Concept cars quicken the heartbeats of car enthusiasts everywhere. They characterise everything that's exhilarating about automotive design.
In the ultra-competitive automotive business every carmaker likes to keep upcoming models firmly under wraps. So why reveal concept designs?
In Australia, GM Holden has a huge reputation for producing show-stopping concepts
- and reputation is one answer to the question. Concept vehicles promote brand leadership by identifying Holden as a constant design trendsetter and engineering innovator.
Quite often, concepts can serve as effective market research tools. They're a way of presenting potential buyers with different directional trends, of exposing them to imminent technology, of asking what may suit their future needs.
They also allow design and engineering teams to float fresh ideas and explore well beyond production car boundaries. Emerging materials, alternative configurations, powertrains and energy sources, issues of recyclability and sustainability to name a few can all be considered free from day-to-day practical constraints.
A show car like the fantastically flamboyant Holden Efijy custom hot rod is something else again.
You could call it pure automotive entertainment, but it's instructive to note that this unashamedly retro celebration of our heritage still bristled with technology.
The first sensational Holden Design concept, the Hurricane (left), was created 40 years before the most recent - the cool Coupe 60.
They're all different, yet they share something more than crowd-pulling charisma.
Each of them showcased exceptional design and engineering capabilities. Some signposted styling trends; others shaped future model portfolios. All expressed the creative vision of a multi-talented bunch of designers who were passionate about their cars and their craft.
Holden-designed cars have been exported to every continent in the world (except Antarctica) as part of Australia?s largest and longest-running vehicle export program.
Chevrolet Lumina SS (Middle East).
Starting with FJ models in 1954, exports reached record levels with the HQ range in the early 70s. Holden returned to volume vehicle exports in the late 90s with shipments of left-hand drive Commodore and Statesman/Caprice models to the Middle East and Brazil.
Since then, Holden-designed cars, including Monaro and Ute models, have been sold under the GM brands of Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, GM Daewoo, Vauxhall and Holden in countries including Brazil, the Middle East, Thailand, Malaysia and South Africa, the United States, China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.