'Concept cars' a huge hit at the Chicago Auto Show

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Every year, the fan favorites at the Chicago Auto Show are the 'concept cars.'

Car makers spend millions to mock up a glimpse into the future. These concepts are often over the top eye-candy, most of them don't even run because they don't have an engine.

Some concept cars look so crazy that there is no way you would ever see them on the road. But times are changing, and more of the concept cars you see in Chicago this week, could be real cars real soon.

"This is the famous Avista. Yes, the Buick Avista concept car,” said Buick Marketing Manager Rob Peterson.

In the world of concept cars, this is the flavor of the month.

"What you can't see behind there is a 3.6 liter twin turbo with 400 horsepower,” he added.

The Avista was a huge hit in Detroit last month, and it's expected to draw big crowds in Chicago.

And so are the eleven other concepts on display, such as the Acura Precision, the Kia Telluride and the Hyundai Genesis Vision G. If you didn't know any better, you would think these are real cars.

The concept game is changing. Fewer are like the Mercedes-Benzes Vision Tokyo concept and are more like the Lexus LF-LC.

With the Lexus LF-LC, we saw this concept 4 years ago, and that concept became the 2017 Lexus LC-500. Can you tell a difference?

"A lot of times production vehicles end up being watered down versions of the concept, but this stays very true to the concept LFLC that it's based off of, and that's what we are very proud of,” said Laura Conrad.

Last year in Chicago, the Chevy Bolt was a concept and so was the Lincoln Continental. A year later, they are production cars you can see in Chicago and put in your garage if you want.

"There is always a chance,” Conrad added.

Peterson says the concept game is tricky. Auto makers find it more cost effective and easier to build a concept more like a real car. If a concept has any chance of making it into production, it's gotta have two things: mass appeal and profit potential.

"The key is to take a look at it and how we can handle it from a business perspective and the customer perspective and make those two ends meet,” Peterson said.

Not that we don't like the over-the-top concepts. They are cool, and Mercedes-Benzes always brings the wild with its concepts.

Check out the Mercedes-Benzes Sprinter Extreme concept, reveled at, for the first time, the media preview.

As for the lime green, giant, tricked out dump truck, it's sure to grab your attention at the show, which opens to the public Saturday.

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