Automakers are pushing bold, innovative ideas forward with their latest concept cars. Whether it's a car with nothing inside but a sofa and TV or an electric car resembling the Batmobile, concept cars give us a glimpse of how technology will shape the future of driving.
Image: Rob Ludacer
Here's our round-up of the 15 coolest concept cars released so far this year.
1. Volkswagen unveiled a microbus concept meant to give a modern spin to the classic Volkswagen bus at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Called the BUDD-e, the electric car gets up to 373 miles of range.
The doors open with a simple wave of the hand, and you can control the console's interface by making hand gestures. You can also use the interface to control things like the temperature and lighting in your house.
Source: Rob Ludacer
2. The big unveiling to come out of the Consumer Electronics Show was Faraday Future's concept car, the FFZERO1. It can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under three seconds.
Source: Faraday Future
Four motors placed over each wheel give the car a top speed of 200 miles per hour. It's also capable of learning the driver's preferences and automatically adjusting the internal settings. Although Faraday Future plans to release a production car in 2020, the FFZERO1 is just a show car.
3. LeEco, a Chinese tech company, unveiled its Tesla killer concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show. LeEco is also partners with Faraday Future."
Called the LeSEE, the car has a top speed of 130 miles per hour. It also has an autonomous mode. The steering wheel will retract back into the dashboard when the car is in autonomous mode.
4. The Lincoln Navigator concept car comes with giant gullwing doors. It was unveiled at the New York Auto Show in March. We won't be seeing those doors in the production model of a Lincoln Navigator anytime soon, unfortunately.
The six seats inside can be adjusted 30 different ways, and there's entertainment consoles on the back of four seats so passengers can watch TV or play games. There's even a built-in wardrobe management system in the trunk so you can turn your car into part walk-in closet.
5. BMW's Vision Next 100 was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March. It comes with an AI system called Companion that can learn your driving preferences and adjust accordingly in advance. The side panels of the Next 100 are made of carbon fibre.
The steering wheel will retract into the dashboard when the car is in autonomous mode. There's also a heads-up display that will show information about your route on the windshield.
6. BMW added to its Vision 100 line in June. Here we see the Mini Vision Next 100 that was built for ridesharing. The car can recognise who you are when it comes to pick you up and will greet you with personalised lighting. http://static.businessinsider.com/image/57640438dd0895fe0a8b47ac/image.jpg
The steering wheel will shift into the center of the console when the car is in autonomous mode. The BMW also comes with a heads-up display that will show information about your route on the windshield.
Source: Rob Ludacer
7. The last addition to the BMW Vision 100 line is this futuristic Rolls-Royce. The Rolls-Royce is also completely autonomous.
Source: Rolls Royce
Because the car envisions a completely autonomous future, the interior is composed entirely of a two-person, silk sofa and a giant OLED TV. There's also a secret compartment in the car for storing your luggage.
8. McLaren unveiled a stunning concept car called the 675LT JVCKENWOOD at the Consumer Electronics Show. The McLaren 675LT comes with a wireless networking system so it could communicate with other cars on the road about traffic and accidents.
The car comes with a steering wheel that looks like a video game controller! The controller is meant to help the driver control the heads-up display while in motion.
9. Italian design house Pininfarina unveiled a beautiful hydrogen-powered concept car at the Geneva Motor Show. The car, called H2 Speed, refuels in just three minutes.
It has a top speed of 186 miles per hour and can go from zero to 62 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds. The car can regenerate energy from braking.
10. Audi unveiled its connected mobility concept car in April. There's a longboard integrated in the bumper in case you want to roll from the parking lot to work. It conveniently pulls out when you need it and is stored in the bumper when you'd rather travel on foot!
The car's infotainment system can calculate the fastest route based on real-time data and will suggest using the longboard if that seems faster. It will even show you the best parking spot to make the longboard portion of your commute shorter.
Source: Aston Martin
11. Aston Martin showed off a beautiful concept car in May called the Vanquish Zagato Concept. All of the body panels in the Vanquish Zagato are made of carbon fibre.
Source: Aston Martin
Aston Martin made the car with Italian auto design company Zagato. The two have worked together since 1960. The car got so much acclaim, that Aston Martin actually did a limited edition production run. Deliveries will begin in 2017.
12. Jeep showed off a crazy looking wrangler in March at the Easter Jeep Safari, an off road rally. That is a monster car.
The Wrangler Trailcat concept had to be stretched to 12 inches to accommodate the massive engine providing 707 horsepower. It comes with racing seats from a Dodge Viper.
13. Toyota unveiled a strange-looking concept car dubbed the uBox to appeal to Generation Z in April. The uBox is all-electric.
The interior is entirely customisable so it can transform into a mobile office or fit more people. It also comes with a nice curved glass roof that lets plenty of light inside.
14. French automaker Renault showed off a stunning, high-tech sports car dubbed the Alpine Vision in February. The Alpine Vision is a two-door, two-seater sports car.
It can go from zero to 62 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds. The interior is decked out with a LCD gauge cluster in the center console.
15. Lastly, Croatian automaker Rimac designed a stunning, all-electric concept car for the Geneva Motor Show. Called the Concept_One it can accelerate from zero to 62 miles per hour in just 2.6 seconds.
The Concept_One can reach a top speed of 185 miles per hour. It has a regenerative braking system that allows it to generate energy whenever it brakes.