Auto manufacturers have a knack for creating great, heart-stopping concept vehicles every year. These concepts promote engineering firsts, cutting-edge design and inspiration. Once created, they circumnavigate the show scenes and press blogs and then are quickly over shadowed by the next years concept vehicle. With that in mind, have you ever gone back to look at these concept vehicles of the past?
On the one hand, their futuristic design back can look quite modern for today’s times with some design ques finally making appearance on late-model vehicles. Moreover, sometimes their design can garner thoughts of age and over confidence in the design studio.
Case in point, we take a look back at Chevy’s pickup of the future from the Detroit Auto Show in 2003, which we found circling the Timeusunion.com website for fresh content. The Chevy Cheyenne concept was designed to inspire and pay homage to the truck heritage, a model of the Chevrolet nameplate.
What’s interesting is though this concept is now ten years old, the Cheyenne still has the ability to look modern.
Matter of fact, Timesunion.com wrote, “The wheels are tugged to the edges, making the nearly 19½’ long truck look even longer. The front end looks as if it was cut from one piece: hood, grille and fender lines flow together smoothly.
The windshield is radically laid back, and the conventional rear roofline frames a ‘bubble back’ rear window, that the designers borrowed from the Cameo Carrier. Overhead, Cheyenne has a two panel glass roof with integrated sunroof.”
The Cheyenne’s frame was formed from extruded aluminum and featured front suspension designed from aluminum allow. It even featured an unheard-of-the-time, independent rear suspension with rear steer and Fox coil-over remote reservoir shocks. It even sported 22-inch wheels wrapped in 35-inch tires.
The Cheyenne also featured one-of-the-kind firsts in the truck market. It’s hood could be unlatched with the front hinge and opened like a clamshell. There, you would find a a 6.0L supercharged Vortec small-block dressed with a carbon fiber air cleaner. It claimed 500 horsepower and 580 lb-ft. Most notably, it featured GM’s Displacement On Demand technology, which didn’t hit factory-equipped vehicles until 2005.
Moreover, as Timesunion.com states, “The tailgate is horizontally split, so it can be opened conventionally, or just half way, to create a work shelf. In addition, the cargo box can be accessed by two side doors, just aft of the cab. Additional storage is integrated into the bed: drawers in the box sides, bins in the floor. Despite the tall tire and wheel combo, the bed floor is just 28 inches above the ground.”
Moving on inside the cabin, its interior featured a minimilaist and modern approach. While the dash display was reminiscent of Deco sytling, the seats and headliner were wrapped in saddle leather. Throttle and brake pedals were race-inspired and were a tasteful touch to the Berber carpeting.
To finalize its mark on the industry, unfortunately, most of what made the Chevyenne a design leader ten years ago never made it into the vehicles which followed. What’s most interesting is the front grille and headlight setup. Those design ques have followed into factory vehicles. Take a look a the Chevrolet Traverse, pictured below. Can you find additional design elements that have transferred into any other of the vehicles from Chevrolet? Let us know!