Put yourself in the mindset of a person from the year 1015; you’ve never heard of electricity or atmospheric pressure, refined petroleum or carbon ceramics. The closest thing you’ve ever seen to the following cars are horse-drawn carts or carriages. So let’s take a look a some self-powered chariots that would make people at the turn of the first millennium go nuts:
1: Citroen DS
The Citroen DS. Even ten centuries after our target audience’s existence, few cars feel as futuristic as the DS. From its large greenhouse to its streamlined shape, this car would baffle even Nostradamus. Oh, and its hydropneumatic suspension would have unrivaled comfort over cobblestone roads.
2: Pagani Huayra
The Pagani Huayra. This car will likely look out of place no matter what time period you place it in. The interior is so far-removed from any other vehicle that it seems as though this ultraluxury hypercar was sent to us from another dimension. Despite this, the hand-craftedness and the beautiful exposed leather and metal parts would bring a bit of familiarity to people from the year 1015. These are materials they can easily understand and will not feel too alien compared to molded plastics in many vehicles.
3: Porsche 918 Spyder
The 918 would seem downright alien one thousand years ago. I will argue that it is the current most technologically advance road-going car available today (sorry, McLaren, Ferrari). Imagine silently approaching confused townsfolk in electric mode in one of these before flipping on that naturally aspirated engine and shooting flames from its roof mounted exhausts? They’d try to slay this machine like a dragon.
4: Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6
The DS would likely be fine, but in reality the 918 and the Huayra aren’t going to fare well on the roads of old. That is where the 6WD Mercedes comes in. I don’t think this one needs too much explanation as to why it would seem incredible to people of the far past.
5: Subaru WRX STI Rally Car
With greater acceleration than an F1 car, a rally-spec STI is the ideal car to show people from 1015 AD what a car is capable of. Of course, you’ll be seen as a devilish character and likely be hunted to death if you showed them one of these, but they couldn’t catch you and the sound of FHI’s boxer engine will keep most commoners at bay.
6: Stanley Steamer Model R
I choose the Stanley Steamer for three reasons. One, it just might be explainable to people 1000 years ago. Two, I wish steam cars were still in development today (watch Jay Leno’s Garage on his Doble and you will too). And three, it’d be a hell of a spectacle to behold, spraying steam everywhere, whistling like a train (“What’s a train?” they’d ask).
Image shamelessly taken from Jalopnik, the best car blog out there.
Audi’s autonomous a7 (and any autonomous car, really) will spoke people today. Imagine the bewilderment of past people. I bet most would think this is some sort of animal.
They had boats 1000 years ago, so it would be fun to float up to a harbor in what looks like a bizarre boat with no sails or paddles, then drive out of the water and make nearby sailors question everything they’ve ever known about maritime vessels.
9: Audi R18 LMP1
Obligatory because racecar. Non-petrolheads might not even think this is a car these days. This car would really be cool to show anyone of any time period.
10: Rolls Royce Phantom
In a time when Westerners didn’t even shower, I would love to see what they think of the pinnacle of luxury.
11: NASA Crawler Transporter
I know it isn’t technically a car, but this would be incredible. But instead of moving the now-retired Space Shuttles I would load up some catapults and a throne and drive this thing (very slowly) across Europe and Asia, conquering by sheer fear. Or amazement.