"QUANTUM SHOT" #226(rev) Link - article by Avi Abrams
The Weirdest Means of Transportation
"Automotive wrongness, some of it so wrong it emerges on the far side of the veil as a new kind of right..." --Jay Lake
As we've seen in Part 1 of this series, some cars can be made without wheels, tracks or skis (and still get places just fine, thank you), others may not even require an engine, while some vehicles are so strange that can hardly be called "cars" anymore. On top of all that, some car designers must have something against drivers, judging by profoundly befuddling and non-user-friendly setups they come up with. In most cases, though, these experimental machines do get around quite well (sometimes even more efficiently than traditional vehicles), and almost certainly become prized collection items. So pick your favorites and marvel at the audacity of engineering in "The World's Weirdest Cars & Bikes", Part Two.
The Extraordinary "Peugeot Design" Competitions
French company Peugeot is one of the most active firms in advancing and promoting cutting-edge automotive design. It not only regularly comes up with wonderful Peugeot concept cars (more so than many other companies), but it also hosts fabulous annual design competitions, which consistently yield most unusual vehicle ideas:
The Peugeot Moonster is perhaps the most radical design submitted to Peugeot. Marko Lukovic won the competition back in 2001, with this super-fluid, utterly reflective form. Just looking at this car is an experience in itself, not to mention encountering it in traffic. "Close Encounters of the Peugeot Kind"? (we just had to say it):
Speaking of reflective finishes, take a look at this more recent Peugeot Onyx concept debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show from Automobile Magazine. Confused? Well, the bottom image revelas more conventional car forms when seen from another angle:
These mechanized mobility suits "i-foot" and "i-unit", perhaps, should not even be called "cars" in a conventional sense of the word (these units can climb stairs and do any other number of mobility tricks). These concepts were presented as part of "The Wonders of Living and Moving Freely" and "The New Relationship Between People and Vehicles" exhibitions:
Also strange-looking are the latest Toyota miniature urban vehicles i-ROAD, utilizing cool turns and angles of lightcycles of the "Tron" movie fame (left image below; on the right is the "i-real" unit):
Speaking of experimental not-a-car means of transportation, check out this Exoskeleton Springwalker: this incredible invention allows the "brave soul testing it" (or perhaps the military?) to run at 35 MPH and jump 5 feet into the air - more info:
This car has eight wheels for better traction, cool aerodynamic shape and takes 10 hours to fully charge the battery from your usual residential plug: all this fades in comparison to latest advances in electric car technology, but still worth a mention:
Outrageous Art Cars
Of course, this is simply "modification for the sake of art". Or maybe "modification because they can". Or simply "because".
The Sunflower art car (shown at the 2002 Houston Art Car Parade, left image). On the right is the Austin art car "monstrosity":
There is plenty of "art & conceptual cars" to see at this link. Many are simple modifications, or basic "kit car" enhancements, but there are some genuine masterpieces - for example, this pinnacle of wild car design:
The "Carthedral" by Rebecca Caldwell
Imagine the full-size "Gothic Cathedral" 1971 Cadillac (with a VW Beetle stuck somewhere on top of the hearse, for good measure) - complete with the flying buttresses, arched stained glass windows and (of course) gargoyles:
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