In addition to being a hotbed for gorgeous, potential world record-setting supercar machinery, the Geneva Motor Show is also one of the best shows of the year for concept cars that range from "produce it now" to "not in another 1,000 years." We already took a full look at the exotic supercar line-up, now it's time to check in on the many notable concept cars revealed and displayed in Switzerland.
Concept cars are a staple of every major auto show, but Geneva always seems to shine a bit brighter than others in this regard. Not only do the major automakers line up brand-new concept reveals for the show, but a number of parties that we rarely hear from outside Geneva – Italian design houses, automotive think-tanks, transportation design schools, et. al. – present fascinating designs that push the boundaries of what cars can be. This year's concept lineup is as impressive as ever.
Self driving cars take new shapes
Vehicle designers picked up where they left off at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, exploring the future of autonomous vehicle design. Rinspeed expanded the vision it began with the 2014 XchangE, revealing the BMW i3-based Budii concept, complete with robotic steering wheel arm and autonomous driving suite.
Equally intriguing is Italdesign Giugiaro's Gea concept, a vision of a more luxurious self-driving car that greets passengers with an LED-powered "red carpet" and treats them to a comfortable cabin complete with champagne refrigerator drawer. Passengers use the strange smartphone-powered "G" orb to change interior settings between business productivity mode, "exercise in place" wellness mode and sleepy dream mode. The stylish exterior uses LED lights to communicate whether the car is currently in human or autonomous driving mode, and the windows tint to match the Obsidian Blue body color during self-driving trips.
The wagon gets serious sex appeal
We know that Europe has an affinity for wagons that markets like the United States don't quite understand. The all-new Kia Sportspace and Audi Prologue Avant deliver a very lucid lesson that should get those outsiders up to speed rather quickly. Both automakers massage the wagon into truly sensuous, desirable concept cars.
The Prologue Avant's 455-hp hybrid powertrain and Porsche-derived rear-steering wheels clearly win the mechanical arms race over the Sportspace's 250-hp 2.0-liter turbo, but the Sportspace's interior adds some innovation with its retractable load-floor roller balls. In terms of styling, we think it's a toss-up, so we'll just leave photos of each here and let you decide which set of curves reigns supreme.
A car, a plane, a carnival ride ...
As we've come to expect, a few outlandish and straight-out weird concept cars refuse to be ignored at this year's Geneva show. The Light Cocoon Concept from EDAG isn't nearly as off-the-wall as last year's hovering Genesis thingamabob, but the color-changing, backlit skeletal body would certainly stand out from every other vehicle in highway traffic.
Weirder still is the segment-straddling ED TORQ, a self-driving race car with a sharp, pod-like body planted atop a broad chassis platform. The two-part build emphasizes the pristinely white, windowless body – a 360-degree interior monitor system displays the world just outside the body panels in place of the usual windows. According to Italy's ED Group, the electronic-view hardware eliminates the blind spots inherent in traditional vehicle design. We're not sure that a future of electric, self-driving race cars is one we want to be a part of, but ED Group sure seems excited about it, mentioning plans to use the TORQ as a jumping off point for a collaborative, open-source autonomous vehicle research effort.
We'd have awful trouble creating neat subheadings for all the category-defying concept cars we saw in Geneva this year. Instead, we invite you to the gallery to view each one individually.