Skip to main content

Electric vehicles often cost more than comparable internal combustion vehicles. But with the occasional battery swap, EVs may last hundreds of thousands of miles longer–and stay on the road for decades. It is actually a liability for an electric car or electric truck to channel the latest trends in automotive design because it will look dated long before it wears out. Here are four retro-futuristic EVs that already look timeless.

Jeep Recon

Render of a green Jeep Recon prototype electric SUV parked on a beach, rocks and waves visible in the background.
Jeep Recon prototype | Stellantis

At its 2022 4xe day, Jeep unveiled its upcoming electric vehicle lineup. One of the most eye-catching upcoming Jeep SUVs is the Recon. Ralph Gilles, Chief Design Officer of Stellantis, revealed the the Recon “was absolutely inspired by the Wrangler.” The family resemblance between the two squared-off 4x4s is obvious. Like the Wrangler, the Recon features skid plates, tow hooks, removable doors, removable windows, and a power-retractable roof. But unlike the Wrangler, you can enjoy cruising down the trail in this open-air SUV in complete silence.

The Wrangler has changed as little as possible since its roots in WWII. Inheriting this function over form philosophy makes the Recon very retro-futuristic. Learn more about the relationship between the Jeep Wrangler and Recon.

Alpha Motor Company WOLF

Light blue mini truck concept vehicle by electric vehicle startup Alpha Motor Company.
Alpha WOLF | Alpha Motor Company

Alpha Motor Corporation is an electric vehicle startup that specializes in retro-futuristic vehicles. Its prototypes include the Ace subcompact coupe, Jax 4×4 crossover coupe, Saga sedan, and Wolf pickup truck. Alpha also focuses on making as many elements of its vehicles replaceable and upgradable so they can stay on the road for longer.

The Wolf is a true compact truck. It’s low hood and slanted grille is reminiscent of the first generation Toyota Hilux and its contemporaries. Alpha has unveiled RWD and 4WD prototypes as well as 2-door and 4-door variations. Learn more about the Alpha Motor WOLF.

Bollinger B1

Blocky black SUV prototype designed by electric vehicle startup Bollinger.
Bollinger B1 prototype | Bollinger Motors

Robert Bollinger founded Bollinger Motors back in 2014. The company first focused on heavy-duty 4x4s with a timeless, almost industrial design. The Bollinger B1 SUV and B2 four-door pickup truck are reminiscent of a first-generation Land Rover Defender. The retro-futuristic style of the Bollinger prototypes was a winner in the competitive EV space and the company racked up 50,000 pre-orders.

But Bollinger’s history since then has been a bit more complex. As the company struggled to finish engineering and begin manufacturing, Robert Bollinger announced a pivot to fleet vehicles on the same chassis and returned preorders. In September 2022, a startup named Mullen Automotive acquired a controlling interest in Bollinger. Mullen is pioneering solid-state battery technology. Hopefully, the newly formed company brings the popular B1 and B2 back.

Mercedes-Maybach 6

Futuristic Mercedes-Maybach concept coupe in red, a range of mountains just visible in the background.
Mercedes-Maybach 6 | Mercedes Benz

If anyone doubted that Mercedes-Benz would go electric in style, a 2016 concept car proved otherwise. The Mercedes-Maybach “6” debuted at the Pebble Beach Councours d’Elegance. It is an extravagant, art-deco style 2+2 coupe with gullwing doors. The Maybach 6 is reported to make 783 horsepower and have a 4-second 0-60 MPH time. Mercedes-Benz has also unveiled a roadster version.

American companies are leaning into the 1970s with prototypes such as the eMuscle Dodge Charger. But they must add complicated systems such as the eRupt “manual” transmission or Fratzonic performance sound system to stay true to the personality of a muscle car. The effortless power of an electric drivetrain dovetails perfectly with the personality of the art deco grand tourers of the 1920s and 1930s. It is this brilliant matchup that makes the Mercedes-Maybach 6 a retro-futuristic masterpiece.

Next, see more timeless modern art deco cars.


An Electric Wrangler Will Still Be a True Jeep