8 MODERN CARS THAT STARTED OUT AS WILD CONCEPTS

MINI Cooper

Early concept: Mini ACV30, 1997

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Before BMW bought the Mini brand and turned it into the MINI of today, the car had gone unchanged for decades. In 1997, though, this ACV30 concept debuted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the marque’s success at the famed Monte-Carlo Rally. Quite a bit of the design wound up being incorporated into the MINI Cooper, when the brand’s refresh occurred in 2000.

The Batmobile

Early concept: Lincoln Futura, 1955

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In 1955, Ford debuted the Lincoln Futura concept with zero intent to produce it. Intended purely as a window into the minds of the designers, the Futura’s bold shape is the epitome of the wild jet-era cars of the 1950s. While a few of its design cues made their way to production cars in watered-down forms, that’s not why it’s here. In 1965, the producers for the Batman TV series needed a car. Eventually, George Barris was called in, and he took the Futura — not a copy, but the actual car in this photo that made the car-show rounds — added a few tweaks, and POW!, the iconic Batmobile was born.

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