A concept car may be a prototype or show vehicle that is built to showcase new technological advances and/or new styling ideas. Concept cars are usually featured at motor shows in order to get feedback and gauge reactions from potential customers to new, innovative and radical designs that may or may not be placed under mass production. Car designer Harley Earl of General Motors is generally recognized as the inventor of the concept car. He did a lot to popularize it through the company’s traveling Motorama shows that were very widely accepted during the 1950s.
In general, concept cars are not placed directly under production. In the current setting, a concept car would have to undergo a lot of changes before a final design is decided on. This is primarily for the sake of safety, practicality, meeting the burdensome regulations imposed by government authorities, and cost. A model intended for production, compared to a concept car, already meets these requirements. This is also called a prototype. A mass production prototype, however, is not the same as a race car prototype like the Le Mans Prototype.