Concept cars are made to showcase new styling or technology and to gauge the public’s reaction. Concept cars never go into production directly. In modern times all would have to undergo many changes before the design is finalized for the sake of practicality, safety, cost etc…
Die-cast companies have included many such cars in their ranges hoping the exciting designs will entice their target market to part with their pocket money.
The Lamborghini Marzal was produced for the Geneva Motor Show of 1967. It was designed by Bertone to provide Lamborghini with a true four seater, the design was a one-off but many of the ideas were later used in the Lamborghini Espada.
The Marzal design probably found wider recognition as a die-cast model, with both Matchbox and Dinky making scale models, albeit in other colours such as dark red, despite the original show car being painted silver.The Matchbox Lamborghini Marzal was one of the first cars created for the new Superfast wheels introduced at the end of 1969.
Another concept car popular with die-cast manufacturers is the Mercedes C111; Norev, Corgi, Matchbox and Hot Wheels all produced models.
The C111 had the gull wing doors, a feature of Mercedes sports cars going back to the classic 300SL of the fifties. In the sixties and seventies, Mercedes was experimenting with different types of engine: Wankel rotary engines, diesel engines and turbochargers and they would use the C111 platform as a testbed.
Nowadays a lot of research is being made into greener technologies, autonomous vehicles and suchlike. One car that looks interesting is the Toyota FV2 (video clip). The FV2 doesn’t have a steering wheel. Instead, the car is operated by the driver shifting his or her body to move the vehicle forwards, backwards, left or right. It mirrors or responds instantly. It also uses intelligent transport system technology to connect the driver with a variety of local safety information. I hope some company will put it out as a die-cast model.