National Motor Museum brings the motoring future, but from the past

A headline exhibition at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu opened to the public today. It looks at future visions of the motor car from the past, ideas that have become reality and future visions still to be realised. Motopia? Past Future Visions showcases a journey through 130 years of future thinking about automobility and it runs from 20 May 2023 until 14 April 2024.

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 socialise.”

Visitors to the Museum will see bold visions for vehicles and the built environment in which they would operate. The title of the exhibition is inspired by the work of British architect Geoffrey Alan Jellicoe. In the 1950s he described the place where vehicles and humans co-exist in harmony as Motopia. Much earlier, at the turn of the 20th Century, another visionary, John Scott Montagu, second Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, was predicting fast roads connecting cities. Successive generations have taken these ideas and built upon them. The exhibition looks at those and other visions of the future from the past.

The exhibition has four key themes; vehicle visions look at car design concepts, propulsion asking how our vehicles are powered – particularly timely when there’s a resurgence of electric vehicles, architectural dreams which includes science fiction visions, and urban solutions shows how vehicles have constantly been re-imagined to suit our needs and surroundings.

Motopia? Past Future Visions is included in the ticket price for the Beaulieu attraction. More information is available at and