The Top 10 Craziest Concept Cars Ever Made
5. Suzuki Truck Designed by Luigi Colani
Sort of a cross between a catfish, a semi truck, and Doc Brown's locomotive at the end of Back to the Future III, this thing was obviously born of a nightmare, not a dream. Kind of a cool sci-fi approach, but definitely unsettling to look at, this was another vehicle where aerodynamics were paramount. Not sure how that giant green cab/gem thing and that bizarre front end are involved in that equation, though.
4. BMW Gina Concept
As we’ve said before, the Gina concept is “equal parts awesome and creepy.” Instead of using traditional sheet metal, the Gina concept has a skin-like fabric covering over a network of metal bars that create the shape of the car.
Since the fabric is flexible, the car’s actual shape can be altered by the bars underneath. It does give this car the strange effect of being some sort of animal. Also, when the headlights open – that’s the last thing you’ll see before Skynet takes over the world.
3. Dodge Tomahawk
Ok, it’s not a “car” per se, but the Tomahawk does share two important parts with cars. First off, Dodge decided to throw out the playbook and put the V10 engine out of a Dodge Viper in a motorcycle chassis. Yes, Dodge made this motorcycle concept with a 500hp engine out of a supercar.
The second feature it shares with cars is the four wheeled fully independent suspension it rides on. This 8500cc superbike will do 0-60 in about 2 seconds, literally.
Some might call this a suicide machine, but I say it’s more of a deathcycle.
2. GM's Firebird Jet-Powered Concept Cars
In the mid-1950s, America was fascinated by the idea of the future: a new age of jets, jet propulsion and alternative methods of locomotion in general. General Motor’s head of style design, Harvey Earl, had been smitten with aircraft design ever since he’d introduced tail fins on the 1948 Cadillac, after seeing a P38 fighter plane at a local air force base during World War II.
GM, like many other car companies, had been researching turbine engines for cars as far back as the 1930s. During WWII, GM’s aircraft division, Allison, had been given the contract to produce jet engines for the military en masse. With so much R&D behind the aircraft engines and a post-war interest in jet technology, they decided to see if they could merge the technologies, and showcased the Firebird I at the 1954 Motorama show, to massive fanfare. A rocket powered car? Hell yes.
The Firebird I was capable of hitting an absurdly-fast-for-the-time 230mph while shooting flames of expended rocket fuel out the afterburners at the back of the car at a temperature of around 1250 degrees Fahrenheit. No telling why this puppy never made it on to American highways.
1. Ford Nucleon
Part car, part nuclear reactor. That’s right kids! Back in 1958, Ford wanted to put a plutonium-powered sedan in every driveway! With promises of 5000 miles on a single charge and nothing but harmless nuclear fallout for emissions, the Nucleon had a lot going for it.
Powered by a small radioactive core instead of an internal combustion engine, the Nucleon represented the pinnacle of the Atomic Age fascination with nuclear power, and the notion of how it would totally be no big deal if someone in a Chevy Suburban rear-ended you in one of these babies. There goes the neighborhood!