What the Imagination Can Do With Four Wheels and an Engine

This is going to be a quick one about my three favourite concept cars that – obviously – never made it to production.

First off, the SAAB Aero-X.It is an awesome thing with its interesting door design that opens the entire roof of the car and the doors that go with it that would have been unique and exciting – if it made it to production. Impractical? Of course it is! It’s a concept! But that’s what made it brilliant! Yes, it only has a 2.8L Turbo V6 with a top speed of 158kph (my BMW 118i goes way faster), but it looked futuristic, still does even today, almost 15 years later. Throw a European V8 in there or maybe a couple of Tesla or Rimac electric motors and you would have a car to contend with.

Secondly, the BMW CS Vintage. It was never prototyped and remains nothing more than a render sitting on a server somewhere in Munich, but it is absolutely gorgeous. It is based on the previous 6-Series Coupe. No word on engines, but it would have probably had the 6-Series’ line-up. It was styled to be a homage to the legendary BMW E9 of the 1970s with its signature roof angled front end and Hofmeister Kink. Imagine building a limited run of it based on the new 8-Series platform, but with an even more luxurious feel, like a Rolls Royce with a BMW badge. It even comes with a smaller version of the controversial vertical kidney grille. Plus, the simplistic interior is exactly what is needed in today’s over-styled interiors (I’m looking at you, Mercedes!). I’d have one in a heartbeat.

Lastly, it is a car that was prototyped, driven, and even road-tested by James May. It also occasionally appears at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It is – of course – the 2003 Cadillac Sixteen Concept. It is a magnificent American barge of a car where four people can sit comfortably and one of those four has the power of a 13.6L V16 producing (at least) 746KW and (at least) 1356NM of torque under their right foot, all without a single whisper of forced induction. It has all this power and torque, but thanks to cylinder deactivation technology, it can run on 4 cylinders under normal driving allowing the 2.3 tonne car to get an average of 14L/100km, or 16mpg US. That’s not bad for a 13.6L naturally aspirated V16. I’d gladly pay for the fuel. Although I imagine when you put your foot down, that figure drops significantly – and I have quite a heavy right foot…

The question now is, if I had the money to have one of these three cars custom built, which one would it be? Well, whilst I love the idea of having a beautiful, fast and luxurious modern BMW coupe inspired by the E9, my heart says the Cadillac. Yes, I’d need to build a garage to fit the nearly 6 meter long car into and yes, I’d need to stock up on fuel cards and yes, the maintenance on it would probably be astronomic, but it’s an awesome, one-of-a-kind car. Whilst I would have it custom built, I’d update the interior just a bit to stay in tune with modern cars. And then I would do all my road trips in it. Long ones…

©2020 Michael De Kock 

Michael de Kock is a recently graduated job-seeking petrolhead nerd, fascinated with avocados and generally quite tall.

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