In Depth

Geneva Motor Show 2016: the best concept cars

Manufacturers offer a sneak peak of what the future might hold

Often overlooked in favour of new production models, concept cars can provide a glimpse into the future of the motor industry.

So while the Bugatti Chiron and Aston Martin DB11 dominate proceedings at the Geneva Motor Show, here's a look at what could be thrilling drivers very soon...                                                                                                              

Mazda RX Vision

Mazda's dramatic, low, RX Vision concept is making its European debut in Switzerland.

The two-door, two-seat, rear-wheel drive coupe signals the company's intention to embrace rotary engines again – power units that made the RX7 and RX8 so distinctive – albeit with an new emphasis on efficiency and reliability.

According to Auto Express, the RX Vision could preview a production car wearing the legendary RX7 badge. And as 2017 is the 50th anniversary of Mazda's first production rotary vehicle, it could well be revealed next year.                                                                            

Italdesign GT Zero

The GT Zero might just have "the coolest a*** in Geneva", says Carscoops.

It's a futuristic four-wheel drive shooting brake/GT show car using an electric powertrain and three electric motors for a power output of 476bhp, a top speed of 155mph and a range of 310 miles.

"Overall, it's a hard car to miss," adds Carscoops, with the Lamborghini-like angular design – complete with scissor doors - sitting on huge wheels.

Pininfarina H2 Speed

Another concept from a respected Italian design house, the H2 Speed "looks like a Le Mans car from the future", says Car Magazine.

It uses a hydrogen-fuel cell linked to two electric motors for a total power output of 500bhp and a top speed of 186mph. There's no gearbox or differentials – drive goes straight to the rear axle via new torque-vectoring software.

Pininfarina says the H2 is "halfway between a racing prototype and a production supercar" and develops sounds that belong in a sci-fi film. Its purpose is to explore future technologies for racing, which could then translate into road-car tech.

Techrules Trev

Beijing-based research and development company Techrules boasts two of the most ambitious concept cars at this year's show.

The models are turbine recharging electric vehicles - TREV - meaning they use a range-extending micro-turbine setup to charge an onboard battery pack to power the wheels.

The AT96 "Aviation Turbine" is a track-focussed model that uses liquid fuel such as aviation kerosene, while the more road-focussed GT96 "Gas Turbine" uses the likes of natural gasses to power the turbines.

Techrules claims using turbines means seriously high performance can be achieved alongside a huge range – the AT96 has 1,030bhp and can travel 1,200 miles from 80 litres of aviation kerosene.

The company wants to put a Trev car into production soon. "We’ll believe it when we see it," says Top Gear. "Though we’d delighted to be proven wrong."

Vauxhall GT

Something a bit more closer to home is Vauxhall/Opel's new GT concept, a small, three-cylinder sports car inspired by the Opel show cars of the 1960s.

The company revealed the concept prior to the show and since then, deliberation as to whether it previews an upcoming production vehicle has been all the rage in the motoring press.

According to Auto Express, the GT's designer wants to "find a way" to get a production version signed off, but the tech and design cues featured will wind up on production models soon, anyway.

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