1. Sexiest Roadster: Lamborghini Aventador J
If there was one concept car that simply exuded four-wheeled sex appeal from every vent and crevice, it was the Lamborghini Aventador J. Lamborghini took the already gorgeous Aventador, cut the roof and windshield clean off, and created a one-piece sculpture effect by seamlessly blending the body with the cockpit. It’s no surprise that the Geneva-debuted one-off concept fetched more than $2.75 million from its lucky buyer.
2. Coolest Off-Roader: Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force
The Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force and its “hydro-tech converter” (even Mercedes put quotations around that piece of non-existent componentry) won’t be showing up to dirt roads anytime soon, but in an age when every real SUV is getting watered down into a bloated station wagon – we’re looking at you Nissan Pathfinder – it was nice to see an automaker thinking about a future for one of the few real off-roaders left. Like the G-Class, the hydrogen-fueled Ener-G-Force was designed to tackle any muddy road, rock garden or slick hill thrown under its tires. The vision also included some helpful equipment like a pull-out toolbox and terrain scanner.
3. Most Radical Supercar Design: Peugeot Onyx
Given the sheer number of cars purporting to be “super” these days, it’s not easy to design a car that truly is. Many supercar concepts look like old, tired designs dressed up with new badges and vents. So it was quite exciting when Peugeot gave the Paris Motor Show crowd a concept supercar that resembled no other. It started with a distinct face and body and brought the concept to superlative levels with copper wings and doors and matte-black carbon fiber bodywork. The functional artistry on the body was almost enough to make folks forget about the 600-hp V8 hybrid powertrain waiting to spin the wheels. As if the Onyx car needed any help, Peugeot designed a matching three-wheel scooter and a bicycle to go with it.
4. Coolest Concept That Will Never See Production: Volkswagen Hover Car
As much as the idea of a hover car brings out the little kid in us, we don’t see the Volkswagen Hover Car hitting production in the near (or distant) future. The two-person flotation pod was the result of Volkswagen’s People’s Car crowd-sourcing project. The Hover Car may not be part of Volkswagen’s 2014 line, but we commend the public for not just getting outside the box, but for shredding all evidence that such a box exists.
5. Coolest Concept Likely to See Production: Lexus LF-LC
Lexus debuted the LF-LC at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show with the strictest conceptual intentions. A positive reaction from Detroit visitors led the company to begin considering production. Reports about production plans have persisted since last winter, and a car based on the LF-LC could potentially transition into the role of a flashy sports flagship now that the last LFA has rolled off the assembly lines. Behind its sharp styling, the LF-LC concept housed a 500-hp Advanced Hybrid Drive System.