24 transportation design innovations for 2024

From electric cars to new airports and sports boats, here’s a non-exhaustive list of 24 of the most interesting transportation design innovations to expect in the coming year

Lotus Emeya is among the transportation design innovations to expect in 2024
Lotus Emeya
(Image credit: Lotus)

This round-up of 24 transportation design innovations for 2024 is driven by curiosity rather than any attempt to be comprehensive. The following machines – whether wheeled, winged or just seats or buildings – are all dedicated to making mobility just a little bit easier, more elegant and, hopefully, more efficient. Some are practically in the bag, while others may be subject to slight delays. Read on to discover some of the many ways we’re hoping to get around this year.

Transportation design innovations to expect this year

Lotus Emeya

Lotus Emeya

New horizons: Lotus Emeya

(Image credit: Lotus)

Lotus’ Eletre SUV was a hugely credible start to the company’s latest revival. 2024 will see the launch of the Lotus Emeya, a four-door sports EV that’s aimed squarely at the current market leader the Porsche Taycan. Sharper styling, innovative tech and graphics and sharp handling are all promised. 


Porsche Panamera 

Porsche Panamera

Perfectly poised: Porsche Panamera 

(Image credit: Porsche)

The latest version of Porsche’s mighty Panamera amps up the electrical content for more range and performance, all the while refining the design of the company’s original four-door sporting GT. The outgoing generation was one of our favourite fast four-doors, and the new model looks set to exceed it in every respect. 


Volkswagen ID.7

Volkswagen ID.7

Electric era: Volkswagen ID.7

(Image credit: Volkswagen)

Another big saloon, albeit cut from a slightly less sporting mould, Volkswagen ID.7 is the latest model in its all-electric line-up. With a projected range of around 384 miles, the ID.7 is set to be one of the longest-legged EVs to debut this year. 


BMW i5 Touring

BMW i5 Touring

Zero emission haulage: BMW i5 Touring

(Image credit: BMW)

BMW’s i5 Touring is the first application of electrification to the company’s traditionally styled estate cars. While estates have been overlooked for too long in favour of SUVs, there’s also an EV estate on the way from Audi, signalling a slight but significant shift in the scale of aspirational cars. 


Hyundai Ioniq 7

Hyundai IONIQ Concept ‘SEVEN’

Lounge style: Hyundai Ioniq Concept ‘Seven’

(Image credit: Hyundai)

Previewed by the Ioniq Concept ‘Seven’ from 2021 (shown here), the forthcoming Ioniq 7 is pitched as the Korean company’s flagship SUV model. Closely related to Kia’s EV9, the Ioniq 7 will be spacious and flexible, as well as distinctively designed.  


Cupra Tavascan

Cupra Tavascan

Flying buttresses: Cupra Tavascan

(Image credit: Cupra)

Cupra is ploughing ahead with its conversion to a pure EV company. Next up is the Tavascan, a fast-back compact SUV that’s the most coherent representation to date of the Spanish company’s strangely gothic form language. 


MG Cyberster

MG Cyberster

Top down: MG Cyberster

(Image credit: MG)

As the first electric convertible sportscar to market, the Cyberster is going to attract a lot of attention. Considerably larger than the compact MGs of old, the Chinese-owned brand is still hoping to capture some of their original magic. 


Polestar 4

Polestar 4

Smart car: Polestar 4

(Image credit: Polestar)

Polestar previews its products well ahead of time, so the shape and style of the 4 is no surprise. Following on from the Polestar 3, an SUV, the Polestar 4 is an SUV coupé, a crucial stylistic distinction that gives this car an elegant silhouette. 


Volvo EX90

Volvo EX90

Seats for seven: Volvo EX90

(Image credit: Volvo)

Also incoming from Sweden is the new Volvo EX90, a seven-seater SUV that looks set to embody all the archetypal Volvo qualities – safety, practicality, steadfast style – in an all-electric package.  


Fiat 600e

Fiat 600e

Italian flair: Fiat 600e

(Image credit: Fiat)

The upcoming Fiat 600e is much more than an upscaled 500e. Sharing a platform with Jeep’s accomplished Avenger, this modestly sized EV uses Fiat’s friendly design DNA for a more practical everyday proposition. 


Citroën ë-C3

Citroën ë-C3

People power: Citroën ë-C3

(Image credit: Citroën)

Billed as the first ‘affordable European electric car’, the Citroën ë-C3 channels the spirit of its stripped-down Ami microcar and Oli concept. With an upright stance, simplified visual language and sub €25k price, the company is positioning this as a 2CV for the 21st century. 


New Mini EVs

The new Mini Cooper SE EV

Small and sparky: the new Mini Cooper SE EV

(Image credit: Mini)

The electrification of Mini gathers pace in 2024 with electric versions of the Mini Countryman and Cooper on the way, along with the Aceman crossover SUV. 


Volocopter Air Taxi

Volocopter Air Taxi

Air today: Volocopter Air Taxi

(Image credit: Volocopter)

While all the four-wheeled debuts are signposted way in advance, innovations in aerial transport rarely commit to fixed timescales. Air taxi start-up Volocopter has vouched to have a service up and running for this summer's Paris Olympics; will this prove over-ambitious? 


CityAirbus NextGen

CityAirbus NextGen

Future flight: CityAirbus NextGen

(Image credit: Airbus)

Airbus Industry’s CityAirbus NextGen is still very much a prototype machine, but 2024 should see this all-electric, four-seater eVTOL aircraft take its first flight. The eVTOL market is crowded with concepts but the backing of Europe’s largest aeronautics company makes this one to watch. 


Wisk Aero

Wisk Aero

Sans Pilot: Wisk Aero

(Image credit: Wisk Aero)

US air taxi developer Wisk Aero is assembling the production prototype of its sixth-generation aircraft in California with a view to flying the fully autonomous four-seater craft sometime this year. Wisk’s strategy of skipping human pilots altogether is markedly different from potential competitors. 


Hill Helicopters HX50

Hill Helicopters HX50

Pioneering power: Hill Helicopters HX50

(Image credit: Hill Helicopters)

Compared to the futuristic forms proposed by the eVTOL companies, Hill Helicopters is somewhat conventional. Building a traditional rotorcraft from scratch is still a tall order, and the UK-based is focusing on first-time buyers with its sleekly designed five-seater.


Passenger Terminal, Mumbai

Passenger Terminal, D.B.Patil International Airport

Taking flight: Passenger Terminal, D.B.Patil International Airport

(Image credit: Zaha Hadid Architects)

Also coming online late this year are the passenger terminals and control tower at Mumbai’s new D.B. Patil International Airport. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects in the firm’s characteristic expressive modernist style, the pavilion-like terminals will be surrounded by lakes and feature voluminous curved roofs. 


LAX APM System

LAX Automated People Mover

Riding the rails: LAX's new Automated People Mover

(Image credit: LAX)

Although mass transit and the United States go together like oil and water, Los Angeles Airport has made an effort with its new automated people mover (APM) system. Linking LAX’s terminals with transport nodes outside the airport itself is a start, but in a country where Disney World’s monorail system is allegedly the 9th largest mass transit system, don’t expect any Elizabeth Line-style grand gestures.


Lufthansa Allegris seating

Lufthansa Allegris First Class Suite

Sweet suite: Lufthansa Allegris First Class

(Image credit: Lufthansa)

Lufthansa passengers will finally get an uplift in every class in 2024, as the company rolls out its long-awaited new Allegris seating systems. First and Business Class customers flying the airline’s newest A350 and 787 will get the upgrade this summer. 


Air New Zealand Skynest

Air New Zealand Skynest

Bunk up: Air New Zealand Skynest

(Image credit: Air New Zealand)

Air New Zealand runs some of the longest-haul routes in the world. To make the journey fly by, the company is rolling out its innovative Skynest bunks for passengers flying to New York and Chicago, both 15-plus-hour routes. The pod-like system, designed by Kate Cameron-Donald and Zoe Wenn, offers six bunks that can be pre-booked for a chunk of in-flight sleep.


Frauscher x Porsche 850 Fantom Air

Frauscher x Porsche 850 Fantom Air

Sport boat: Frauscher x Porsche 850 Fantom Air

(Image credit: Frauscher)

We’ve already previewed the sleek Frauscher x Porsche 850 Fantom Air electric speedboat, a collaboration between the sports car maker and the historic Austrian boatbuilder. This year will see first customer deliveries of this super watercraft. 


Blue Innovations Group R30

Blue Innovations Group R30

Solar, so good: Blue Innovations Group R30

(Image credit: Blue Innovations Group)

Another electric boat to watch out for is BIG’s R30. A 30ft cabin cruiser, the R30 is designed for the big time, pitched at pleasure boat users seeking a multifunctional vessel with zero emissions, with a flexible interior and deck configuration. On-board solar helps top up the battery. 


BMW Motorrad CE 02

BMW Motorrad CE 02

Scooter duo: BMW Motorrad CE 04 (left) and the new CE 02

(Image credit: BMW Motorrad)

Following on from the launch of the CE 04, BMW Motorrad is branching out with another electric scooter, the CE 02. With a chunkier, more stripped-back style, this is a bike aimed at riders of every ability. 


Stilride 1


Swedish style: Stilride 1

(Image credit: STILRIDE)

Stilride’s debut electric scooter is diametrically different in style to BMW’s offering, with an expressive body formed from origami-inspired bent steel. The Swedish company says the Stilride 1 will get around 120km of range, while its clever construction saves material, waste and labour. 


Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.