• 07/11/2022
  • 10

5 Sci-fi inspired automotive design trends

Sci-fi has offered us many things over the years, from glimpses of what the future technology will bring, how human interactions with tech and machines will change and a lot of thought-provoking ideas. What usually attracts the most in these sci-fi movies, comics, and illustration-based designs is the sheer aesthetic design and uber-cool sensibilities of the automobiles. Who has not been in awe of the Batmobile?

Creative direction must be mentioned here, for these teams to think of innovative ideas and perfecting their storylines. What these almost perfect yet so-unreal storylines have done is offer the global automobile industry a glimpse into future designs and innovations and the global audience wanting these futuristic automobiles for themselves. Well, that future does not seem that far off, here are some automobile designs that have been part of the movies, are in work or are our possible future:

1.Audi RSW from I, Robot

The Audi RSQ was a custom-built car for the Sci-Fi movie I, Robot released back in 2004. This was also Audi’s first ever design developed especially for a movie that was set in 2035. The movie was a take on the future where robots are an everyday part of our human lives, how they interact, and Audi carved a futuristic looking car for Will Smith’s character.

From a car design perspective – Audi was following the major theme of minimalism. The design was focused to reflect a clutter free look for 2035 with autonomous technology. This design also paved the way for the release of Audi R8 in 2006. In today’s date, driving and Audi R8 is as close to get to the original movie design as possible.

Also interesting to read: How to deal with feedback as a product designer

2. Cybertrunk by Tesla

2019 saw Elon Musk unveil his then latest project, the Cybertrunk by Tesla. This was a futuristic-like automobile – a pickup truck that is known to be inspired by The Spinners from Blade Runner and Wet Nellie, the submarine car from the movies James Bond – The Spy Who Loved me.

The design was built with straight clean lines, an impenetrable exoskeleton that were crafted from UltraHard 30X ColdRolled stainless steel and Tesla armour glass. Design for Cybertrunk also meant to reflect and have durability and protection. Tesla surely did not disappoint and caught the world’s attention with their Cybertrunk.

Also interesting to read: Apple Electric car project: What to expect from its design

3. NASA Bike

A bike apt for Mars mission? You heard it right.
Simon Grytte, the designer penned down a sketch and called it a NASA Bike that would be ideal for the Mars mission. His design for this bike was not to be simply a medium of transportation but also for the bike to have its own battery charging and battery base station by harnessing the wind energy – considering the prominent storms on Mars.

Not fully convinced yet?
Well, Simon further went to design the bike also to run into a wind turbine when not in use – isn’t that a value add on for mindful utility in space where everything needs to be resourceful. The bike can be plugged into a big generator to keep things running on the planet. The ride in general has a very basic bare bones design concept – since the notion of the creation is to get from one place to another, safe and sound, and not thrill seeking.

Also interesting to read: Trends shaping the future of automotive design

4. BMW Hypercar

When we talk about hypercars, aerodynamics come into play and the design reflects a muscular build evoking a sense of style and masculinity. Lukar Haag, an automotive designer, has built a blueprint for a BMW concept car – a possible BMW hypercar. His renewed vision is of a hair-raising four-wheeler that will have a CMF concept that seems to strike the right balance between form and function.

In terms of design, it is a very tightly knit body design that further flows from the front to back. It comes with a wide stance helping the car to generate aerodynamic efficiency and assurance to stay on tarmac at extremely high speed also. The unique design of this Hypercar has a shortened hood, elongated rear points and sharp aesthetics with its contoured form. The Connected Dynamics concept is boxy, and Lukas has sure managed to grab eyeballs with this latest design.

5. Tesla’s origami concept car

Origami beyond art is also a scientific methodology that forms shapes of the most aesthetic nature and offers structural strength. Jaeheon Lee, a transportation design student from South Korea, got inspired by the origami concept to create the Tesla Origami concept car. Be sure, this car surely breaks the barriers of automotive design – both in form and function viewpoints. The design is an adaptation of Space X’s Mars colonizing dreams, NASA’s Mars rover and Tesla Cybertrunk frame.

Lee envisions this vehicle to be renewable energy powered that also has origami shaped solar panels on the rear with ability to expand when parked to harness sun’s energy. The ultra-shape design that is very futuristic is then balanced with the fat tires. The interiors have four-way facing lounge seats and display panels, all glass panels covering the top section of the car – which offers it a cool aura. We can surely see how thoughtfully the design is built considering all aspects of the design.

Also interesting to read: How recycling design is shaping product design trends?

These examples show us a great mix of what has already been done, what is in works to what the future in the automobile sector will look like. While some of them may still be concepts on paper, what they reflet is the strong influence of Sci-fi. Sci-fi has surely been a major source of inspiration for automotive designers. Be it movies, shoes, books or comics – movies or phenomena like Star Wars, Star Trek, James Bond, Blade Runner, Back to the Future and many more have been a strong source of inspiration behind the uber-cool, innovative and disruptive automotive design trends.

Did this inspire you to be one of the futuristic designers in the automotive sector?
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