In the 1950s, British architect Geoffrey Alan Jellicoe described Motopia, a place where vehicles and humans co-exist in harmony. Named after his vision, Motopia? Past Future Visions is an exhibition dedicated to showcasing the best motoring innovations of the last 130 years. On display at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in the New Forest the exhibit will run from 20th May 2023 until 14th April 2024.
The exhibition has four themes: propulsion, vehicle visions, architectural dreams and urban solutions. These ideas will be explored with concept cars, alternatively powered vehicles, science fiction imaginings and explaining how vehicles have adapted to suit our needs and surroundings.
Jon Murden, Chief executive of the National Motor Museum says, “Concept cars, visions of the future at the start of the 20th century and ideas on how we travel and power our vehicles will be on display, and we’ll be encouraging visitors to explore ideas for an ideal way of living and getting about. It’s the first of a series of exhibitions at the Museum that will focus on the future as well as the past of automobility. We’ll explore how radical motoring concepts from the past that remain relevant today and how these have influenced what we ride and drive, the nature of our towns and cities, the way we work, shop and socialize.”
Vehicles on display include: the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz, reflective of the post-war period of the space race, rockets and astronauts; a 1901 Columbia Electric which was reportedly bought new by Queen Alexandra for use in the grounds of Sandringham House and manufactured in America; and the 2023 BMW CE 04, an electric bike designed to cut through busy urban traffic.
Also exhibited, the 2014 Volkswagen XL1 is a two-seater, diesel-powered plug-in hybrid, made lightweight and highly efficient for maximum economy. A 2017 IRIS eTrike is the world’s fastest road legal electric bike and can reach over 30mph and has a range of around 30 miles. The 2015 Riversimple Rasa Alpha, a hydrogen fuel cell powered prototype, will showcase developing hydrogen technologies.