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Meet the next generation of movie cars, from vampire airships to magical cats

Meet the next generation of movie cars, from vampire airships to magical cats (photo)

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Sure, Hollywood is built on the backs of its major stars and directors, but their transportation is often as memorable as their characters. From James Bond’s Aston Martins to Bruce Wayne’s iconic Batmobile, audiences have been forever fascinated with cinema automobiles.

With all that in mind, the organizers behind this year’s L.A. Auto Show asked vehicle manufacturers to envision a brand new movie car and its fictional backstory. The resulting designs and origin tales are as good as anything from the studios. Check them out below (descriptions and photos are provided by the automakers).


Honda IH (Intelligent Horse)

Honda takes us hundreds of years into the future to a world disrupted by the impact of a gigantic comet. The resulting heat and drought have wiped out technology, infrastructure and life as we know it, making it imperative for the few remaining survivors to recover faster than any human generation before. The few scientists have created a vehicle that serves as a companion and protector in the inhospitable and lonely environment. Their inspiration – the legend and material remains of an ancient creature called the horse.

A masterpiece of technology, the Honda IH symbolizes a breakthrough in terms of mobility and companionship in an inhumane, hot, dry and dangerous environment. The vehicle takes advantage of three key elements which will emerge in the near future: local production, artificial intelligence and additive technology. The vehicle uses the efficient, lightweight, strong, and functional characteristics of bones for its inspiration. A.I. technology and nanotechnology gives everybody the power to produce material resources and parts for the vehicle locally. Additive technology is a revolutionary attempt to produce very small or especially very large parts in a more efficient way to save weight and resources while improving the strength and flexibility of the product. The IH vehicle combines both the character and simplicity of a horse with the latest structural, safety and technological innovation.

At High Noon the dangerous environment is apparent when there is a showdown between IH’s competing for fuel and other resources. The most creative will prevail.

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Mercedes Silver Arrow

In homage to 125 years of automotive innovation and design excellence, Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America features a story with two techno characters that have achieved a unique harmony between safety and style; the iconic Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow racecar, and the underappreciated ‘Crash test dummy.’

In a futuristic society of increased artificial intelligence, two enlightened crash test mannequins, Hans05 and Franz02, show that they’re no dummies when it comes to recognizing a potential catastrophe and decide to take matters into their own hands. As the evil battering ram Dr. Crash-Barrier seeks to continue his reign of terror and mayhem, the two heroes take action to save their beloved Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow. They lead the relentless ‘Dr. Barrier’ on an action packed thrill ride through the past and future of transportation.

A long-slung, sculpture on wheels – actually on ‘Hoops’ – the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow has proportions reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz W125 series, a Silberpfeil racecar of the late 1930’s and the Uhlenhaut SLR from the 50’s. The overall shape follows distinguished Mercedes-Benz design traditions and is born from a dominant Formula 1 racing legacy. It also features a diagonally configured, hub-less roller track for ‘Omni-Directional’ maneuvering.

Brought to you by the creators of ‘Biome, a car grown from trees’, this epic adventure has it all, including a surprise ending that will have audiences cheering as our reluctant heroes save the day with a little old- school subterfuge and help from the great tradition of the Mercedes-Benz automobiles.

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Smart 341 Parkour

In a world of continuous change, in Cantpark City, reporter Annie Angle is beginning a new chapter in her life. Cantpark City is famous for its friendly people, the beautiful weather, but notoriously known for a lack of parking spaces. On an early Sunday morning, an article in a newspaper catches Annie’s eyes… “Smart Granny Robots missing!!!”

Annie sets off on a journey to solve the mystery of the missing Grannies and to earn her first, potentially career-making, front page news article. Her Smart 341 Parkour vehicle plays a key role in this private investigation, providing both effective transportation and favourable sleuthing capabilities.

Several features enable her to take pictures from the best possible locations. The large greenhouse gives Annie 360 degrees of visibility while travelling through the inner city. The wheels are retractable and contain impulse pads and vacuum cups. The hexagon skin around the wheelhouse is adjustable to release the wheels. The Smart has different modes: a typical drive mode, a fly mode that allows the vehicle to hover far above the streets and a climb mode that allows the vehicle to run up the walls of skyscrapers.

Follow Annie’s investigative search in Smart’s “Annie get the Grannies!” this November.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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