Concept cars have traditionally pushed the boundaries of car design, but there are some examples that need to be seen to be believed. Here we have collected together 7 very interesting, and weird, concept cars for your delectation.
Trust us when we say that this list is far from exhaustive. It is also in no particular order.
Do concept cars have engines?
According to Wikipedia, "A concept car (also known as a concept vehicle, show vehicle or prototype) is a car made to showcase new styling and/or new technology. They are often shown at motor shows to gauge customer reaction to new and radical designs which may or may not be mass-produced."
The idea behind them was developed in the 1950s by General Motors' designer Harley Earl. Most concept cars are never intended to go to mass production directly.
They can either be fully fleshed out full-scale prototypes or scale-models made from a variety of materials, but most never leave the drawing board.
Many of them are also not intended to be driven, though some can. If they do have a functional engine they are usually only able to move safely at speeds of 16 km/h.
What is the weirdest looking car?
As you are about to find out, many major car manufacturers have stretched the limits of what we commonly understand to be a car. They range from alien-looking crafts to windowless cylinders.
The only limit to them, it appears, is the imagination of their creators. But there is one particular car that might be the strangest thing you have ever seen.
The erRinGo (images in the video above), is a strange-looking electrically-powered, concept car designed by Mohammad Gizel in 2009.
It has space for two occupants, a driver, and a passenger, and looks like something out of a sci-fi film.
"The large central wheel provides most of the traction and power, while the two smaller outer wheels give stability over bumpy ground or when the vehicle is turning. While it takes some time to get used to controlling the erRinGo, it is both fast and nimble and is incredibly friendly to the environment compared to a traditional car." - lolwot.com.
What is the weirdest concept car in the world?
There are many contenders for the weirdest concept car in the world. Here are 7 examples of some of the strangest, most bizarre, and downright weirdest concept cars ever created.
This list is not exhaustive and is no particular order.
1. The Peugeot Moovie looks like a hamster ball
The Peugeot Moovie is one of the weirdest concept cars you've probably ever seen. It also has a name that matches its unconventional design.
Looking like a human-sized hamster ball, The Moovie was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005.
The design was chosen by Frédéric Saint-Geours (Managing Director of Peugeot) on the theme "Design the Peugeot of your dreams for the near future". It was the winning design, out of 3,800 proposed projects, made by 23-year-old Portuguese student in industrial design in Lisbon André Costa.
2. The Suzuki Mobile Terrace is very imaginative
The Suzuki Mobile Terrace is another very odd-looking concept car. It was unveiled by Suzuki at the 2003 Tokyo Motor show and would, if ever developed, be powered by fuel cell technology.
It also had steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire systems all designed to provide as much interior room as possible. Completely symmetrical, the vehicle is accessed by large sliding doors on both its sides.
Interestingly, its instrument panel was also designed to be able to turn into a table. Its roof could also open in gull-wing doors to provide near-360 views from the interior.
3. The Volkswagen Aqua is very weird indeed
The VW Aqua is another interesting and weird looking concept car. It was designed as an all-terrain vehicle and was the brainchild of a Chinese graduate Zhang Yuhan.
The concept car, if ever produced, would be powered by hydrogen fuel cells, and would, hopefully, have a top speed of 100 km/h.
"There is no better form of transport than an air cushion vehicle because it travels equally well over land, ice and water," commented Ms. Yuhan. "I hope Aqua will become an affordable supercar that is available to the general public one day."
No actual large-scale model was built, however, and all imagery of the concept vehicle is computer generated.
4. Tang Hua "Detroit Fish" is wacky
Designed for the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, the "Detroit Fish" is an interesting concept car. Intended to be an amphibious vehicle, it is supposed to double as a car and a boat powered by the propellor.
While it does lack doors or side windows for that matter, its actual utility for either role is questionable. Apparently, the concept car is able to move, but whether it can float or not is anyone's guess.
It should be noted that Tang Hau is a company who specializes in wacky concept car designs so it is unlikely whether this was intended as a serious proposal.
5. The General Motors EN-V looks like something from the future
General Motor' Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V) is a two-seater urban electric concept car. But it also happens to be one of the strangest car designs you've ever seen.
It was jointly developed by Segway Inc and can be driven normally or autonomously apparently.
"Designed for urban environments and around an extrapolation of the P.U.M.A. prototype announced by GM and Segway in 2009, the EN-V was unveiled at the joint GM & SAIC pavilion at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai from 1 May through 31 October 2010. Three different vehicles are showcased, 笑 Xiao (Laugh), 骄 Jiao (Pride) and 妙 Miao (Magic)." - Wikipedia.
6. The Dymaxion is a very old weird car
The Dymaxion, whilst technically speaking not a concept car per se, is a very interesting looking car indeed. It was designed in the early-1930s during the height of the Great Depression by Buckminster Fuller.
The Dymaxion appeared at the 1933/1934 World's Fair and three prototypes were built by Fuller. Its name is a portmanteau of the words dynamic, maximum and tension.
The car was powered by a Ford Flathead V8 engine and was made from sheet aluminum and ash framework. Its design was intended to maximize fuel efficiency and top speed.
7. Is the BMW Lovos the future?
Last, but by no means least, is one of the weirdest concept cars you'll ever likely cast your eyes upon - the BMW Lifestyle of Voluntary Simplicity (Lovos). Its standout feature is the 260 identical movable parts on its external bodywork that are intended to act as air-brakes and photovoltaic cells.
Designed by a German design student Anne Forschner from Pforzheim University, the Lovos is actually pretty awesome looking.