A glimpse into the showrooms of tomorrow…

The work that goes into creating a concept car is immense and carried out in top secret. Many of the designs are pure flights of fantasy, and the results so often never see the light of day – but most concepts have brought something to the design of the cars we drive today and will go on doing so into the future.

GM, Vauxhall’s parent company, has a warehouse in Detroit of what is arguably the greatest collection of concept cars in the world. This is their private heritage facility, packed with some 600 cars, spanning over a century, and including the first concept car ever made, 1938’s Buick Y-Job. There’s also a tiny 1967 Chevy mid-engined sports car concept, an experimental Sixties fuel-cell transporter, and a proto-Deltawing design study inspired by executive jets.

“A warehouse in Detroit of what is arguably the greatest collection of concept cars in the world.”

Vauxhall has created a raft of concepts in the last few years, including the Monza (pictured), which was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2013. Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann, President of GM Europe, predicted it will have “a long-term impact on the next generation of Vauxhall models.”

Displaying elements of the famous XVR concept – which inspired contemporary Formula One cars in 1966 – Monza features a beautifully-shaped bonnet with a distinctive central crease and large, boomerang-shaped air intakes in front of the wheel arches. The showstopper is the expansive doors that swing up like outstretched wings.

Under the bonnet, an electric drive works with a three-cylinder 1.0 SIDI turbo range extender – which runs on CNG (compressed natural gas) – to dramatically reduce the car’s CO2 footprint.

But it’s not all about the Monza. The HydroGen4 – Vauxhall’s fourth-generation fuel-cell vehicle – is the result of over 10 years of research into fuel cells and hydrogen. Instead of combustion, it uses an electro-chemical reaction to power the electric drive and produces no harmful emissions.

Then there’s the RAK e, Vauxhall’s radical, lightweight, two-seater electric vehicle concept. It was revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2011 and is designed to be highly affordable with minimal running cost.

For more information on the Vauxhall concept cars in this article, click here.