Every generation sees a glimpse of the future when a manufacturer stretches their imagination and envisions what the future car will look like. Then reality sets in and I've been lied to.
When we split the atom, it dawned that we can harness this power in a way that doesn't kill people. Haha, silly designers...putting atom powered cars on the road. The future was nuclear powered and it would seem like an awesome powerplant for your local grocery getter...As a nation, we could tell OPEC to suck it. Let's just say Tesla battery fires would be the least of our worries if this came to fruition. The Ford Nucleon was looking at 5,000 miles before the fuel rods were spent and in need of swapping out. Where those rods went for proper and safe disposal was never really talked about...I guess littering in the local lake is out of the question.
I for one am still waiting for a turbine car. Chrysler had the right idea and quite frankly it's still a very viable idea today. Sure it drinks fuel like water, but it's so silky smooth and has stratospheric rpms. It's also amazing because it's different. Piston engines are too mainstream. Rotaries are pretty underground as far as I'm concerned, yet there are quite a lot of people in the know when it comes to rotaries. Turbine cars would be so underground, it be like fight club. You all know the first and second rules of fight club, right?
Hydrogen cars have always been the talk of the future for as long as I have lived. Water powered cars sounds like a no brainer, yet it's still uber expensive for you and me.
GM had their 1966 Electrovan concept that touted this future tech. If this walking meth lab blew, it could blow its chunks as far as a quarter mile...it was literally a bomb on wheels. Probably a smart move by GM to limit testing off public roads and away from journalistic use...Matt Hardibro managed to lean on his GM connections to get permission to do a Jalopnik review on the Electovan, when challenged by Jason that he couldn't drift this 3 1/2 ton van, Matt's final words were "Hold my beer."
The 70's promised me that wedge shaped cars were the future. In a sense, they kind of were. Then, in the interest of safety, the wedge profile didn't last...god help you if you were a pedestrian. Legs are overrated anyways.
Cheesecake slice shaped cars, why have you forsaken me!
The 80's quintessentially told me the future went two ways. Either smooth and silky or cool and blocky.
Every car from like every manufacturer had this sleek organic shape; long and low slung, with a bubble canopy style greenhouse or they portrayed the future with Tron-like cubism. Still looks awesome today, what the hell happened?
See, Back to the Future Ford Probe gets it...kill...me...
The 90's told me the future was looking grim. I mean, there really wasn't anything that stood out that could give me a hint of what to expect.
I guess GM had their electic car prophesy with the EV1. Electric cars are hot and happening now but I don't personally believe for them to be the future. I think they will forever be a niche thing. I guess we'll just have to see.
I mean, their EV1 ad creeped me the hell out when it came to the future!
Whatever, the 90's gave me the F50. That's all the past, present, and future I'll ever need.
There are things I'm actually glad never materialized, like are flying cars.
Ha, can you imagine how silly we'd look in flying cars. We have enough problems with reckless drivers and drunks that it be that much worse in the air. If your car breaks down, you can pull over to the side of the road. With the flying car, godspeed and may the odds forever be in your favor. Besides flying cars aren't good at either things, driving or flying. Still, it would make for some cool world's wildest police chases footage.
I'm so glad that the Pontiac Aztek didn't materialize is what I would be saying if I didn't sabotage the future for everyone. When I saw this concept at the Chicago Auto Show when I was younger, they had a kiosk with personal input cards for the Aztek. I wrote that they should build it and that it looked really cool.
Today, the future is touting self-driving cars.
I hope I don't live long enough where this catches on and eradicates driving life as I know it.
For every generation, the future is always touted as now. Enjoy it, because once the future actually does arrive, it can be for better or worse...but you won't know until you get there.
photos credited to their respective owners