2009 is coming to a close and top 10 lists from the world's media are flowing like a slit wrist. For this year's WCF Top 10 Concept Cars list we decided to take a slightly different approach. Instead of fabricating an opinion list, we decided to base it on popularity as measured by WCF user visits (in a two week period). Hardly creative, we know, but it's somewhat scientific and if you don't like the list, then too bad.
Judging by the majority of vehicles in the list being German in origin, it seems our readers from the old GermanCarFans.com days are in full force. Is this an accurate reflection of our audience's preferences, or perhaps, a reflection of which car manufacturers are making news/cars that appeal most to enthusiasts?
Hopefully, as the global economic crisis thaws over 2010 and beyond, makers will realize there are a lot more car enthusiasts out there than they think. They just haven't been converted yet with exhilarating yet affordable cars. Nonetheless, it all starts with a concept, and with this year's Top10 list we recognize the concept cars that you paid attention to the most.
10. Subaru Legacy Concept - 50,991 visits
Subaru used the Detroit Auto Show to unveil the Legacy concept that previewed the upcoming production model. The concept featured a high-gloss Ultimate Silver paint finish, LED headlight clusters, symmetrical all-wheel drive and a 3.6-liter Boxer engine. The Legacy Concept also showcased a four-seat arrangement with the instrument panel using several touch-screens and cameras in a theme that Subaru dubbed "High Definition."
09. Bugatti 16 C Galibier - 56,841 visits
Revealed exclusively off site from the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the Bugatti 16 C Galibier Concept was described as the "most exclusive, elegant and most powerful sedan in the world," according to Bugatti CEO Franz-Josef Paefgen. Power comes from the 8-litre W16 motor shared with the notorious Veyron. It churns out between 588kW (800hp) and 735kW (1,000hp). As the second Bugatti model, the 16 C Galibier is speculated to arrive in 2013.
08. Audi Q5 Custom Concept - 61,692 visit
A bit unorthodox to be eligible for the Top 10 Concepts list, but the numbers don't lie. The Audi Q5 was revealed back in 2008, but this Custom Concept, which was basically an in-house tuned Q5 with an Audi S4 supercharged 3.0-liter V6 conversion, was all the rage. It debuted at the 28th Wörthersee Tour in Austria, an Audi/VW tuning festival also known as GTI Meet Wörthersee. It also featured a widened track by 90mm, lowered suspension by 60mm, 21-inch rims, panoramic roof and ceramic brakes.
07. Corvette Stingray Concept - 80,625 visits
The only American car on the list, the Corvette Stingray Concept was exposed via numerous leaks and spy photos while on the film set of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Never intended for production, the Stingray was an extreme styling exercise that combined elements of the current Corvette and the classic 1963 split-window Corvette Sting Ray.
06. Infiniti Essence Concept - 90,509 visits
Presented at the Geneva Motor Show, the Essence Concept was billed as a gas/electric hybrid luxury super-coupe. Although the Essence had a combined 600hp, its main goal was to focus on a new classical and dynamic design of an aggressive sports coupe while providing a level of exclusivity to rival some of the world's most vibrant brands.
05. BMW 5-Series GT Concept - 98,436 visits
Unveiled at a special event in Munich prior to its public debut in Geneva, the production ready BMW 5-Series GT Concept captured the bewildered attention of many. Looking like the offspring of a 2010 BMW 7-series F01 and an X6 SAC, many enthusiasts found themselves perplexed or just scared of the freakish segment busting gender-bending coupe(?). It combined elements of a crossover, hatchback and full-size luxury 4-door coupe (e.g. Mercedes CLS) with only four seats, all under one roof.
04. Audi Sportback Concept - 106,632 visits
As a surprise unveiling at the Detroit Auto Show, the Sportback Concept was positioned as a variant of the A5 Coupe. It too shared the same ingredients with the BMW 5-Series GT: 5-door luxury coupe with only four seats. However, it left behind the crossover MPV effect as the Sportback Concept has a normal passenger car ride height.
03. MINI Coupe Concept - 119,888 visits
Unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the MINI Coupe concept attempted to attract greater male interest as a sporty aggressive two seater with typical Mini styling. It gave onlookers a radical side profile plus an aluminum roof that had a "reverse baseball cap" appearance, not to mention that thrilling MINI ride.
02. VW Blue Sports Concept - 129,127
A Detroit debut, the Blue Sports Concept combined great fuel economy with a sporty drive and look. Fitted with VW's well known 180hp 2.0-litre TDI, the roadster managed 0 to 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds while emitting just 113g/km in C02 gasses and averaging 4.3 litres per 100km (55mpg US/ 66mpg UK) in fuel consumption.
01. BMW Vision EfficienctDynamics Concept - 191,484 visits
The epitome of a concept car, BMW's Vision EfficienctDynamics Concept hit all of the compulsory elements: power, performance, design and technology. It combined sculptured body shapes and layered interior design with lightweight construction plus BMW M power/performance via a 3-cylinder diesel hybrid with dual electric motors. The VED gave enthusiasts a whiff of supercar exotica while making the environmentalists take a closer look. The result was a powertrain that provided acceleration to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. Average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle was 3.76 liters/100 kilometers, equal to 62.6 mpg, and the CO2 emission rating of 99 grams per kilometer. Additionally, in the WCF reader's poll (linked above) 85 percent of you voted that you "Loved it" or "Liked it".
Stay tuned for the WCF Top 10 Production Cars of 2009 before the New Year.
Happy Hollidays from the WCF team!