Fiction is filled with some of the most awesome cars and motorcycles ever seen. Whether they are grounded in the past or part of a far-flung future, these vehicles inspire envy and flights of fancy in the die hard fans left in their super sonic wakes.
From suped-up takes on real world vehicles to brand new ideas only possible on screen or page, these cars and motorcycles have made a lasting impression on fans. In fact, some may even be more memorable than the stories they were in.
These are the 15 best cars and motorcycles to ever be part of fiction. Some are insanely cool. Others are just plain weird. In either case, these high-powered vehicles rule!
A couple of ground rules before we begin. No Transformers are on the list, they have an unfair advantage! Look for an exclusive Transformers list coming soon since Age of Extinction is coming to theaters. Also, this is strictly automobiles, so if it can travel into space, it’s a spaceship and therefore disqualified.
15. Spider-Mobile – Spider-Man
Possibly the most unnecessary vehicle of all time? Why would Spider-Man of all people need a car? Or more specifically a dune buggy? Sure, this thing can drive up walls, but Spidey can do that by himself and can swing along just as fast as any car. It didn’t last long, thankfully. But it left an impression! It was brought back in writer Mark Millar’s dytopian future tale “Old Man Logan,” where an old Wolverine and Hawkeye travel across the supervillain-controlled United States in it. And it actually served a purpose that time!
Best Feature: The ability to drive up walls, which also makes it completely useless for Spider-Man. Give to any other hero and this thing would be awesome!
14. The Lawmaster – Judge Dredd
This deadly beast of a motorcycle is the best thing to bring brutal justice to the mean streets of Mega City 1. Breakneck speed and hairpin turning are fantastic features, but the real point of the Lawmaster is cavalcade of weapons stored within. Guns, bombs, and more make this one of fiction’s most intimidating motorcycles.
Best Feature: There seems to be no end to the amount of artillery stuffed into the Lawmaster, but its twin machineguns are the bread and butter. If bread and butter could turn scum into a fine pink mist on the road.
13. Mach Five – Speed Racer
Possible more iconic than the series itself, the Mach Five is the ultimate in high speed racing. Not only does its huge speed and light weight allow Speed Racer to compete with the best of the best, but it’s also equipped with seven mechanisms to battle other racers. Buttons A – G on the steering wheel jack up the car, create special traction, start up rotary saws, deploy a bullet-proof deflector, illuminate ultra-bright headlights, allow the vehicle to go underwater, and release a homing robot bird. Neato!
Best Feature: So many features, so many choices. But the auto jack may be the most useful. Deployed at just the right moment, Speed can get the Mach Five to jump, clearing big distances and helping to pull out the win at the last possible second.
12. The Kart – Mario Kart
Mario Kart may have gone through countless iterations, each adding new flairs and different types of vehicles, but nothing can beat the kart. This is the reason why the series has lasted so long! It’s strong, stable, and fast – perfect for any course the series throws at gamers.
Best Feature: The spiked Koopa shell: targeting whoever is in first place and near impossible to escape, it’s the perfect way to change the race completely and make your friends’ heads explode from anger.
11. Knight Bus – Harry Potter
One of the oddest addition to the world of Harry Potter is also one of its most memorable. Harry’s unexpected spin on the Knight Bus at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkabanhelps to show that there is a whole undiscovered world of wizardry waiting to be found by the protagonist and the reader. Any wayward witch or wizard can find their way with the Knight Bus.
Best Feature: A seemingly immovable center of gravity. No matter how fast and how tight this triple decker bus turns, nothing can topple it over. It especially comes in handy when avoiding muggles on the road.
10. Herbie the Love Bug
They don’t come any cuter than Herbie! This intelligent Volkswagen is smarter than friend and foe alike. There’s no explanation for Hrrbie’s intelligence, it’s just accepted. This was the ’60s, it was a simple time! Whether he’s in a race or on vacation, Herbie knows how to turn heads and save the day!
Best Feature: Since Herbie can think for himself, he’s the ultimate racer! Just sit back and let the car take its own wheel, knowing just when to shift, brake, and accelerate, Herbie can’t be beat on the race track or street.
9. V8 Interceptor – Mad Max
Also known as the Pursuit Special, Mad Max Rockatansky’s V8 Interceptor almost feels like it is fueled by pure rage. In a future wasteland ruled by whoever has the best vehicle, the Interceptor is the perfect way for Mad Max to bring down his vengeance on anyone who gets in his way. Pure black with an enormous engine, this thing is classically awesome.
Best Feature: That giant, jaw-dropping engine sticking out of the hood is what the Interceptor is all about. If this thing had any more power, it would fly right off the road! It doesn’t matter what car or motorcycle a criminal may be trying to get away in, they can’t escape Mad Max and his Interceptor.
8. The Magic School Bus
A deus ex machina on four wheels, the Magic School Bus can be anything, do anything, and go anywhere. It can turn into a spaceship, surfboard, and anything else Ms. Frizzle can think of in order to simultaneously torture and educate her unsuspecting students. Just open your mind and get ready for adventure!
Best Feature: Since this is practically an infinite Swiss Army knife, it’s hard to pin down a single greatest piece to the puzzle. But getting tiny and going inside Ralphie has to be a highlight.
7. Catbus – My Neighbor Totoro
Just when My Neighbor Totoro seems like it couldn’t get any weirder, in prowls the Catbus. It’s an enormous cat that acts like a bus. It goes anywhere you want to go and helps to find lost sisters! So it’s usefulness makes it’s strangeness all the better.
Best Feature: With caterpillar-like legs and all the agility of a giant cat, this thing is crazy fast. Wherever you want to go, the Catbus will take you there in record time! Just hold on and be okay with the fact that you are inside an enormous feline.
6. Ecto-1 – Ghostbusters
While the Ecto-1 is probably the least spectacular or all these vehicles, it makes busting ghosts as stylish as possible. This old hearse started out as a rusty buckets of bolts. But throw on a fresh coat of paint, a swanky siren, and a bunch of newfangled gear, and this is the perfect transport for the Ghostbusters.
Best Feature: It has to be the old school wailing siren that lets New Yorkers and ghosts both know that the Ghostbusters are on their way!
5. Aston Martin DB5 – James Bond
No car in the entire James Bond series can beat the classic Aston Martin DB5. Not only is its look iconic, but it is filled with cool but not over the top gadgets, unlike the worst James Bond cars. This thing looks great in any decade. No wonder they brought it back for Skyfall.
Best Feature: The pop-out machine guns behind the front indicators. What once looked like a regular extremely cool car suddenly becomes a deadly super cool car!
4. Spinner – Blade Runner
I don’t think that flying cars will be ready by 2019, but a guy can hope! The vibrant world brought to life by director Ridley Scott in Blade Runner greatly benefits from the myriad of vehicles flying through its smoggy skies. These things more than make up for the dismal and depressing world of the future.
Best Feature: The way that every Spinner seems to create a lens flare, no matter where it is in frame. And in a cool way, too. Not in a lame, blinding fashion like a J.J. Abrams movie.
3. Batmobile – Batman
No vehicle on this list, or anywhere in fiction or reality, has had as many iterations as the Batmobile. Like The Dark Knight himself, this vehicle is constantly reinvented. From the gadget-filled red-trimmed vehicle in the ’66 series to the sleek finned look in Tim Burton’s Batman to the rugged real world Tumbler of Batman Begins, the Batmobile is almost always a highlight of The Caped Crusader’s stories. For more on Batman’s sweet ride, read The Batmobile on the Big and Small Screen Part 1 and Part 2.
Best Feature: It really varies from vehicle to vehicle, but every Batmobile needs to be extremely fast. The Batman may not be able to be everywhere at once, but the Batmobile sure makes it seem that way to cowardly and superstitious criminals.
2. Light Cycle – Tron
In a dazzling world of lights and atmosphere, the Light Cycle stands out as the most memorable piece of The Grid. Whether it’s in the arena or on the streets, the Light Cycle is an inseparable part of the world of Tron. Speeding along on ribbons of light, these cycles are sleeker than anything possible in the real world. While these were pretty memorable in the original Tron, they received a major upgrade in Tron: Legacy, turning into agile glowing rockets that weren’t confined to straight lines. If only these were real!
Best Feature: The glowing hard light walls that it leaves in its wake. Creating a maze-like corridor behind you is the perfect way to explode and derezz your opponents or any pecky CPU chasing you through The Grid.
1. DeLorean Time Machine – Back to the Future
No vehicle can match the DeLorean on screen. It’s awesome looking, plays a major part in every story, and has the best power ever – it’s practically a character itself! Combine an awesomely unique real life car with one of the most iconic sci-fi concepts of all time and you have the coolest car ever seen on screen. Whether it’s the ’80s, ’50s, 2000s, or 1880s, the DeLorean always stands out. The DeLorean’s metalic frame, gull-wing doors, and slick profile make it instantly recognizable. Throw in the jet boosters on the back, the Mr. Fusion from the future, and the Flux Capacitor and Doctor Emmett Brown’s time machine is a car for the ages.
Best Feature: It’s a toss up between time travel and flight. But in the end, time travel wins! The extra-awesome flame trails that the DeLorean leaves in its wake when zipping through time only makes it cooler.