Every now and then certain car designs and concepts are introduced into the market, that are way ahead into the future, to be accepted or rejected by the consumers. These designs hold significant importance in taking our perception of normal towards a more accepting and non-conservative direction.
New car designs either get rejected by the consumers or they pivot our design perception. Car designers and design engineers get sharp feedbacks on which way they need to go design-wise. The engineering and body designers can combine, thereafter, in a manner, that they are allowed to introduce new features and technologies without disappointing the consumers.
Here are few car designs that “were” and few that “are” in that borderline category:
Ford Model -T (1908)
The first car design ever to make it to the “assembly line”, that was devised by Henry Ford, was the Model T. A car that actually became an everyday thing due to its production volume. A car that was the reason we can buy the car of our choice today.
Though the Model T is not the first car to be produced, it’s hailed as one. Cars before the Model T were considered luxurious, made to order, and cost around $2000. Since 1904 ford had made half a dozen cars but none of them sold as much as the Model T. The Earlier models were not as reliable, durable and easily maintainable as the Model T.
Over the years the Model T has got awards for being “the most influential car of 20th century” and “the car of the century”, and rightly so. This is the car that changed history and gave rise to the Brass age.
Oldsmobile Rocket 88 (1949)
Although the title is highly disputed, the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 is widely considered the first muscle car. With its buffed body and huge size, the car demanded a strong presence.
Produced in 1949, the American muscle car designs started taking shape. The designs cared less about the aerodynamics and more about raw power. The car designs put on these set of muscle engines is still considered a timeless classic.
Volkswagen Beetle (1938)
Officially known as the Volkswagen Type 1, the car is one of the iconic cars of the 20th century. It was built for the common people, with a 5 person capacity (later reduced to 4). Believe it or not, but the foundation of this car and its functional properties were laid down by the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler.
Drawn by Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche in 1959 the 911 was among the top 5 “car of the century” cars. The engine was rear-mounted and the boot was made the front. The designs were made by Ferdinand Porsche, the founder of Porsche automobile.
AHH!! The car that is probably known by anyone who is even a bit interested in cars. The Porsche 911 is a car that is loved by everyone. The iconic design was not the first in its segment but the first to make it popular. The 911 has gone through many iterations through the decades, yet has not changed its distinctive shape.
The iconic shape of the car can be seen even in the newer models of Porsche. Ferdinand Butzi Porsche
Lamborghini Miura (1966)
Hailed as the first supercar, the design of the Miura came from the stable of Lamborgini. Stirring up the super sports car category for road-legal cars, the Miura shook the car enthusiasts. Designed as a coupe, the car could turn heads of the poshest people on the road, due to its aggressive low stance styling.
The sleek look and a massively powerful engine made the car a favourite among the enthusiasts. The Miura was designed by Lamborghini’s engineering team, who developed the car in their spare time, against the wishes of company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini.
Marcello Gandini was the designer from the Bertone automobile company, who designed the car for production. The Miura became the flagship of Lamborghini, that is, till the Countach arrived, which is a story for another day.
Tesla Model S (2012)
The Model S is that car that is considered the pivot of modern times and the car that has changed the perception of millions towards electric mobility. The Model S, that is purely electric, has range figures that competitive to the petrol counterpart. Technologically ahead and a “Feel -Good” car that has premium and classy written all over it.
Minimalist, clean, safe, aerodynamically superior and of course pure electric, this car has pushed the whole car industry to convert to electric mobility. The designer to thank for this elegant car is Franz von Holzhausen, Ex- Mazda designer.
The car has no front grill, which reduces drag and in turn introduces a new outlook for future car designs. The wheels are lighter and aerodynamically designed, even the mirrors are designed to reduce drag. The whole Designs speaks about a streamlined body design.
BMW Vision Next 100 (2019)
Taking a peek into the near future, BMW showed off their vision for the next 100 years of car designs with their Vision Next 100 concept. Unveiled in June of 2016 the car flaunts some pretty practical features.
The clean look, the minimalist design and autonomy of the car makes it a real contender for the title of the car of the future. The striking feature of the car is its wheel fenders that are merged with the bonnet. the fender expands into geometric triangles with a blood-red backlight, when the car turns.
They call it a car with a split personality. With two modes of driving, one being the “Boost” mode and the other “Ease” mode, it’s rightly called so. The Boost mode provides the driver with conventional interiors while the ease mode retracts the steering wheel and pushes the seats back for a more comfortable and autonomous driving experience. The whole windscreen is a Heads up display(HUD) which provides live feedbacks about the structures and landscapes around, kind of like a tour guide.
Merc-Benz Biome (2025)
Something that seems right out of a sci-fi movie, the Merc-Benz Biome not only obliterates our perception of car designs but also our grasp over the technology involved. The design is quite clean and natural yet at the borderline acceptance category.
What might hit you hard is the way it can be GROWN. Shocked? YES! you heard right! This car can be grown out of genetically altered biodegradable seeds put in a specially designed fluid. It is grown in a nursery with 4 seeds making different parts of the car.
Biome runs on a special fuel called the BioNectar4534. The car is supposed to take in carbon dioxide and burn the fuel, releasing water and oxygen. Cool as it sounds, we have to wait and see how much of the concept is actually practical enough to be on the road.
Being in the first quarter of the century and experiencing groundbreaking innovations in car designs gets our hopes really high for the future. There is no denying that cars have changed not only how we travel, but also how our society evolves. For some cars are a mode of transport, for some they are pieces of technology and yet for some they are a part of their culture.
There are many more who have created an impact in our society. What did we miss in this article? Comment below and let us know.