Though the New York International Auto Show isn’t a haven for concept cars, the handful in attendance still do their job, grabbing our attention and pointing (sometimes vaguely) toward what might come. The four at this year’s show, from a stick shift wagon to a luxurious bread van, seemed more outfitted for the actual street than a brightly lit podium at the Javits Center. If these cars do make production, they’ll be worthy of your hard-earned dollars. Consider yourselves warned, bread truck drivers.
Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept
Land Rover is clearly rolling out the redesigns in good order. The tasty Discovery Vision Concept shows what the next LR2, as well as a line of Discovery vehicles (LR2 and LR4 in the states), could look like. A crisp fascia and simple profile lines make it one of the cleanest SUV concepts we’ve seen. It also showcases new technology like gesture control, remote control drive, laser headlights, laser terrain scanning and a crazy transparent bonnet that the driver can peer through when cresting a hill. Whether you’ll be able to see any tools you’ve left under the hood hasn’t yet been clarified.
BMW Concept X5 eDrive
Hybrid trucks actually make more sense than small hybrid cars, which already get good mileage due to their size and weight. The Concept X5 eDrive pairs a 2.0-liter turbo four with 245 horsepower to a 95-hp electric motor, providing a combined 340 horsepower. The lithium-ion battery’s range is 20 miles at speeds up to 75 mph, and performance doesn’t suffer much, with 0-60 coming in less than seven seconds. A flat load floor even lets you haul your gear while blowing the environment a kiss. All that remains is to find out whether or not BMW will actually produce it.
Ford Transit Skyliner Concept
This one is our favorite of the bunch simply because it combines the Transit’s uber-practicality with a bit of excess. Galpin Auto Sports has taken the Transit and added four lush leather captain’s chairs that can be moved for numerous configurations like theater, business, reception and travel; they return to their original position via smartphone or tablet. It comes complete with a pop-up table, tailgating features and a 52-inch flat screen TV. If that’s not enough for you, there’s a over-the-top wood floor, a built-in bar and custom luggage for your very posh road trip. There are three engine options, including a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine with the power of a V8 and the fuel efficiency of a V6. But you won’t notice. You’ll be having too much fun in the luxo van of your dreams.
2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI Concept
Our passion for wagons runs deep, so a sporty diesel one with a stick shift makes us howl like a timber wolf on a moonlit night. The new Golf Sportwagen (no longer Jetta) arrives on our shores early next year with both 1.8 TSI and 2.0 TDI engines. Each can be had with a manual transmission, god bless VW. There’s also 10 percent more cargo room than the outgoing car. It’s the sad case of a wonderful new entry in a dying segment. It’s labeled as a concept because of its 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, which may or may not make it to us, but here’s hoping.