Concept cars are so often pure flights of fantasy. Indulgences by talented design teams to preview cars or design themes that might be years away from production. The Sao Paulo motor show's collection of concepts was no less interesting. Cars like Volkswagen's Taigun look virtually production-ready, while the Amarok Canyon has already been signed off for production.
Nissan and Renault were still able to put on a show, with some eye-catching concepts designed to secure headlines around the world.
Here are our show favourites.
There’s no doubt on the star of the Sao Paulo motor show: the VW Taigun. The model is billed officially as a concept, but all the talk was of a production model being as close to a shoe-in as possible for 2015, given the rise in global popularity of small SUVs. The Taigun has a Dacia Duster-esque ruggedness to it, but with a fresher front-end than has been seen on a VW for many a year, and a clean, simple interior that’s in fitting with the rest of the car.
Dacia models are sold as Renaults in Brazil, and the Duster-based DCross concept certainly had a touch of Renaultness to it in its execution. The concept had the feel of a Brazilian skunkworks project to it done behind head office’s back, designed to promote interest in the Duster in Brazil rather than have any real production meaning for Renault. But it does show there’s scope for smartening up the Duster and giving it some real individual personalisation, even if the added cost is clearly at odds with the brand’s ideals in Europe.
The talk before the show was that the Extrem concept would show a very modern successor to the 240Z as a sports car/SUV crossover. But when the covers came off, it was clear the Extrem had about as much to do with the 240Z as the Renault DCross to the Dacia Duster we’ll come to know in the UK. Instead, the Extrem shows how a small, sleek crossover, using proven mechanicals and a zesty 3cyl petrol engine could look. It’s the type of slightly overdone concept where you can imagine the production car would look much better, but it’ll first have to get a favourable reaction from Sao Paulo show-goers before it even reaches the discussion stage.
Volkswagen Amarok Canyon
The Amarok Canyon started life as a concept at the Geneva motor show in March, but a positive reaction has led to it being signed off as a production model. The Canyon wants to offer the best of every world: sporty looks, true go-anywhere ability and a ‘lifestyle’ choice. But ignoring the marketing speak, it looked darn unashamedly good with its bright orange paint, large alloys and a row of roof lights that look like they could light up half the Brazilian road network. It might even come to the UK, too.
Bugatti Veyron Vitesse Rafale
The Rafale is not a concept, but a new special edition version of the Veyron. But the concept of another special edition Veyron is becoming a bit of a turn off. It seems new versions are being rolled out on a monthly basis, each one more tenuous in its name and description than the one before it. Stop this now please Bugatti.