Every year, automakers, car fans, and reporters arrive at Geneva to look at cars and eat all of Switzerland’s chocolate. And every year, automakers bring their concept cars to show off. Most of them are just demonstrations of new internal systems, especially this year, but there are always at least a few wacky concept cars, and this year did not disappoint. For example:
1. The Mia Electric Microbus
You might have noticed this car’s sliding doors, usually reserved for minivans. What you might not have noticed is that the driver is centrally located in the front seat: not to the left or right but smack in the center, with nobody sitting next to him. Everybody else has to get into the seats behind the driver.
Also, we think Mia felt that electric cars didn’t look quite dorky enough, hence this design.
2. Toyota Diji
The Diji, on the other hand, obviously feels that cars aren’t nearly flashy enough already, and manages to fix that problem by making what they call the most personalized car in the world. That’s because this three-seat vehicle has a huge screen on all sides, meaning that to own this car is to get behind the wheel of a rolling computer monitor. No word on how you’d wash the thing, or keep it from being hacked by teenagers who would use it to display curse words on the side. Or maybe animations of oinking pigs as you roll through a known speed trap.
3. Valmet Dawn
This is a concept car created by Valmet, who makes electric vehicles for other companies and electric vehicle components for still other companies. All of this demonstrates that they can not only make car parts and cars designed by other people, but that they can come together, as a company, and built their own vehicles. Or at least build something that looks really, really weird: there’s something that looks like a stove range on the front. No, really.
4. Morgan Plus E
We featured this one for two reasons. One, the old-timey styling, which admittedly is part of Morgan’s style, and the fact that it’s an electric vehicle, and those usually have bubble butts and try to look as cuddly and futuristic as possible; basically, like a Teletubby you drive.
Secondly, it’s an electric car with a five-speed manual transmission. Electric cars, lacking gas engines, can pretty much crank the torque into the red from a cold start since they don’t have fuel to burn, but this lets you, say, leave the clutch engaged on a gear if you feel like it. Apparently it’s a very odd driving experience, like having a stick and an automatic in one car. It’ll only be built if there’s enough demand…and we kind of hope there is.
5. Bentley EXP
Or “What happens when a normal Bentley eats too many sandwiches?” This SUV was widely rejected as so hideously ugly that the next day, Bentley announced that it was completely redesigning the car.
Yeah, actually, that’s a good idea.
No word yet on how much auto insurance companies would charge for insuring these strange creations.