April 30, 2024 | Peter Kinney

15 Sci-Fi Cars We Wish Were Real


Is Your Favorite On The List?

Sci-fi movies and TV shows always feature the coolest vehicles, and sometimes you can’t help but imagine what it would be like to ride in one of those hot rods. 

There’s no shortage of options to choose from, but here are 15 iconic sci-fi vehicles we wish we could drive—or fly—in real life.

Sci-Fi Cars We Wish Were Real

The Taxi—The Fifth Element (1997)

It's said that director Luc Besson was captivated by a drawing of a taxi he discovered in the French comic book, Valerian et Laureline volume #15, "The Circles of Power". 

This led to the transformation of the hero, Korben Dallas (played by Bruce Willis), from a factory worker to a taxi driver. It also gave us the iconic vehicle in the story.

Taxi prop from the film the Fifth Element - 2012Akela NDE, CC-BY-SA-2.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Taxi

Sporting a distinctive horseshoe grill, slit windows, and odd fender skirts, this vehicle wasn't just for getting around. It could detect threats, outsmart police scanners, and handle both high-speed pursuits and daring escapes. 

Who wouldn't be wowed by such cool features?

Taxi Car Of The The Fifth Element MovieSammmerbatter, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Aston Martin DB5—Goldfinger (1964)

Throughout the years, James Bond has had lots of awesome cars. Some were equipped with more gear than the Aston Martin DB5, but when it comes to iconic spy vehicles, the original model truly stands out. 

Sean Connery And A Aston Martin Db5Steven Lek, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Aston Martin DB5

First appearing in Goldfinger, Bond's Aston Martin DB5 remains the benchmark for all other spy cars. 

Its impressive array of gadgets, from machine guns to retractable bullet shields and ejector seats, continues to capture our imaginations, even decades after its introduction.

James Bond Aston Martin DB5Michael Gaylard, Flickr

Knight Industries Two Thousand (K.I.T.T.)—Knight Rider (1982)

At its core, K.I.T.T. is a Trans Am, making its debut when the car was at the height of its popularity. With or without all the fancy features, the allure of sitting behind the wheel of that iconic Firebird was irresistible. 

1982 Pontiac Trans Am/KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand)Kahvilokki, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Knight Industries Two Thousand (K.I.T.T.)

K.I.T.T.'s most famous feature is its voice. More than just accompanying you on your drive, the voice turns the car into your new sidekick, only adding to our desire to go for a spin in this hot rod.

Knight Rider Supercar Kitt InteriorUnknown Author, CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons

Bumblebee—Transformers

Sure, there are many fantastic Transformers to choose from, but if we had to pick just one, Bumblebee would be our top choice. 

Bumblebee yellow transformerErwin Sooputa madre, CC-BY-SA-2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Bumblebee

Whether he's sporting his classic Volkswagen Beetle form or the movie version built on American muscle car power, it's hard to resist Bumblebee's enthusiastic personality and wicked style.

First Look: Transformers spinoff film, BumblebeeAutomotive Rhythms, Flickr



Lola T70—THX 1138 (1971)

Seeing as 1971's THX 1138 was a collaboration between George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola, people expected big things from the dystopian sci-fi movie. When it comes to the cars, it certainly delivered. 

The Lola T70s that were envisioned for the film were turbine-powered, featured flashing lights like a jet, and even used sounds from a F86 LeSabre jet.

Autojet Chase, THX 1138 (1971)Warner Bros, THX 1138 (1971)

Lola T70

In real life, the mighty roar of the cars' V-8 engines prompted numerous complaints to the authorities during filming. 

While these cars are based on real racing hot rods, we can't help but imagine what it would be like to drive one at the near-light speeds in the movie.

 

Autojet Chase, THX 1138 (1971)Warner Bros, THX 1138 (1971)

M577 Armored Personnel Carrier—Aliens (1986)

With the rise of viruses and armed conflicts around the world, the idea of an armored personnel carrier sounds pretty good right about now. 

The protection and defenses are why Ellen Ripley and her crew used it to explore planet LV-426.

Screenshot of M577 armored personnel carrier - from Aliens (1986)20th Century, Aliens (1986)

M577 Armored Personnel Carrier

The M577 APC was built to last and featured a bonded titanium chassis. It also had lots of firepower, yet facing off against the Xenomorphs, Ripley might have preferred a nuke.

Screenshot of M577 armored personnel carrier - from Aliens (1986)20th Century, Aliens (1986)

The Batmobile—Batman

Just like everyone has their favorite version of Batman, the same goes for the Batmobile. Some of us prefer the classic convertible from the 1966 Batman TV show, while others favor the rugged Tumbler from the Dark Knight Trilogy. 

Batman with his new BatmobileSyed Abdul Khaliq, Flickr

The Batmobile

Then there are those who admire the vehicle from Tim Burton's Batman movies. 

One of the coolest models is the Batmobile from Batman: The Animated Series. This car combines elements from Burton's design with an art deco flair, giving it a particularly cool look.

1966 Batmobile Recreation 2Jack Snell, Flickr

The Ford Thundercougarfalconbird—Futurama

True to its name, Futurama has lots of futuristic vehicles, but one in particular stands out for its sheer simplicity. 

The car makes a brief appearance in the show, and is used for a joke that involves a character repeating the word "Thundercougarfalconbird" multiple times. 

20Th Television Animation, Futurama (Tv Series)   220th Television Animation, Futurama (TV Series)

The Ford Thundercougarfalconbird

Despite its over-the-top design and its role as a satirical jab at gaudy vehicles, we can't help but wonder what lies beneath the hood.

Screenshot of thundercougarfalconbird - from Futurama (TV Series)20th Television Animation, Futurama (TV Series)

Ford Crown Vic—Men In Black (1997)

It was pretty funny to see the men in black, top secret alien hunters, cruising around in what seemed like the typical police car. 

Jokes aside, it was also very practical, since the black Ford Crown Vic appeared as inconspicuous as any other patrol car.

Screenshot of car chase - from Men In Black (1997)Columbia Pictures, Men In Black (1997)

Ford Crown Vic

However, this particular vehicle had something special in store for agents Kay and Jay: A trunk fully loaded with weapons and a nifty button that activated twin exhaust thrusters, pushing the car to jet-like speeds. 

Imagine how great it would be to zoom past all the traffic at rush hour!

Screenshot of car chase - from Men In Black (1997)Columbia Pictures, Men In Black (1997)

Lexus 2054—Minority Report (2002)

While Tom Cruise spends much of the movie running, he does hop into a vehicle about halfway through the film. The sleek ride he chooses was an instant eye-catcher: The Lexus 2054. 

Lexus 2045 Conceptilikewaffles11, CC-BY-2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Lexus 2054

The Lexus 2054 was a real concept car, though it lacked some of the extravagant features of its movie counterpart.

In the film, it boasted an autonomous verbal interface and even played music to match the driver's mood. Needless to say, it's hard not to want one.

Lexus 2045 Conceptilikewaffles11, CC-BY-2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Light Runner—Tron: Legacy (2010)

The Light Runner is so impressive that it outshines the sleek Light Cycle motorbikes from Tron. With racecar styling and huge illuminated wheels, what's not love? 

Screenshot of Light Runner - from Tron Legacy (2005)Walt Disney Pictures, Tron: Legacy (2005)

Light Runner

In the movie, Light Runner is Quorra's (played by Olivia Wilde) thrilling ride, equipped with an onboard arsenal. Considering it punches through walls, it's probably made of titanium, a handy feature in any dystopian setting.

Screenshot of Light Runner - from Tron Legacy (2005)Walt Disney Pictures, Tron: Legacy (2005)

Spinner—Blade Runner (1982)

When it comes to cool sci-fi cars, Spinner is right up there with the best of them. In the 1982 classic Blade Runner, Harrison Ford portrays cop Rick Deckard, who happens to own this awesome ride.

Blade Runner SpinnerTydence Davis, CC-BY-SA-2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Spinner

This car can do it all—it can drive like a regular car, fly like a helicopter, hover in mid-air, and soar through the skies with jet propulsion, resembling an EVTOL (Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing aircraft). 

Blade Runner SpinnerMFNickster, Wikimedia Commons

Landspeeder—Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

If you've ever noticed that the Landspeeder looks a bit like the three-wheeled Reliant Robin, you're onto something—it's actually inspired by the Bond Bug, another British three-wheeler.

Screenshot of landspeeder - from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)20th Century, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

Landspeeder

The Landspeeder's hovering capabilities were all thanks to  the creativity of special effects artist John Stears—and a little CGI magic. Stears is known for crafting iconic props like the Jedi lightsabers, C-3PO and R2-D2, and James Bond's Aston Martin DB5. 

To create the illusion of hovering, the wheels were concealed using mirrors and camera tricks, while a broom taped underneath produced the plume of dust effect.

Screenshot of landspeeder - from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)20th Century, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

Gigahorse—Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

While we all adore the V-8 Interceptor from the Mel Gibson classic, when it comes to the realm of bizarre, futuristic vehicles, one can't overlook the showstopper in Tom Hardy's rendition of Mad Max: Fury Road

The Gigahorse belonged the villain of the film, Immortan Joe (played by Hugh Keays-Byrne). It was made by merging two Cadillac Coupe de Villes, resulting in an unforgettable monstrosity on wheels.

Screenshot of gigahorse - from Mad Max Fury Road (2015)Warner Bros, Mad Max Fury Road (2015)

Gigahorse

To power this beast, the Gigahorse was equipped with a pair of big-block Chevys with twin superchargers. It also sported a four-blade cowcatcher, a harpoon gun, and an on-board flamethrower.

 With features like these, it could conquer anything a dystopian world has to throw at it.

The GIGAHORSE from Mad Max Fury RoadSteve Jurvetson, Flickr

DeLorean DMC-12­—Back To The Future (1985)

Despite its unique features like gull-wing doors and a stainless steel body,  DeLorean DMC-12's underpowered engine and lack of speed did nothing for sales of the car. 

However, its iconic role in the Back to the Future trilogy ensured its lasting fame

1981 DeLorean DMC-12Tony Hisgett | Flickr

DeLorean DMC-12­

The car from the movies was the stuff of dreams, powered by a flux capacitor in the back seat that could propel you through time at thrilling speeds. 

Unfortunately, in real life the DeLorean DMC-12 became synonymous with the downfall of John DeLorean due to its costly production. Even so, it would be cool to drive in one of these things just once. 

DeLorean DMC-12, American Car Show - 2015Jeremy, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons


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