When car designers are given free rein to create whatever they desire, some of the coolest cars on earth come to life. Here are some of the best.
The GSX-R/4 is sort of like a superbike in car form. It weighs just over 1400 pounds, and makes over 170 horsepower from its Hayabusa-sourced inline four.
The ME412 was first shown in 2004 as a complete, running prototype sporting a mid-mounted Mercedes V12 engine. It looked great, but the financial recession that set in a few years later would crush any hopes of it being produced.
Built to show off Dodge's plans for the future, the Charger II uses a lovely streamlined design with understated front and rear fascias, as well as an impossibly long rear overhang. We especially like that singular concave taillight design.
The sweet two-done matte black and copper body finish isn't the only thing the Peugeot Onyx has going for it. It's built on a carbon-fiber monocoque, and gets down the road using a 3.7-liter diesel V8. Yes, a diesel engine in a supercar.
The Cien wasn't the mid-engine Corvette we've been waiting for, but it was certainly cool. Powered by a mid-mounted 7.5-liter V12, it was a running, driving supercar that made 750 horsepower.
Before Ford launched the iconic GT in 2005, it revealed this, the GT90. Full of angular design cues and a few classic touches, it hid a quad-turbo V12 behind the cabin, capable of 720 horsepower.
The Stratos Zero is one of the most polarizing things on four wheels, built to slice through the air with its wedge design. Some people consider it the best concept ever made, and we tend to agree.
Presented as a more affordable variant of the then-new Viper, the Copperhead was a slimmed-down version of Dodge's V10 supercar. The concept used a 220-horsepower V6, but it was never put into production.
Though the C111 was technically a concept, Mercedes built over a dozen examples. The car was highly unconventional, especially for Mercedes, using a mid-engine layout and a rotary powertrain.
The Birdcage concept of 2005 was built as a homage to the original Maserati Birdcage race car of the 1960s, as well as to celebrate Pininfarina's 75th anniversary. The front top half clamshell lifts up to allow access to the cockpit, in action.
The J-12, based on a modified Wrangler chassis, wears the face from a Kaiser-era truck, making it the off-roader of our dreams. It has all the modern hardware combined with the classic looks.
Though DOME's cars never took off, its first design, the Zero, remains one of the coolest out there. With a Nissan straight-six and a five-speed manual, it was intended to go into production, but never did.
The Furai was introduced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, only to light itself on fire and burn to a crisp while in the hands of Top Gear. It used a 450-horsepower three-rotor engine, and .
The Indigo, unveiled in 1996, uses a radical front wing design, with lights integrated into the mirrors and an open cockpit. There are even LED strips built into the front wing. Only two examples were built, and according to Wrecked Exotics, the one not owned by Ford .
Lamborghini introduced a modernized version of its classic Miura supercar in 2006 to celebrate the original car's 40th anniversary. Though it resembles the Miura of the '60s well, the car is mostly Murcielago underneath.
The Banshee of the late 1980s had a bulbous yet streamlined look that heavily influenced the design of cars like the fourth-generation Firebird and Camaro. It had a fiberglass body, a head-up display, and a 230-horsepower fuel-injected V8.
The Sixteen concept has—you guessed it—a sixteen-cylinder engine under that long, wide hood. It was built by combining two LS V8s together, and sends power to the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission.
The Jeep Hurricane has a body built almost entirely of carbon fiber, as well as independently turning wheels, and two (yes, two) Hemi V8s. It could get from 0-60 in less than five seconds, and looked like a retro-based Jeep Wrangler from the future.
Designers often talk about using a single line to trace an entire car, and a great example is the Vision 6 Mercedes-Maybach concept, either in coupe or convertible form. It looks seriously good, and wonderfully futuristic.