2012 Best concepts of the year

Jaguar C-X16

Rarely have concept cars felt so right. Sure, Jag makes some great saloons, but don’t we all hanker after a sporting Big Cat? We’re relieved they chose to showcase a progressive coupe for the E-Type’s golden birthday. This very modern two-seater V6 goes into production soon and is likely to sell for around R700k before duties.

Land Rover DC100

When faced with a problem like how to replace Defender, Land Rover’s taking its time. And the company is right to do so considering the vitriolic response from Defender traditionalists to the DC100 concepts first revealed at Frankfurt last year. The fact is an all-new Defender simply must have broader appeal for the business case to succeed. And the DC100 certainly delivers in that regard. Chunky, cool and properly contemporary. Nothing arrives in showrooms until 2015, and until then a string of DC100 concepts will set the template for a whole Landie family. There’ll be something for everyone, ‘from boulders to boulevards,’ says design chief Gerry McGovern.

Alfa Romeo 4C

Most gorgeous concept of the year? Alfa’s svelte 4C certainly has its supporters here at TopCar and was without doubt one of the most stunning cars to grace a 2011 motor show. Although still technically a concept, this sets the blueprint for a carbon-bodied coupe landing mid-2013 priced upwards of R600k and packing Fiat’s new 224kW 1.8 turbo.

Kia GT

A showcase for this emerging Korean giant’s performance car strategy, the rear-drive GT packs a 3.3-litre turbo V6 and an 8-speed automatic beneath substantial, creatively sculpted bodywork. Design chief Peter Schreyer’s handiwork draws inspiration from iconic GT cars from the ‘70s yet somehow manages to look simultaneously avant-garde. Consider us suitably impressed.

Ford EVOS

Not shy of pumping out new concepts at a steady rate, design bosses at Ford were keen to emphasise the importance of EVOS as a foretaste of how its kinetic design language was set to evolve. Sure enough, those slim, angular headlights, lighter pillars, deftly sculpted rear wheelarches and higher set front grille appeared in tact on the all-new Mondeo. Dare we hope the sexy EVOS evolves into a new Capri as well?