Bizarre Future Cars: Five Odd Ball Concepts

Flying cars without a carbon footprint may be a long way off, but that doesn't stop the industry's leading designers from having a ton of fun creating concepts. Many car enthusiasts thrive on previewing the future of the industry at car shows, but some concept cars seem to take the term "futuristic" to new extremes.

According to the Car Design News Contest website, the Kassou design, a second place award-winner in Car Design News Contest 2008's professional category, consists of a small pod sitting on three wheels. It's kind of like the Smart Car's evil twin—if it had a long neck and bat wings. According to Design Buzz, the single bench seat, similar to that of a motorcycle, is accessed through the rear split doors while the glass cockpit hood hinges forward to increase accessibility. A flexible rubber neck extends sky-high to accommodate taller passengers or contracts downward for better aerodynamics while an optional sidecar holds luggage. The extendable wings resemble those of a bat, rendering this sleek design more suitable for Batman than the average driver.

The 2009 eRinGo concept, an electric ring-shaped car, looks more like a beer keg than a vehicle. According to Wired, the large wheel straddles the center and is flanked on either side by slightly smaller wheels for balance and turns. Inside the car, a rotor/gyro system maintains balance on the single wheel. This two-seater contains two steering wheels so either person may drive, suggesting that the designer has never been married.

According to Top gear's website, this shape-shifting design debuted in 2009 with four individual spheres that are powered separately by electric motors. The spheres share a central battery and can rearrange their alignment to fit the driving space available. A flexible polymer covering keeps the modules contained. For instance, a 2x2 formation mimics a traditional sedan. When entering a narrow space, the spheres shift into a single line. When parking in a tiny space, as small as 4.5 feet on a side, the spheres stack upward so that only the driver's sphere touches the ground.

According to, GM has been contemplating if it's worth it to keep their European branch Opel alive. Though sales have increased, it is teetering dangerously close to bankruptcy. In 2010 the brand introduced a zero-emission electric car, intended for release in 2049. The Flow harnesses solar energy for its single passenger, as expressed in the concepts creator, Miika Heikkinen's, blog. It is designed for city streets, and when not being driven, it integrates into the proposed infrastructure to recharge batteries and offer a resting place. With clear solar panels on either side of an irregularly-shaped frame, it looks like a deformed egg standing on end. Will the brand make it to see the birth of this futuristic vehicle? Time will tell.

Opel Flow 2010 from Merih Kunur on Vimeo.

According to Car and Driver this car is supposed to give insight into what the future of city cars may look like.This 2005 electric two-seater rotates on its own axis, which translates into turning donuts on a dime in city driving. Two large wheels function as sliding passenger doors and tilt inward slightly for stability, while the two small front wheels provide support.

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