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The best futuristic cars in film

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Between questionable space fashion and general dystopian weirdness, it’s easy to be put off by props in science-fiction cinema.

Cars, on the other hand, are a completely different beast. A regular highlight in futuristic fantasy fare, it's now gotten to the point where real-life auto designers from luxury car brands spend their working days in the hope of whisking up concepts for major Hollywood blockbusters.

So, to help you decide which on-screen beauties would you want in your garage come the year 2099, we’ve listed the very best of them below.

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Lexus 2054 - Minority Report

Why we want it:

So brazen was the product placement in Steven Spielberg’s overtly shiny Phillip K Dick adaptation, we half expected Tom Cruise to stop by a Scientology Centre before he went slugging it out with aggressors in a car factory - but we couldn't blame the producers after laying eyes on the Lexus 2054, the motor Cruise’s wronged hero jumps in before the paints even dry in order to chart his escape. Skip to 4.40 for that part.

Probable target market:

Arab sheiks.

Model year:

2054

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Lola MK III – THX 1138

Why we want it:

43 years and counting, the Lola Mk III (you know, that supped-up version of the real-life coupe which stunt drivers throttled around at 140mph for the hauntingly quiet tunnel chase scene in George Lucas’s THX 1138) still prowls our dreams today. Almost cartoonish in front end design, it resembles a cross between the classic supercars of the 70s and Benny The Cab from Roger Rabbit . Believe us, that's no bad thing.

Probable target market:

Single fathers fronting as bachelors.

Due for release:

Unknown

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Audi Fleet Shuttle Quattro – Enders’ Game

Why we want it:

Having once owned the keys to the Millennium Falcon - not to mention the spinning police car in Bladerunner - Harrison Ford is a man who knows how to pick a film vehicle. Arguably a subliminal nod to his senior years, he opted for a low-key, refined sort of dream machine for this recent human vs aliens blockbuster. Digitally assembled by the German firm’s own designers themselves, see exactly how they did it, above.

Probable target market:

Heroes who get gruffer the more they get greyer.

Model year:

2086

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Audi RSQ – I, Robot

Why we want it:

Another Audi, this time from the 2004’s I, Robot starring Will Smith as Detective Spooner (no laughing at the back). It’s testament to Spooner’s love of the vintage classics such as Stevie Wonder and Converse, that he should so shamelessly enjoy the ultra-modern, curvaceous Audi RSQ. Benefits include spheres instead of wheels, Siri-like voice assistance, cruise control and even swift manoeuvrability when faced by a swarm of violent androids (handily).

Probable target market:

Technophobes looking to be won over.

Model year

2035

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Light Runner – Tron: Legacy

Why we want it:

Evoking the Monopoly car-piece on steroids, the Light Runner is something rather special indeed. The four-wheeled metamorphic car-cum-dune buggy tore up the track in Disney’s long awaited sequel to Tron, aided by the fact Olivia Wilde was at the controls, proving once and for all that the light cycles are just overhyped death traps.

Probable target market:

Computerised folk.

Model year:

2010, technically.

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Durango 95 - A Clockwork Orange

Why we want it:

The Durango 95, seen gunning it through the countryside in Antony Burgess’s dystopian England so vividly brought to life by Stanley Kubrick, was based on real-life concept the Probe-16. While the Probe required access via a sliding glass roof for entry, Kubrick's wisely favoured a more simple approach, as demonstrated in this clip.

Probable target market:

Rowdy, eccentrically dressed teens.

Model year:

Unknown

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The Aptera 2 – Star Trek

Why we want it:

Think of three-wheeled road vehicles and ‘Trotters Independent’ might well spring to mind. Fortunately, this little beauty is something very new. On the off chance you missed the scenes in which it fleetingly appears in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, you’ll be glad to know it's actually a tangible, fully-working electric car available today. Still, could be worth holding off until the scenery matches the car's futuristic coating.

Probable target market:

Middle class eco-warriors.

Model year:

2233

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Mach 5 – Speed Racer

Why we want it:

Yes, it sounds like a razor, and yes, it first came to our attention in The Wachowski’s semi-animated dud Speed Racer, but don't let that sway you from admiring this anime motor turned cinematic lap-time smasher. More than simply easy on the eye, it’s only missing a Red Shell in its Mario Kart-like armoury. Because nothing says ‘commute on the M25 Northbound’ quite like tyre spikes, homing robots and a pair of rotary saws underneath your bonnet.

Probable target market:

Unhinged Gumball Rally enthusiasts.

Model year:

Unknown

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Bumblebee – Transformers franchise

Upgraded from the battered VW Beatle seen in the cartoon series, there’s no denying Bumblebee looks much better in the guise of a Chevy Camaro in the Transformers films – particularly when the autobot morphs himself into a newer model - both the striking yellow and black exterior and song (Battle Without Honour Or Humanity) are direct nods to Kill Bill, in case you didn’t notice. Also boats a smashing stereo, too.

Probable target market:

People who sing too loudly at the radio.

Model year:

N/A [Not of this earth]

Images: Allstar [20th Century Fox]

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