Everyday technology seems to be advancing, and with each advancement, our lives become a little easier, a little less hectic, and a lot more exciting. Within the past hundred years, nothing with maybe the exception of cell phones, has gone through a more drastic change in both appearance and technology than the automotive industry.
From the first Ford assembly line back in 1908 to now, cars have played an integral role in our lives and shaped the way we interact with the world around us. Long gone are the days where the world ended as far as you could walk or where cars were only ever purchased by the ultra-rich. Today, with the help of automation and economies of scale, vehicles have become more accessible, and affordable, for everyone. While cars have substantially altered from their original 1900’s design, over the past twenty years little has changed.
Only recently have we seen a wave of innovative developments in the auto industry, such as self-driving cars and electric-powered engines. Despite these advancements, change is slow. Or more accurately, people are slow to adapt to such change. Yet, we can’t help but be left wondering what cars will look like in the next 10, 20, or 100 years. Luckily we don’t have to since car manufacturers and auto designers alike have already begun to envision the future of cars. We compiled our top 25 favorite concept cars, from all around the world, that will have you wishing they were real. Because we definitely do!
25 Bugatti 57 Atlantic
The first word that comes to mind when setting your eyes on Bugatti’s futuristic concept car the Bugatti 57 Atlantic has to be “sleek,” followed by a 1950’s nostalgia for defining sharp curves. The low to ground aerodynamic model was developed by the French graphic designer Bruno Delussu. Unfortunately, this beautiful vehicle won’t be on the road anytime soon since its only merely a mock design. Delussu wanted to create the opposite of a classic sports car look that he described as normally “compact,” and “aggressive,” and instead wanted to create a “voluptuously streamlined [shape] that glides smoothly through the air like hand over silk.”
24 BMW i8 Concept
The all-electric model from German the car manufacturer BMW goes an impressive 0-62 mph is under five seconds and can reach an incredible max speed of 155 mph. The sports design and environmental features make this a monumental step towards the increasing inclination of many car manufacturers to explore renewable and more efficient vehicles that don’t compromise aesthetic. Especially since major countries like France and Germany have made agreements to lower gasoline vehicles on the road and increase efficiency measure by 2020.
23 Mercedes-Benz BIOME concept
The original inspiration for this model came back in 2010 when Mercedes-Benz entered a design competition at an LA Auto Show. The goal was to make a car that was under 450 kgs and could fit four people. The futuristic design also doesn’t run on gas and instead works with what Mercedes says is “BioNectar4534” which also allows the vehicle to emit pure oxygen instead of greenhouse gases. The vehicle is also fully recyclable and can be used as building materials, for example, once no longer in use.
22 Jaguar C-XS
The modern-Batman-esque ride looks almost invisible with its smooth reflective lines that give an out of this world feel. The concept car for Jaguar was designed by Janak Mistry for the year of 2050. What is special about this car is its ability to change form. The car has a “Saloon mode” that is able to fit four people and is quite spacious. However, it also has another mode where the two back seats fold in, giving the driver a more sporty-low to the ground feeling.
21 Audi A-100
A beautifully designed car by Miguel Angel Mojica Pulido is for a proposed Audi vehicle that would be released in the year 2100. The proposed vehicle comes in black and white and resembles more of a computer mouse than a car. It’s safe to say that in the future, renewable energy like wind, solar, or even algae would power the vehicle. For this model, the designer envisioned his super sleek Audi to be powered by electricity featuring some sort of magnetic hovering system to make it more efficient and faster. While the technology isn’t quite there yet (i.e. it doesn’t exist at all) there’s no denying this incredible design.
20 Iconiq Model Seven
The edgy passenger-focused MPV is the first of it’s kind to be both electric and driverless. Not only is the car pimped out with a series of touch screens, but it also features two seats in the back that are capable of reclining to a fully flat position much like how first class seat on airplanes operate. Talk about the perfect car for road trips right? CEO of Iconiq, Bruno Lambert, anticipates the vehicle to also include advanced technology that recognizes passengers by syncing with smartphones as well as facial and voice recognition software. Luckily you won’t have to wait long for this futuristic car mod because, if you believe it or not, the Chinese motor company plans to have it released in 2020!
19 Volkswagon ID Vizzion
One of Volkswagen's latest concept cars, the ID Vizzion pushes the boundaries of the typical “sunroof” normally found in cars. Just like pretty much every car on this list, the ID Vizzion is also driverless and, of course, electric. Volkswagen is highly invested in the user experience and this vehicle was designed specifically with the intent of carrying those who can’t drive themselves because of age or for other reasons. So, with this in mind, passengers are able to communicate with the vehicle’s digital driver in the car through either voice or hand gestures.
18 Renault EZ-GO
This futuristic zero-emissions car concept is the result of French company seeking a better taxi driving experience for all. The inside features free Wi-Fi, charging ports, and humongous glass windows on both sides of the vehicle. It also has a speed limit of 30 mph so passengers can both enjoy the views from their ride, which is great for potential tourists in the future who want to explore a city without the hassle of being crammed on a bus with a dozen other people. Renault Chief Engineer for Autonomous Driving, Laurent Taupin, envisions this “robo-taxi” to revolutionize the world and be “somewhere between a taxi service and public transport.” With the EZ-GO, users could summon the driverless vehicle using an app, much like how you do with Uber and Lyft today. But, unlike Uber and Lyft, you know your car is going to be 100% fly, 100% of the time.
17 Lagonda Vision Concept
Talk about luxury. The Lagonda Vision Concept comes from the famous engineers and designer at Aston Martin who have taken the idea of driverless and all-electric cars to a whole new level. So finally, it looks like Tesla may have some valid competition that isn’t a Prius. With no engine, gearbox, or steering wheel the interior is extra spacious, leaving more room for passengers to stretch out and relax. Additionally, the inside is covered with carbon fiber, ceramics, and other luxurious materials to provide maximum comfort and style. On top of all of that, concept designers realistically see the vehicle achieving a range of 400 miles!
16 Mercedes-Benz F 015
Mercedes-Benz is probably one of the most famous high-end car brands today and their new concept doesn’t disappoint. The extremely modern vehicle looks like something out of a movie set in the not too distant future. The exterior is shaped with extremely fine curves and virtually no edges for improved efficiency and speed. Also, did we mention its electric? (I think we’re seeing a trend here). It’s an advanced self-driving system that operates by using ultrasonic sensors, camera, and high-tech radars. Inside the modern mod, seats are able to rotate around so passengers can face each other. Plus, the sides of the car are lined with multiple screens for various entertainment and utility.
15 Toyota FV2
Toyota decided to divert from traditional notions of automotive design and form with their new concept of the FV2. Showcased initially at the Tokyo Motor Show, the single-seat design was something no one was expecting from the Japanese company. It’s minimalist and triangle shape makes it ideal for driving efficiently and quickly. Toyota also has an interesting feature to this vehicle unlike anyone else. The FV2 allows passengers to interact with the vehicle in a way that AI technology to able to accurately assess a drivers mood and will even change the exterior color of the car according to how one’s feeling.
14 Light Cocoon
The Light Cocoon comes from the masterminds at German car manufacturer EDAG. When coming up with the concept, designers found themselves “inspired by leaves and bats’ wings,” it was only after combining the both of them that they came up with the idea of making a skeleton-esque outer frame instead of a closed surface. Although the vehicle uses less materials, making it more cost-effective, the branch-like structure makes it extremely sturdy and safe. Another intriguing aspect of the Light cocoon is the LED lights that illuminate throughout the car which allows drivers to change the color of the car whenever they want.
13 Envision energy EV Concept
This cool and collective design comes from the automotive masterminds of Gigorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro who created this four-door luxury vehicle. The EV concept is unique in its construction, for example, the driver, instead of opening the door as usual and getting in, enter through the windshield which slides forward. Meanwhile, backseat passengers can enter through gullwing styles door. The vehicle is powered by electric motors and has a driving range of 280 miles. Although it definitely looks like something out of a science fiction novel, the car may actually be available quicker than you think. Envision is already in the works with the German battery and solar startup SonnenCharger, who has tens of thousands of solar and wind generator in Germany already, so that the electric vehicle will be able to be electric 100% of the time instead of just a hybrid.
12 Lexus 2054 Concept Car
If you’ve seen Tom Cruise’s film Minority Report then this car may look familiar, because it was actually Lexus who came up with the design for the film's vehicles more than 10 years ago! For the film, acclaimed production designer Alex McDowell wanted to envision what cars might look like in the future; and after working with car designer Harald Belker, they took their concept to Lexus where they brought their design to life. Well before Tesla came up with driverless cars, the film predicted much of the technology we are seeing being featured in today’s concept cars such as wearable technology, 3D videos and self-driving vehicles able to travel both vertically and horizontally!
11 Chapparal 2X Vision GT
Chevrolet originally designed the vehicle for PlayStation’s Gran Turismo 6, but engineers at the company decided to take it a step further and actually bring the car to life. Because why not right? The sporty one-seater race car is designed to run on a laser-powered engine. The 671kW laser is supposed to work by creating shockwaves into the air of the generator allowing the car to reach insanely high speeds up to 240 miles per hour. Don’t expect to be seeing this on the street anytime soon though as the technology probably won’t be “street legal” for a long time.
10 Renault KWID
The Renault KWID sent shock waves when it first premiered itself at the Dubai Auto Show back in 2014 because it was the first to incorporate drones into their vehicle. How did they do it? Well, the boxy one-seater comes with all the standard bells and whistles of a normal car, but hidden in a little compartment in the roof you’ll also find you’re very own drone. The “flying companion,” is equipped with a high definition camera, so say you are stuck in traffic and don’t know how long it’s gonna take, just release your little drone into the sky and check out the road, you can even take photos with it as well!
9 Fun VII
Developed by the Japanese powerhouse Toyota, the Fun VII is like no other car on our list. The concept car was designed to “instantly change inside and out.” Gigantic LED-screen cover both sides of the car making it perfect for personalization. The panels can display anything the driver wants at the touch of a button. Not only is it great for customization, but there is also the potential for it to be used for advertisements, so drivers could end up getting paid big-bucks just by running ads on their cars. Other fun features also include a navigation concierge, facial recognition, and aspects of augmented reality.
8 Rinspeed Buddi
This tiny car was modeled after the BMW i3 hatchback and is equipped with a range of high-tech technology. The quirky two-seater interior comes in bright eye-popping colors like orange and blue. Behind both seats are fold-able which you can take out to do some urban exploring. It also comes with a smartwatch which allows you do to things such as “follow me,” where the car literally will drive next to you as you walk (we’re not sure why anyone would actually need to do this, but okay). However, the most unique feature of the car has to be the steering wheel. While the car will typically drive itself, if you want to take the wheel it will come to you automatically--even when you’re sitting on the passenger's side! Hopefully, you just don’t get confused on which side of the road you're supposed to be on.
7 Byton SUV
Created by the China-based company Byton, this all-electric SUV is packed with advanced technology that allows you to seamlessly connect all your data and devices. The vehicle was unveiled at this years CES annual tech trade show in Las Vegas where it wow-ed onlookers, despite the vehicle only being 80% complete. And it’s no surprise why. The entire dashboard is one large display screen and passengers will be able to control much of the car via hand gestures and voice commands through Amazon’s Alexa assistant. The car can even keep track of the driver’s weight, oxygen saturation, heart rate, and even blood pressure.
The E-Palette was designed by Toyota with the hopes of changing ride sharing for the better. The boxy concept design comes in three sizes ranging from 13 feet to 22 feet and is capable of wireless software updates along with a self-driving system. The radical new concept vehicle doesn’t just have the potential to improve ride sharing experiences but also pizza delivery. Let me explain. After debuting the vehicle at this years CES, the E-Palette gained the attention of many companies including Pizza Hut. Within the upcoming years, it could be very possible that a self-driving e-Palette may be bringing you your next pizza, imagine that!
5 En Verge
The En Verge was recently reviled at this years North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Designed by the talented team at Chinese automaker GAC, the Q Inspiration takes much of its “inspiration” from previous typical compact SUV vehicles. Yet, the futuristic design and innovative technology is something new altogether. The smooth silver exterior features invisible door handles that extend once passengers approach the vehicle with a key along with two Falcon-style wings door. The inside is equally luxurious with white leather, high definition monitors in the back seat for entertainment, and curved styled seating that remind us of Captain Kirk's chair from Star Trek.
4 FE Fuel Cell
Developed by Hyundai, the FE Fuel Cell is just one of 14 low-emission concept cars that Hyundai is hoping to bring to life over the next couple of years. Much like the above LF-1 Limitless, the FE Fuel Cell (which stands for “Future Eco”) also features a seamless silver body with extendable door handles. Hyundai based the FE Fuel Cell off its current ix35 model, but they anticipate the FE Fuel Cell to not only be more efficient but also 20 percent lighter. Instead of switching to electric like most concept cars, the FE Fuel Cell is powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell which could have the potential of being able to drive more than 490 miles before needing to be refueled. To put it in perspective, that’s basically driving from San Diego all the way to San Francisco on one tank!
The I-Tril comes from Toyota and, at first glance, looks very similar to the Smart Cars you can find on the road today. However, Toyota’s taken on a much quirkier approach to an already familiar design. The three-wheel electric vehicle has enough room to fit one, but make sure you’re not over six feet because it could feel a little cramped. It also has no-pedals making it not only lighter but also 100% self-driving as well. While most smart-electric cars today have a top range of just under 100 miles per charge, the I-Tril is expected to have almost double that with a whopping 185-mile range.
2 Volkswagen Sedric
Sedric is one of Volkswagen's first line of self-driving cars with complete self-driving capabilities. Meaning, there's no steering wheel, pedals, or dashboard controls. Volkswagen wanted to make a vehicle that delivers a "welcome home feeling," for passengers and used only natural materials that are "pleasant to the touch," such as birch leather seats and wood floors. The car also incorporates other natural elements like it air-purification system which works by using bamboo charcoal air-filters and a range of air purifying plants lining the back window. Despite many natural concepts it also incorporates high tech features, including voice command operations and high-resolution OLED displays.
1 Mitsubishi MMR25
Mitsubishi could change the world of competitive racing all together with their intense MMR25 concept car. Although the insect-like exterior design is intriguing within itself, its the proposed technology behind this futuristic mod that really takes the cake. To make the vehicle lighter and faster, they replaced ALL the windows with a series of panoramic screens that display a 360-degree view of the outside world. That isn’t the only dramatic change. The lightweight race car also has nine motors in each wheel giving the MMR25 the unique capability of multi-directional steering. Plus, with nano-lithium-based batteries, this beauty can go as far as 1,000 miles on one charge!
References: RoadAndTrack, MotorTrack, DrivingLine, Wired, DigitalTrend, Motor1, TopSpeed