Monday, April 9, 2012

Retro Inspired Concepts Worth a Second Chance

Some say that the auto industry is churning out retro inspired designs almost as often as Hollywood is doing remakes. Even if you believe that there are already too many retro inspired cars on the road today here are four retro concept cars from the recent past that should have made production. All four were released to much fan fare and publicity during their debuts and it can be argued that all but the Lamborghini would fill an empty slot in their manufacturer's portfolio. One would also argue that by not making production versions two of the automakers lost a chance to create a potentially iconic product.

Ford Bronco Concept (2004)

With the Jeep Wrangler enjoying a great sales renaissance amid high gas prices Ford might want to reconsider its 2004 Bronco concept. Featuring sharp boxy styling and compact dimensions of the first generation (1966-1977) Bronco the latest version would be a great Wrangler competitor. A lack of a truly capable off-road platform likely made the Bronco a tough case for production. 

Ford Interceptor Concept (2007)

While the Ford Taurus SHO is a capable performer in its own right enthusiasts are still clamoring for a true rear wheel drive performance sedan from Ford. Several years back Ford showed a concept of such a vehicle, a retro inspired Crown Victoria sized Ford Interceptor powered by a "Cammer" 5.0 V8. The Interceptor concept still looks great today yet its upright styling theme would clash heavily with the other sedans in the Ford lineup such as the Focus and the Fusion. Chances for a production Interceptor are slim as Ford has created a Taurus based Police Interceptor to replace the Crown Victoria in that duty.

Lamborghini Miura Concept (2006)

The 2006 Miura Concept designed by Walter de'Silva was simply a way to mark the fortieth anniversary of the original. de'Silva did such a great job of re-imagining the iconic Miura that there were numerous calls for a production version. However, as a company that sees itself on the cutting edge of automotive design Lamborghini is as anti retro as it gets. One can't fault Lamborghini for looking forward with amazing designs such as the Aventador.

Current Lamborghini Design is much different than the retro Miura concept. Click for More photos + photo source

Volkswagen Microbus / Bulli (2001/2011)

The Microbus concept from 2001 is a personal favorite and one that Volkswagen reportedly scrapped very close to production because of the rising Euro. Volkswagen's success with the New Beetle, particularly in the US, means that a retro van is not dead yet. A recent concept from last year fuels the fire that a Microbus inspired Volkswagen is around the corner once again. The inability of the Routan to make a significant dent in the minivan market hopefully has VW thinking of a more stylish alternative. With VW's new extremely versatile and cost efficient MQB platform nearly ready for prime time there might be a better business case this time around.

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