Just because an automaker hauls a concept car to an auto show doesn’t mean there’s a chance it will get made. In fact, there are a boatload of awesome concept cars that never saw the light of day, which was the plan from the start. Design teams want to show off their skills and hint at the direction of future automobiles, but there are no promises.
When a concept does make it to production, it’s never the same as the sparkling specimen that captivated audiences at Detroit, Geneva, or Tokyo motor shows. However, it offers critics and car lovers the opportunity to measure the production model set against what could have been. Unfair as the comparison may be, there are some production models that reek of disappointment when they hit the scene.
Though this list is far from exhaustive, here are eight concept cars (including one van) that fell short of their promise after they went into production.
1. Scion FR-S
Many sports car fans loved the final product when the Scion FR-S appeared, but there was a significant departure from what the concept suggested. The triangular head and tail lights didn’t make the cut, nor did the general air of aggression from the front bottom corners to the more pronounced slope of the hood. If Scion is supposed to carry the youthfulness banner for the Toyota brand, why not hold on to that angularity?
That was the sentiment among sports car enthusiasts when the FR-S production model hit the circuit. There was little hope the 20-inch wheels would stay in the production model, but the car that hit the assembly lines was somewhat duller than its conceptual predecessor. It’s by no means a bad or bad-looking car, but it was more sedate than expected. Here’s the production FR-S: