Concept cars are the creative embodiment of every enthusiast’s dreams for the evolution of driving. They are exciting glimpses at what could be, and a chance for designers and engineers to flex their imaginations. Here’s our selection of some of the wildest, weirdest, and most ambitious concept cars.
The designers of this vehicle seem to think that in the future, everyone will carry around their own personal plant box everywhere they go. Perhaps oxygen has become scarce? This went from a Utopia to a Dystopia real fast. Also, have you ever wished your steering wheel had a little watch holder? No? Well, now it does.
What’s better than cars and drones? Car drones. The makers believe this could be a reality within the next decade, but we’re not so sure. Going from the road to the skies would be super cool, but there’s no way a giant four rotor drone is going to find space to park in a big city, and moving the traffic from the streets to the air would require a lot of coordination.
Assystem City Car
If real life driving isn’t close enough to video game driving for you, hop in this car and see what’s outside your car through a computer screen. Plus, it monitors your eye movement so you don’t fall asleep at the wheel and won’t run unless it identifies your face. Those two elements could become a reality in the near future, but hopefully the fully realized version doesn’t look so goofy.
It’s amazing the difference a few decades makes. Back in 1958, the vehicle of the future was “The Atomic Car”, powered by a nuclear reactor. This just goes to show that it’s a good thing none of these cars went into actual production before we found out the dangers of some of these new technologies.
Gina is an effort from BMW to create a vehicle with a spandex skin that seems almost organic. Taking its visual cues from sharks, Gina stands out because she debunks some of our most basic assumptions about cars, namely that they must have a hard shell exterior. The video is a little too appreciative, so feel free to play the video at 2x the speed to save some time.
This little pod on wheels is pretty cute. It looks like a character from WALL-E, and seems like a fun way to zip around. You wouldn’t be able to take much with you, but you’d never have to spend ages search for a parking space again.
General Motors Firebird III
These cars might look like planes, but no, they’re not meant to actually fly. They’re simply an experiment in applying the technology of aircraft, like gas turbine engines, to ground vehicles. The other major innovation is that this vehicle had an autoguide setting, where it could be guided by wires embedded in the roads.
Inspired by the way ants travel together, these little units can link up so you can literally hitch a ride with a friend. We’re not sure why it would be so beneficial to be able to link up into convoys with drivers heading the same way, but why not.
Maybe it’s just the saxophone in the background, but we did not picture this futuristic motorcycle-like thing being used for meandering drives through the forest. However, Toyota obviously saw this as a more family-friendly take on the motorcycle, with an AI that seems more like a friend than just a function.
Nissan Pivo 2
Complete with a little robot friend to keep you company, this vehicle can drive in any direction, so you’d never have to stress about parallel parking ever again. Really though, it’s the little robot pal in the dashboard that makes this car awesome.
Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo
This super cool race car is right out of a video game, which makes sense since you the only place you’ll ever be able to drive one is while playing Gran Turismo Sport. It’s powered by lasers and the driver lies on their stomach. It’s too bad this one most likely won’t make onto real roads anytime soon.
Debuted at CES last year, this little electric car seems like pretty standard concept fair except for one element: the “emotion engine” named Hana, an assistant AI that reads your emotions and somehow adjusts the conditions of the car to improve your mood. Plus there’s an electric longboard docked in the trunk.
Finally we come to the hovercar. This vehicle merges the connective idea of the Chery @ANT and the directional capability of the Nissan Pivo 2 into a hovercraft. This concept is less fleshed out than the others on this list, but it is the most ambitious. Someday we’ll have something like this in our fleet. Someday…
Know any concept cars that blow these ones out of the water? Let us know on social media.