Although concept cars are designed to push the boundaries and showcase a manufacturers’ upcoming technology, sometime they take it a step too far in the wrong direction. Quite often, even the best of ideas turn out to be actually bad ones a few years down the road when trends shift and consumers want something else. Here are 10 concept cars which made no sense, although a lot of them are spectacular to look at.
Ferrari 512 S Modulo
A weird name for an even weirder car. Looking at it you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a spaceship or an alien craft. Back in the 1970s Ferrari decided to build the 512, probably inspired by Star Trek. It looks weird today, and looking back at how cars were designed in the 1970s, we’re sure it looked crazy even back in the day. It’s almost impossible to drive thanks to the small cabin and virtually no visibility.
Italdesign has probably one of the coolest names in the automotive industry, but the Aztec was anything but. The 80s were complete madness when it came to automotive design, and the Aztec embodied that perfectly. It was the pinnacle of crazy Italian flare and passion, perhaps not in the right direction though. The Aztec looks crazy to begin with, but take a look inside and it gets even crazier. The driver and the passenger sit in two different compartments, making it the perfect car for married couples after a fight. It’s small wonder then, that just 18 Aztec cars were sold after the concept was unveiled.
You’re forgiven for laughing at the name, we did too. When you hear Nucleon, you probably think of a nuclear experiment carried out by the government somewhere in the desert. However, the Nucleon wasn’t even remotely as exciting as that. It was Ford trying to imagine a car powered by, you guessed it, nuclear energy. In this particular case, steam and uranium fusion to be more specific. The engineers abandoned idea after realizing no one would drive a nuclear-powered car. Good thing the Nucleon never boomed past the initial phase then. Ha, get it?
Alfa Romeo Caimano
Alfa, you never fail to amaze us. The Caimano adheres to all the typical Alfa Romeo traits. It’s breathtaking to look at, people wonder what it is, and is a total nightmare to drive. The bubble glass top gives occupants great view of the sky, but as a result they sit so far inside the car it’s neigh-on impossible to see the road in front. And, you can’t open the windows, so you’re getting slowly cooked inside as you drive along. Still, at least you get to look at the gorgeous scenery around you.
Transit Elevated Bus
Not really a car, but a bus so ridiculous, we had to include it on this list. On paper, it’s a great idea. A bus which drives on rails so cars can go underneath and is almost never late for bus stops. Where things take a turn for the worse, is when this “bus” encounters a turn. Cars underneath have to either wait for the bus to turn of speed up to get out of its way. The amount of crashes involving an elevated bus in a single day would probably rate in the hundreds if not thousands, so small wonder people ditched the idea rather quickly.
General Motors Firebird 1
What do you get when you combine a formula 1 car and a plane? The answer is the GM Firebird 1 of course. The madman behind this creation wanted to see what would happen if you put a jet engine in a car. The answer, as you can probably see, is nothing good. The jet engine produced 370 horsepower which wasn’t too bad, but the car had only one seat and it was styled to look like a jet for some reason. Why make a car look like a jet if it doesn’t need wings or a rear stabilizer?
Assystem City Car
Where do we even begin with this one? This doesn’t look like a car in anyone’s book, let alone ours. If a football and a helmet had a child, it would probably look like the Assystem City Car. The Swiss designer received criticism for this abomination and the City Car has been the subject of numerous jokes throughout its lifetime, and rightly so. We’re glad everyone thought it was hideous, as the world simply didn’t need yet another Reliant Robin lookalike.
Mercedes Bionic Car
Mercedes has unveiled a ton of great concept cars over the years, most of which have spawned actual road or race cars. One car ruins Mercedes’ perfect concept car record however, and it’s this: the Bionic Car. This “car” looks like a boxfish, there’s no two ways about it. Everyone will agree that this has to be the worst-looking Mercedes-Benz ever made. It featured great aerodynamic properties, but no one wanted to be seen alive in the thing let alone buy it.
Aurora Safety Car
The car which looks like it melted halfway through the design process. The car which looks so hideous you probably thing is some kind of a mock-up of a car in a cartoon. But no, this is a real car Aurora actually built. Objectively, it has to be the worst looking car of all time. The designed behind it wanted to make it the safest car on the planet, but we think he was so focused on safety he totally forgot to take a step back and look at the thing before unveiling it. It wasn’t like it was great to drive either. Apparently it broke down 15 times on the short test run between New York and Connecticut. And, get this, it didn’t even have windshield wipers since the designer thought the aerodynamics were so perfect the raindrops will just blow away. Ironically, one of the most unsafe features in a car which’s sole purpose was safety.
Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100
When manufacturers unveil concept cars to showcase the future and the direction they’re about to take, they like to be extravagant and a little bit wild. Rolls-Royce though went completely insane with the Vision Next 100 concept. They took all of the elements which make a car, a car, and threw them in the bin. The wheels are halfway hidden, the bodywork is lifted 2 feet from the ground and it would completely crumble if it were to hit a speed bump. It looks like a car which was designed to run on water rather than on the road. It looked intriguing on the motor showroom, we’ll give them that, but that’s as far as we’ll go.