There's nothing like a concept car to get heads turning at an auto show. This year we saw ideas from established auto manufacturers including Audi and Honda as well as start ups Rivian and Byton.
Here are some of Roadshow editors' favorites from this year. We're praying at least one makes it into production.
A supercar with race car touches will always get my attention. Audi's PB18 E-Tron concept borrows lots of inspiration from the R18 Le Mans race car for the suspension and front and center driver seat position.
The PB18 E-Tron's electric drivetrain consists of three electric motors with two in the rear and one up front providing a net output of 671 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque. An overboost function bumps muscle up to 764 horses. Audi says it'll hit 62 miles per hour in about two seconds flat, which is mega quick.
Best of all, the styling has some clear R8 inspiration up front, but adds in sharper body lines and tall rear windshield for a shooting brake-like appearance. It's simply gorgeous. If our electric vehicle future looks like this, I'm very okay with it.
Between the conceptual styling and the fact that a new Peugeot hasn't been sold in America since 1991, this fruit is forbidden twice over. That doesn't stop me from enjoying the E-Legend's futuristic design and classic proportions.
Beneath the muscle car-inspired sheet metal is a fully electric powertrain that makes 456 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, propelling the concept couple to 62 mph in under 4 seconds and onward to a theoretical range of about 373 miles.
The neo-vintage theme continues inside, matching old-school velvet-trimmed bucket seats with a massive array of 16 displays. The E-Legend also promises to switch seamlessly between manual and autonomous driving with sporty or relaxed dynamics settings for both modes.
At the New York Auto Show this year, Genesis showed off the Essentia concept -- a 2+2 electric grand tourer. I love the transparent hood that shows of the suspension bits and the butterfly -- or billionaire -- doors.
Oh, and those doors open via fingerprint and facial recognition. Trés futuristic! Genesis didn't give too much info about the propulsion system, only that "multiple" electric motors scoot the Essentia to 60 mph in 3 seconds. That should be quick enough to satisfy my inner speed demon.
The Essentia has a ton of cool onboard tech. It can determine your mood based on your driving behavior and complete financial transactions on the go. Heck, it can even talk to your smart home system and pre-heat or cool your digs so it will be perfect when you get home.
It all sounds groovy, but the Essentia is more of a design study than anything else.
How do you know whether a concept vehicle is a hit? If it gets greenlighted for production. The Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo concept was first introduced to the world in March at the Geneva motor show. By October, it was confirmed for production. That's because it's friggin' cooler than a Costco meat locker.
It's probably a safe bet this will end up being called a Taycan Cross Turismo when it ends up on dealer lots. It should also share the Taycan sedan's primary specs: 600-ish horsepower, roughly 300 miles of range and a 0-60 time of around 3.5 seconds.
This Porsche will have you saying "bye, Felicia" to range anxiety. An 800-volt charging system means this EV can recoup 250 miles of range in only 15 minutes. Sign me up.
When an automaker defies expectations, it's often to profound effect. Such is the case here, where a company with a boring-of-late design language came out with a stunner of a concept.
The Le Fil Rouge concept is purely for design -- there are no sorta-real specifications or anything like that. It's all about design, and what a design it is.
Best of all, Hyundai claims this concept will form the basis for future production vehicles. If that's the case, where can I start standing in line?
The Rivian R1S was the standout for me at the LA Auto Show with its modernized Range Rover Classic-esque looks, its gorgeous green paint and its promise of huge range and bottomless torque.
The R1S concept reeks of practicality and has a gorgeous interior. This leads me to believe it will be a nice place to spend time if that's how it enters production.
I've never been a fan of blue-sky concepts, so the Rivian rigs hit a sweet spot for me. They're just enough of the future with plenty of grounded, achievable goals. I can't wait to see this go into production.
Audi's new, all-electric E-Tron GT concept was recently unveiled at the 2018 LA Auto Show -- taking all the good from the A7 and making it better with an 800-volt spark.
590 electrical ponies are expected to thrust this four-door fastback to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. What's better is that can be done over and over for 248 miles on a single charge.
What makes this a game changer is the rate of charging -- 80 percent in just 20 minutes for a range of about 200 miles. Expect a production model ready by 2020.
Unveiled at CES Asia, the Byton K-Byte interests me on several levels. First, I find the industry's recent tidal wave of electric- and autonomous-car startups to be endlessly intriguing, even if most of them will amount to little more than red ink. Secondly, I'm fascinated by Byton's all-in approach, where the Chinese startup treats its models more as smart devices than traditional cars. As a dyed-in-the-wool enthusiast, it's diametrically opposed to my own viewpoint, but I nevertheless find it captivating.
I not only like the K-Byte's muscular form, I also like its details. It's got novel cracked-glass headlamps and I love the way the Byton's attempted to integrate sensors into the bodywork as actual design features instead of being something to hide.
The K-Byte's interior should be no less interesting, with a billboard-sized full-length dashboard screen and a secondary in-wheel display.
Will Byton actually make it to market? Nobody knows for sure, but with $500 million banked from its most recent round of funding, it seems more likely to survive than most startups.
I'm an unabashed fan of electric vehicles, and over the past decade or so it's been really exciting to see what car manufacturers can do when they create passenger cars designed from the ground up to be electric. With the Rivian R1T, it's great to see that sort of original thinking applied to a truck platform.
I've wanted a truck for some time now, but it's always seemed like the kind of thing that would have to be another vehicle. You know, a car for commuting and road trips, then the truck for towing and runs to get mulch in the summer. In my eye, the R1T, much like the Honda Ridgeline, offers enough practicality to be a legit daily driver.
That pass-through space beneath the rear bed gave me thoughts of loading one up with my dogs and snowboards and heading up to Vermont for the weekend. There's plenty of cargo space in the frunk for a weekend's get-away, and enough range to make it round-trip. I admit I think the thing is ugly, but I really don't care. I want one. I also want to believe the company can deliver on all those range and performance numbers. On that time shall tell.
Mercedes-Benz showed the EQ Silver Arrow concept at this year's Monterey Car Week, ahead of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It's a tribute to the 1937 W125 Rekordwagen that set a speed record of 268 miles per hour on a public road -- something that wouldn't be broken until 2017.
While the original Rekordwagen used a 725-horsepower V12 engine, the EQ Silver Arrow Concept is powered by electricity. The combination of an "advanced battery" and electric motor is said to be good for 738 horsepower, and a top speed in excess of 250 mph.
The Silver Arrow has just one seat, and takes the shape of a futuristic interpretation of the classic land speed racer. The huge wheels measure 24 and 26 inches in diameter, front and rear, respectively. And the concept is a full 17 feet long. It's massive, impressive and looks super-duper cool.
Oftentimes automaker "concepts" are little more than paint-and-stripe packs. Not so with the Honda Rugged Open Air Vehicle, which demonstrates serious creativity in making a pickup truck-based ATV.
Combining important parts from the Honda Ridgeline pickup and the Pioneer 1000 side-by-side, the concept looks to give the open-air, off-road experience in a big, elaborate way.
Sure, I know a vehicle as outlandish as this concept will never be built. But isn't the point of concepts to dream big while also highlighting your engineers' and designers' abilities? Honda's off-roader nails that mission and, let's be honest, has me jonesing to take the concept for a sneaky test drive.