Concept cars can be pretty far out. The fact that they are “concepts” means that automotive designers and engineers can let their imaginations wander when designing potential new vehicles. Free of the need for the cars to have any practical necessity, the designers can literally push the envelope of what is possible when it comes to concepts for the next generation of vehicles. And this free reign has led to some truly bizarre car concepts over the years. Designers at many of the biggest and most influential automotive companies in the world have come forward with car concepts that have to be seen to be believed. Here are 10 really far out concept cars for your consideration.
10. Fiat EYE
Looking more like a futuristic pod than a car, the Fiat EYE definitely catches the human eye and holds people’s gaze. The concept for this car was actually inspired by the Segway scooter. And the designers at Fiat describe this vehicle as being “gyroscopically-balanced” meaning that it can maintain its balance while the weight shifts between the two wheels. While this vehicle may not look practical, its design is quite sophisticated. In fact, the Fiat EYE was designed so that its owners can control the car’s functions using their voice. Sophisticated voice recognition technology would enable people to open the doors, start the engine, turn on the headlights and even park the car using only their voice. Think of it as Siri on steroids.
9. Peugeot Honey-B
This durable looking four wheeler is yellow and black in colour like a honey bee. However, it looks more like the type of people transporter used on the moon in science fiction movies than a practical vehicle that would pass you on an interstate highway. Billed by designers and engineers as a “futuristic SUV,” the Honey-B is meant to be a rugged off-road concept vehicle. It also happens to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells, has four-wheel drive, and a top that is made entirely of clear Plexiglas, providing occupants with full panoramic views. While this vehicle may seem totally impractical and strange looking, it nevertheless may prove to be appropriate in certain terrain and conditions. Also, it kind of looks like those yellow and black “sports Walkman’s” that were popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
8. General Motors Firebird 1
This vehicle appears to be some type of land rocket and looks like something you would see in a Disney-Pixar film. I mean, this concept car literally looks like a jet fighter on four wheels, right? Created in 1953 at the height of the Cold War and fear of Soviet invasion, this concept car from General Motors was meant to appeal to a public that felt they may have to get away quickly from one place to another. It was also designed to test whether a gas turbine engine would be viable in the cars of the future, and if a car armed with a 370-horsepower engine could function on city streets and highways. Fortunately, this design concept never made it to the production line and remained a work of art on paper only.
7. Volkswagen Aqua
Always with the amphibious car! It seems that every time automotive concepts are involved, someone has to come out with an amphibious car that can operate on both land and water. Why the obsession with vehicles that can double as cars and boats? We have no idea. But it is a concept that, while totally impractical, never seems to die. This brings us to the Volkswagen Aqua, which, to be fair, is one of the cooler car/boat concepts we’ve seen in recent years. On paper, it looks like something out of a vintage James Bond movie circa the Roger Moore years. But in concept, the designers at Volkswagen saw the Aqua as a hovercraft-style vehicle that uses an air cushion to cruise on water, ice and snow – all at a top speed of 62 miles per hour. Plus, the Aqua was meant to be environmentally friendly and powered by two hydrogen motors. All coolness aside, enough with the car boats already!
6. Alfa Romeo Caimano
This concept car was actually built and looks a bit like a switchblade when the doors and hood are open. Created in the 1970s, the Caimano was designed as a futuristic cousin of the then popular Alfa Romeo Alfasud. And it definitely looks futuristic for the 1970s. This concept car could have been hauled off the set of Logan’s Run or Space 1999. And, like a lot of car concepts from the 1970s, this one features a plastic bubble top that was meant to give the people inside clear views for miles in all directions. In reality, the plastic bubble only succeeded in magnifying the sun’s rays and cooking the occupants inside of the Alfa Romeo Caimano. This likely explains why this vehicle remained a concept.
5. Ferrari 512 S Modulo
Is this a car or a shuttle off the U.S.S. Enterprise? Looking a lot like the shuttles used to ferry Captain Kirk and crew to the Enterprise on Star Trek, the Ferrari 512 S Modulo is one spaced out concept car. Designed in 1970, this is one of dozens of futuristic car concepts created by engineers at Ferrari at the time. In the case of the 512 S Modulo, the folks at Ferrari decided to see if they could come up with a car that is, for all intents and purposes, completely flat. Unfortunately, making a completely flat car made the vehicle impossible to drive. Impractical in every sense of the word, the Ferrari 512 S Modulo is still a wonder to behold and extremely aerodynamic. Who cares if nobody can sit inside the car and actually drive it? Details, details.
4. Peugeot Egochine
Another weird one from the folks at Peugeot in France. Is it us, or does this concept car look a lot like a razor blade that people shave with? Regardless, it is difficult for anyone to take their eyes off the Peugeot Egochine. Meant to be a single person, three wheeled vehicle, the Egochine was designed by artist Paolo De Giusti, who called this concept “very self-centered.” No kidding. Like many concepts on this list, the Egochine is meant to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells mounted in the vehicle’s fuselage area at the frontend, while the driver sits far back in the rear. The motors are, of course, electric and the whole vehicle is front wheel driven. Looking remarkably like the Gillette Fusion razor blade, our only questions when it comes to this concept car is: What are the people are Peugeot smoking?
3. BMW Lovos
The engineers at BMW aren’t known for being super edgy and crazy when it comes to their car designs. They are German, after all. But check out the Lovos. This concept vehicle takes the term “armour plated” to a whole new level. And what`s with the seemingly retractable spikes on this car? This vehicle looks like the Batmobile as designed for Wolverine. The designer behind this concept, Anne Forschner, said she came up with this idea as a protest against our “mass produced world,” and said she wanted to design a vehicle that would make people feel uncomfortable. Mission accomplished. Forschner also said that she wanted the Lovos to have the appearance of fish scales. Why, we’re not sure. In any event, the concept for this car has 260 identical interchangeable parts to its structure. When open, the “scales” function as air brakes, and also act as solar panels to draw energy from the sun and power this bizarre creation. There are also 12 scales on each wheel of the car, which are meant to act as turbines when the vehicle is in gear and in motion. Super weird.
2. Honda Fuya-Jo
Can you say “boxy?” This concept car sure as hell isn’t aerodynamic or likely to fly down the highways. About as square as a car can get, the Fuya-Jo by Honda means “sleepless city” in Japanese. And, believe it or not, this vehicle was designed with a very practical purpose in mind – to transport party goers who are too loaded to drive themselves places. Marketed as being for “party animals who demand the full excitement of night life,” this concept vehicle is basically one large designated driver. In fact, the concept includes space for people in the vehicle to be able to dance as they travel from club to club or club to home. Even the dashboard is designed to mimic a DJ’s mixing table and sampler. And the steering wheel is shaped like a turntable. At the Tokyo Auto Show in 1999, executives at Honda said the Fuya-Jo was aimed at the “ecstasy generation.” Maybe the designers at Honda should get off the ecstasy.
1. Magnet Car
Not all concept cars come from major automakers. Every now and then a concept for a vehicle comes from an independent artist, designer, mind or spirit. Such is the case with the Magnet Car, a concept developed by Mat˙ö Proch•czka (yes, the real spelling of his last name). The Magnet Car was created in response to a challenge for designers to come up with more fuel efficient methods of transportation. In this futuristic, and totally impractical, design, the car uses magnets the same polarity as the road to lift it off the ground when traveling. Never mind that magnetized roads do not exist. This concept care is entirely hypothetical and a dream of a concept. Apparently nobody said the design concept had to be realistic or useful.