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Pimped Out: the Top 10 Coolest Car Features in Fiction

November 5, 2013

There’s no denying that cars are cool. But what are even cooler are the cars you see in films. And not just your regular, run-of-the-mill supercars, but those vehicles that push the envelope that little bit further, beyond what’s possible and firmly into the realm of fiction. The kinds of cars that make us go: “If only my car could do that!

So, while in real life we may be stuck with more mundane run-arounds, in this article we’re celebrating the top ten coolest fictional car features from film and TV.

Time Travel

How many of us who grew up watching the Back to the Future films realised that DeLoreans were actually real cars? Doc Brown’s car looked so futuristic, it seemed just as likely to be fictional as the time machine it contained. Not only could it travel through time, in the second film it became powered by waste, making it something of a double-whammy.

Spherical Wheels

Hate parallel parking? Well, you’d never have to worry about it again if only you could get your hands on the Audi RSQ concept car from the film version of I, Robot. Instead of normal wheels, the RSQ runs on a set of spheres, presumably using some kind of magnetic induction, allowing the car to move smoothly sideways or diagonally as easily as the traditional forwards and backwards.

Artificial Intelligence

We’ve all had days (and nights) where driving felt like too much effort. If only we’d had access to KITT, from the TV series Knight Rider. KITT is the name of an artificial intelligence housed in a modified1982 Pontiac Trans Am that was capable of driving itself and, perhaps more importantly, engaging in witty banter with its human partner Michael Knight, as portrayed by David Hasselhoff.


It was inevitable that the James Bond franchise would feature (and more than once) on this list, with the first example being the 2002 Aston Martin Vanquish from Die Another Day that could handily become spontaneously invisible at the push of a button. The Aston Martin’s so-called “adaptive camouflage” relied on a combination of “tiny cameras” and a “light emitting polymer skin”, allowing it to record the image from one side car and display it on the other side in real time, making it more or less invisible.


There are numerous examples of flying cars in films, from Back to the Future II to The Fifth Element, but perhaps the first were the “spinners” from Ridley Scott’s iconic Blade Runner.Capable of driving normally on the road but becoming airborne when necessary, spinners can take off and land vertically, as well as hovering and cruising through the skies using jet propulsion. Perfect for those times when you hit heavy traffic.

Part-Time Submarine

James Bond’s second entry in the list with the 1980 Lotus Esprit S1 Submarine from The Spy Who Loved Me. How many of us haven’t dreamed of being able to ditch the road and take our car for a spin beneath the ocean? Okay, it might not exactly be a regular day dream, but you’ve got to admit, it’d be pretty cool and save paying for ferries or the Channel Tunnel.

Secret Escape Vehicle

One of the coolest cars on screen, the Tumbler from the Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has to be excluded from our lists as it does actually exist. So obsessed with realism is Nolan that he had several working models constructed for the films. What they lack, however, is the ability to deploy a secret Batpod as seen in The Dark Knight. Which is a shame, because now when you’re driving yours and it gets hit by a rocket propelled grenade, you’ll have nowhere to go.

Drive Upside Down

The Men in Black films feature a number of cool gadgets, but one our ultimate favourites is Agent K’s 1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria. Why? Well, when you push the big red button on the dashboard it switches to a more streamlined configuration with two jet engines which allow it to drive significantly faster, run on walls and, oh yes – drive upside down. This proves pretty handy when chasing some bad guys through a busy tunnel.

Solar Power

Perhaps more practical than overtly thrilling, we’d still love to get our hands on the solar panels seen on pretty much all cars in Rian Johnson’s film Looper. According to the film, by 2044 most cars will be outfitted with solar panels efficient enough that no other form of power will be needed. With petrol prices the way they are, I’m sure we all wish this wasn’t just confined to the realms of science fiction.

Everything Else

James Bond again and, while it doesn’t quite have everything, when it comes to cool features, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 as seen Goldfinger, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies and Casino Royale is hard to beat. With extras such as pop-out machine guns, tyre-destroying hub-cap mounted blades, bulletproof glass, reversible license plates, radar and, of course, an ejector seat, this is the archetypal cinematic supercar that all the others have been trying to beat for decades.

Sadly, none of these features are currently available in real cars, but there are still plenty of innovative new design ideas out there making new cars ever more exciting. If you’re looking to upgrade to something with a little more thrill-factor, then let the experts at The Car Loan Warehouse help you find the money you need for the car you deserve at a rate you can afford. It’s car finance, without the hassle.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.