25 best concept cars ever
Before we cared about trees and not causing the earth to become a fiery, uninhabitable mass, the automotive world was fixated on creating concepts that pushed the limits of what's possible on four wheels. Some companies still throw caution to the wind, such as Bugatti, Ferrari and Lamborghini, but most of the time you have to look back to see some of the most iconic machines ever designed.
We've rounded up 25 of our favourite experimental cars, from the very first concept car ever to 21st century automotive pin-ups – and just about everything in between. So – in no particular order – let's get on with the show.
Leaving aside that dated background, it's hard to tell the space-age Ford GT90 was first revealed to the world more than 17 years ago. Pumping out 720bhp from a quad-turbocharged V12, it could accelerate to 60mph in 3.1 seconds and up to 100mph in 6.2 seconds, before going onto a lightning top speed of 235mph. We're talking Bugatti Veyron performance, but way before it even existed.
Because of the heat spewed out from the V12, the spiritual successor to the GT40 was said to use Space Shuttle ceramic tiles to keep the exhaust from melting body panels.
The BMW GINA – a rather torturous acronym for "Geometry and functions In 'N' Adaptations" – does away with traditional rigid body materials in favour of a man-made fabric skin that is durable, resilient and able to cope with high and low temperatures. The result is a car that can change shape thanks to a moveable frame.
Besides looking revolutionary, that spandex (we kid you not) exterior means the GINA can 'grow' itself a spoiler for high-speed cruising, and its headlights are revealed via a mechanism that looks like the opening of an eyelid.
Driving into the sea or a lake doesn't have to be ruin your day. On the contrary, with the Volkswagen Aqua and its hovercraft-style air cushion, you can cruise across water, ice and snow and move seamlessly between any surfaces at up to 62mph.
The Aqua is even good for the environment because of its two hydrogen-powered motors – and that mahoosive front window ensures you won't accidentally squish any family pets as you leave for work in the morning.
The Fiat Eye is definitely not the choice to go for if you are trying to attract the attentions of the opposite sex – partly because it only has one seat, but mainly because it looks like something from Tron. But this gyroscopically-balanced vehicle is actually quite sophisticated. Not only does it stay upright in the same way a Segway does, you control the Fiat Eye and all of its functions with your voice. Siri, eat your heart out.
We know you've always secretly dreamed about a car that looks reminiscent of a garden honey bee. What, you haven't? Oh, this is awkward. Well this is what we've been waiting for, anyway – the Peugeot Honey-B.
This bizarre SUV-type vehicle is powered by hydrogen fuel cells, has four-wheel drive and steering and sports full panoramic windows so everyone can see just how cool you are as you drop your kids off at the hive. Sorry, school.