The 8 coolest concept cars revealed so far this year

  • Automakers revealed a number of flashy concept cars at CES and the Detroit auto show in January.
  • While concept cars don’t always become production models, they can give us a sense of what car companies are planning for the future.
  • This year’s concept cars reveal the industry is still preparing for a future of electric and self-driving vehicles.

We haven’t even reached February, and we’ve already seen a number of flashy concept cars revealed at CES and the Detroit auto show.

While concept cars don’t always turn into production models, they can give consumers a sense of where the auto industry is heading. If this latest batch of concept cars is any indication, car companies are planning for a future of electric and self-driving cars.

Take a look at our favourite concepts released this year so far.

1. Byton all-electric SUV


The Chinese startup Byton revealed an all-electric SUV concept at CES. Though it won’t be identical to the production version (Byton said the concept represents about 85% of it) that is scheduled for release in 2019, it gives us a pretty good sense of what the final product will look like.

Byton calls the SUV a “smart intuitive vehicle”


The car’s features may include face recognition technology, cameras in place of side mirrors, voice and gesture controls, and self-driving capabilities.

2. Infiniti Q Inspiration


Nissan showed off the Q Inspiration concept for its Infiniti at the Detroit auto show. While there’s no projected release date for the car, Nissan later said almost every Infiniti released after 2021 will be electrified.

The car may include an innovative engine


According to Infiniti’s website, the Q Inspiration will have “the world’s first production-ready variable compression engine,” which is supposed to debut in the 2018 QX50. The engine, which was developed over more than 20 years, is designed to be more powerful and efficient than a standard automotive engine.

3. Lexus LF-1 Limitless

Lexus introduced its LF-1 Limitless concept at the Detroit auto show. Toyota, which owns the Lexus brand, hopes to have the car ready for consumers by 2019, according to the Verge.

Lexus hoped to evoke a Japanese sword with the vehicle


The sleek luxury crossover aims to make the driving experience easier through expansive touch controls on the steering wheel and a touchpad on the center console. The concept’s overall design is supposed to evoke a Japanese sword.

4. Kia Niro EV


Kia revealed an electric version of its Niro crossover at CES.

The car has features to keep both drivers and pedestrians safe


The car would use cameras, object recognition technology, and speakers to alert pedestrians who are close to the car. Inside the car, drivers can use touch and gesture controls for many of the interior settings.

5. Nissan IMx


Nissan brought its electric IMx concept to CES this year.

The concept lets the driver take or hand over driving duties to the car


The IMx was shown with retractable steering and driving wheels that would allow the driver to either take control or let the car control itself. Nissan claims the car would have a range of over 370 miles per charge.

6. Nissan Xmotion


Nissan didn’t pull any punches when it showed its bold Xmotion SUV concept at the Detroit auto show.

The concept is eye-catching


The combination of suicide doors and a red interior would likely make the concept divisive if it were to go into production. The interior design is supposed to evoke a river with a bridge running over it, according to a press release from Nissan.

7. Toyota e-Palette


Toyota turned heads and freaked out “Black Mirror” fans with the autonomous, e-Palette concept vehicle it unveiled at CES.

The vehicle is supposed to be a versatile tool for businesses


Toyota envisioned the vehicle, which it hopes to start testing in the early 2020s, as an all-purpose tool for businesses. The company plans on producing three sizes which could be used to deliver goods, transport people, or function as a mobile storefront or office.

8. GAC Enverge

The Chinese auto company revealed the electric crossover concept at the Detroit auto show. While there’s no projected release date for the concept, GAC hopes to enter the US market by the end of 2019.

The concept has plenty of flashy features

In addition to gull-wing doors, the Enverge has a wide digital screen in the front and AR features for rear passengers. GAC claimed the concept could drive 370 miles per charge, according to Engadget.