The weirdest idea vehicles we have ever seen, ranked

Idea vehicles are typically loopy, way-out-there-futuristic takes on the place vehicles are going sooner or later. Some ideas vehicles, just like the 1989 Dodge Viper RT/10, look a couple of years into the space and lead to manufacturing automobiles with related styling. Different idea vehicles, like those on this listing, look a lot, a lot additional into the longer term. Many of the automobiles on this listing weren’t meant to ever go into manufacturing, however have been used to focus on design chops, to showcase how radical vehicles might look with out laws, and, this can be a shock, for enjoyable.

If we coated the entire wonky ideas we’ve ever seen, we’d be right here for days. As an alternative, we’ll check out the ten of the strangest idea vehicles we’ve ever seen, rating them from not-so-crazy, however nonetheless absurd to bonkers.

1956 General Motors Firebird II front end angle from passenger's side in a warehouse of cars.
Basic Motors

9. 1956 Basic Motors Firebird II

Automobile designers take a whole lot of inspiration from the aviation business, which is smart. To succeed in excessive speeds and, properly, fly, planes have to make use of physics and witchcraft to remain within the sky. Whereas vehicles don’t fly, not but at the very least, additionally they have to make use of physics and witchcraft to maintain the wind at bay to hit excessive speeds.

In 1956, Basic Motors showcased the Firebird II, which took just a little an excessive amount of inspiration from airplanes. Not solely did the idea seem like a jet, but it surely was really powered by a jet engine — therefore the absurd rear finish. Energy got here from a Whirlfire GT-304 fuel turbine engine that made 200 horsepower at an insane 35,000 rpm. Past the jet engine, the idea had another futuristic parts like a titanium physique, four-wheel unbiased suspension, disc brakes, quad-zone local weather management, a two-way communications system, which might ultimately flip into OnStar, and a rearview digital camera.

Front end angle overhead shot of 1980 Citroen Karin on a rocky road.
Citroen

8. 1980 Citroen Karin

Most of Citroen’s traditional vehicles may very well be thought-about extraordinary. The French automaker merely refused to do issues like everybody else, leading to vehicles that transcend having peculiar designs, however some unusual inside layouts. Even for Citroen, the 1980 Karin has one of many extra outlandish designs that appears prefer it was impressed by the Egyptian pyramids. The vast entrance finish slowly tapers because it reaches the highest of the automobile, making a pure level. The rear finish, although, seems to be simply as vast because the entrance finish, which makes the Karin seem like a pyramid driving down the street.

On the within, the Karin’s declare to fame was that it had the same format to the fabled McLaren F1, with the motive force positioned instantly in the midst of the automotive. The glass-everything design will need to have been a visit to take a seat in, however we don’t assume the automotive would’ve been that protected in a crash.

1991 Isuzu Nagisa front end angle sitting on a platform in front of a display.
Isuzu

7. 1991 Isuzu Nagisa

Some ideas, just like the Isuzu Nagisa, actually make you scratch your head and query whether or not the designer was in a very good place after they got here up with a design. Isuzu launched the Nagisa in 1991, which is when automakers have been working with blocky designs. The Nagisa is kind of blocky, however that’s as a result of it appears to be like like a ship. It’s virtually just like the design group behind the Nagisa have been secretly telling Isuzu that they needed to give up to make boats.

In Isuzu’s protection, the Nagisa was apparently amphibious, which explains why it appears to be like the way in which it does. However with amphibious vehicles being such a distinct segment product and nobody of their proper thoughts really selecting to buy one, it looks like it was extra of a joke. Nonetheless, it was undoubtedly one unusual idea.

Front end angle of 1957 Aurora Safety Car from driver's side parked in a dirt parking lot.
Weigel

6. 1957 Aurora Security Automobile

Security in the present day means one thing fully completely different in comparison with 1957. These days, vehicles include so many superior security options to maintain drivers from moving into an accident that some folks have taken to abusing the techniques by texting and even sleeping whereas driving. It wasn’t like that in 1957, which is when the Aurora Security Automobile made it to the sunshine of day.

The historical past of the Aurora Security automotive is simply as fascinating as its design. It was penned by Father Alfred A. Juliano, a priest who determined to strive his hand at being a automotive designer. As its title implies, the automotive was meant to maintain occupants as protected as potential. It utilized a picket body (hey, it was 1957), and a fiberglass physique for added safety. The automotive was completely hideous and would scare children right into a coma, but it surely got here with issues that may assist passengers in an accident. The automotive had a roll cage, a collapsible steering column, seatbelts, swiveling seats, and side-impact bars.

1956 Buick Centurion front end angle from driver's side overhead photo in front of a gray floor.

5. 1956 Buick Centurion

Buick has made some ugly ideas. I imply, the automaker’s present lineup doesn’t encourage a whole lot of emotion from a design standpoint. That actually wasn’t the case with the Centurion, which had an odd bubble cover design and bodywork that appeared prefer it was plucked from a jet fighter. Truthfully, the Centurion appeared sort of cool. It reminds us of one thing that belonged in The Jetsons.

Nonetheless, with its huge all-glass cover, streamlined traces, and rear central taillight that shaped a cone mimicking a turbine, the Centurion was an odd idea automotive. Along with its U-shaped entrance finish and pointy rear finish, the Centurion got here with a dial-operated transmission shifter, automated seats, and a rearview digital camera. These have been cutting-edge options again in ’56. May you think about if Buick really put one thing like Centurion into manufacturing? How completely different would the model be in the present day? One can solely assist however surprise.

1953 Alfa Romeo Alfa BAT Cars rear end angle on a dirt trail in front of mountains during sunset.
RM SOTHEBY’S

4. 1953 Alfa Romeo Alfa BAT Automobiles

If there’s one model that deserves to have automobiles in an artwork gallery, it’s Alfa Romeo. The Italian marque is accountable for beauties just like the 33 Stradale, 8C Competizione, Montreal, Giulietta Spider 2000, and 8C 2900. However the Berlina Aerodynamica Technica (BAT) vehicles, which have been codeveloped in collaboration between Alfa and Bertone, have been peculiar.

The grey BAT 5 was unveiled on the 1953 Turin Auto Present, the blue BAT 7 got here out in 1954, and the silver BAT 9 was unveiled in 1955. As a enjoyable reality, the BAT 11 Idea was unveiled in 2008, however that mannequin appeared fully completely different from the opposite ones. Every of the unique BATs have been used to review aerodynamics. The BAT 7 reportedly had a drag coefficient of 0.19, which continues to be extremely spectacular by trendy requirements. To have the ability to cheat air, the BATs had a bat-like design with these huge rear physique panels and a sharp greenhouse on the rear of the automobile.

Go away it to Alfa Romeo to make science experiments that look this good. The three authentic automobiles not too long ago bought at a RM Sotheby’s public sale for $14.8 million.

3. 1980 Briggs & Stratton Hybrid

Ideas enable corporations that don’t have a footing in cars to attempt to make a automotive. Working example, Briggs & Stratton, an organization that’s finest recognized for making engines for issues like mills and lawnmowers, tried its hand at making a automotive in 1980. As an alternative of doing one thing easy, like a gas-powered automotive with an engine on the entrance and driving going to the rear wheels, the corporate went straight to the deep finish with a hybrid. The end result was a crazy-looking brick with two doorways, a hatchback, and oh yeah, six wheels.

The idea automotive was used for promotion, but it surely might drive down the street. The automobile used an 18-horsepower twin-cylinder air-cooled fuel engine paired with a battery pack that might additionally energy the automotive for as much as 60 miles of all-electric vary. The corporate used a four-speed guide transmission and entrance suspension from a Ford Pinto, whereas a couple of physique components have been from a Volkswagen Scirocco. The additional set of wheels? Properly, that was all Briggs & Stratton. Apparently, it was wanted to assist assist the battery pack.

2. 1980 Aston Martin Bulldog

Seeing Aston Martin on this listing may throw your mind for a loop, however the British automaker threw everybody for a loop with the Bulldog. The unusual, wedge-shaped idea automotive was an enormous departure for the automaker, which was, and nonetheless is, recognized for its luxurious tourers which might be adequate for a spy. The Bulldog wasn’t a luxurious tourer. It was a brash, in-your-face supercar with gullwing doorways, a wedge form, squared-off ends, and recessed headlights that have been situated practically below the windshield below a folding panel.

Whereas the Bulldog’s design was actually distinctive, its efficiency figures have been blistering for the time. The automotive got here with a twin-turbo 5.3-liter V8 engine that made 650 horsepower. The automotive, regardless of its design, was able to hitting a claimed high pace of 200 mph. As one would anticipate, the inside featured opulent supplies in typical Aston Martin vogue.

Side profile of 1970 Ferrari Modulo parked in front of a white wall on top of a gray floor.
Pininfarina

1. 1970 Ferrari Modulo

These days, Ferrari performs it protected. The automaker follows a confirmed components for its supercars, is electrifying its automobiles to adjust to laws, and has even bent the knee with an SUV on the way in which. Again within the day, Ferrari was a trend-setter, not a follower, and the 1970 Modulo was a automobile that may be attributed to beginning the wedge-shaped craze for supercars.

Even by in the present day’s requirements, the Modulo is completely bonkers. It appears to be like like a spaceship hovering simply above the bottom, and also you wouldn’t know that it’s a automotive till you attempt to discover the tires which might be simply peeking out of the coated fenders. The way in which Ferrari included huge items of glass for the windshield and home windows was outstanding, whereas the 24 holes within the engine cowl supplied an fascinating view on the motor. The way in which the complete cover moved ahead to let passengers in, the pop-up headlights, and the obscurity of the Modulo makes it the strangest idea automotive we’ve ever seen.

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