Six Wheels and Nuclear Powered: The Forgotten Ford Seattle-ite Concept
Too often, the notion of the “concept car” is watered down by automakers getting their production cars ready for the public. When you see a “production ready concept” like many new Hondas and Acuras, you might say “oh the production car stayed really true to the concept,” but the concept car itself was not nearly daring enough. We need to get back to a time when the concept car meant something. Like in the 1960s. The onset of the jet age in aviation also captured the imagination of the motoring public. A great example of this is the 1962 Ford Seattle-ite XXI; a six-wheeled concept with aspirations that far exceeded the technological capabilities of the time. PHOTOS: See more images of the 2014 Ford Seattle-ite XXI Concept
The Seattle-ite had jaw-dropping lines, but it was the proposed technology under the hood that makes it so special. The designers envisioned the vehicle having computer navigation– even though no such technology would be available in road cars for decades to come.
RELATED: See more images of concept cars on BoldRide!
Designers proposed that the concept would have fuel cells, which would be interchangeable with various types of fuel systems. It was even conceived that it could be nuclear powered!
Many of the ideas surrounding this car are being considered today. The Seattle-ite was designed so that the front section and its 400+ horsepower-engine could be swapped out with a smaller section, with 60 horsepower, for city driving.
PHOTOS: See more of the 2014 BMW i3
Consider the BMW i3. It going to be sold from the dealership as either a fully electric vehicle, or available with an optional range-extender. The range extender is a small (647cc) gas engine from its motorcycle range. This engine would charge the batteries to give the i3 even more range. While we’re not completely to the point of modular engine options, the i3 is a great example of the vision of the Seattle-ite, come to fruition.