Cars today seem to consistently defy odds and break barriers. From electric, to self-driving, to the most gas efficient, automobiles of all kinds have seen enormous leaps and bounds throughout their history. That being said, there have been a number of models released that were considered well ahead of their respective times. Below are just a few of the most innovative cars in the history of the auto industry.
This is considered the very first mass-produced car with four-wheel steering. Introduced in 1987, the Honda Prelude’s design would become the inspiration for today’s NSX; a model made famous by both Honda and Acura. It was once thought that only luxury vehicles offered four-wheel steering with Porsche leading the charge, but this Honda model broke the mold, offering it in a public, more affordable vehicle nearly 25 years before their competitors.
Aston Martin Lagonda
This may have been considered ahead of its time due to the public finding it too innovative. The Aston Martin Lagonda, released in 1976, was much different compared to its traditional auto cousins, with a sharper nose and broader headlights. The functions within the car were pretty advanced as well, boasting a digital instrument panel, which even in the 1970s was seen as a bit tacky. The fact that it even had a screen in the vehicle though would inspire designers years later.
A predecessor to today’s minivans, the Scarab was a 2-door retro vehicle that looked unlike any other car in production, and was first introduced in 1932. It comfortably sat all of its passengers with a bench and adjustable seating system, excluding the driver’s seat. This almost made it feel like a smaller version of a public bus. It held a Ford V8 engine which was mounted in the rear of the vehicle, allowing for even more space within the cabin.
While Oldsmobile may no longer be a brand in production, the cars they created in their time left quite a mark in the automotive industry, one of the most notable models being the Jetfire. Released in 1962, this was the first mass-produced turbocharged car, with a 3.5-liter V8 engine that boasted 215 horsepower. The Jetfire, alongside the Chevrolet Corvair Monza, were the first two “turbocharged” vehicles in America.
Resembling something James Bond might drive through the English countryside, the DS21 was the first publicly produced car to come with front-disc brakes. In addition to that, this innovative vehicle came with hydropneumatic suspension, enabling the car to withstand bumps and divots in the road without compromising the smoothness of the ride. Today, Citroen, Rolls-Royce, and Maserati all use this technology as a means of improving these luxurious automobiles.