Top 7 Craziest Car Features Ever Designed< Back to blog
Car designers aren’t to be confused with engineers. In fact, the former are the ones who come up with any wacky features. The engineering team tell them whether it’s physically possible (and sensible, for that matter).
Fortunately for us, there are vehicles which, despite having bizarre equipment proposed by these gurus of car fashion, made it to production.
From the lavish to the absurd (and everything in between), we explore the top 10 craziest car features ever designed.
7. Carpeted footrests
We’re aware of the fact that in previous car reviews we’ve referred to car interiors as “lounge-like”. However, Rolls-Royce appears to have taken this to a whole other level in its flagship model, the Phantom.
More specifically, in its bespoke Limelight edition of the vehicle. Along with jewel-carrying ‘panniers’ (we just call them baskets) and fragrance holders, you’ll be able to kick your feet up in first class if you’re sat in the back. At the press of a button, carpeted ottomans will cleverly present themselves from the floor, which is (unsurprisingly) also carpeted.
It’s no surprise then that the Phantom Limelight is deemed as one of the most exclusive vehicles in the world. This sort of rarity comes at a cost too – specifically around £500,000 for a new. Used models are trickier to find, but ballpark figures for Phantom models in general start from £80,000, so you can expect to pay about double this.
6. ‘Falcon wing’ doors
The Americans are renowned for going ‘big’ when it comes to designing vehicles. Muscle cars and pick-up trucks get their appeal from having massive V8 engines which are loud and powerful. It’s why cars such as the Ford Mustang have been brought across the pond in recent years.
However, besides just crazy power, manufacturers in the USA have been just as bold with their features for its cars too. Tesla are the brand in question, which made the executive decision to slap ‘falcon wing’ rear doors on either side of its biggest production to date, the Model X.
This isn’t the first time this function has been used on a car. Mercedes were one of first to implement it after they developed a ‘gullwing’ coupe version of the 300SL. However, this was back in the 1950s, so you need to operate it using a conventional handle.
The process today is much simpler, with the Model X’s falcon wing doors swiftly opening at the push of a button on your key fob. As CEO and chief designer Elon Musk demonstrated, this happens almost vertical to the vehicle’s body. So, you can easily access the back of the car, even when you’re parked in a tight space between two cars.
Unlike the Rolls-Royce before it, you’re looking at around £86,000 for a brand-new Model X. If you don’t mind a secondhand version, you can slash this asking price significantly, with prices starting from around £56,000.
5. Massage seats
The concept of massage seats isn’t so crazy in itself, but in a car? That’s a whole different matter. However, luxury vehicle manufacturers are including them on top-spec models to appeal to the long-distance traveller (and the well-off).
Different vehicles will either feature them in the front, back or both. The Porsche Panamera is one of the few cars to have this relaxation function for all four of its seats. Each comes ready with five intensity levels with supporting air cushions for maximum comfort.
Unfortunately, it’s a rather costly extra (around £1,300) on top of the base £73,000 asking price for the standard model. If you can’t quite stretch to this, you can find deals online for secondhand ones that start at around £34,000.
4. Crystal gear knob
One of the less functional crazy car features on our list. How great does a gear knob covered in real crystal sound? It’d certainly add a sparkle to your driving experience, that’s for sure!
Puns aside, this isn’t just any crystal. Oh no, they’ve been crafted by Swedish glass artisans Orrefors. More surprising than this is that Volvo, the manufacturer who was once known for producing dreary plain saloons, are the ones who have this feature on one of its vehicles.
The esteemed XC90 in top-spec Inscription trims is what you have to fork out for in order to benefit from this plush gearbox. Brand-new they are advertised at around £57,000, which is not bad when you consider its Audi Q7 rival costs £54,000 in its most basic form. With no crystal gear knob in sight!
3. Self-closing doors
We’ve already had self-opening doors, courtesy of Tesla’s signature SUV. But now it’s time for a reverse this – self-closing doors.
Like a lot of the crazy tech listed, this one is standard on one of the most luxurious SUVs on the market, the Range Rover SVAutobiography.
Once you’ve settled down in the individual “executive comfort-plus rear seats” in the back, you can effortlessly close the doors at the push of a button on the centre console. No need to reach out and close them manually, just sit back using the power recline function, stick on the heating (if it’s cold) and let the car do the work.
You’ll be set back £170,000 if you want a brand-new SVAutobiography, but used models are available for around £120,000, should you wish to knock some money off.
2. Champagne flutes
We don’t condone drink driving, so unfortunately this feature will only be enjoyed by your fellow adult passengers, who you would be officially chauffeuring by this point. That being said, often giving back can be the most rewarding gift of all.
The marvellous beast that is the Mercedes S-Class is the car which offers this head-turning item. Not just any version of the car though, but the range-topping Maybach, worth £180,000 brand-new (or around £99,000 used). The name itself is reserved only for standalone luxury Mercs and the inclusion of silver-plated champagne flutes on this member of that clan says it all.
Flip open the centre console and you’ll find the two flutes tucked away neatly within a compartment coated in suede. You even get a mini fridge which will keep your Krug Brut Vintage conveniently chilled.
1. An electric Mustang?
Many petrolheads will be huffing and puffing at the news that Ford has decided to turn its back on the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 which made the Mustang so great. Sure, they compromised it slightly already by sticking the 2.3-litre EcoBoost unit from the Focus RS.
But an electric Mustang? That’s unheard of!
Apparently not, say Ford. The family SUV Mach-E has snippets of its noisy fuel-guzzling relative from the front. You can see its overhanging bonnet with the lines running through that there’s a hint of personality from its former self. It’s just a shame the back doesn’t feature the signature metallic black strip running from one rear light to the other, with a spoiler to top it all off.
However, as crazy as an electric car derived from a model known for muscle sounds, the Mach-E ‘stang has a lot going for it. Notably, you can choose the biggest 99kWh battery with 282bhp and rear-wheel drive, yet still have the best electric range of any SUV. Official WLTP (Wordlwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) figures are expected to be between 260-370 miles on a full charge.
Now you’d be right in thinking we’ve cheated a little bit by listing a car as a ‘crazy feature’. But the Mustang EV doesn’t come without its own.
The standard First Edition with all-wheel-drive has these features as standard.
- Mobile phone key
- Small security keypad in the B-pillar which lets you unlock and start the car using a personalised code
- 15.5″ portrait tablet infotainment touchscreen and 10.2″ digital instrument panel in front of the driver
You won’t be able to visit a standard Ford dealer in order to get your hands on a Mach-E just yet. Instead, orders will need to be placed directly through the manufacturer’s website, with prices starting from around £40,000. But you’ll qualify for the £3,500 government plug-in grant though for EVs, so this price will be more like £36,500.
Do you want to experience driving a car with one of these crazy features? Then compare prices on our latest lease deals to get the best offers on these great models.
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