Sometimes a vehicle is just as impressive as its driver. Quite often, as seen throughout decades of pop culture, the wheels are far more memorable than characters themselves. We’ve brought to you our top ten favorite rides from all across Sci-Fi pop culture:-
1. Bladerunner- Spinner Police Cars
The Spinner was an automobile used by the Los Angeles Police Department. It features in the neo-noir film, Bladerunner, and is used by officials for public surveillance. The Spinner is not only capable of driving on ground but also of flying via jet propulsion.
In the original book written by Philip K. Dick, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” the Spinners are used as hover cars and in the movie adaptation, this sci-fi vision comes to life! Gene Winfield made 2 full-sized models of the Spinner based off a Volkswagen.
Here’s an image of the original Spinner driven by Harrison Ford in Bladerunner.
2. Back to the Future- DeLorean DMC-12 Doc Brown’s time machine
Dr. Emmett Brown’s created a plutonium- powered time machine built into a DeLorean DMC-12 Sports car. In order to time travel the car had to reach 88 miles per hour. To witness the time machine’s departure is a dramatic event- lightning coils around the flux capacitor and the car appears to implode into a ball of plasma and the tire marks leave back trails of fire.
The car itself utilizes parts from both the past as well as future timelines, such as the power plant installed to allow the machine to run on any available matter as well as the wheels that can swivel 90 degrees to deploy thrusters that allow it to hover above ground.
After all, where we’re going, we don’t need roads…
3. Tron – Light cycle
The Tron Light cycle is probably one of the most iconic vehicles in this sci-fi classic. The original 1st geeration light cycle resemble motorbikes that are driven by programs on the game grid and as a result the bikes can only move in straight lines and turn at 90 degrees. The bikes are “rezzed”or formed by a baton held by the rider; the bike encases the rider when activated. They’re extremely fast and leave back a permanent light wall in their trail.
On the other hand, the 5th generation bikes resembles a real-world bike; it lacks a canopy to cover the rider and features headlights in order to help the riding programs navigate dark enviroments easily. These bikes are powered by pure liquid energy and spew out light ribbons from the back. Their front wheels are fixed so in order to change direction, you need to tilt the machine.
4. Men in Black- Agent K’s Crown victoria
The 1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria was a MIB standard vehicle driven by Agent K; it was a multi-faceted car with an alternate mode of operation called the auxiliary mode, activated using a red button next to the hand brake. In auxiliary mode, the car reconfigures and 2 large twin rear thrusters protrude out, allowing it to achieve high speeds, fast enough to defy gravity as shown in the iconic Queens Tunnel scene where it’s “flying” above the traffic.
5. A Clockwork Orange- Durango 95
The Durango 95 is an M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16 futuristic concept in his 1971 film “A Clockwork Orange”
It’s described as an impractical design in terms of practical usage- it didn’t even have doors but that the outrageous design was partially inspired by a woman’s curvy figure. The car fit perfectly into Kubrick’s nightmarish movie.
6. iRobot – Audi
The Audi RSQ is a supercar developed by Audi as a placement in the 2004 movie, iRobot. The car had been specially designed by the company so that it could seamlessly fit a typical Audi vehicle into a technologically advanced future. It is the product of a creative partnership between a carmaker and Hollywood.
It features spherical wheels, a mid-engine design, butterfly action doors, a color changing, luminescent paint job and an all over low, sleek profile.
7. Star Wars- Millenium Falcon
If ever a spaceship became synonymous with a screen character, it’s the Millennium falcon. Described as the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy”, the Millenium Falcon is a modified Corellian freighter that has had several owners throughout the series, the most famous ones being Solo and Chewbacca. The ship has been frequently required to make several quick escapes and has a remarkable start-up time of about 3 minutes.
The ship’s design has been said to be inspired by a half-eaten hamburger, which was George Lucas’s favorite food at the time.
8. Speed Racer- Mach 5 Prototype
The supercharged Mach 5 is an automotive machine that beats any other on the race circuit. It’s a unique car with an open roof design with 2 seats, a trunk and no radio.
The Mach 5 was produced as an actual concept car with a 100 production models planned to be built on a 2001 Chevrolet Corvette Chassis and extensively modified to look like the iconic car.
9. Batman- Batmobile
The Batmobile is a fictional car driven by the superhero Batman. It’s an armored fighting vehicle and is one of the main modes of transportation that the Caped Crusader uses to drive around town on his crime fighting nights.
It has appeared on almost every Batman iteration, including comics, movies, television and is an important part of pop culture.
10. Transformers – Bumblebee
This 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Concept and Volkswagen Beetle, nicknamed Bumblebee is a transformer fighting for good and peace against the evil Decepticons. At 17 feet tall and weighing a ton, Bumblebee the Transformer is quite on imposing figure and one of Optimus Prime’s most trusted lieutenants.
It’s a small but tough Autobot that has an affinity for interacting with humans and is exceptionally protective of his fellow teammates.