Concept cars are great fun — a glimpse into what an automaker thinks could be the future of its industry and a chance to see some innovative or out-there technology. Sometimes a concept car is so well-received it becomes a production vehicle, like the Lexus LF-LC concept becoming the LC 500 or the Porsche Mission E turning into the upcoming Taycan. As the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public, it's fitting that the concepts we're highlighting here are all electric-powered given the current direction of the industry.
Related: More 2018 L.A. Auto Show Coverage
Here are five of the coolest concepts at the L.A. Auto Show this year, listed in order of how close they are to production-ready:
1. and 2. Rivian R1T and R1S
According to our team on the ground in L.A., these two are 98 percent and 95 percent ready for production, respectively. Rivian is even taking preorders for both, for a refundable $1,000 deposit. But neither vehicle is quite there yet, so we're lumping them in with the rest as concepts. The R1T is a crew-cab pickup truck with a proposed maximum range of roughly 400 miles; the R1S is a two- or three-row SUV with slightly more maximum range (both max ranges will depend on battery output, much like Tesla vehicles). Both claim supercar-like zero-to-60-mph times in the 3-second range with their most powerful battery packs, which is definitely something a full-size pickup truck or three-row SUV should be able to do ... right? Time will tell if Rivian is a success or just more vaporware, but one thing the brand has going for it is that its name doesn't start with "F" like Fisker or Faraday Future.
3. Audi e-tron GT
There's not a lot about the e-tron GT concept that Audi couldn't replicate in a production version of the all-electric grand tourer. An entirely vegan interior (yes, that's a thing) takes the environmental friendliness to the next level, but it's not like other manufacturers haven't done similar; a production version might just be somewhat less vegan. The wild five-spoke wheels and the double-flat-sided steering wheel might also not make it to production. What will really make or break the concept is whether Audi wants to tone down the lines of the car to better fit the brand's current design language, or whether it will start updating its design language to bring it closer to the concept. Hopefully the latter, because the concept is gorgeous.
4. BMW Vision iNext
Calling it another of its Sports Activity Vehicles, BMW showed the Vision iNext concept and demonstrated the German automaker still knows what "concept" means. Things like: a large SUV with seating for just four; fully autonomous capability; an interior meant to look more like a fancy sitting room than the interior of a car; impractical entry doors; etc., etc., etc. BMW says some version of the Vision iNext will be available in 2021 as the iNext. That's a lot of time to bring this concept into reality.
5. Infiniti Prototype 10
Nope. Nuh-uh. Just, no. Never in a million years. It's a shame, because it's stunning, but Infiniti will never produce or sell a single-seat speedster like the Prototype 10. While the company says it showcases what is possible with an all-electric platform and reflects the driver-focused vision the company has for its vehicles, the most this concept has in common with future Infinitis is that it's all-electric and Infiniti pledges to have electrified drivetrains in all its vehicles by 2021.
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