20 Outrageously Weird and Futuristic Autonomous and Electric Concept Cars
You’ll be Hard-Pressed Finding Anything as Far From a Car as These Concepts
Published October 25, 2017
Concept cars are the industry’s best opportunity to showcase what it’s capable of. They’re often far-off in terms of their production readiness, but they’re also usually highly advanced compared to their production concurrents. The same goes for the autonomous and electric concept cars which have been comprising a large chunk of concept cars’ totals in recent years. Given their delusive nature and the fact that most of them will never see production at all – there has never been a shortage of and even concepts over the years.
Since electric vehicles are usually perceived as highly advanced and even futuristic, electric concepts are often based on the same approach. In other words, they’re often even more far-fetched than their ICE counterparts, and sometimes not even car-like at all in their appearance – something you’ll be able to see from the following 20 examples. All of them are still rather fresh concepts that have debuted as recently as late 2017. In other words, they’re as futuristic as autonomous and all-electric cars get.
Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100
Codenamed 103EX, The Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 wraps up the automaker’s hallmarks into one post-contemporary package. Impeccable styling and refinement haven’t gone anywhere. They’ve just moved to a futuristic shell we’re unaccustomed to seeing from Rolls. The first ever Vision concept is practically a yacht on wheels. First unveiled in 2016 in London, this 20-foot behemoth sports a transparent OLED display across the entire dash, Macassar wood trim and lots of hand-woven silk details. It even resembles a modern-day car – with four wheels (although hidden) and all. However, the absence of a steering wheel suggests the Vision Next 100 is a fully autonomous car.
This transforming hybrid motorcycle-car was first unveiled in 2013, but has yet to make an impact on the automotive world. The Paraton-e is capable of morphing from a car into a motorcycle and vice versa depending on road conditions and the driver’s size. A futuristic concept thus merges the practicality of a car with a motorcycle’s maneuverability and efficiency – especially considering its hybrid powertrain. It doesn’t only shrink in length, but in width as well. The Paraton-e achieves this by sporting smart connection points connected to all of its wheels.
The Swiss-made Rinspeed Ʃtos is an autonomous hybrid car with its own separate and fully controllable rear-mounted drone. As futuristic and aggressive as it is, no one can deny it its car-like presence. But that drone really pushes the Ʃtos into a whole new territory. As you can imagine, its interior is fully adjusted for both conventional driving and drone flying. Dual 21.5-inch curved display screens, a camera system and active eye-tracking (camera is on only when the driver looks at the screen) take care of that. The drone itself can scout ahead, shoot selfies of the Ʃtos from on high or simply serve as a rear message board.
The Renault Trezor debuted at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and immediately brought down the house. Apart from featuring a striking look and sublime lines only the French are capable of creating, the Trezor offers everything a modern concept car needs. It’s all-electric, has an awkward clamshell way of opening up, and packs a modern autonomous driving system. With a drag coefficient of 0.22 and a 350-horsepower electric motor, the Trezor is capable of hitting 60 mph in 4 seconds flat and will travel up to 125 miles before running out of juice.
Suzuki Air Triser
The Suzuki Air Triser dons a form that can only come from the halls of the great Tokyo Motor Show. Unveiled there in 2015, Suzuki’s petite futuristic minivan showcases the next gen of comfort-oriented Japanese campers. The Air Triser’s exterior speaks for itself, but it’s the interior that matters here. The Japanese have managed to cram no less than three rows of seating inside of this compact minibus. The best part is, they’re all adjustable and easily rearrangeable into one of few available configurations at the push of a button. The Air Triser is all about the comfort – whether it’s in lounge, conversation, or relaxation mode. Like many others on this list it’s autonomous, of course.
Nissan Teatro for Dayz
Suzuki isn’t the only Japanese car manufacturer capable of producing far-off microbus concepts. Nissan’s Teatro for Dayz made its debut at the same 2015 Tokyo Motor Show as the Suzuki Air Triser. Nissan’s futuristic take on the cube, however, comes with only four seats. But there’s nothing conventional about them – besides, perhaps their seating arrangement. Designed with digital natives in mind, Teatro for Dayz boasts an interesting interior filled to the brim with display screens. You guessed it – even its seats are giant displays. A convenient way to change the car’s appearance without refurbishing it.
Faraday Future FF ZERO1
Faraday Future is a company that was founded in 2014, and they haven’t wasted any time. They already have a production car of their own that should debut sometime in 2018. Unlike the tame FF91 EV crossover, their FF ZERO1 concept car from 2016 is anything but domesticated. This 1,000-horsepower electric hypercar is capable of reaching 60 mph in less than 3 seconds while maxing out at more than 200 mph. It does all of that while still offering optional autonomous-driving capabilities. Of course, the autopilot is somewhat limited in terms of top speed, but the thought is certainly appreciated. What’s more, the FF ZERO1 offers an adaptive learning AI suite capable of zeroing in on the driver’s weaknesses and adapting the ride accordingly.
Aptly named for its egg shape, the Citroen EGGO offers more than an unconventional design on an open-wheel platform. This all-electric vehicle sports one electric motor per wheel and additional roof-mounted solar panel to boost already effective and efficient powertrain. Not only is it perfect for city driving, but its elevated cabin suggests potential off-road usage. There’s enough room for two people, though not very tall ones by the looks of things.
Gemini Combining Car
Like the Citroen EGGO, the Gemini Combining Car too dates from 2011. This futuristic pod is designed with shopping in urban environments in mind. The three-wheeled car has dual electric motors on the front wheels, while a third electric wheel can be detached. Not only that, but it serves as a portable shopping cart or even an HDB home power battery. The problem is – it’s limited to the Singaporean market. Finally, two Gemini pods can easily be integrated into a single, larger unit capable of seating up to four people. The Gemini Combining Car not only represents an innovative electric concept, it epitomizes the advanced and minimalistic transportation and lifestyle in Singapore.
Volkswagen Aqua Curvy Hovercraft
The sleek Volkswagen Aqua Curvy Hovercraft concept from 2011 is still one of very few such vehicles. It’s a combination of a car and a hovercraft powered by four electric motors that provide lift and thrust. Juice, on the other hand, comes from a hydrogen cell-powered engine. So, it’s not only capable of traversing all types of terrain, including water, but it’s extremely efficient at doing so. It’s hard to imagine similar cars on the roads for foreseeable future, but it wouldn’t surprise us to be bumping into one of these things every once in a while, in the near future.
Another one of the post-economic crisis concepts that likely wouldn’t make much sense in today’s world. The McLaren JetSet was intended as a minimalistic supercar which provides the best of two worlds – the performance of a supercar and the efficiency of a compact electric car. JetSet was intended as a carbon fiber all-electric car with extremely low weight and drag coefficient. In fact, its drag coefficient was as low as 0.20. It hasn’t made production, of course, but who’s to say we won’t be seeing something similar in a few years time?!
Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion
Mercedes-Benz’s R&D equals one medium-sized country’s budget, so it’s not surprising that they’ve had a number of ludicrous concepts. One such is the F 015 Luxury in Motion. This autonomous car embodies the German automaker’s philosophy of sophistication, technology, safety, and performance – all in one package. The F 015 Luxury in Motion offers autonomous driving mode wrapped into one futuristic package with comfort as its emphasis. It probably looks 20 or even 30 years into the future, but that has really just come to be expected from Mercedes-Benz.
One of the German automaker’s newest offspring presented at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show not only beats Tesla at its own game, it does it by offering a fully autonomous ride. The Audi Aicon boasts a total range of 435 miles, which is almost 100 miles more than that of Tesla’s Model S P100D. In the meantime, the absence of pedals and a steering wheel forces passengers to spend their time more creatively. Whether that’s by working, communicating, or enjoying a good book – that’s for them to choose. And get this – it only requires a 30-minute charge in order to hit 80%!
Unveiled in January 2017, the Toyota Concept-i sports a built-in artificial intelligence responsible for helping out the driver by learning from his driving style. Since it’s such an important part of the car, the AI has been affectionately nicknamed “Yui.” Interior and exterior designs are pretty much straightforward but concept-y. In other words, a pretty traditional layout overall, but futuristic and high-tech. “Yui” even communicates with the driver – whether by giving them helping guidelines while driving or by greeting them when approaching the vehicle. Toyota is obviously planning on converting the daily commute into much less lonesome affair. As far as electric concept cars go, the Toyota Concept-i is still far away from production, though.
FNR – acronym for Find New Roads – pretty much states Chevrolet’s intention with this outlandish concept. This autonomous electric vehicle designed by GM’s Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center showcases that the American automaker is actually capable of producing a high-tech space shuttle of a car. Judging by FNR’s looks alone – they’ve certainly nailed it. But, as you can imagine, it’s the actual tech that makes FNR what it is. It is a technologically advanced self-driving hypercar-looking vehicle whose sensors and roof-mounted radar do the work for you. Occupants can simply sit and relax.
The Sedric is Volkswagen’s first fully autonomous vehicle unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show. The name Sedric itself is an amalgamation of “self-driving car”. Not only is it fully autonomous, but an all-electric zero emission vehicle as well. The battery pack is hidden beneath the floor which supports a lounge-type cabin for four people. The Sedric was developed by the Volkswagen Group as a whole, hence the absence of the VW logo. It previews Volkswagen’s future strategy as the auto giant plans on introducing a host of new all-electric models by 2025. The I.D. Buzz electric bus that’s debuted recently is one of its direct descendants, but there are more to come.
Although the NeuV comes without an actual powertrain – being a concept and all – this intelligent autonomous car comes with other aces up its sleeve. Thanks to its advanced artificial intelligence, NeuV is able to earn its owner money while being idle. In fact, it’ll never be idle. An idea that’s probably only implementable in a future utopia. NeuV is able to earn money by driving people around (much like a driverless Uber car) or by selling its own electricity to the grid in peak hours while recharging itself in off peak time. A fine idea, but not exactly easy to implement in modern society.
Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo
As its name suggests, the Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2015. Much like their F 015 Luxury in Motion, it’s a lounge-type vehicle with self-driving capabilities. A U-shaped seating area allows passengers to interact in a friendly manner or enjoy the Vision Tokyo’s electronic gadgets in comfort. Since the concept is based on the preferences of “Generation Z” (people born since 1995), it’s likely first and foremost intended with latter in mind.
Smart Vision EQ Fortwo
Smart always filled that city cruising segment, albeit in an unconventional way. The supermini was still too large for them so they resorted to scaled down versions of smallest available conventional cars. The Vision EQ Fortwo is very much the same with one important difference. It’s an autonomous car with car2go shared use in mind. It even uses its grille as a digital message display for greeting its customers. Basically, Smart believes that in the future, people will be able to simply order an autonomous car service instead of relying on Uber which, as we know, can be .
They say it’s an electric car unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show. They also say there’s enough space for three in there, but I can’t help but wonder: how small do these passengers have to be in order to fit in? Then again, Toyota has developed a certain reputation of rarely lying to its customers, so perhaps we should take their word for it. Although they haven’t disclosed the powertrain details, they did say the i-TRILL relies on an electric system capable of covering up to 125 miles between charges. It’s fully autonomous as well.