2013 10 Best: Concept cars

This year's nine best examples of auto-show eye candy, and also the Bentley EXP 9 F.

This year's nine best examples of auto-show eye candy, and also the Bentley EXP 9 F.

Acura NSX

The sigh you heard in January 2012 expressed the collective relief of journalists and fans alike that Acura managed to not screw up the appearance of the next NSX. Given Acura’s recent design history, this concept could have been some sort of horrifying squid-beaked travesty. But the NSX concept was a showstopper for all the right reasons. It looks nothing like the original NSX with its long dragonfly tail. The NSX concept, which is said to accurately predict the production car, is a gleaming compact jewel of techno-elegance, all faceted like a brilliant-cut diamond.

Bentley EXP 9 F

What is this mutant doing on a list of 10Best Concepts? Good question. Here’s a better question: Why does a Bentley sport-utility vehicle look like a gilded London taxi? Here’s another: What the hell, Bentley? The 9 F got more attention and generated more buzz than any concept here. In a perverted world, that’s a perverted sort of success. Okay, now redesign it, Bentley.

Chevrolet Code 130R

Let the masses have their practical Cruzes and family-friendly Traverses, but please, Chevy, let us have this impractical, family-averse rear-drive coupe. The Code 130R gives off a sort of upright, hip-to-be-square BMW 1-series-coupe vibe. Riding on a version of the Cadillac ATS’s platform and powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, this four-seater could be the American Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ, though without all the pointiness.

Kia Track'ster

The Kia Soul, an econobox straight out of Toontown, came on the market and promptly ate the Scion xB and Nissan Cube’s lunch. So why shouldn’t a chopped, slammed, and fat-tired version perform the same feat on the Mini Cooper? That appears to be the aim of this two-toned bullfrog on wheels. It’s cool enough that we’re even willing to forgive the silly apostrophe in its name.


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