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Welcome to the top ten concepts of 2014

  1. Scavenging motor show floors for news become eminently easier when you’re faced with a mini SUV with a roof mounted drone. Or a bright red supercar you had no idea existed. Or a four-door saloon built using sharkskin.

    And that’s the point of concept cars: flights of fancy, watered down shock and awe tactics to either a) distract us from the real story, or b) give us a glimpse into the future.

    More often than not, they are c) just really, really cool. Like these ten we’ve rounded up from 2014’s motor shows so far.

  2. 1. Toyota FT-1

    Well, wow. Quite possibly the biggest surprise of 2014 so far, the FT-1 concept is a kidney punch to those who scoffed at Toyota’s ambition to get its sexy back.

    A rear-wheel-drive, Supra-type concept that definitely isn’t the next Supra, we’re only told that underneath that bright red body lurks “a powerful internal combustion engine”. TG is secretly hoping it will be the wailing V10 from the Lexus LFA.

    Read the full story here

  3. 2. Alfieri

    The only thing you really need to know immediately after poring over the picture above is the statement from Maserati CEO Harald Wester. “We’re evaluating it for production.”

    This is Good News, because the Maserati Alfieri is gorgeous. Think of it as an F-Type rival, and if/when it goes into production, expect it to be rear-wheel-drive and powered by the V6 and V8 turbo motors from the Ghibli.

    Read the full story here

  4. 3. Peugeot Exalt

    Please Peugeot, can we see some of the design flair you give us in your concepts filter down into your road cars? We ask because this new Exalt saloon - the follow-up to 2012 Onyx concept we so loved here at TG - looks good.

    It’s got a Peugeot Sport developed 340bhp hybrid powertrain, and utilizes alternative materials in its construction, including a textile inspired by sharkskin. We’re not making this up.

    Read the full story here

  5. 4. Kia Stinger

    Cool name, cool looks and a really cool powertrain. The 300bhp+ Kia Stinger is a rear-wheel-drive answer to Toyota’s GT86.

    Or at least it would be, were it in anyway production ready. It’s not, but it’s still an exciting thing: near-perfect weight distribution, a 2.0-litre turbo engine, 1304kg mass and six-speed ‘box. Make it now Kia. NOW.

    Read the full story here

  6. 5. Civic Type R

    OK, so this one’s a bit of a stretch in the whole ‘concept’ stakes, because we know for sure that it’s being built for 2015. But still, at Geneva this year, Honda gave us a teaser, and it was Good.

    A 2.0-litre turbo petrol making 280bhp. Wild rear wing. Four exhaust pipes and flared arches. 2015 can’t come soon enough.

    Read the full story here

  7. 6. Golf R400

    Though the Type-R won’t have it easy, not least because Volkswagen has deemed it prudent to turn up its seemingly unburstable and venerable 2.0-litre turbo engine to the monster tune of 395bhp. Yes folks, the Golf R400 just happened.

    0-62mph takes 3.9 seconds and it’ll top out at 174mph. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FOUR MPH. Remember, this is a hatchback with more power than an early BMW M3.

    Read the full story here

  8. 7. Volvo Estate

    The third concept from Volvo’s new design chief Thomas Ingenlath proves one thing: Volvo has definitely rediscovered its mojo. It’s a shooting brake study that reminds the world of the Volvo P1800 ES, while looking to the future of the XC90.

    There’s some clever stuff inside, too, with a massive central touchscreen and a beautifully laid out interior.

    Read the full story here

  9. 8. Land Rover Discovery

    The next Land Rover Discovery will be a radio controlled car! No, seriously: judging by some of the technical innovations LR is promising, not only will the new Disco - previewed by this Vision concept - be able to navigate itself, it’ll probably be able to go to the moon and back.

    Actually, that last point isn’t such a stretch: Land Rover has announced a partnership deal with Virgin Galactic, who want to run commercial space flights.

    Read the LR Disco concept story here

    Read LR’s future tech story here

    Ten big facts about the Virgin Galactic space mission

  10. 9. Renault Kwid

    Renault appeared to address a huge shortcoming in the concept car design stakes with its Kwid SUV: DRONES.

    It’s not as explicit as that, mind, because Renault calls it a ‘flying companion’, used to scout traffic ahead, take pretty landscape pictures you can show off to your friends and detect road obstacles.

    It’s only one step away from rooting out road-ragers or hunting down bumper-hoggers and mercilessly executing them. Just saying people, be warned.

    Read the full story here

  11. 10. Skoda VisionC

    Ignore the luminous paint job and concept car wheels, because underneath all that lies a really very cool looking car. It’s a hint towards a future Skoda ‘liftback’ model due sometime in 2016.

    It’s a smidgen smaller than a Passat CC, provides space for four, will get whatever VW Group engines it can get its green-fingered hands on, and is actually a very exciting prospect.

    Read the full story here

    We missed any concepts that scream out to you? Let us know your favourite in the space below…

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