When we think about automobile technology these days, we discuss self-driving cars and electrical hybrids. 100+ years in the past, the Cadillac Type 53 had people’s jaws dropping because it was the first car that had an electric starter to jump start one of the earliest V8 car engines ever made. Stay with us as we take you through a brief and interesting journey through the decades to explore some of the most technologically advanced vehicles in this article on 3 cars ahead of their time.

3 Cars Ahead of their Time

Citroën DS (1955 – 75)

Lovingly and quite rightly nicknamed the Gallic Starship, the Citroën DS and the comparatively affordable Citroën ID were truly ahead of their time in design and technology. Not only did the core model look like cars seen only in sci-fi, futuristic movies of the time, but it was technologically advanced enough to do justice to those indications as well.

We have pointed out some of Citroën’s most astounding technological achievements that they manged to successfully introduce with the DS/ID next to help you understand why the executive car was considered to be years ahead of its time:

  • Citroën introduced hydropneumatics – a self-levelling suspension system – to the world with the DS
  • It was the world’s first car in mass production to sport disc brakes
  • Series 3 Editions (1967) came with directional headlights, which was also a novelty for mass-produced cars at the time

As a collector, you should be able to find one of the 70s models for anything between £20,000 – £25,000 even today. On the other hand, if you are looking to buy something a little more practical at a fraction of that price, contact Rosewood Car Sales to find options, financing, and suggestions regarding used cars in excellent condition selling near you.

Porsche 959 (1986 – 93)

The Porsche 959 was not just ahead of other contemporary sports cars in terms of consumer grade technology; at 339 km/h or 211 mph, it was quite simply the fastest street-legal car to have ever been manufactured up until that time. From aerodynamics to engine, the Porsche 959 was so ahead of its time that the model is widely held as the pioneer for all future street-legal sports cars in general and irrespective of branding.

McLaren F1 (1992 – 98)

Powered by a modified BMW S70/2 V12 engine, the McLaren F1 still enjoys titles such as “the greatest automotive achievement of all time,” and “The greatest automobile ever created.” The McLaren F1 XP5 (prototype) also became the fastest car to have ever been mass produced (street-legal) until that time after reaching a top speed of 386.4 km/h or 240.1 mph in 1998. Only 106 McLaren F1s have been manufactured between 1992 and 1998, but here’s the most interesting bit; each of those 106 units are marginally unique in design from the other 105 units.

These were only a few important examples of course, as there are plenty of others that could stretch this list beyond its current scope. Nevertheless, the Chevrolet Volt’s pioneering step into electric drivetrain and fuel engine hybrid technology for the masses in 2010 deserves a special mention on this list.