.emerald.gm.com/gmnews/viewmonthlyreleasedetail.do?domain=3&docid=27934
- Harley, Michael. "Audi TT-S to be Official Car of the Tourist Trophy Races." Autoblog.com. April 25, 2008. (Dec. 15, 2011) http://www.autoblog.com/2008/04/25/audi-tt-s-to-be-official-car-of-the-tourist-trophy-races/
- Honda.com. "Honda to Discontinue Production of the NSX Sports Car." July 12, 2005. (Dec. 16, 2011) http://world.honda.com/news/2005/4050712.html
- Lassa, Todd. "Chevy Volt Is Early; Corvette Is Late." Motor Trend. Sept. 28, 2007. (Dec.14, 2011) http://blogs.motortrend.com/chevy-volt-is-early-corvette-is-late-1129.html
- Nissan. "Nissan Announces New Nissan GT-R." Oct. 24, 2007. (Dec.15, 2011) http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/NEWS/2007/_STORY/071024-01-e.html
- Pininfarina. "Honda HP-X." (Jan. 20, 2012) http://www.pininfarina.com/index/storiaModelli/modelli.html?scheda.php?id=36&cmp=anno&ord=desc&sl=0&ids=1a6cbefaafe007a7d9b765f7b345b49f
- Porsche.com. "Porsche 918 Gets Green Light for Series Development." July 28, 2010. (Dec. 13, 2011) http://www.porsche.com/uk/aboutporsche/pressreleases/pcgb/?pool=uk&id=2010-07-28
- Savov, Vlad. "Porsche 918 Spyder concept is the most beautiful hybrid we've ever seen." Engadget. March 2, 2010. (Dec. 13, 2011) http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/02/porsche-918-spyder-concept-is-the-most-beautiful-hybrid-weve-ev/
- Siler, Steve. "2010 Chevrolet Volt -- Official Photos." Car and Driver. August 2008. (Dec. 13, 2011) http://www.caranddriver.com/news/2011-chevrolet-volt-official-photos-car-news
- St. Antoine, Arthur. "The Asphalt Jungle: Ayrton's Car." Motor Trend. April 2006. (Dec. 16, 2011) http://www.motortrend.com/features/editorial/112_0603_the_asphalt_jungle_ayrton_senna/
- Toyota. "TMC to Tweak iQ for Individuality -- Aston Martin Version Planned for Europe." June 29, 2009. (Dec. 15, 2011) http://www2.toyota.co.jp/en/news/09/06/0629_2.html
The I.D. Buzz is a far cry from its predecessor. HowStuffWorks has details about the technology and artificial intelligence that makes the bus cool.