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What a Concept!

Look at these concept cars to see what the future holds for your fleet.

This story appears in the February 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What do auto manufacturers have up their sleeves to influence your company-car purchases? For the answer, look at their concept vehicles. Closely guarded secrets until they're unveiled at annual car shows, concept cars are hints of things to come. Not all go into production for sale to the public. A few are outrageous, engineless attractions to draw attention to the brand; others test the waters with small changes on next-generation models.

Exterior and interior designs are often wildly futuristic on concept cars, eventually reaching dealerships as toned-down versions. Some concepts are previews of redesigns, such as Nissan's Altima and Toyota's X-Runner. Crossovers and pickups that combine sedan-style front ends with truck beds are among the most successful production vehicles built from concepts. Chrysler's Pacifica had some of the attributes of a minivan before evolving into a crossover, and elements of Lincoln's Aviator concept crossover will translate into a production model (its launch date is not yet confirmed).

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