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The Top 10 Best Concept Cars at the 2018 New York Auto Show

10. Nissan Rogue Dogue 2

Nissan Rogue Dogue 2 Concept NYIAS

For doggy lovers, especially those with heavy dogs that can't jump, the Nissan Rogue Dogue 2 concept makes bow-wow life easier. This conversion concept, if it comes to life, will include such niceties as an extendable ramp that telescopes from the cargo area to allow Fido easy entrance and egress, a padded paw-senger compartment with a net partition, adjustable leash-attachment points and non-spill food and water bowls.

When Can You Buy

Several of these pet-friendly accessories are available now through the Nissan parts department or third parties. Others, like the extendable ramp, may come later.

9. Volkswagen Atlas Sport Cross Concept

Volkswagen Atlas Sport Cross Concept

The Volkswagen Atlas is barely dry and the first copy is coming: The Atlas Sport Cross is shortened both ways, length and height, for a sportier look and drive.

When You Can Buy

The changes are simple and the factory Tennessee has room. This could hit showrooms this Fall or early 2019 if its coming. Hopefully it loses the light-up grille first.

8. Nissan Titan Lifted

Nissan Titan Lifted Concept

This is what we call an aftermarket concept: all of the components to make the Nissan Titan Lifted will be available soon through the Nissan parts counter and service department.

7. Ford Fusion Self-Driving Delivery Prototype

Ford Fusion Self-Driving Delivery Prototype

With several fatal events recently, people may be even less ready to have an unmanned car bring them pizza and groceries. This Ford prototype, based on the current Fusion Hybrid, utilizes state-of-the-art radar and computer systems to guide the car to the front door of the package recipient. Designed in concert with Dominoes Pizza, they have been testing in Ann Arbor, Michigan since last Summer.

When You Can Expect a Delivery

Amazon, Apple, Google, Uber and others are all working on this technology at breakneck (hopefully not literally) speed. Expect your first normal delivery without human intervention by no later than 2035.

6. MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept

MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept

In 2013, MINI produced the Cooper GP, a very limited production high-performance version of the standard Cooper with 211 horsepower and no back seat. The new MINI Cooper Works GP Concept, like the original, concentrates on adding aerodynamic, aggressive-looking body work and taking weight out elsewhere. It will have at least the 228 horsepower of the MINI John Cooper Works. It only comes with a 6-speed manual transmission.

When You Can Buy

Since it's based on the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-Door, a special version like the MINI Cooper Works GP could be in dealerships as early as 2019.

5. Acura ARX-05 Prototype Race Car

Acura ARX-05 Racecar

This experimental race car has a 3.5 V6 twin turbo engine similar to the one in the NSX, or even the MDX and TLX. Unveiled back in August of last year, this car has already handled a few races in the specialized prototype racing class.

When You Can Buy

Hmmm. Do you have a few million dollars? Add in another hundred million for your race team. Then wait.

4. Mazda Kai Concept

Mazda Kai Concept NYIAS

Just gorgeous. Basically a styling design, the Kai portends a new level of Mazda's design language that bodes well for their future. Under the hood, Mazda's new SKYACTIV-X spark-controlled compression-ignition gasoline engine combines aspects of a diesel with a gasoline engine. It also has the latest SKYACTIV-X chassis, a light-weight strong unibody.

When You Can Buy

Mazda tells The Car Chat that they will be installing the SKYACTIV-X engine in a Mazda3 in 2019, as early as this Fall. 

3. Toyota Fine Comfort Ride

Toyota Fine Comfort Ride

More of a concept of riding than an actual vehicle, this display allows you to sit and experience the future via virtual reality. It highlights the driverless future of riding and having the vehicle entertain you and keep you connected to your friends and associates while you're whisked to your location effortlessly and in fine comfort.

When You Can Ride

At the rate of autonomous vehicle development, you can ride and watch MTV legally in about 10 to 15 years.

2. Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak

 Volkswagen Tanoak Concept Rear

The Atlas Tanoak is more in the direction of "We could build something like this if you really want us to, nudge, nudge, wink, wink." Based on a stretched Atlas chassis and featuring its V6 powertrain, there's not much that a few crash test evaluations and final part sourcing couldn't work out.

If they build this truck, their Chattanooga, Tennessee plant is a natural: it avoids the 25% tariff on trucks and it's under-utilized. A production vehicle could possibly hit the streets by 2020.

Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Grille

Volkswagen seemed proudest of the design feature that stood out the most: the glaring light-up multi-piece grille. They left it lit the entire show. This is the kind of thing you would expect to see on a Pontiac or Mercury, if they made them anymore. They don't.

When You Can Buy

Maybe as early as 2020.

1. Genesis Essentia Concept

Genesis Essentia New York Concept

The Essentia shows that Genesis' penchant for hitting concept cars out of the park is going to be a consistent thing. Last year the New York crowds were wowed by the Genesis New York Concept, and in 2015 it was the Vision G Concept.

The Essentia shows the future styling direction of Genesis in a fanciful coupe, complete with scissors doors, floating front fenders, tires filling the wheel-wells within less than an inch, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a center tunnel that looks no less than a foot and a half tall. With the doors open, the honeycombed, futuristic structure is fully on display. This is what the designers call the next version of "Athletic Elegance."

Genesis Essentia NY Concept Interior.

In the imaginary future where the Essentia is manufactured (or perhaps printed by nano-robots), it will be all-electric and uses a carbon-fiber monocoque (a frame that envelops the car, similar to unibody). These engineering concepts don't really match the exterior design, which looks like it holds a front-mounted V12 in the nose, due to the hood's length and the deep cooling paths. Oh, well, electric cars will feature exterior speakers that play the sounds of 426 Hemis and Ferrari engines in the future.

When You Can Buy

Never.

 
 

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