GM has built some amazing concepts that deserve to see the light of day.
Over the years, General Motors has trimmed the fat by killing off Hummer, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saab, and Saturn, while retaining core brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC. Thanks to some corporate restructuring, GM is back to building great cars like the new Corvette ZR1. Still, we can't help but wonder what else the American auto giant is capable of. We've combed through some the GM's best concept cars, and have chosen eight, two forom each brand, that we'd like to see enter production in 2018.
Back in 2013, rumors circulated that GM had plans to build a lightweight sports car to rival the 86 twins. GM showed off the Chevrolet Code 130R Concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, with plans for a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 150 horsepower mated to a six-speed manual. We would have loved to see an affordable sports car from GM, though it would have been tough for such a car to undercut the $26,000 base price of the turbocharged Camaro.
At the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, GM showed off yet another concept for a lightweight sport car - this time from Opel. This would have been a competitor for models like the Mazda Miata. GM planned for the revived Opel GT to be powered by a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder developing 145 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, GM sold the Opel and Vauxhall brands to PSA, so the GT will likely never see the light of day. We'd love to see this car be brought out with a Chevy badge, or even as an Opel under PSA ownership.
Many people questioned why GM kept GMC instead of Pontiac, because both brands simply built rebadged versions of other GM products. The simple answer is that GMC has incredibly high profit margins because trucks and SUVs are popular. With that in mind, we think GMC should compete with one of the most popular American icons in the world: the Jeep Wrangler. Back at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the Hummer brand revealed the HX Concept. Much like the Wrangler, this concept SUV featured a removable roof, and would be a stout competitor for the Wrangler and upcoming Ford Bronco.
Even though manufacturing in Australia has ended, we can still dream of being able to drive a V8-powered ute in the United States. In 2010, Pontiac showed off a concept called the G8 Sport Truck. While the GM Zeta platform is now dead, we'd love to see GMC sell a RWD V8 ute. The brand could even revive the Sprint or Caballero names that were used for GMC's version of the El Camino in the '70s and '80s.
As with GMC, many people questioned why GM decided to keep Buick. Since the brand is so popular in China, it was an easy decision. In recent years, Buick has been on somewhat of a hot streak when it comes to building concept cars. At the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, Buick teased us with the gorgeous Avenir Concept. The Avenir has since gone on to inspire design elements of new models such as the LaCrosse, as well as a new sub-brand for Buick. Unfortunately, the Avenir never ended up being the Buick flagship sedan we wanted it to be.
Buick didn't stop with the Avenir, because one year later it dropped the even more drop-dead gorgeous Avista 2+2 Coupe Concept. This stunning coupe was set to use a twin-turbocharged V6 sending 400 hp to the rear wheels. Unfortunately, Buick said a two-door coupe like this would not sell well in China, so it was never put into production.
Just like its corporate sibling Buick, Cadillac has been doing nothing but teasing us with stunning concept cars that it refuses to build. Back in 2011, Cadillac showed off the Ciel Concept: a flagship convertible harkening back to the company's heyday. It was set to use a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 mated to a hybrid drivetrain, but GM never put it into production. We'd love to see Cadillac pull the Ciel out of retirement and use it to compete against the Mercedes S-Class Convertible and upcoming BMW 8 Series.
Two years later in 2013, Cadillac showed off yet another concept depicting what a luxury flagship from America could look like. The Elmiraj Concept was meant to be powered by a 4.5-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 500 hp. Though it didn't turn out to be the exact displacement, Cadillac has unveiled a new 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 550 hp in the new CT6 V-Sport. Cadillac now has the perfect engine to power a luxury flagship like the Elmiraj, so we'd love to see it reach production.