Car manufacturers try to make a design that’s cool, unique, and appealing to as many people as possible. The truth is, though, it’s extremely difficult to make cars meant for everyday use “unique”; if they are truly great automobiles, then everyone starts buying them. Bimmers and Benzs (or is it Benzes? Benzii?) have become so common, they’re not really all that special to see (apart from the obvious exceptions like the McLaren SLR).
I think if a car is properly designed, it should bring out your inner child, and get you excited. What did you want your car to be when you were a kid? You probably wanted something more like the Batmobile, or even KITT, rather than a BMW 3-series.
These three cars are quite unique; I doubt you’ll ever see any of them on the road (maybe if you live close to a testing/manufacturing facility). They are cars for grown-up children.
A great car to kick off this list; Rinspeed is a Swiss car-tuning company, also doing restoration work and such. This “car” is quite interesting; the quotes around “car” and the name probably give this away. This “car” is a hybrid.
Yes, it’s both a hydrofoil and an automobile. On paper its engine looks pretty pitiful; a two-cylinder, 750cc engine. Yes, it’s turbocharged, but it still seems awfully… small. Fortunately, it’s lightweight at 825 kilograms, and can go 0 – 60 in 5.9 seconds.
Its hydrofoil design allows it to cut through the water easily, and is reported to be able to reach speeds of 45 knots in the water. That’s creative design and engineering: now isn’t that more like the car you dreamed of as a kid? It sprouts hydrofoil wings; all it needs now is a rocket booster and some lasers.
You would assume that an extreme car would be hunkered-down, close to the ground, wide for stability, and possess a Herculean engine. This is extreme for completely different reasons.
The P50 is 53 inches long, 39 inches wide, and weighs 59 kilograms; a current-generation BMW 328i Coupe at 180 inches long, 70 inches wide, and around 1500 kilograms completely dwarfs the diminutive Peel P50; heck, even today’s “small cars” like the Mini are still gigantic in comparison.
The engine: 49cc, 4.5 horsepower; by no means is this meant for high speed use. 30 MPH is likely the fastest it’ll ever go. Its speed and size, however, are just fine in a town car. A nice bonus: the P50 boasts 100 miles to the gallon, while the 328i might do 20 MPG.
Again, you would assume that an extreme car would be hunkered-down, close to the ground, wide for stability, and possess a Herculean engine. This is extreme for exactly those reasons; every time I see this car (in photos) or read about it, that inner child of mine starts jumping up and down, screaming “OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODWOWWOWWOWWOWWOW!”
Powered by a naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V8, you get 575 bhp and 310 lb-ft of torque; it doesn’t seem like that much compared to other supercars, but the car is superlight and weighs only 470 kg. That means 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, and 0-100 in an astonishing five seconds!
It’s a car that spits fire out the rear, and requires you to drive it fast enough to give it the downforce needed to stay on the road (speed is not an issue).
These cars are all quite different from one another, yet they all appeal to that inner child of mine, the seven year old who loved Power Rangers, explosions, lasers, and imagination.