Auto Tech

My future dream car: A high-tech marvel with retro-cool looks

My personal car of tomorrow looks like a 1964 Shelby with hydrogen fuel cells, airless tires, self-driving tech and an exterior grown from seed.

Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Renovo Coupe
Electric tech is hiding under this Renovo Coupe's retro design. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

I'm building a car in my imagination. It's nothing like the 2008 Prius sitting my driveway, or the RAV4 I used to own, or the decrepit Volvo station wagon I had a for a mercifully few brief months in college. It's light years beyond even the fanciest car of today. It's powered by hydrogen fuel cells, runs on airless tires and can easily switch into self-driving mode. Sometimes, I even imagine it has wings.

The first production Ford Model T rolled out in 1908. Zip forward to what modern cars look, act, feel and sound like, and it's like the Model T was excavated from an ancient burial site. As much as cars have changed over the years, we're entering a new era where technology will usher in advances that could make a 2020 car look like a futuristic spaceship next to a 2014 Ford Focus.

My personal car of tomorrow is based on some technologies that already exist, as well as some concept ideas that could become reality before too long. After helping to locate a screw stuck into a flat tire on my mother's Subaru over the weekend, I'm especially keen on Bridgestone's Air Free concept tires, a tire full of resin bands with a replaceable tread. Could this be the end to road-hazard warranties? I sure hope so. I'm putting these babies on my dream car.

Toyota's production hydrogen fuel-cell car, the 2016 Mirai , is a visual oddity with no emissions. As a Prius fan, I'm attracted to this next-gen car technology and want it to power my tomorrow-car. In my future world, there are also plenty of hydrogen fueling stations everywhere, so it won't be a hassle to juice the vehicle up. I am going to go with a different sort of styling, however, more like you'd find on the Renovo Coupe, an electric supercar that looks like a 1964 Shelby Daytona. Sweet.

My future dream car has a self-driving mode, based on the work Google has been doing. I've got a heads-up display like the Navdy, an aftermarket option, offers. I'll never have to take my eyes off the road. Even the skin of my car reeks of the future. I'm going with an ultralight "BioFibre" grown from seed, like the one that's been proposed for the Mercedes-Benz Biome concept car. There's one final jewel I would like to add to my future car: a flux capacitor. Preferably a real one.

I've detailed the magnificent retro-futuristic zero-emission marvel of a car I would build if I could. Now it's your turn. Tell me what your next-generation dream car looks like in the comments. Does it have wings?