If you were unlucky enough to find yourself in the middle of a post-apocalyptic dystopic world where gang violence and a complete lack of any real human society were the norm, there's only one vehicle you'd want the keys to: a matte black Ford Falcon coupe. Don't believe us? Apparently you've missed out on the Australian cinematic masterpiece that is Mad Max.
Besides launching Mel Gibson's acting career (we're not touching that one with a ten-foot pole), the film and its two sequels were famous for the outlandish cars and motorcycles used to rundown unsuspecting prey and their precious last drops of gasoline. And no single machine from the film was as memorable as Max's Pursuit Special, a 1973 Ford XB Falcon GT351.
In case you didn't know, the Mad Max series is due for a fourth installment. Tentatively due to hit theaters sometime in 2012, Mad Max: Fury Road is set to star Tom Hardy, Teresa Palmer and Charlize Theron... but, of course, the real stars we're most interested in will be the cars, which are currently being designed.
Two of the leading candidates for the hero car have been created in roughly 40-percent size and are on display at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne. See the two scale models along with a slew of other potential designs in our high-res image gallery below. We also suggest you click past the break to check out a quick video of the concept on the show floor in Australia, along with the related press release.
MELBOURNE – July 1, 2011: Almost 10,000 car enthusiasts have voted to choose the next Mad Max Interceptor.
As interest in the Mad Max Interceptor "Next Generation" project goes global, Ford Australia and TopGear Australia magazine have extended the voting period through July for readers to pick between the two new spectacular Interceptors concepts being crafted by Ford designers.
"We're delighted that both our readers and the social web community have warmed to the car," TopGear Australia Editor, Stephen Corby, said. "The level of interest has really taken us by surprise, particularly with on-line media."
The two 21st century concepts have been designed by Ford for TopGear Magazine Australia to help celebrate the revival of the Mad Max action movie genre.
Diehard fans around the world have welcomed the latest designs, even though it is more than 30 years since Hollywood director, George Miller's original Mad Max movie hit movie screens.
Ford Australia's Melbourne-based Asia, Pacific and Australia Design Director, Chris Svensson, said the project had been a spectacular success.
"It has given our team a lot of scope to really extend their imaginations and come up with some exciting new ideas," Svensson said.
"The team has been able to get quite creative because the Mad Max car is not constrained by the normal design parameters imposed by a real-world vehicle."
All employees of Ford Australia's Research Centre are behind the after-hours project, which – apart from Australia - has gained a strong media following in the United States, Spain, Italy, France and India.
Led by chief designer passenger cars Asia, Pacific and Africa, Todd Willing, the two Mad Max concepts are accompanied by real-life graphics.
TopGear Australia magazine has followed the progress of the cars from the concept stage, right through to full-blown Computer Aided Design. Their progress has been well documented in TopGear Australia magazine with readers being asked to vote on which concept they prefer.
In the latest July issue of TopGear Australia, which has just hit newstands, the concepts have been further refined and journalist James Stanford has been allowed unprecedented access to the design studio to see the models being built and talk to the design team about the process.
The two 40 per cent-size clay models weighing around 130kg are finished to the highest levels, with detailing and trim highlights.
The two competing concepts – by designers Nima Nourian and Simon Brook - are worthy adversaries that are limitless in their imagination, technology and weaponry. Both cars use industrial-strength weaponry like "tasers" mounted in the front of the cars to zap bad guys on bikes straight off the road.
Other futuristic movie features include a titanium-lined body shell to interrupt police scanners and wheels with extendable spikes to shred enemy vehicles.
Planning has started to film the new Mad Max instalment, tentatively called Mad Max 4: Fury Road.
The original movie starred Mel Gibson and a jet black 1973 XB Falcon GT coupe-based Interceptor.