Opinion : Three unique cinematic inspirations for car designs

Image: Pexels
Image: Pexels

Inspiration can strike at any time and can come from anywhere — be it nature, our environment, or the people around us. This is also true in the automobile industry. Now, many of you would be surprised to know that some of the most iconic and popular car designs in the world have some pretty unique sources of inspiration, like pop culture characters. To prove this point, we’ve put together a list of three unique car designs that draw inspiration from the most unexpected cinematic places.

Hyundai Kona Iron Man Edition (2019)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the most successful film franchises of all time. True enough, Time explains that the Marvel movies have made billions at the global box office. This is why it isn’t at all surprising to see its influence cross over into other areas outside of the movies.

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One of the best examples of this is the 2019 Hyundai Kona Iron Man Edition. The Hyundai Kona Iron Man Edition features unique LED lighting designed to look like Iron Man’s mask. The car also has the Iron Man logos on the front fender, as well as the Stark Industries decals on the front bumper and rear liftgate door. To really hammer down the Iron Man inspiration, the car also features an image of a giant Iron Man mask on its roof.

Ford Mustang (2018)

Star Wars and cars have always had a unique relationship. Fans of the films have famously gone out of their way to customise their cars to pay homage to the popular franchise. What makes this instance different is that a major car manufacturer actually incorporated Star Wars into the design of their car.

The 2018 Ford Mustang was inspired by Darth Vader’s helmet and mask, as Ford wanted to give the car an aggressive look. Darth Vader’s popularity is actually pretty interesting. In fact, an article by Gala Bingo details how Darth Vader only had a limited amount of screen time in the original trilogy, despite being one of the most iconic characters ever created. The Darth Vader inspiration is most evident in the 2018 Mustang’s fog lamp scoops and front-end shape, as they were made to look like the angled nostrils and contours of Darth Vader’s mask.

Vision AVTR

When it comes to unique inspirations for car designs, it’s hard to beat Mercedes-Benz’s Avatar-inspired electric vehicle. Inspired by James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster film Avatar, the Vision AVTR incorporates the look of the Na’vi alien race. The car is also outfitted with ‘bionic flaps’ that emulate the creatures from Avatar.

Aside from the aesthetics of the car, the Vision AVTR also incorporates the Na’vi’s merging abilities by making use of a multifunctional control element instead of a steering wheel. The car also detects the heartbeat and breathing of the driver using this same multifunctional control element.

Keith Adams


  1. Sorry to be a wet blanket and a stick in the mud, but none of these designs does much for me. They and most other designs from this century sacrifice nice looks in the relentless quest for better aerodynamics…whilst bombarding us with ugly offerings that tend to look like the back of a lorry. The end result is vehicles that are sterile, insipid, uninspiring, ugly, or non-descript. They wind up looking like shoes, irons for ironing clothes, Klingon spaceships, or Darth Vader’s helmet! I know that some people will vehemently disagree and that some younger ones think that modern offerings are sometimes a sight to behold. However, I will take a 1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, or a 1966 Austin-Healey 3000, or a 1968 Ferrari 365 GTS, or an E Type, or an Aston-Martin DB-4/5 anytime over modern designs. To each his own, I suppose.

  2. I’m fascinated by the female voice doing the commentary on the Mustang item. She sounds bored, uninterested, and zombie-like. I suspect it’s not a real person, probably an AI. But it’s completely off-putting.

  3. Lawrence – spot on, so that makes me a wet blanket and stick in the mud too! Perhaps it’s a generation thing. I’d have to add the 1960’s Alvis TC21 and the 1950 Austin Jensen bodied sports to your list!

    • Wolseley Man : Do you mean TC – which was 1950s – or were you intending to write TD/TE/TF – which IMHO look beautiful from the front and side, but are rather more questionable from the rear, particularly in DHC form?

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