From the gas-guzzling to the eco-chic, the following are Cool Hunting's favorite alternatives to transporting yourself and your precious belongings—whether for a jaunt around town, cross-country or overseas.
Developed over the past five years, the Aptera, a three-seat automobile that gets 230 miles per gallon, is finally available to reserve. Three-wheeled and pod-like, the Jetson-like automobile is what I thought cars would look like in the future when I was younger.
Tino Schaedler and Michael J. Brown designed the Stratocruiser, a futuristic blimp they call a "lifestyle zeppelin." Utilizing helium power to smoothly navigate the upper atmosphere, the Stratocruiser focuses on health and entertainment, featuring an on-board spa, gourmet restaurant, swimming pool, resident DJ and most importantly, private cabins.
Virgin Gorillaz Train
If we can't have the bombed subway cars of the '80s, we'll take Jamie Hewlett's art on Virgin trains. Known for illustrating the Gorillaz characters, Hewlett's images adorned this locomotive which traveled between London and Manchester promoting the production of a Chinese opera that he helped put on along with Damon Albarn.
Announced this year but not available until mid-2008, BMW is finally coming out with their version of the hybrid with the X6. A crossover vehicle, it not only looks great but also features a two-mode hybrid gasoline-electric engine that increases efficiency by 20%.
Electroon Electric Bike
Although we like the mod appeal of Vespas, they still burn gasoline which is why we prefer the Electroon Electric Bike. Somewhere in-between a bike and scooter, the Elektroon features the best of both worlds running quieter and cleaner.
Hawley F140 Racing Yacht
If traveling by sea is more your thing, you'll want to hop aboard the Hawley F140 Racing Yacht. Designed to mimic a dolphin and stingray, it's fast and agile. A below-deck cabin offers a refuge to rest and the use of bespoke electronics.
This year Toyota introduced a Segway on steroids, the i-Real. The wheels extend, reclining the passenger for more aerodynamic positioning when traveling at high speeds (it tops out at 20mph).
Jorg&Olif Scout Bike
If you'd rather get some exercise and pedal your way through town, it's best done on the Jorg&Olif Scout Bike. A perfect complement (and pretty much the opposite of) a fixie, this old-world, dutch-styled cycle is now a bit more affordable at $495.
Lexus IS F
The nicest car we actually got to drive this year was the Lexus IS F. Features your everyday standard amenities, Lexus went all-out pushing the technical performance to another level. Capable of zero-to-60 in 4.6 seconds, the IS F (the F stands for Flagship) is Lexus' answer to the BMW M Series, Audi S series and the Saab Viggen series. We'll see if it has the same kind of success as those lines when it hits the market this upcoming year.
Pinel & Pinel Trunks
Sometimes taking everything with you includes your office or home entertainment system. Pinel & Pinel makes this a reality with their meticulously-crafted trunks. Custom finished to your exact specifications and preferences, your flat screen, DVD collection, record player and vinyl will fit securely in the hard-case trunks, making them easily transportable.
Côte et Ciel
If it's just your laptop you want to transport use a Côte et Ciel laptop sleeve to protect without the unnecessary bulk. Free of zippers that oftentimes scratch the laptop's finish, the neoprene offers a snug, quick fit. Simple, functional and slim, they're our new favorites.