10. Lightning McQueen
A racer who also happens to be an anthropomorphic car, Lightning McQueen stars in Pixar’s Cars as the hero racer who dreams of winning the suitably named Piston Cup, a sort of fictional NASCAR series. An eye-catching mix between a Dodge Viper and a Corvette, with a terrific engine to boot, McQueen (aptly named after Steve McQueen, star of classics such as Bullitt) is an iconic racer for kids of all ages.
Also known as the Love Bug, Herbie was the little 1963 VW Beetle that could. Inexplicably having the ability to think like a human and drive faster than racing cars, Herb excited audiences in the sixties and seventies through five feature films and a television series and is best remembered for his iconic blue and red racing stripes and the number 53 painted on his bonnet.
8. Audi RSQ
Blatant product placement aside, this futuristic concept car is gorgeous to look at and later paved the way for the design of the Audi R8. Developed exclusively for use in ‘I, Robot’ (set in 2052) the brief was to create a car that suited Audi’s typical design language, yet would fit into a futuristic setting. It features spherical wheels, a mid-engine design, butterfly-action doors and a colour-changing, luminescent paint job. Despite all this, the RSQ didn’t fair too well against dozens of homicidal robots…
Another talking, thinking car on the list, but the first with an advanced supercomputer under the hood, with artificial intelligence and the first to be driven by David Hasselhoff (poor KITT, clearly not that smart). Featuring heavily in the eighties television classic Knight Rider, KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) was a modified 1982 Pontiac Trans Am and cost the production team $100,000 to build. The crime-fighting car had such classic features as the grappling hook, flamethrower and the indestructible ‘molecular bonded shell’, and with his dry sense of humour and sensitive ego, KITT remains a fan favourite three decades after the show ended. Of the 23 cars that were used for filming, 18 were destroyed and the rests whereabouts remain unknown.
6. Lotus Esprit
The first Bond car on our list, the Esprit was the only Lotus used by 007, but quickly became a classic after appearing in The Spy Who Loved Me, famed for its alternate mode as a submarine. After being accidently lost soon after filming, in a strange turn of fate it was rediscovered in 1989 after a man in New York paid $100 for a storage container and found the vehicle – wheel-less, dented and covered up by blankets. Later re-sold at auction in 2013 for £616,000, the winning bidder is claiming to have plans to make the car fully operational – submarine and all.
5. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Another former racing car whose career ended in a fiery crash, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was bought and renovated by madcap eccentric inventor Caractacus Pott, but the cars characteristic growing accessories were all down to the magical motor itself. Created by Bond author Ian Fleming, Chitty not only had its own theme song, but could float gently across water and conveniently sprout wings and fly, as seen in a bizarre sequence where Potts accidently drives the car off a cliff!Beat that, supercomputer. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson now owns the only road-worthy version that remains, buying it at auction in 2011 for $805,000.
4. Optimus Prime/Peterbilt 379
OK, not strictly a car, but there’s not many things cooler than a 32-foot alien robot who can transform into an 18-wheeler truck and a moment’s notice. Optimus started life as a Japanese toy but has now been transformed (pun intended) into an action hero in the Transformers’ films of the late noughties. They have their critics, but no-one can deny the spectacular special effects that brought Prime and his fellow Cybertronian’s to life. Noble hero and leader of the Autobots, Optimus not only saves the Earth time and time again from the evil Decepticons, but also rocks that red and blue flamed exterior that looks so majestic yet imposing.
3. DeLorean DMC-12
Believe it or not, the DMC-12 is the only car ever produced by the DeLorean Motor Company. It is also the only time machine in our list. Despite the huge publicity gained from the Back to the Future trilogy, the company went into liquidation as the US car market slumped in the late eighties. Invented by another eccentric inventor (seems we have a theme running here) in the shape of Doc Brown, the DeLorean was powered by plutonium and travelled via the exotic sounding flux capacitor. Around 6,500 cars are believed to still be in existence, but if you get your hands on one you’ll be disappointed to hear that you don’t travel to outlandish visions of the past or future if you hit 88mph… Delorean
2. Aston Martin DB5
The second Bond car on our list, and also ranking first in our countdown– could it really have been anything else? A dream car for many petrol-heads, the DB5 is not only an icon for Bond, but for both the automotive and film industries. Featuring the now classic spy movie gadgets like the infamous ejector seat, smoke screen, revolving number plate and front wing machine guns, this is the Bond car to end all Bond cars. The actual vehicle used in Goldfinger, working gadgets and all, was auctioned off in 2010 for an incredible £2.6 million. Just don’t press the red button…
1. The Batmobile
Undoubtedly one of, if not the coolest car of all time, full of all sorts of ingenious gadgets that Bruce Wayne can get his hands on. After all, the billionaire does have an impressive budget to play with. Which version of the Batmobile remains your favourite (and there are many incarnations) depends on which era you grew up and many have been typically fashioned with bat style motifs. Our favourite is the one used from Batman Begins onwards, known as the Tumbler. With many similarities to a tank, at its heart was a 5.7 litre V8 engine and is actually totally functional as a vehicle. Best of all, the Tumbler did all its own stunts and contained an in-car motorbike for handy getaways.