The future is right here, right now. These vehicles are not only low on emission but also high on style. From autonomous sports cars to bionic scooters, our roads, seas and skies are getting a whole lot Demolition Man. Feast your eyes on our selection below.
The scene stealer at the 2016 Paris Motor Show is a concept from Renault that quite literally lifts the lid on the future.
This two-seater electric sports coupé explores the diamond marque’s styling and technical direction, giving clues to features headed for production—sensual lines and a bold front end, headlined by the c-shaped signature lighting.
At the rear, hexagonal facets evoke high-tech sportiness. The satin paintwork and red windows make this machine stand out and change the passenger’s view of the outside world.
And the best bit is the access. The whole top body hinges at the front to expose the cabin which, with a nod to classic motors, features a surprising wooden dashboard that incorporates a luggage compartment like you might find on a luxury speedboat. Tailor-made trunks, held in place by leather straps, sit alongside deep red leather seats.
When it comes to the controls, though, it’s assuredly state of the art, with a rectangular steering wheel incorporating touch screens rather than traditional controls.
This automotive eye candy is clever, too. Powered by 350 electric horses honed by Renault’s Formula E racing activities, it’s fully autonomous, meaning you can concentrate on soaking up the devil-red scenery.
It’s a fascinating insight into next-gen thinking.
Your childhood dreams just became reality. Fasten your seatbelt and prepare the Personal Air and Land Vehicle for take-off. This two-seater has the comfort of a car, the agility of a motorcycle and, oh, the ability to fly.
A three-wheeled, road-going gyrocopter, the PAL-V One has a top-speed of 180km/h on both the ground and in the air, and can take off and land pretty much anywhere. Its remarkable strength and lightness come from the carbon, titanium and aluminium used in its construction.
Its 230bhp engine powers the heli-bike to 100km/h in under eight seconds. Handling on the road is helped by a patented tilting system, while in the air it is equally easy to control and cannot stall. The vehicle can switch between flight and drive mode in 10 minutes.
Because 165 metres of runway is required to get airborne, the PAL-V can’t always escape traffic jams, unfortunately. Yet because it’s designed for low altitude, commercial air traffic and fixed routes aren’t an issue.
Given its abilities, this spy-fi invention is finding its way into the hands of a wide range of customers, from cowboy-astronaut millionaires to border patrol agencies. The first PAL-V Ones are scheduled for delivery by the end of 2018
Joey Ruiter Snoped
If there is snow where Daft Punk come from, we can only imagine that this machine lives under their intergalactic chalet. Detroit-based designer Joey Ruiter has sent shockwaves through the winter sports world with this stunning snowmobile prototype—a monolithic black aluminium body that looks a bit like a giant PlayStation 2 with exposed screws, vertical head and tail lights that are pure bad-guy sci-fi, and a seating position like a cafe racer.
The lightweight chassis, 90cc motor and Chrysler Sno-Runner track mean this is no mere concept. Not only can it traverse mountains, it’s so cool it’ll create glaciers in its tracks.
GI Fly Bike
Behold: a bicycle that won’t get your trousers dirty, trigger the sweats or suffer a puncture, and one that’s easy to carry upstairs. It was created by three New York-based designers fed up with the traffic in their native Argentina.
Funded through Kickstarter, it could change our cities forever in the most civilised ecostyle. The Gi Fly folds in one second in a single movement. It has normal-sized 26-inch wheels for comfortable travel.
There’s a threespeed, 250-Watt electric motor that gives up to 60km of pedal-less riding, meaning you needn’t shy away from hills. There’s no need for a fiddly lock either, as it has an integrated locking system that immobilises the bicycle once you’ve stepped a few metres away.
This can also be controlled manually via Gi Fly’s smartphone app, along with its LED lights. The app also allows you to share the bike remotely with friends and download usage statistics.
The bike is maintenance-free, thanks to its carbon drive belt, which is strong, silent and dirt free, and solid tyres that won’t puncture. Finally, there’s a USB port so you can charge your mobile devices and a centrally
located holster so you can Google Map your destination. And once you get there, you can wheel your bike along like rolling luggage.
The 17kg Gi Fly takes all the strain out of cycling and reduces traffic congestion and air pollution in the process. Going for US$4,000 each, the Gi Fly starts shipping in June.
Pininfarina H2 SPEED
Halfway between a competition prototype and a production supercar, this concept from automotive couture house Pininfarina is the world’s first high-performance track machine based on revolutionary hydrogen fuel cell technology.
The H2 is driven by two electric motors that push 500bhp through the rear wheels, firing it to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds. The hydrogen fuel tanks, developed by sustainable propulsion experts Green GT, are located in the sides of the car and faired in, as opposed to being completely enclosed, so as not to add extra weight to the body structure.
Pininfarina spent two years developing the powertrain and it sounds the part. Unlike conventional electric cars, it uses compressor technology to create an almost silent drive with futuristic sounding whistles.
Environmental responsibility has never looked racier.
The Quadrofoil is the future of speed boating—the first all-electric and zero-emissions personal hydrofoil watercraft. Using four c-shaped hydrofoils to lift the boat out of the water and limit drag, it has a top speed of 40km/h.
It is silent and hardly causes a ripple, so the environment isn’t disturbed in any way. Handling is sports-car precise and the wheel, which has an integrated display and touchscreen controls, acts as the key. Detach the steering wheel and the Quadrofoil is immobilised.
With a 100km range, this is as efficient on the wallet as motor boating gets.
Perhaps the world’s most intelligent “manual” scooter, the Scrooser still requires the rider to push off down the road but takes your muscle power and doubles it. Using what it calls “impulse drive,” the Scrooser augments human effort with an electric motor, allowing speeds of up to 25km/h.
What makes this motor so special is that it analyses the force of your movements and adjusts the acceleration in line with your riding style, making this ride almost bionic.
Those super-wide wheels mean you can carve around corners flat-out, and it stays upright even when you step off. The silent engine, sleek minimalist design and easy manoeuvrability make it ideal for stealthy and stylish urban riding.
Priced at US$4,264, the Scrooser is now available for pre-orders.