There are plenty of cool cars that are just too expensive for most people to even think about buying, but sometimes the really cool cars are the ones that aren't even quite ready to be sold (Tesla SUV, anyone?). Gull wing doors and exotic metal alloys are usually the key parts of concept vehicles and prototype cars. Here are just a couple cars you might have seen and a prediction of what we'll all be driving in the next few decades.
Notcot has this neat story about how some engineers are prototyping the idea of taking the regenerative braking system of the Toyota Prius, which effectively turns the "friction" into usable energy, rather than wasted energy, and using it in other contexts, such as to power a roller coaster. The general concept came from a program Toyota put together called "Ideas for Good," and one part of that included a commercial, where someone made the suggestion to power an amusement park with such a system. You can see that commercial here:
That resulted in Toyota teaming up with Deeplocal to build a prototype system of a Prius coaster car that captures energy via the braking system. You can see the short video that shows the results (and some of the process) below:
And back at the Notcot post there are a bunch of photos of the project as well. Here's just one to whet your appetite:
To be honest, I was a little disappointed in the results. I recognize this is more proof of concept, but I'd really like to see something like this done on a bigger scale. It did feel like a bit of a letdown to just see a little slope and roll, rather than anything resembling a real rollercoaster. Perhaps we'll be able to do a followup post before too long with a bigger and better example...