Concept cars are, in many ways, the Wild West of car design. They're what happen when car designers are given complete and total free reign over what they can design, often without executive brass having much say in the matter.
Sometimes, the concepts they present at auto shows are adored and brought to production. That's how all the cars that we drive got to be made. Other times, they just turn into concept cars we wish would make it to production.
Once in a blue moon, though, you'll see some really bizarre cars at these shows. Today, we're going to look at some of the weirdest concept cars in automotive history.
Ugh, this thing again.
This wasn't just one of the ugliest concept cars that was ever made; it was also one of the weirdest concept cars, too. The Fuya-Jo is a car that was geared towards Tokyo's extreme nightlife crowd, and was designed for people who wanted to hit the club.
The interior was decked out with state-of-the-art sound systems and foldable barstools. It also kept people at standing height, just in case they wanted to drink and dance inside the car.
The obvious problem with the Honda Fuya-Jo was that it was an eyesore and that only someone mentally ill would want to start a dance party inside their car. Needless to say, it was laughed out of existence and remains a seppuku-worthy design failure.
Without a doubt, one of the weirdest concept cars to come from BMW would have to be the BMW Lovos. This car was designed with a series of "scales" that would open and close.
These strange metal scale-plates would act as air brakes for the car when opened and covered the wheels when closed. The scales also harvested solar energy and would give wheels a "turbine look" when they would get in action.
The BMW Lovos was a major pioneer in interchangeable exterior parts, if you think about it. It had around 260 different fully interchangeable parts in its design. However, it was so unearthly and monstrous-looking, BMW scrapped the idea and the Lovos never made to dealership lots.
Yes, before you ask, that actually is a car.
The car known only as Kassou was designed by Nicholas Lee Dunderdale, and it happened to be one of the weirdest concept cars ever made. More realistically, it was probably an exercise in surrealism or something because it literally made no sense.
This three-wheeled widget had a base "neck" that would extend upwards, and also came with bat wings at the sides of it. Gizmodo tore into it when it reviewed the car, with one author saying the following "compliment" about Kassou:
"But, to be honest, this thing looks like some sort of crazy science experiment. Like an unholy mixture of a giraffe, bat, and a vacuum that surely goes against the laws of nature. I mean, what are those wings for anyway?"
So, yeah. We'd have to agree on that verdict. If you wanted to see the outcome of a giraffe-bat-vacuum orgy, look at Kassou.
One of the newest cars on this list is the Toyota FV2, and what makes this one of the weirdest concept cars isn't just its hyperfuturistic appearance; it's the fact that there's no steering wheel.
With the FV2, you drive by leaning forward, left, and right. It also changes colors, has a touchscreen windshield, and is a single-seater car. Seeing the Toyota FV2 in action is amazing, especially in the promotional video Toyota released.
However, a single-seater car is very unlikely to happen en masse, and the overall design was just a bit too techy for more traditional drivers. As a result, the FV2 never made it to production.
It's still a beautiful car, though. In fact, it looks like a lot of the coolest cars in sci-fi movies. We'd drive it. Maybe.
Citroen has been known to make seriously trippy cars in the past, but few top this one. From the exterior view, you'd never guess that this is one of the weirdest concept cars in history. The interior of the car is the part that makes this one of the most bizarre cars of all time.
Though it made a splash at the auto show circuit, the Citroen Hypnos was never picked up for productions—due to obvious reasons. I mean, really, who would want to drive a car that a rainbow threw up in it? I'm getting carsick just looking at its interior!
This is one of the weirdest concept cars developed by Citroen, and that's saying something. It also happens to be one of the only pyramid-shaped cars ever designed, too. Unlike the Hypnos, this one's weird inside and out.
Everything about this odd beige car seems off, from the center seat for the driver to the bizarre window setup. The steering wheel looks like it belongs on a 60s sci-fi movie spaceship, while the exterior just seems to scream Mad Max.
Though I would have driven this, the Citroen Karin was just a bit too weird to fit in with the cool kids. It never had a chance to make the cut.
Boat-like? Yep. That's because the Isuzu Nagisa was one of many 80s attempts at making a car that you can drive into the water. Despite very few people wanting amphibious cars, and despite the yacht-like appearance of this car, it never caught on.
Surprising? Not really. The Isuzu Nagisa would have been a severely overpriced eyesore. That's why it's considered to be one of the weirdest concept cars made for Japanese motor shows.
L'Oeuf de Paul Arzens
It's hard to place this car, isn't it? Well, believe it or not, this is one of the oldest entries on our list. Made in 1924 by railroad designer and artist Paul Arzens, L'Oeuf is an egg-shaped car that was supposed to be more of a statement than anything else.
The actual creation of "the Egg," as it's known in English, was something of a mechanical miracle. It was one of the first electric cars ever made. However, the work it took to achieve those curves and the high price of parts caused this to avoid being produced en masse.
Today, it's one of the weirdest concept cars in history, but also remains a strong reminder that electric cars are very much possible—even with parts from almost a century prior.
The Nissan NRV-II was made in 1983, and to a point, it might have been a bit ahead of its time. It has consoles and digital dashboards like many of the upscale cars of today—but it was the 80s, so you can imagine what that means as far as quality goes.
What made this one of the weirdest concept cars of all time wasn't really the interior, even though the buttons and gadgetry everywhere didn't help. It was the very strange positioning of the car's rearview mirrors that ended up sealing the deal.
General Motors Firebird 1 XP-21
The 50s had some of the weirdest concept cars out there, and part of that is due to the whole "atomic" frenzy people were in. Everything was gearing up for the space race, and everything was about showing pride in American engineering.
General Motors came out with the Firebird 1 XP-21 as a way of paying homage to planes. What's amazing about this car is that it was a real jet fighter capable of pushing out 370 horsepower—a number totally unheard of at the time.
The 1930s were a time when cars were known for rounded curves, a lot of class, and stately engines. The Ford Speedster tried to emulate this in a road-rally car, but it fell just a bit short in terms of aesthetics. That's what makes it one of the weirdest concept cars made during this era.
While it wasn't one of the prettiest cars around, the never-made Speedster was one of the bigger trailblazers around. This 1932 concept first broached what a car would look like with both a V-8 engine and a starter button.
Maybe it takes a while to make people realize how good new tech can be, right?