9 Cars Once Hailed as the Future of Driving — Where Are They Now?

The world of cars has always been driven by innovation and vision, and each era has brought vehicles that promise to revolutionize the way we commute. But not all the cars that were called out as the “future of driving” managed to live up to that tag. Here, we look back at nine such cars that once captured our minds and ask where they are now.

DeLorean DMC-12

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The DeLorean DMC-12 is most popularly known for its role in the “Back to the Future” film’s series. It came out with a stainless steel body and gull-wing doors, and the look was dashing, which made it seem like a car ahead of its time when it was introduced in 1981. However, the fate of this beautiful machine was not so glamorous. The car used to suffer from performance issues as well as mechanical issues. To add to the misery, the owner company ‘DeLorean Motor Company’ went bankrupt in 1982, just a year after the DMC-12’s debut. The DeLorean has received a cult status, all thanks to its cinematic fame. Car enthusiasts and collectors continue to buy and restore this iconic vehicle. There are plans to produce a limited number of new units of DMC 12 that are upgraded with modern technology, but regulatory approval is pending.

General Motors EV1

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The GM EV1 became the first highly produced electric car from a major motor company, which was introduced in 1996. It had a sleek aerodynamic design and promised to generate zero emissions, which made it a darling of the environmental movement. However, despite its potential, the EV1 faced numerous obstacles, including high production costs and limited range. General Motors is rumored to have controversially identified and destroyed most of the EV1s by 2003, claiming a lack of demand and issues with the battery.

Tucker 48

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The Tucker 48 is also known as the Tucker Torpedo, and it was a revolutionary car developed by Preston Tucker in the late 1940s. It had features like a rear-mounted engine, a third headlight that changed directions with the steering wheel, and advanced safety features that made it years ahead. However, Tucker’s ambitious project faced many challenges, including financial issues and political pressures from established motor companies. Only 51 units of Tucker 48s were produced before the company closed in 1949. These rare vehicles are now in increased demand with collectors, where some drop millions of dollars at auctions. 

Chrysler Turbine Car

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In the early 1960s, Chrysler introduced a car powered by a gas turbine engine, an ambitious adieu from previously used combustion engines. The Chrysler Turbine Car promised greater efficiency and fewer moving parts, theoretically reducing maintenance costs. However, the technology faced numerous hurdles, including high production costs, complex engineering challenges, and inadequate fuel efficiency in real-world driving conditions. Chrysler produced only 55 Turbine Cars; most were destroyed after the testing program ended in 1966. A few survived and are displayed in museums or held by private collectors.

Segway PT

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While not a car in the traditional sense, the Segway PT (Personal Transporter) was hailed as a revolutionary mode of transport when it debuted in 2001. Dean Kamen’s invention promised to change urban transportation with its gyroscopic balance system and zero emissions. Despite the hype, the Segway struggled to find a broad market, hindered by its high cost, regulatory challenges, and safety concerns. 

Chevrolet Volt

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Launched in 2010, the Chevrolet Volt was a plug-in hybrid that aimed to bridge the gap between gasoline and electric vehicles. With its extended range technology, the Volt offered an electric driving experience without the range anxiety associated with fully electric cars. It was a critical step towards more sustainable driving and won numerous awards for its innovative approach. Despite initial success, the Volt was discontinued in 2019 as GM shifted focus towards fully electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt and the upcoming GMC Hummer EV.

Fisker Karma

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The Fisker Karma, introduced in 2011, was a luxury plug-in hybrid that combined stunning design with environmental consciousness. It featured a solar roof, regenerative braking, and an all-electric range complemented by a gasoline engine for extended trips. Despite its promising features, Karma faced numerous challenges, including financial difficulties and technical issues. Fisker Automotive declared bankruptcy in 2013. The Karma was revived by a new company, Karma Automotive, which continues to produce updated car versions under the Revero name. 

BMW i3

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Launched in 2013, the BMW i3 was a groundbreaking electric vehicle with a unique design and a focus on sustainability. Its carbon fiber-reinforced plastic body, innovative use of recycled materials, and impressive efficiency made it a standout in the burgeoning EV market—the i3 aimed to offer a premium electric driving experience while being environmentally friendly. The BMW i3 was discontinued in 2022. 

Tesla Roadster (First Generation)

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The original Tesla Roadster, launched in 2008, was a game-changer for electric vehicles. Based on the Lotus Elise chassis, the Roadster demonstrated that electric cars could be fast, stylish, and desirable. Its impressive range and performance helped shift public perception of electric vehicles and paved the way for Tesla’s future success. The first-generation Tesla Roadster was discontinued in 2012, but its legacy endures. Tesla has announced a new Roadster, promising even more outstanding performance and range. 

15 Most Reliable Cars Ever Made — Why They Never Quit

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Some claim that the dependability of autos has decreased. Modern cars have a shorter lifespan than some cars manufactured between the 1970s and the 1990s, but some new and used cars today are good enough to last for at least ten years and up to 500,000 miles. When these vehicles break down, most problems are relatively simple, and many don’t have serious difficulties. Here are 15 of the most reliable cars ever made:

15 Most Reliable Cars Ever Made — Why They Never Quit

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