Cars are part-and-parcel of everyday life, so it should be no surprise they play a prominent part in our media. Sometimes, if the nature of the media doesn’t force you to film in the real world, the editors and writing team will be let loose to produce fantasy cars.
From video games to television, there are dozens of fictional cars that are ideal candidates for this list. Here are some of our favourites…
In the sentient automobile world, Lightning McQueen is a Piston Cup legend.
Sure, his existence conjures up some questions, for example; is the Piston Cup the equivalent of NASCAR or athletics, since the cars are sentient? How are cars made in this world?
Regardless of the details, McQueen and the Cars franchise will continue to introduce kids to the world of motoring and motorsport.
Can you name the truck with four-wheel drive, smells like a steak and seats thirty-five?
The Canyonero, an SUV endorsed by beloved Springfieldian entertainer Krusty The Clown, birthed one of the best, over-the-top adverts and musical numbers in the history of The Simpsons.
It’s prone to fires, it’s ‘real slow with the hammer down’, but who cares when you can fit three football teams in the back?
Red Bull X2010
The Red Bull X2010 is the regulation-free fever dream of Formula One design legend Adrian Newey. The X2010, which featured numerous banned innovations from the world of motorsport, was designed for the Gran Turismo racing game series.
With a top speed of well over 300mph, a curb weight of under 550kg and cornering forces topping 8G, the X2010 is at the very limit of what a human body can withstand.
The lack of an internal combustion engine was no reason for the people of Bedrock to give up on the dream of utilitarian transportation.
Featuring no floor, the Flinstones’ family wagon was only as powerful as its occupants, and was held on the road by two cylindrical pieces of rock, in place of wheels – so is this actually a passenger steamroller? You decide.
Who doesn’t love Mario Kart? The shell-throwing, weaponised arcade game is a classic for kids and adults alike, and while there are plenty of incredible designs across the series, it’s the kart belonging to the star of the show that makes the list.
It has gone through various shapes and sizes over the years, but throughout, it has been emblazoned in the Italian plumber’s trademark red and blue.
Sure, if you pick Mario every time, you’re probably a salt and butter type person, but what’s wrong with that?
Whether you grew up with the kooky television show Batman, or The Dark Knight of the modern era, chances are you will have lusted after the Batmobile over the years.
With countless replicas and promotional running models out there – such as the one seen here terrorising a Toyota at the 2008 British Grand Prix – this may well be one of the most obtainable fictional cars out there!
It’s shape and versatility have fluctuated wildly over the years, but the Batmobile is certainly going to go down as an all-time great cinema car.
The Mystery Machine
Scooby Doo is not necessarily a symbol of automotive culture, but the mystery-solving dog has actually been emblazoned on some racing cars over the years.
However, those cars will never be as iconic as The Mystery Machine, which Scooby and the gang have driven through countless spooky hoaxes and conspiracies.
Vaguely based on a VW Campervan, the kooky green and orange colours of the cartoon car have now become a leading choice for V-Dub enthusiasts who want to make their Campervan special.
Another entry in the ‘sentient cars in children’s entertainment’ category, Brum was a series of programmes following an adventurous, miniature vintage car.
Tackling the streets of Birmingham – or ‘Big Town’, in show canon – Brum was based on the shape of an Austin 7. These classic British cars are very characterful, but Brum turned that up to 11, becoming one of the few cars in the world you could feasibly call adorable.
Grand Theft Auto is famous for its non-approved takes on various sought-after cars from the world’s top manufacturers. People often wonder why we don’t see real cars in the game, and the answer is simple; what car company wants to be associated with virtual gang violence? Unsurprisingly, none.
There is an upside to the licencing conundrum, however, with some very intriguing cars coming from the game designers, such as the Pegassi Infernus.
The Infernus’ most obvious inspiration is the Lamborghini Diablo, but it is something of a hybrid, as it features an exhaust system clearly inspired by the Pagani Zonda. The result is a V12 supercar perfect for roaming San Andreas.
A generation’s introduction to both motorsport and bombastic villains, Wacky Races had to be a part of this list. And if you’re going to include a car from the classic cartoon, surely it has to be Dick Dastardly’s Mean Machine?
Awash with gadgets designed to put Darstadly a step ahead, more often than not, the technology would backfire on the devious racer, much to the amusement of cackling canine sidekick Muttley.