Welcome to Too Awesome For Production, where I highlight the greatest concept cars of all time. I will continue to do this until I get bored or run out of ideas.
The Audi Nanuk Quattro Concept is the greatest concept car of the past decade. Do not try and argue, just look:
Say what you want about Ferdinand Piech, but there can be no doubt that he is one of the most significant figures in the entire history of the automobile.
At Porsche, he oversaw the 917, one of the most dominant race cars ever built.
At Audi, he oversaw the Quattro, which permanently changed high-performance cars by introducing all-wheel drive into the equation.
And although his failed attempts to move Volkswagen upmarket are not really celebrated, I think that period deserves recognition for giving us some of the most wonderfully insane cars of the 21st century. The following are six of my favorites from When Volkswagen Went Nuts.
Just because you don't like a car does not mean it is terrible
I am writing this because I have noticed that approximately 99.9% of people on Drivetribe
(and most car enthusiasts in general, but on Drivetribe it seems accentuated by the
presence of one J. Clarkson) really hate the Toyota Prius. And I do mean really hate it. They
regard it the same way they do cars like the Yugo, or the Pontiac Aztek. I am here to say
enough is enough. I don't like the Prius either, but the indignant hatred for this car among
my fellow car enthusiasts is completely uncalled for. And today, I will explain why.
JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T LIKE SOMETHING DOESN'T MEAN IT IS BAD.
I don't much like the Bugatti Veyron. I know it's very fast, but I think it's too heavy, and I
don't like the way it looks. But that does not mean it isn't one of the most incredible
technological achievements in recent automotive history.
I don't like modern pickup trucks. I think they are way too big, and I hate how their front
fascias always make them look like they are about to run you over and then eat you off the
road. But that doesn't mean they are bad. In fact, even I admit that the way modern pickup
trucks combine better-than-ever payload and towing capacities with luxury car comfort is
nothing short of astonishing.
And so it goes with the Prius. I don't like the Prius. I think the current one looks like it was
chopped to pieces with a machete and then artlessly reassembled by a hyperactive 3-year
old. I also think it is incredibly boring. But here's the thing: The Prius also has several good
Chief among those is how unbelievably refined and comfortable it is. I have ridden in the
previous 3 generations of Prius (I am not old enough to drive them). I have also ridden in a
brand new, top-of-the-line Cadillac CT6, and although the Cadillac had more luxury
features, the Prius was practically as comfortable simply through the virtue of its pillowy
ride quality and total absence of noise beyond a faint hum from the electric motor and the
engine. I know many hardcore track-day fans won't believe me, but there are times when
these things are good.
More of interest to car enthusiasts is the engineering that goes into this car. Whether you
truly love the Prius, or despise it with every fiber of your being, you have to admit it is an
impressive feat of engineering. To get a gas-electric hybrid to be so unobtrusive and
refined is not easy to do; just ask Honda, who have tried (and failed) at least three times
already to make a credible Prius rival.
And then there is the most obvious Prius high point: Miniscule carbon emissions.
Look, you can complain about this last point all you want. But I don't care what Clarkson or
Our Orange Overlord say. Climate change is a proven scientifc fact, and if you deny it, you
are not in touch with reality. There are now many green cars coming out that are cool and
interesting and in general the sort of things that car enthusiasts would love. None of this
is possible without the Toyota Prius. It eliminated most of the obstacles to green car
ownership, and in doing so, might literally have saved the world.
So, my point is this. You don't have to like the Toyota Prius. But try not to hate it quite so
Rory Cahill is a highly sarcastic teenage car enthusiast and amateur automotive journalist, who is especially interested in 80s/90s cars, classic off-roaders, and anything weird. He owns a 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbodiesel. He is also very interested in rock music and politics, and wrote this whole bio in the third person because he is a filthy, filthy snob