Concept cars. We all love them, both for what they themselves offer and for what they promise.

    Last year had some crackers, previewing the next generation of largely electrified and connected vehicles before they hit the road.

    From near production-ready glimpses through to moonshot passion projects, here we check out 20 that grabbed our attention – with no more than one per brand.

    Audi A6 Avant e-tron

    Revealed March 2022

    Audi has been rolling out a series of near-production concept cars, headlined by the A6 Avant e-tron concept, which previews the future of the four-ringed brand’s luxury wagons.

    It foreshadows a road-going model with a 800V charging system and 700km driving range, and proves that while SUVs are all the rage, there’s a tomorrow for the humble estate.

    MORE: Audi keeps the wagon alive with A6 Avant e-tron EV concept

    BMW iX Flow featuring E Ink

    Revealed January 2022

    The iX Flow SUV shown off at CES featured an E Ink exterior finish capable of changing colour on command, in this case transitioning from an off-white, through grey and all the way to what looks like black.

    The e-ink – or electrophoretic technology – can change its design when an electric current is run through it. There’s also a really cool Australian connection detailed here.

    MORE: BMW iX Flow showcases colour-changing technology

    Citroen Oli

    Revealed September 2022

    The Citroen Oli concept mixes a modern EV drivetrain with a lightweight, minimalist and refreshingly screen-free interior.

    Although it looks like a tiny crossover coupe, the Oli is in fact a ute, of sorts. Rather than a traditional hatch, there’s a fold-down tailgate and a glass panel that slides upwards towards the roof.

    MORE: Citroen Oli electric ‘ute’ concept unveiled

    Cupra UrbanRebel

    Revealed June 2022

    The UrbanRebel was one of three concepts shown by Cupra in June, giving us a clearer look at its upcoming entry-level EV set to launch in production form by 2025.

    “The Cupra UrbanRebel will be the biggest project for our company in the upcoming years, since it is key for our transformation as a fully electric brand,” said vice-president for research and development Werner Tietz.

    MORE: Cupra UrbanRebel entry-level EV set for 2025 launch

    Dacia Manifesto

    Revealed September 2022

    Renault’s budget brand Dacia lobbed a wild-looking concept car called the Manifesto, its vision for an “essential, cool, robust, affordable and environmentally efficient car”.

    The concept is billed a “statement about the brand’s aim to stand by customers as they become ever keener on outdoor pursuits”, and in no way previews a particular future model.

    MORE: Dacia Manifesto concept is a far-fetched, futuristic 4×4

    Dodge Charger Daytona SRT

    Revealed August 2022

    Dodge previewed a next-generation muscle car cloaked in retro styling and featuring a familiar name… but it’s electric.

    It’s all-wheel drive and powered by a new 800V propulsion system, and gets what Dodge calls a Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust, an “industry-first BEV exhaust” that can reach 126 dB. That makes it as loud as a Hellcat-powered Dodge.

    MORE: Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept muscle EV revealed

    Ford Pro Electric SuperVan

    Revealed June 2022

    The electric Ford SuperVan revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed runs four electric motors making a total of 1471kW (2000 metric horsepower).

    It’s said to be capable of completing the 0-100km/h dash in under two seconds, and uses a bespoke 50kWh liquid-cooled battery pack that can be recharged in 45 minutes. No word on how many laps of the Nurburgring it can last through, though.

    MORE: Electric Ford SuperVan concept unveiled at Goodwood with 1471kW

    Genesis X Convertible

    Revealed November 2022

    Genesis recently completed its trio of ‘X’ electric vehicle concepts with a shapely convertible using a folding hardtop and offering seating for four.

    Revealed in Los Angeles ahead of the motor show, the Genesis X Convertible concept shares its architecture and electric powertrain with the 2021 X Concept and 2022 X Speedium Concept.

    MORE: Genesis X Convertible concept revealed as electric drop-top

    Honda e:N2 Concept

    Revealed November 2022

    In addition to electric vehicles from tie-ups with Sony and General Motors, Honda’s Chinese operations are working on a range of new EVs.

    The e:N2 is referred to as both an SUV and a “new genre” vehicle, and bears a close resemblance to the e:N GT, e:N Coupe and e:N SUV concepts revealed late last year.

    MORE: Honda reveals electric e:N2 concept

    Hyundai N Vision 74

    Revealed June 2022

    The N Vision 74 is a retro-looking coupe powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell hybrid (FCEV) set-up, which Hyundai considers a “rolling lab concept”.

    The design is incredibly striking and was modelled off Hyundai’s original Pony Coupe design. That design was then used to form the production version of the DMC-12 DeLorean, which is why the silhouette looks similar.

    MORE: Hyundai N Vision 74 review

    Jeep Avenger 4×4 Concept

    Revealed October 2022

    Following the recent reveal of the production Avenger EV – its first – Jeep previewed a 4×4 Concept version that it says presages an upcoming member of the Jeep 4xe family.

    It features tow hooks, wider fenders and track, thicker front cladding, and larger tyres, as well as a lightweight roof cargo system. Jeep didn’t release any powertrain details.

    MORE: Jeep Avenger electric SUV detailed, Australian plans unclear

    Mini Concept Aceman

    Revealed July 2022

    This cute concept previews a new Mini vehicle designed to sit between the Hatch and Countryman in its next-generation lineup.

    The Mini Concept Aceman measures in at 4050mm long, 1990mm wide and 1590mm tall and has a typical, boxy crossover silhouette with five doors.

    MORE: Mini Concept Aceman EV concept revealed

    Mitsubishi XFC Concept

    Revealed October 2022

    Mitsubishi will launch a new compact SUV some time between April 2023 and March 2024, and this concept car clued us in on what to expect.

    But don’t just assume this is the next Aussie ASX. The Mitsubishi XFC Concept is overtly aimed at ASEAN markets to start with, as its premiere at the Vietnam motor show indicated.

    MORE: Mitsubishi confirms 2024 small SUV, previewed by this new concept

    Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

    Revealed January 2022

    The Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX EV is claimed to be company’s most efficient car ever, thanks largely to its aerodynamic body.

    In addition to a flat underbody, the EQXX has a tapered tear drop-style body with a rear track that’s 50mm narrower than the front. The Bridgestone Turanza Eco low rolling resistance tyres have aerodynamically designed sidewalls, and are paired to forged magnesium wheels.

    MORE: Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX review

    Polestar O2

    Revealed March 2022

    The O2 applies Polestar’s new design language, launched with the 2020 Precept concept, to a sporty two-door vehicle with a glass and metal roof that folds up into the boot.

    Polestar cites extensive use of a thermoplastic “mono-material” throughout the cabin, as well as recycled polyester and aluminium.

    MORE: Polestar O2 concept unveiled with built-in drone

    Renault 5 Turbo 3E

    Revealed September 2022

    Renault’s electric car strategy involves not only mining for minerals, but also digging up the company’s past, with the Renault R5 Turbo 3E recalling the brand’s rallying days.

    The Renault R5 Turbo 3E revives both the spirit and the look of the 1980s 5 Turbo and 5 Turbo 2. According to Renault, the Turbo 3E is designed to drift, and as such has two electric motors, one for each of the rear wheels, generating a total of 280kW and 700Nm.

    MORE: Renault R5 Turbo 3E concept revealed

    Skoda Vision 7S

    Revealed August 2022

    The Skoda Vision 7S concept is said to honour the traditional Skoda values of robust looks, functionality, and authenticity, but present them in a “completely new form”.

    The 7S previews an all-electric seven-seat family model that’s due to launch by 2026, and showcases a new design language and logo for the brand.

    MORE: Skoda Vision 7S concept showcases new logo

    Subaru STI E-RA

    Revealed January 2022

    Subaru’s tuning arm this year revealed its vision of a near-future for motorsport. The STI E-RA Challenge Project – E-RA for Electric Record Attempt – debuted at the Tokyo Auto Salon.

    It pumps out 800kW of power from its four electric motors and also features proprietary four-wheel torque vectoring technology, aimed at increasing grip and stabilising the car’s body.

    MORE: Subaru STI E-RA concept revealed

    Toyota C-HR Prologue

    Revealed December 2022

    The second-generation Toyota C-HR won’t see the world’s largest automaker slipping back into its conservative ways.

    The new car will keep the basic proportions and the coupe-like rear-end styling, but in Toyota’s words, the second-generation C-HR is “still a rebel [but] with extra sophistication”.

    MORE: Toyota C-HR Prologue previews next-gen SUV, confirmed for Australia

    Volkswagen Gen.Travel

    Revealed September 2022

    Volkswagen made a radical concept designed to preview a future in which mobility-as-a-service vehicles drive themselves.

    This far-out concept was partly a publicity exercise, with the Volkswagen Group presenting its latest autonomous driving research vehicle at the Chantilly Arts & Elegance.

    MORE: Volkswagen concept previews tomorrow’s driverless rental pods

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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