Have you ever wondered where car engineers get their ideas? With such a high level of competition in the car industry, there’s no shortage of out-of-the box thinking needed.
The result of this creative thinking has produced some outlandish and unconventional sources, such as animals. Birds, fish and other types of animals have amazing agility, speed and motor skills, so researching how they operate can help designers create smarter vehicles. Consider the following animal-inspired cars:
Created by designer Paul Hanna, who was inspired by marine life like the sting ray, the Energo Racer runs on multiple types of fuel alternatives. It’s built for speed since it only measures 22 feet long and 8 feet wide. Unfortunately, this leaves little room for a passenger or even groceries. But, if you’re into speed and alternative power sources, this car runs on hydrogen, solar and electric energy. Plus, it kind of looks like a cooler version of the Batmobile.
Designed to look like a fish swimming through the water, the Boxfish has a very unique shape. The main goal is to be as aerodynamic as possible to reduce drag and increase fuel economy, which this car more than achieves. Designers achieved this goal because it has one of the lowest drag rates of tested cars. As a bonus, it has less impact on the environment. Even if it is a bit too modern for most individuals’ tastes, the engineers were probably going for function over style due to its boxy shape.
The McLaren P1
The McLaren P1 was created with inspiration from a sailfish, specifically its skin. After studying these fast-swimming fish, researchers noticed the sailfish’s skin moves in a way that allows it to have almost no drag. They then applied this scaled texture technique to the inside of the car ducts, which dramatically improved the car’s airflow and horsepower. So, if you’re into fishing and driving fast cars, you’ll want to check this one out.
Probably one of the most uniquely designed cars inspired by nature on our list, the Scarab-E was made in the likeness of a scarab beetle. Its sleek design focuses on consuming harmful rays of sun and energy to protect its passengers. The tires also are thinner so friction on the street is decreased, and the light-weight magnesium body offers maximum aerodynamics. The only thing I wonder is how the car will take speed bumps and if it will break in half if you go up or down a big hill.
Made to resemble a frill-necked lizard that spreads its skin to cool off in the desert, the Helios is quite a unique off-road vehicle. The solar panel wings can be opened up to soak in the sun’s energy, which provides enough fuel for the car to run on. When in use, it turns into a powerful and totally normal-looking recreational vehicle.
Nature has had millions of years to evolve in design and function, so it’s no wonder vehicle manufacturers and car engineers are looking to it for inspiration. However, as far as the actual function and use of these cars goes on a daily basis, the jury’s still out. But, we’ve come a long way.