There’s a big difference between a sporting concept car and an automobile set to see production. Innovative and advanced real-world cars and trucks take years of product development and huge investments by automakers. Should their bet on superior technology and a willing consumer base fail, it could damage the company’s reputation for years.
This is why so many exciting ideas and concepts never really take off. They’re simply too much of a risk for big companies to take on.
The world’s top auto shows are typically where top automakers are ready to introduce cars that will drive their brands in very different directions. This is done to feel out consumer interest and create brand buzz, among other things. In some instances, it means a model known for excess will get an electric motor; in another, it involves a famously durable pickup truck getting a new suit of body armor. Other times, there are cars that simply buck industry trends. At the end of the day, these vehicles all share one thing in common: they’re calculated risks.
Needing some examples? Well dig in, because here are seven vehicles that represent major gambles for automakers. Some are on the market. Some will be soon. But rest assured that industry execs and insiders will be watching like hawks to see what happens.