The CAR Top 10

Cel­e­brat­ing gor­geous retro de­sign con­cepts

CAR (UK) - - Contents - By Matt Joy

Some­times the best prepa­ra­tion for a huge leap into the fu­ture is a glance in the rear-view mir­ror. Also handy if you’re clean out of fresh ideas.


There was no such thing as a hot Abarth ver­sion of the early-’70s Fiat 127, but that hasn’t stopped in­dus­trial de­signer David Oben­dor­fer from imag­in­ing what a retro ver­sion of one might look like to­day. He’s got a knack for this stuŸ – check out his reborn Re­nault 4 and Fiat 600 too.


Forty years after Lam­borgh­ini cre­ated the su­per­car, de­sign com­man­dant Wal­ter de Silva de­liv­ered this stun­ning rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Miura in 1996. Mur­cielago me­chan­i­cals meant it was vi­able, but boss Stephan Winkel­mann ve­toed it: Lam­borgh­ini is about the fu­ture, he in­sisted, not the past.


Be­fore the R8 there was this Sil­ver Ar­rows-in­spired beast, named after rac­ing driver Bernd Rosemeyer and stuŸed with eight litres of W16 mo­tor. It caused a stir in the show halls in 2000, but it was deemed too costly to build. Some of its ideas soon œil­tered through to the R8, though.


From 2005, the car­bonœibre EcoRacer was a rolling test­bed for new ideas, and a very pretty one. Weigh­ing just 850kg and pow­ered by a 1.5 TDI en­gine, it could hit 62mph in 6.3 sec­onds, peaked at 143mph and av­er­aged 80mpg. It also switched from coupe to road­ster to speed­ster. The ’60s Ford GT40 was a Le Mans-win­ning odd­ity and a source of en­dur­ing pride for the Dear­born top brass. They just wouldn’t let it lie. A run of con­cepts – in­clud­ing this one from 2002 – was fol­lowed by 2004’s pro­duc­tion ver­sion, and then an­other even wilder one this year.


Saliva glands went into over­drive as BMW pushed out this M1 Hommage at Villa d’Este in 2008, mix­ing mod­ern touches with ref­er­ences to the mid-en­gined ’70s orig­i­nal. BMW opted not to build it, but in­stead did some­thing even braver by mak­ing the hy­brid i8.


Cre­at­ing a con­cept ref­er­enc­ing the ’40s when your brand is only 18 years old is quite a stretch, but Inœiniti did just that with its Project 9. Hand-formed steel is wrapped around the Nis­san Leaf’s pow­er­train to great eŸect – just a shame the mar­ket for two-seater ’40s-styled EV rac­ers is so small.


This 2011 con­cept isn’t retro in the same way as the other cars here; it was merely de­signed to look like the nat­u­ral re­place­ment for a cur­rent pro­duc­tion car that hap­pened to be 63 years old at the time. Re­plac­ing the De­fender must be the tough­est job in mo­tor­ing – it’s al­ready two years late.


Would you choose the de­signer of your next con­cept car on the ba­sis that he cre­ated a chaise longue for a Madonna video? It was the ’90s after all. Ford’s J Mays got Marc New­son to cre­ate a car for the 2000s as if he was a neigh­bour to Ge­orge Jet­son. The re­sult looks re­mark­ably con­tem­po­rary.


With the 370Z ap­proach­ing double œig­ures, it’s time for a fresh aŸord­able sports car from Nis­san. No won­der that the Dat­sun 510-in­spired IDx con­cept, which œirst ap­peared at the 2013 Tokyo show, was such a smash hit. But those pesky œinances have scup­pered an­other gem.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.