The 30 greatest concept cars ever

When you give car designers free reign to theorise about the future, you end up with automobiles that are completely mad and insanely pretty

Audi Quattro Concept

Combining four-wheel drive with a turbocharged engine for the first time ever in motoring history, the original Audi Quattro inevitably became a bit of an icon, not to mention a rally king. Plus it looks tougher than Jason Statham.

Audi rightfully decided to celebrate the original Quattro's 30th anniversary with the Audi Quattro concept, and was planning on selling between 200 and 500 cars. Sadly the concept – and its 2.5-litre turbocharged engine – were canned in 2012.

Lamborghini Estoque

Lamborghini and family car are not words you would expect to see nestled together, but at one point the Italian manufacturer considered the idea. The Estoque, unveiled in 2008 at the Paris Motor Show, was a 4-door sedan powered by a 5.2-litre V10 engine.

Naturally, a car that could get your kids to school faster than just about everything on the road wasn't going to come cheap, especially with that legendary raging bull adorning the front. If Lamborghini ever releases this car, which it probably won't, expect a price tag of around $230,000.

More after the break...

Scion FR-S

The Scion brand was manufactured by Toyota – which decided to create something sporty with the help of ex-rival Subaru. The result was the Scion FR-S – a rear-wheel-drive gaze-magnet that looks cooler than Steve McQueen.

While the FR-S concept isn't for sale, it did result in two almost identical cars with different badges, the Toyota GT 86 and the Subaru BRZ. You can get your paws on either for under £30,000. Send in the differences between the two cars on a postcard.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell

Some concepts actually make it to production, and one example is the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell. Based on the current fire-breathing SLS model, the E-Cell uses four electric motors instead of a gravity-defying V8.

The result is a more eco-friendly car that can get to 60mph in 4 seconds and then on to 155mph. Best of all, all those 525 ponies and 650lb/ft of torque are available from 4,000 revs. We're less sure about the colour, though, which looks like the aftermath of beer and kebab night.

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