Top 10 Colani Automobile Designs

German born designer Luigi Colani has been the maverick darling of the automobile and airplane design world for five decades. He designed the first fully plastic car body, which started a love affair with the medium for years to come. His forward-thinking designs always strive to be unique and to counteract the dreariness of mass production. We take a look back at 10 of his most stunning projects.

Pierce Arrow Colani Concept Car

Pierce Arrow Colani Concept Car In 2008 a Swiss company bought up the prestigious Pierce-Arrow brand. The original luxury car company, Pierce-Arrow had provided lavish cars for presidents, royalty and Hollywood stars between 1901 and 1938. Colani designed this beautiful aerodynamic 10 litre, 24 cylinder car for the revived brand in 2008, though it has not gone into production.

1974 Ferrari 365 GTB/4

1974 Ferrari 365 GTB 4 Also known as the Ferrari Daytona, this Gran Turismo automobile was a Colani-designed prototype. Only one was ever built and Colani kept it himself. The car’s front was modified and the hood carried a better-tuned air intake.


Trucks Colani called his 1970s truck prototype designs, “a direct response to the world oil crisis”, for their improved fuel consumption. Indeed, in 1981 the Colani four-seater 2CV set the world record for fuel consumption. The trucks continued to be revisited and redesigned into the 2000s. Their extreme streamlining still looks futuristic to this day.


Motorbikes Colani spent a lot of time trying to perfect the most aerodynamic motorbike. He called such designs ‘biodynamic’. In 1986 Colani’s 320hp Egli-Kawasaki set the 10km flying start speed world record. His motorbikes have been displayed outside the Design Museum in London.

Mobile Home

Colani Mobile Home Based on the ideas that Colani perfected over the years with his streamlined trucks, the humble motorhome was his next project. The eleMMent RV has three different concepts. At $425,000, 38 feet long and 10 tonnes, this is a force to be reckoned with! Two of the vehicles are being used to promote the Russian Winter Olympics in 2014, and there is a strong hope that these motorhomes will go into production.

Horch Mega Roadster

Colani Horch Mega-Roadster The 1996 revival of classic East German Horch automobiles must have been a delight for German-born Colani. These luxury cars dated back to 1899. This version is reputedly worth $2.5 million. The ornament on the bonnet features a beautiful lady, seemingly hanging on for dear life, whilst her weight creates ripples in the metal.

Ferrari Testa d’Oro

Colani Testa d'Oro Based on the famous Ferrari Testarossa, with a twin turbo engine, the Colani Testa d’Oro was designed in 1989 as a land speed record contender for a vehicle with catalytic converters. With 750hp it managed to do just that in 1991, with a record of 218mph. Only 350 were ever built and this breathtaking design fetches £500,000.

Lamborghini Hybrid

Colani Lamborghini Hybrid This 1970 concept had a Lamborghini rear chassis, with a cockpit style front end. Only one was made and after spending four years touring as a show car it seemingly disappeared until a few years ago when the owner put it up for sale on eBay for $75,000, despite quite a lot of damage.


Colani Hovercraft 1978 In 1978 Colani designed a hovercraft, using a Wankel motor, an internal combustion engine which converts energy using a rotating motion. It was small and fast (240hp), and in keeping with Colani’s vision, extremely aerodynamic. Plus it had gull wing doors, which are always ridiculously cool.

Sportscar C112

Colani Sportscar C112 Arguably the most advanced concept for a car, the 1970 Sportscar C112 was so ahead of its time. A precursor to the Lamborghini Diablo perhaps? It’s very rarely you get to see such high concept automobile design at trade shows, let alone the street. What are your favourite Colani pieces? What are your favourite vehicles that never made production? [smartads]

Share this:

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *