The 65th International Frankfurt Motor Show highlights what we'll be seeing on roads in coming years, but it also gives a look into car designers' minds and what we may see driving down the street much further down the line. The ideas, forms, and technology seen in concept cars later make their way onto the roads, albeit in a much less fancy presentation, like an overall color motif or a rounded exterior.
They're not Jetsons-style flying cars, but here, the vehicles we want to get behind the wheel of . . . today.
In a remake of its classic '60s-era P1800 model, Volvo's new concept coupe  returns to a retro design, but is tricked out with the most modern of features. The gear shift is remade in crystal, giving it space-age feel, especially when paired with the touchscreen digital console pushed back to integrate with the driver's dashboard for a less distracting package. A plug-in hybrid engine reduces gas consumption, and hopefully reduces our payments at the pump.
Your current car is lacking a certain aesthetic: the Transformers look. The Lexus LF-NX  has an exterior like you've never seen before in an SUV. Sharp angles meet on the hood as diamond-shaped LED headlamps and a touch-enabled console. Remember the days you thought an iPhone audio port was cool?
Mercedes Concept S-Class Coupe
What Mercedes-Benz calls "sensual clarity" is an aesthetic about sublime lines that have you dreaming of calm days on the water. The Concept S-Class Coupe's bright white interior is highlighted by fluid lines of blue ambient lighting. Like the S-Classes currently for sale, the concept has a 12.3-inch touchscreen display and a distinct separation from the leather-wrapped lower half of the dashboard. As long as someone's driving us, we'll gladly dream away in the interior that feels like a vision from the future.
Nissan Nismo Smartwatch
The auto industry isn't just looking at the future of cars anymore, it's merging wearable tech gadgets with the driving experience. Nissan's Nismo Watch  is intended to work alongside Nissan Nismo cars, the motorsports and performance division of the auto manufacturer.
The watch uses a smartphone app to connect the driver to the car, making use of a heartbeat monitor on the watch that can use that biometric data to suggest, hey, maybe slow it down there, speed demon. The watch can also tell the driver what's happening with the vehicle itself, sending performance data while driving. Though the watch is part of Nissan's Nismo Lab creating technology as used by athletes, it shows uses of wearable tech far beyond the pedometer.
With no doors or windows, the Smart Fourjoy  wouldn't make for the most practical auto purchase; rather, the company used the model as a chance to show off some of the designs to expect from its first-ever four-seat model expected to be released at the end of 2014. The bucket-style seats seem to be taken from a lounge in 2040, and the dashboard has space for two smartphones — because the car of the future needs to be hip and fair to the musical tastes of both driver and passenger.