Top 5 Concept Cars of 2011

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As a culture, we have been in the throes of a love affair with automobiles since they first started rolling down the roadways over a century ago. From the days of wind-up and steam-powered cars and the muscle-era rides of the mid 1900s, to the blazing fast sportsters today and the impressive cars sure to come in the future – cars captivate us like few other things in existence.

One genre of car that really commands attention is the concept car. Usually sleek, fast and futuristic, conceptual designs give us a glimpse of what the future of automotives may look like.

Some concept cars actually make it to the road; others hang over our heads like the proverbial pie in the sky. But no matter if we can drive them on the roads or only in our dreams, much of the world is still on the edge of their collective seats when a manufacturer announces their new concept.

In no particular order, let’s go over the Top 5 Concept Cars for 2011.

1. Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche has been one of the leading names in sports cars for decades, and their concept cars are always dazzling. Most conceptual sports cars are designed to be incredibly fast and powerful. Porsche, while still delivering the muscle with the 918 Spyder, is actually going the planet-conscious route with this hybrid.

The Spyder has a 3.4 liter V8 and puts out around 490 horsepower. It gets a lot of assistance from a trio of cutting-edge electric motors. This Porsche is a legitimate supercar in their long line and boasts all the features you would expect to find in a Porsche, including an option for all-wheel drive, a removable roof, advanced safety features, and much more.

2. Chevy Volt

The government-sponsored Chevy Volt has not been received very well by the public at large, but the conventional wisdom there is that Volt’s initial shunning was only political. Once you wade through the thick climate of demagoguery in the US, you’ll find a high-performing, sleek, ultra-stylish and efficient Chevrolet.

The concept behind the Volt is fairly simple: Chevy wanted to do “green” differently than the other guys. Not only are the safety features on par with what you should expect from America’s top auto engineer, but the Volt gives hybrid a new name completely. Its gas engine is only in place to produce the actual electricity to run the automobile, making the Volt extremely energy efficient, cutting back drastically on emissions, and performance is not sacrificed for function.

3. Renault Dezir

Renault Dezir

The eye-popping candy-red of the conceptual Dezir is enough to draw most people in from the start. Looking more like something Speed Racer would cruise around in, this latest offering from Renault exemplifies where the future of automotives is heading – high-powered, green, and incredibly attractive.

Being a two-seater supercar, the latest Dezir is already in a niche, but its state-of-the-art electric powertrain appeals to every planet-loving, tree-hugging greenie from Mississippi to Morocco. Dezir is a little bit of Lamborghini, a little bit of Ferrari, a little bit of Mercedes, and all Renault.

4. Hyundai Curb

Hyundai Curb

Most people only think of something like the Porsche or Renault when they think “concept,” but this is the modern era of conceptual cars. There is only so far we can go in terms of speed and style; now it’s time—at least according to auto manufacturers—to produce the most fuel-efficient line of vehicles the Earth has ever seen. Enter the Hyundai Curb.

Its looks are self-explanatory. I mean, what can one say about the boxed shape, yellow-threaded tires, small cab size and lightning-bolt-shaped lights? It’s certainly a niche automobile for electric car enthusiasts. But it makes the list because it is one of the top conceptual designs of 2011, and its 1.6 liter engine is enviro-friendly, while its electric components are ahead of the game. Its popularity in the mainstream is unproven, but Hyundai certainly produced one of the top concepts in its respective niche.

5. Jaguar C-X75

Jaguar C-X75

Now, this is more like it in terms of a concept car. The C-X75, even when perfectly still, is the epitome of beauty in motion. Jaguar touched on every sports-car-lovers’ fantasies with this sleek body style, the chrome wheels, the ode-to-Lambo hood and air vents – it is everything one expects a concept car to be, only you won’t find a V12 under the hood.

Jaguar is also going the green route in 2011, the common theme going forward, and the famous auto manufacturer has managed to produce an electric car that is still ultra fast and powerful. They put an electric motor on each individual wheel, able to propel the car 0 to 60 in 3.4 seconds, and it has a top speed of 205 MPH. Wow!

Overall, the race to win our future will be ran by cars more like you’ll see on this list and less like you remember from the 1900s. The entire world is aware of the tremendous sacrifices humans make for oil and gas and the dire state our planet is in as a result of unchecked emissions.

Some of these concept cars may never become available, but every auto manufacturer is beginning to design their rides with electricity in mind. So be sure to get a good glimpse of the future now; it will be here before you know it.