You don’t hear much from Opel over in the states these days, but the Opel GT concept raised a few eyebrows. Known as the mini-Corvette, the Opel GT has a lot going for it. The tightly-wound design and interesting curves give the car an authentic sports car look. The model was seemingly close to a production scale although the Opel GT never hit the market. A lot of drivers were left wondering why the company wouldn’t bring the car to production.
Another thing that was a bit odd about the Opel GT was the fact that the front tires were red. There was no reasoning behind this other than a unique look for the car, which would be costly to produce. Most modern drivers aren’t going to splurge on a replacement set of red wheels every time they run over a nail.
Volkswagen aficionados have been clamoring for a pickup truck from the company for decades. VW does sell pickup trucks around the world, just not here in America. Since importing one can be a pain in the behind the best we can hope for is a release here. The Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak was an interesting concept that seemed to look similar to the Ford Raptor in its design. However, VW has remained eerily quiet about a release and it left drivers wondering.
Now would be a better time than ever to release a full-fledged pickup truck, and yet nothing from VW. America is a difficult market to break into, but Honda has had a successful run with the Ridgeline and Ford has introduced the compact Maverick. We have to wonder if the Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak will ever be a reality or if it was just an illusion from the company.
Renault has had a bad couple of years thanks to the negative press from the Nissan side. But the Trezor was a seemingly bright spot when it hit the auto show circle. Then the company left enthusiasts scratching their heads, as the car was promised for 2020 and never appeared. There has been no news about the Trezor since, and instead, Nissan has redesigned the Z sports car.
We have to wonder what would have gone down if the company had just redirected its efforts toward the Nissan brand instead. The Trezor had a lot of potentials and the brand is still well known in the F1 circuit. When the Trezor seemingly disappeared from the spotlight drivers were confused, to say the least. Renault is an automaker that has experienced quite a bit of bad press so the Trezor might come out later on.
As if Volkswagen didn’t have enough bad luck with the previous dune-buggy concept, the automaker tried again. The Volkswagen ID. Buggy was an all-electric concept this time around, as most automakers are jumping on the electrified bandwagon. The design was seemingly offroad as you’d imagine but the car was still limited. Drivers were left wondering why VW would introduce this instead of a new pickup truck.
The ID. Buggy is part of a larger strategy by Volkswagen to introduce more electric-powered vehicles into the lineup. Along with a new Volkswagen Bus the ID. Buggy is meant to appeal to outdoorsy types. Electric cars are still a new concept and it will take some time before the costs will come down enough for most consumers to afford one.
As if the off-road limousine wasn’t bad enough, Mercedes decided to design a real “land yacht.” The Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet is a long-nosed sports car that’s designed for those scenic Saturday road trips. The design, however, resembles a long dress shoe instead of a car that you can enjoy driving.
Mercedes is trying to position the Maybach line on the same level as Rolls-Royce, and that isn’t going to happen. Maybach has been marred by issues since the original models hit the showrooms a decade ago. Although the design is beautiful, the Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet just doesn’t equate to great value.
What happens if you strip a Jeep Wrangler down to a bare-bones design? You get the Jeep 4SPEED. Introduced at the Easter Jeep Safari in 2018, the 4SPEED has a carbon fiber design and no roll bar for protection. There’s also no roof and no doors, so this is about as stripped-down of a Jeep that drivers can get.
The designers at Chrysler know that there is a subset of Jeep owners who desire a bare-bones ride. The 4SPEED is designed to appeal to those consumers who’d prefer to have a stripped-down off-road machine. Unfortunately, we aren’t sure if the 4SPEED will ever see the light of day, as it could just be another tease from Chrysler.
Also debuted at the Easter Jeep Safari was the Jeep Wrangler Trailcat. The Baja-inspired Trailcat has a lot of attributes that you’d expect from a Ford Raptor. The oversized tires are reminiscent of what Jeep owners are doing to their vehicles. Jeep designers incorporated bright green and dark black into the paint job, with corresponding rims.
The Trailcat is a prime example of what a high-performance Wrangler could and should be. Jeep has teased a few performance-oriented versions of the standard Wrangler although none have come to fruition yet. We’re still not sure if the Trailcat is going to see the light of day but it should be cool if it ever does.
The last Mazda sports car was the RX-8, and it was quite a unique offering. Unfortunately what drivers have yearned for is a new RX-7 sports car. Mazda unveiled the RX-Vision as a glimpse into what the future will hold for a Mazda-powered sports car. The smooth lines and elongated hood made for an interesting and beautiful concept car.
There was a lot to like about the RX-Vision, but the design was a far cry from the RX-7. Drivers were left wondering what else Mazda had in store for them. No new talk has surfaced about the RX-Vision or the next generation of the RX-7 sports car. We have to wonder if Mazda will ever get into the sports car segment again.
The Honda S2000 was not a popular sports car by any stretch of the imagination, but it still garnered a loyal following. After the S2000 was discontinued, Honda had moved onto designing other types of performance vehicles such as the NSX. The Honda Sports EV was unveiled as the first all-electric style sports car under the Honda banner.
From a design standpoint, the Sports EV looks like a classic-style roadster, which is what Honda was going for. But drivers were still hoping for a gas-powered successor to the S2000, it doesn’t seem like that is going to be a reality. Honda has the racing heritage behind the brand if they can just design a sports car to match it.