25 Strangest Car Features Ever Designed

When it comes to choosing the right car for yourself, there are a number of factors that usually come into play. For starters, there’s reliability. Simply put, you want to be sure that the car you buy will perform as expected. At the same time, you also hope that your car won’t end up costing you a lot in maintenance.

In addition, there is also the concern of fuel efficiency. A study that was recently conducted by Simon Fraser University and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy for the Consumers Union found that car buyers highly value fuel economy. In fact, the research indicated that people are willing to pay as much as $10,730 more for a new car if it would help them save up to $1,000 in fuel each year. Following this finding, study co-author Christine Kormos also remarked, “It does suggest that there is something else going on there beyond pure economic rationality, that there is some other intangible benefit that consumers perceive to be associated with fuel economy,”

Without a doubt, fuel economy is absolutely important. But this and reliability are not the only factors that car buyers think about. For one thing, these buyers also consider the car’s price. This is especially true if they are determined to stay within a certain budget for the car they are buying.

Meanwhile, another important factor is the car's features. These include features that are intended for comfort, convenience, driver assistance, and safety. Over the years, a lot of helpful technologies have emerged. On the other hand, there are also some features that may be helpful, but slightly weird. Not sure what we mean? Just look at some of the weirdest car features that we have found on cars.

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25 Top Speed Key

via bugatti.com

Supercars are typically designed to be driven at crazy speeds. And for a Bugatti car, crazier top speeds can only be achieved if you have the right access. This is why its models come with a top speed key. When used, it unlocks a higher top speed for the car. According to a report from Road and Track, the Bugatti Chiron comes with a current limited top speed of 236 mph. When you use the Top Speed key though, the top speed becomes 261 mph.

24 Jump Seat

via eurocarnews.com

Especially, if you fly for work or leisure often, you may have noticed that planes are equipped with several jump seats. Basically, this is an extra seat that can readily fold back when it is not in use. Believe it or not, there are certain car models that also come fitted with a jump seat. According to a report from Jalopnik, a jump seat has been available in the Audi A8. Overall, the car’s interior was quite spacious and so it had enough space to put in a seat like this.

23 Ice Maker

via pinterest.com

Back in the 1980s, Toyota introduced a car called the Van. It was marketed as the ultimate vehicle for the family. It was large and it could accommodate several passengers. However, according to a report from Popular Mechanics, the Van was powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that could only crank out 90 horsepower. Nonetheless, Toyota felt that it was a perfect car for families because it came with its very own ice maker. It was only the size of a shoebox, but it came with some ice trays.

22 Door Umbrellas

via titansauthenticshop.com

Rolls-Royce has always been known for high-end luxury. And so, it should come as no surprise to learn that the automaker had umbrellas fitted right into a slot located in their vehicles' doors. According to a report from Jalopnik, the company takes immense pride in these umbrellas. In fact, they are even seen as a “hallmark” feature. In addition, the umbrellas they use are nothing like your typical umbrellas. For starters, they reportedly cost a hefty $700 each. And when you buy a Rolls-Royce for almost $500,000, you can expect to find two of them in the car.

21 Motorized Cup Holders

via youtube.com, Paul-Richard GM Center 765-327-4198 Channel

Admit it. You are fond of your car’s cup holders. After all, how else can you drive around safely with a steaming cup of coffee? Well, for certain carmakers, a typical cup holder is not good enough. Instead, something should move too. According to a press release from Cadillac, its 2014 CTS Sedan came with a “motorized cup holder lid in the center console.” Based on a video posted online by Derek Shiekhi, it doesn’t appear that the cup holders themselves are moving. Instead, the leather cover on the cup holders would move to reveal the slots.

20 Highway Hi-Fi

via reddit.com

No, we are not talking about Wi-Fi. In fact, the highway Hi-Fi doesn’t even have anything to do with connecting to the internet. The highway Hi-Fi feature was promoted back in the 1950s by Chrysler. Basically, this feature is similar to the CD player that we still see in cars today. Instead of CDs though, the highway Hi-Fi would play vinyl records in a player that was installed under the dash. Unfortunately, the system could only play discs manufactured by CBS. According to a report from Road Kill, the Highway Hi-Fi feature was only available for three years.

19 Gentleman Function

via jalopnik.com

A feature called the “Gentleman Function” certainly sounds intriguing and regal. And apparently, it’s designed to make any man driving a BMW look like a real…well, like a gentleman. According to a report from Road and Track, the way this feature works is pretty simple. When accessed by clicking BMW’s iDrive controller, the driver can readily adjust the front passenger seat without standing up and doing it manually. Because of this, they can give the front passenger more legroom in an instant. Now, that would certainly score points on a date.

18 Bolt-In Bed Seats

via thepetrolshop.com

Without a doubt, a pickup truck is one of the most useful car types around. For starters, it can be used to haul a lot of bulky stuff around. At the same time, certain truck models are also capable of towing something as large as a boat. Meanwhile, trucks are also known to perform well in off-road situations. For these reasons and more, people enjoy going out with their trucks. In fact, so much so that certain truck models already came with bolt-in seats in the cargo bed. You can sit here, enjoy a cold drink, and watch the stars.

17 Granite Trim

via autocosmos.com

Nowadays, there are a lot of trim options that you can readily order for the interior of your car. For instance, you can have elegant wood trim option that goes especially well with leather seats. Meanwhile, there are also plenty of models with a trim option for carbon fiber. On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz decided to take things one step further by offering a granite trim. According to a report from The Hog Ring, this had been part of the company’s Designo bespoke program. For this, they reportedly charged $2,650.

16 Rising Gear Knob

via youtube.com, Land Rover USA Channel

Sometimes, awesome car features are not exactly essential. Instead, they’re just cool. This is exactly the case when it comes to the rising gear knob. This feature has been offered on the Jaguar XJ, as well as on other Jaguar models. Based on a video demonstration by Uygar Kilic, the gear knob will only go up and reveal itself after you have started the engine. Basically, you get a start-up ballet. And as the gear knob comes up, a screen also comes on in front of you.

15 Headlight Wiper

via yourmechanic.com

Anytime that you’re driving in the rain, wipers tend to be very helpful. In this case, however, we are referring to the wipers that can be found on your car’s windshield. Apparently, some carmakers have thought it would also be great if the headlights get their own wipers too. This might not exactly be the most practical car feature to have around, but it can be helpful for when you drive through certain places. Specifically, those that are surrounded by mud, especially when driving at night or in fog.

14 Onboard Scooter

via legendarylist.com

For certain carmakers, it is important to emphasize that a car model is intended for fun. Case in point is the Honda City, which once came with an onboard minibike. The Honda City was once marketed as a small hatchback that would be easy to park just about anywhere in a crowded city. For some reason, Honda decided it would be nice to also equip the car with another small mode of transportation. It was known the Honda Motocompo, a scooter that could churn out 2.5 horsepower, according to a report from Road Kill.

13 Onboard Work Station

via usatoday.com

Especially when you live in the city, work life can be intense and pretty stressful. And the key to getting ahead is to get things done as early as possible. To help people with that, certain luxury companies have decided to equip their cars with onboard workstations. According to a report from Jalopnik, Bentley had offered a set of iPads, keyboards, and 12-inch drop-down screens in the Mulsanne. And if you wanted to enjoy all of it, you just have to be willing to pay $32,000.

12 Built-In Booster Seats

via youtube.com, Park Place Dealerships Channel

Especially if you have children, buying booster seats for your car and installing them one by one can be a real nightmare. Not to mention, the whole process takes a lot of time, something that most mothers don’t usually have a lot of. Hence, it was pretty cool to find out that certain carmakers have decided to offer built-in booster seats already. According to a report from Jalopnik, Chrysler was the first to introduce this feature during the early-1990s. More recently, Volvo has also been offering the featuer, too.

11 Pedestrian Airbags

via motorbox.com

In the case of a collision, airbags are quite helpful. In the event of a crash, an airbag would deploy and instantly increase the cushioning around your head, neck, and spine. At the same time, they also decrease the risk that a victim would be ejected from the car upon impact. For all these reasons and more, airbags have become a standard feature in cars. Aside from the standard airbags, though, some carmakers have also started to equip models with pedestrian airbags. In fact, they have already been found in certain Volvo and Land Rover models, according to Jalopnik.

10 Extra Brake Light

via twitter.com

Often times, when you are driving on an open road, the only indication that a car ahead of you is stopped is their brake light. Typically, there is a brake light on either side of the car. This helps ensure that the braking car would be visible to any driver behind the vehicle. On the other hand, some car makers have decided to take brake lights one step further by adding an extra brake light to the car. Hence, when the car brakes, its logo would illuminate too.

9 Drowsiness Detector

via mycardoeswhat.org

Unfortunately, a lot of drivers hit the road despite sleepiness and fatigue. And when this happens, danger is almost imminent. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 72,000 crashes were due to drowsy driving in the U.S. back in 2013. This resulted in 44,000 injuries and 800 fatalities. To combat these effects, some carmakers have introduced a drowsiness detector. According to My Car Does What, the system uses sensors to see if you are veering off your lane or suddenly driving unusually. When this happens, the car would issue a driver alert in the form of a coffee cup icon.

8 Heartbeat Sensor

via netcarshow.com

Especially when your car is alone in the parking garage and it’s the middle of the night, it’s hard not to feel suspicious of your surroundings. Unfortunately, in some cases, suspicions are not wrong. In fact, there are some drivers who get in their car, only to find out that someone was else had been lying in wait inside. Fortunately, this situation can be readily avoided with the help of a heartbeat sensor feature. As explained in a commercial for the Volvo S80, you will receive an advance warning from your personal car communicator if there is anyone hiding in the backseat.

7 Door Control Screen

via evobsession.com

Especially when you are in such a rush, making sure that all doors have been properly closed can be a serious waste of time. To make life easier, Tesla decided to introduce a door control system into its onboard interface. Said feature is available in the Model X, the Tesla SUV that comes with falcon doors. Accessing the screen near the steering wheel, you can go to the door system and use it to open and close both driver and passenger doors. Pretty cool indeed.

6 Gas Tank Locator

via expansion.mx

It’s probably happened to you more than you care to admit. One day, you were driving around and you glimpsed briefly at the fuel gauge. It turns out that you’re quite low on fuel and decided to stop somewhere to fill up. When you get to the gas station, however, you can’t seem to instantly remember which side of the car the gas tank is located. Fortunately, certain car models now come with a gas tank locator which displays in the form of an illuminated arrow. As you might guess, it would point left or right, depending on where your gas tank is.

5 Frost Warning Light

via m.post.naver.com

Especially during the winter time, driving can be a real challenge due to ice buildup that can make the roads slippery. Because of this, accidents tend to happen. In fact, according to Safe Winter Roads, as many as 76,000 people get injured due to snowfall causing vehicle crashes each year. To help prevent more winter road incidents in the future, some carmakers have decided to include a frost warning light in the car. According to Your Mechanic, this light comes on the moment the outside air starts to reach freezing temperatures.

4 Emergency Entry System

via megzuri.com

In case you haven’t noticed, the Tesla Roadster is one car that does not come with door handles. After all, the car is too cool for those. And so Tesla decided that entry into the roadster would have to be via an electronic system. This system would work fine so long as the batteries are charged and working. However, when the batteries are dead, entry into the can be rather difficult. Hence, the car also comes with an emergency entry system. According to a report from Auto Trader, this is a keyhole under the door on the car’s rocker panel.

3 Leather Event Seats

via bentleymotor.com

Even luxury carmakers understand that there are times when you may want to have some fun. That’s precisely why a company like Bentley has also anticipated your tailgating needs and decided to add event seats in the back of its Bentayaga. The Bentayaga is a handsome SUV. It’s sleek and can zoom from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just four seconds. It also has an incredible range of comfort and convenience features. According to a report from Auto Trader, there is an option for a quilted leather event seat that unfolds from the tailgate.

2 Perfume Dispenser

via primemotorcars.com

If you are the type of car owner who likes to smell really nice all the time, then you will certainly appreciate this feature. That’s precisely why Mercedes-Benz has been determined to make sure that it could develop a successful perfume dispenser for its car buyers. For the carmaker, the idea is to introduce customers to the idea of an “automotive room scent.” Here, you have several scent choices, including Fireside Mood, Sports Mood, Downtown Mood, and Nightlife Mood. Just so you know, the standard scent is Fireside and it’s got a citrus smell.

1 Starlight Ceiling

via motortrend.com

For luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce, there is absolutely nothing wrong with driving under the stars. They even encourage it, so much so that there is an option for you to get a starlight headliner feature for your car. As Rolls-Royce explained, “The Starlight Headliner’s unique effect is achieved by fitting delicate fiber optic strands at varying depths and at different angles – to cause light to escape in multiple directions and at different intensities.” In case you’re wondering, adding a starlight headliner to your Rolls-Royce costs $12,925.

Sources: Consumer Union, Jalopnik, My Car Does What, and Your Mechanic.

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