Even if you’re not a huge fan of cars, chances are you’ve come across a concept car or two online that has really caught your eye. If you are a fan of cars, you’ve probably been keeping up with the latest concepts in concept automobiles, and how you incorporate a little of that design inspiration into your own car. These vehicles may not be suitable for everyday use, but they come from the minds of some of the most creative engineers, which makes them fascinating to at least fantasize about.
One of the reasons that most people will never own a concept car is that the parts and features for these vehicles can’t be massed-produced in an affordable way. That’s why most concept vehicles are made to be displayed at car shows or in commercials. However, these cars do serve as inspiration for top vehicle manufacturers. Even though many of these automobiles are known for their visual appeal, some of these machines contain safety and entertainment features that can make “regular” cars better, even if the features are replicated on a much smaller scale. Here are 12 concept cars that are pretty interesting.
Mohammad Ghezel is responsible for the erRinGo car, an electronic concept car enclosed by three large wheels, invented in 2009. There’s a main wheel in the middle, along with smaller wheels on each side of the car. The vehicle is shaped like a widened can, and the center wheel keeps the car in place for most of the ride. The side wheels help to keep things steady when the driver has to turn the car. The erRinGo also has steering wheels for both riders (only two people can fit in the car at a time). That’s why it’s best to choose a skilled driver to try this out with you if you see the erRinGo at a technology or concept car show.
This vehicle looks more like a video game console than a car, and was invented by Huynh Ngoc Lan in 2008. The bright red hue of the car, along with its flattened shape, definitely make it stand out. The A360 can go in any direction, and runs on three spheres instead of wheels. There’s no steering wheel for turning, since the car is designed to turn on its own, as necessary. The cabin of the car can also swivel 360 degrees to accommodate the vehicle’s outside movements. This car would certainly be interesting to ride, and the concept of allowing the cabin to move with the vehicle’s exterior is a safety feature that may need further exploration.
The Lovos is a concept car by BMW, and technology experts have joked that it’s half car and half fish. The vehicle has 260 identical scales that serve a number of functions on the car. The scales are used for anything from solar panels to break pads. The scales can also open and close independent of each other to meet the needs of the driver. Lovos stands for Lifestyle of Voluntary Simplicity, but this car seems anything but simple. The vehicle, which debuted in 2009 and looks like something from a Transformers movie, served as an experiment to see whether cars could run effectively on solar power.
9 Aurora Safety Car
The Aurora Safety Car was constructed in the late 1950s, and was said to be the ugliest car ever made. The automobile also holds the distinction of being the first-believed experimental safety vehicle. The car had a silver top and a black bottom, and was invented by Alfred A. Juliano. Juliano was a Catholic priest who simply wanted to create the safest vehicle ever. After just one $30,000 prototype, the priest, who was receiving financial assistance by his congregation to create the car, couldn’t afford to work on the project any more. The Aurora Safety Car actually never made it to production, but it is remembered for its efforts and strange look.
8 Honda Fuya-Jo
The Fuya-Jo was introduced in 1999, and was an iridescent purple, box-shaped car from Honda. It was originally supposed to serve as a party bus, and its name translates to mean “sleepless city” in English. The inside of the vehicle looks like a dance club, and the steering wheel was even shaped like a DJ turntable. There are also spaces for passengers to safely stand as they are transported from one party venue to the next. Of course, the driver of the car will need to be sober, but this seems like one of the safest concepts for a car that will take partiers all around town without any unfortunate incidents.
7 Dodge Deora
If you remember having a Hot Wheels collection when you were a kid, you likely remember a small replica of the Deora in your collection. The car was invented in 1965 and never actually went to production. However, this concept vehicle had a few design features that are definitely worth mentioning. The car didn’t have any side doors, and the front of the Dodge Deora was a glass hatch, which made for a pretty interesting look. The car was designed by Harry Bentley Bradley, and was customized in 1967 by brothers Mike and Larry Alexander, for the Detroit Autorama. In 2009, the Dodge Deora sold at an acution for $230,000.
6 Peugeot Ozone
The Peugeot Ozone is similar to the erRinGo car, and needs gyroscopic technology in order to function. The sides of the car roll around while the middle stays intact, and that’s how passengers get around in the Ozone. The car actually looks like a patio or porch that is portable, and the plush seats on the inside make for a pretty comfortable ride. The front and sides of the car are made from screen-like material, which makes it easy to see the road ahead while riding. It’s highly unlikely that these cars will be on the road on a regular basis, but they’re pretty fun to explore during car shows and exhibits.
5 BMW Gina
The Gina from BMW is a car that behaves much like a human. GINA stands for Geometry and Functions in N Adaptations, and the car features “skin” that is wrapped over its frame. The frame is made of sturdy metal, and the doors bend upward to open, similar to the way that an arm bends and stretches at the elbow. The headlights in the front of the car are covered by what looks like eyelids. The car has a sleek design, features silver “skin” and has an opening in the hood that looks as though it’s showing off the car’s internal “organs.”
4 General Motors ENV
The EN-V from General Motors is an innovative small car that was created in partnerships with Segway. It actually looks like a slightly larger version of the Segway, if the Segway were a car. This concept vehicle uses lithium batteries, which last for round trips of up to 40km. The cars are also regularly powered from a normal home outlet, so you can actually plug in the EN-V to charge it. The vehicle can be driven like a normal car or operated autonomously. In 2011, it was announced that a second addition of the car would be created in China for field testing and demonstration.
3 Volkswagen Aqua
The Aqua from Volkswagen was actually designed to drive in water, and to get drivers safely through the terrain in China, which can sometimes be pretty rugged. The car is known for getting the job done when it comes to “driving” in water, but concept car enthusiasts are likely concerned about one of the vehicle’s features. The Aqua only has one door, in the back, which can be pretty scary if you’re actually in water. The Volkswagen Aqua also serves as a hybrid hovercraft car. This futuristic and visually appealing vehicle was created by Yuhan Zhang, a talented industrial designer.
The Kalos is one of the concept cars that most people hope won’t become necessary. The vehicle was created to protect humans in the event of an apocalyptic takeover. It is assumed that if the Apocalypse does indeed take place, the ozone layer will be completely destroyed and it will be illegal to drive cars that are powered by gas. That’s why the Kalos is designed to drive in very rugged terrain, and has a polarized windshield. This is intended to protect the driver and passengers from the intense radiation of the sun, which is inevitable if the environment continues to deteriorate.
1 SAIC Yez
This green and silver concept car was invented by Shanghai Automotive. The “Yez” which means “leaf” in Mandarin, is truly one of a kind. The vehicle inhales carbon dioxide and breathes “out” oxygen, which is ideal for the environment. The Yaz actually practices the concept of artificial photosynthesis, and this could be one of the things that makes the air cleaner in an age of extreme pollution. The car also has the distinction of being able to function in all types of weather. Environmentalists have predicted that artificial photosynthesis will pretty much be a normal thing by the year 2030, and they may be on to something.