What does your car mean to you? What does your car say about you? Possibly nothing at all, but some people express their personality through their car or use it to show off their success and the size of their bank balance, among other things. Others want a functional, utilitarian machine that gets them safely and efficiently from A to B or a city car to run around town or a 4×4 to run around town, depending on your town.
I’m still waiting for a car that flies or at least a hovercraft type car, just like the sci- fi books of my youth promised me by now. Smaller cars and those which run on alternative fuels, like electric cars, are the main design changes we are seeing so far this century, even though electric vehicles have been around for a century at least.
Designers know how to capture and mould the right commercial features for different car lovers. And then sometimes, they go a little bit further and well, create something just beyond the boundaries. That’s when it gets interesting, wacky and occasionally wonderful.
This smart car got a make-over to try to catch that 4×4 feeling in a run around town car. Slightly Tonka-like, I almost expect a lego man to jump out. Other sporty options are available such as Smanborghini, Smorevette and Smerrari.
Smaudi A3 Smart Car make-over in a kit
Czech designers Marek Kedzierski and Michal Vlcek are responsible for this clever concept. The wheels move around the curve from the normal side position to all head in the same direction for tricky sideways parking. One for those who havetrouble reversing into a tight space and no problems with claustrophobia by the look of it.
NASA design concept car
The 2008 Detroit Auto Show was the showcase for this off the wall amphibious people carrier. Called ‘Tung Hua Detroit Fish Concept’, perhaps it loses (or gains) something in the translation from Chinese. This, plus two other yellow bubble cars, were designed by Chinese auto designer Li Guangming, who wants to put Chinese car design on the map. Hmmm…
The Detroit Fish Concept.
What is it with bubble cars? There is a fine line between cute and ridiculous and this is zooming along it. The electric mini car is from Nissan and the wheels can pivot and the cabin revolves so you can park sideways and look where you are going.
Nissan PIVO mini car 2
For anyone who loves playing around on shopping or luggage trolleys and who wants a public transport alternative to bike schemes, this stackable car is for you. Or for your city at least as you do need to share.
MIT’s stackable cars
Youtube video of stackable cars http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFwXpL8Luj4
Now sometimes even the most beautiful design can be a bit wacky. This bat mobile is sleek, sexy and modern. But just try opening these doors in a multi story car park or even your own garage. Tricky. It’s an Alfa Romeo Pandion. The name and door concept comes from an osprey or sea hawk (Pandion haliaetus is the scientific name for this bird of prey).
Alfa Romeo’s Pandion sea hawk car
From crazy wing doors to no doors at all, the Fiat Panda Jolly is currently running tourists around the gorgeous island of Capri – the things we do on holidays! It’s also a lesson to not leave anything valuable in the car.
The jolly little panda from Fiat makes me smile
Fancy a little luxury in your car? This saloon includes a rear seat console with a tea set and instant boiling water or an espresso maker or an ice box, depending on your tipple of choice. Cleary it requires a chauffeur. It is tailor made to your specifications and first hit the market in June 2010. What more could you want?
The Bufori Geneva was named after the city it was launched in during 2010’s motor show
Another 2010 motor show car causing a buzz is the Mercedes-Benx BIOME concept, unveiled in LA. It is truly organic and amazingly has been made from a substance grown from seeds and emits pure oxygen when it runs. Science or nature or technology? All three it would seem.
Mercedes-Benx BIOME concept
Aha! I knew it was coming. Sci-fi doesn’t lie. My flying car of the future has been designed by a Hungarian student called Tibor, for a competition. The design is based on a cuttle fish. Of course it is.