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

Corvette Stingray Concept

Remember Sideswipe from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen? Well, this is what the character transformed into – the Corvette Stingray Concept, built to celebrate 50 years of the Stingray model.

Combining style cues from the original car with modern elements such as scissor-style doors, a rear-view camera with night-vision and a hybrid engine, it sounds a little too refined to be the successor of an unruly 1950s V8. But then you see it has four large exhausts at the back and the most sinister rear lights a car has ever known, so equilibrium is restored.

Mazda Furai

Koenigsegg and Zonda, eat your hearts out. Mazda's Furai race concept is incredibly striking, fast enough to leave your face behind and you could actually go and drive it - if you can persuade the Japanese manufacturer to let you.

It's a fully-functional concept, which alone makes it special, but it's the blue LED lighting that looks like a menacing smile we found ourselves most captivated by. Like a modern-day Knight Rider, only without the Hoff and a talking dashboard.

More after the break...

Mercedes-Benz C111

The 60s and 70s lay claim to some of the maddest concept cars ever, with more angles between them than a GCSE maths textbook. But what these wheels lacked in style, they more than made up with sheer power.

Mercedes-Benz and its C111 managed to take a 230bhp diesel up to 200mph in 1978, while averaging 14.7mpg at just under that speed over 12 hours. Not concent with breaking multiple speed records, a 500bhp V8 variant hit 250mph in 1979.

Jaguar E-Type

Enzo Ferrari, founder of Ferrari, said the Jaguar E-Type was the most beautiful car ever made, and that's saying something when his name is attached to some magnificent Italian automotive finery. So naturally the idea of a remake induced a few sleepless nights.

Thankfully the E-Type 'Growler' (no, not that sort of growler) concept, now known as the Lyonheart K, is available to buy, if you can somehow get yourself on the waiting list. Honestly, you'd have more luck growing a third arm than becoming the owner of one. Still, we can dare to dream about owning what could easily be the second most beautiful car ever made.

maserati birdcage

Everything a concept car should be: mad, expensive, ludicrous and completely desirable. 

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