Top 10 CARS You Didn't Know EXISTED
Whether you’re a car nut or barely know how to add windshield wiper fluid, we all know the major basic car brands and their standard line-up of makes. Beyond these everyday vehicles, there is a collection of cars that even those knee-deep in engine oil may not know about. Take a joy ride with us as we look into the top ten cars you probably didn’t even know existed.
Ever really need to get somewhere but found yourself blocked by a body of water with no time to go around it? It’s in these moments you’d wish you had the Rinspeed sQuba, a Swiss-made car that can traverse land at speeds of 77mph (123 km/h) and cruise underwater at 1.8 mph (2.8 km/h). You probably never heard of the sQub because even Rinspeed CEO Frank M Rinderknecht is aware that both the design and price tag will appeal to only the super-rich. With a permanent convertible top, diving regulators, water jets, and rear propellers make the sQuba a safe and functional four-wheeled submersible… built strictly with the wealthy in mind.
Vanda Electric's Dendrobium
Dendrobium may sound like a rare mineral, but it’s actually the first attempt at a four-wheeled vehicle by Vanda Electric, a Singaporean electric mobility company. Still in the concept stages, as Vanda Electric aims to start production in 2020, the Dendrobium is an electric vehicle believed to be able to exceed speeds of 200 mph, which would put the current fastest electric car to shame. When it does finally go into production, you can bet this won’t be in abundance on the road. With Despite the minimalist design, the Dendrobium will likely break banks across the world.
So, maybe you’ve never heard of the Corsair because it never went into production, but when the prototype was unveiled in 1938, it turned heads. Designed by Rust Heinz and Maurice Schwartz, the futuristic Corsair lacked door handles, which were replaced by push-button automatic doors. What more do you need? At top speed, the Corsair was clocked at 115 mph (185 km/h) thanks partially to its aerodynamic design. Though the intention was to produce a limited number of the $24,000 (£18,000) car, after Heinz death in 1939, the plan never came to fruition. Oh, and that’s $24,000 in 1938. That’s equivalent to over $416,000 to produce one car.
The Maserati MC12
With only 50 produced and a price tag of over $670,000 (£513,000), don’t expect to see an MC12 zooming by you on the road. Built on an Enzo Ferrari, but designed to be longer, wider, and taller, the MC12 was clocked at a top speed of 205 mph (330 km/h), slightly slower than the Enzo. The intention of the original MC12 was to fuel the fire for an FIA GT Championship model, and in 2004, the MC12 GT1 raced at Imola, Italy and Oschersleben, Germany. Though the MC12 is a beauty, especially in its extremely limited black variant, critics were a little hard on the vehicle for its size, handling, and pricing.
This is a car, right? I’m not being tricked into talking about some toy like it’s a viable automobile? Yikes, the Peel P50 is one tiny car. Actually, it’s the world’s smallest production car, as verified by the Guinness World Records in 2010, looking more like a modified big-wheeler with a fiberglass frame. Peel Engineering Company introduced the three-wheeled microcar in 1962, hoping it would take off as a city car. Though production ceased in 1965, things picked up again in 2010 and the P50 was back on the road as an electric and gas-fueled car.
Lamborghini Diablo GT1 Stardale
Everybody knows Lamborghini, but the Diablo GT1 Stradale was a rare build put out by the Italian automaker. Powered by 665 hp and weighing around 2,500 lb (1,133 kg), the GT1 was conceptualized in 1996 when Lamborghini tasked France’s Signes Advanced Technology with building a competitive Diablo using a V12 engine with modified injectors and longer stroke. From the interior to the exterior, the GT1 was the perfect hybrid of a classic Lamborghini and a car built for the tracks. Unfortunately, the cost of the build kept the GT1 from actually entering the Grand Traverse circuit.
Jay-Z fans may recognize the Exelero from his “Lost One” video. Birdman followers probably know it best as the high-performance Maybach-Motorenbau car that the rapper eventually couldn’t afford. Casual drivers… well, likely don’t know it at all! Meant to mimic and upgrade its streamlined sports cars from the 1930s, the German manufacturer created the stylish Exelero, complete with a V12 engine and 700 hp. Costing roughly $8 million (£6.1 million), the Exelero was a one-off for Maybach, built for Fulda Tyres and designed during a competition at the Pforzheim Polytechnic Department of Transportation Design. At top speeds, the prototype reached 218 mph (350 km/h).
When Laraki was established in 1999, the Moroccan company sought to develop only the most revered in high-performance, luxury sports cars. Built on a 1991 Lamborghini Diablo chassis, the manufacturer’s first proposed production car, the Fulgura, was clocked at top speeds of around 217 mph (350 km/h) and sported a 6.0L V12 engine. Though it showed promise, the Fulgura went through various iterations before being pushed aside for the 2005 concept, the Laraki Borac.
Unless you live in the heart of a city, especially one in France, the Mia probably slipped under your radar. Despite weighing only 1,785 lbs (810kg), the tiny car isn’t built for long-distance travel, though it is known for being a zero-emissions vehicle. Don’t expect to pack your entire family in the Mia as it’s regulated for a driver and, behind them, three passengers. It may be far from a practical car for suburban living, but if not for the financial troubles that ceased production in December of 2013, it’s likely the Mia would have popped up in more cities around the globe.
Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle
Are we cheating with this one? It’s not really one specific car we’re talking about, but a category of vehicle that, believe it or not, is currently available in well-known brands. Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicles emit no evaporative emissions. We like to call them “green machines” for their ability to reduce smog, but PZEVs don’t completely eradicate the burning of gasoline. Add on the fact that they’re more expensive to manufacture and most U.S. states only recently started adopting the California Air Resources Board standards. Beyond the 2017 models, PZEV will be removed as a classification and will simply be technology worked into future car models.