A real life Batmobile, built by Casey Putsch. Photo: Casey Putsch
Movies are among the best ways to imagine what the future will look like, and that vision usually involves cars. Very cool cars, that fly, jump, shoot and generally blow you away.
If you’ve ever sat on your couch and wished you could try one of the rides favored by film characters, there’s a good chance your wish could come true. These six cars from movies set in the future are all available in some form already, or are coming soon. So stop watching and start driving.
1. The DeLorean DMC-12, Back to the Future (1985)
Among the most famous movie cars, the modified DMC-12 was produced by the DeLorean Motor Company in 1981-1982. The original came with gull-wing doors, but it was Doc Brown who added the rockets and tangle of cables that let him and Marty McFly travel through time in the Back to the Future trilogy.
DeLorean has announced that it’s bringing an electric DMC-12 to market in 2013, but time traveling capability isn’t available just yet.
2. Aston Martin Vanquish, Die Another Day (2002)
James Bond and Aston Martin have had a long, mutually beneficial relationship. But while all of 007′s cars have some wild features, things got a little out of hand in Die Another Day, when the Vanquish went invisible on command.
The idea of the vanishing car isn’t so far fetched, however: Mercedes pulled it off earlier this year, though not quite as convincingly as Q did.
3. Batmobile/Tumbler, Batman Begins (2005)
Batman spends a lot of time in his car, and the Batmobile is up to the task of getting him through just about anything. In Batman Begins, Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne gets a requisitioned and heavily upgraded military vehicle.
Complete with a jet engine and a silent electric motor for stealth, the Batmobile, aka the Tumbler, can drive from rooftop to rooftop. One aspiring race car driver has built his own, street legal version, complete with a turbine engine, but I don’t think he’d be willing to see if it can do everything the movie version can do.
4. Dallas’ Taxi, The Fifth Element (1997)
In the 23rd century world of The Fifth Element, there’s nothing special about flying cars. But Korban Dallas, the taxi driver played by Bruce Willis, isn’t afraid to break a few traffic laws, making for a much more exciting ride.
Back in the 21st century, we’re pretty stuck on the ground. But considering that a flying car is finally coming to market, it’s not so hard to imagine that this is what a police chase will look like 200 years from now, or even sooner.
5. Lexus 2054, Minority Report (2002)
In the future world of Minority Report, cars ride up the sides of buildings and along highways in carefully managed patterns, only to be brusquely disturbed by Tom Cruise crashing through while on the lam. The 2054 concept Cruise drives was specially created the film by Lexus, at the request of Steven Spielberg.
It’s a long shot that Lexus will build the concept, but the traffic system through which it drives isn’t as unlikely. Road trains are giant convoys of cars linked together to provide smooth traffic flow and cut down on accidents. Look for the first versions to hit the road in ten years or so.
6. Light Cycle, Tron: Legacy
For the 2010 reboot of the Tron movie franchise, Disney brought in Daniel Simon, concept designer and automotive futurist to design a new and improved Light Cycle. The high speed vehicle that creates a trail of light in their wake is stuck to the “Grid,” but the real world version isn’t. The best part? Not only can you buy one, it will benefit charity.