From self-driving taxis to waste-powered time machines, these are cars of tomorrow promised to us by science fiction.
In Back to the Future Part II, Marty McFly visits “the future” on 21 October 2015. This means that we are now living in the future, and what a future it is.
We were promised widely available self-lacing shoes, Jaws 19 in the cinema and dehydrated pizza. Well, where are they? Don’t even get us started on the hoverboard-shaped hole in our lives.
But Doc and Marty aren’t the only ones that have failed to deliver over the years. Here are some of the greatest futuristic motors that sci-fi has to offer.
You might want to play this while you read, just to get you in the mood.
Time-travelling DeLorean - Back to the Future franchise
The DeLorean DMC-12 has become a classic symbol of time travel and of 80s nostalgia in general.
With a stainless-steel body and gull-wing doors, it certainly looks like the car of choice for an eccentric like Doc Brown:
The way I see it, if you’re going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?
Not only can the DeLorean travel back and forth in time, but Doc’s souped-up model in Part II can fly, and uses a Mr. Fusion reactor that’s powered by household waste.
Flying cars - The Fifth Element
The most extravagant solution to congestion, right here. Cars, taxis, police cars and delivery trucks all take to the skies on their daily commutes in stacked, multi-layered traffic.
A special nod goes to the police spinners from Blade Runner, but the flying cars in The Fifth Element are just that little bit more impressive.
It makes for an exciting police chase, but your satnav is going to have a few problems getting you around.
And can you imagine the Highway Code chapter on overtaking for traffic like this?
Landspeeder - Star Wars IV: A New Hope
The landspeeder – the X-34 model if you’re keeping score – is the motor of choice for boy racer Luke Skywalker on his home planet of Tattooine.
It’s not much to look at, but what it lacks in style it makes up for in raw power.
With a top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h) and the ability to hover a metre above the ground, even Luke’s battered model is worth enough for a trip on the Millennium Falcon.
Johnny Cabs - Total Recall
What’s the one thing that’s missing from your Uber journey? If your answer was “a conversation with a creepy, crazy-eyed animatronic”, then you’re in luck.
The Johnny Cab is the sci-fi precursor to Google’s self-driving car, though we very much hope that life doesn’t imitate art.
It even has its own quirky way of dealing with fare-dodgers: try and run them down, and when that fails, burst into flames. Real classy, Johnny Cab.
Every single car - Mad Max: Fury Road
The future’s not all smiles and sunshine, you know. This grim vision of tomorrow sees us racing across an apocalyptic wasteland in heavily-modified bangers.
Most futuristic worlds give you cars that are roughly uniform in appearance.
But in this universe we’re treated to a host of weird and wonderful models, from the hedgehog wannabe Plymouth Rock to the car-on-car powerhouse that is the Gigahorse.
Purists would probably single out Max’s own V8 Interceptor as the best due to its uncanny ability to survive almost everything that harsh landscape has to offer - those people are mistaken.