GM goes “Back to the Future” in Tomorrowland image

Disney has the tradition of not only delivering incredible works of animation, but also has a compelling list of feature films that remained in popular culture. History will judge if the new “Tomorrowland” flick is such a case, but nevertheless GM looks prepared.

That’s because the largest US automaker has used the movie to promote the recently released next generation Volt plug in hybrid – a model that General Motors might think it showcases its own upcoming future. The carmaker also used the premiere of the movie to deliver in a parallel some of its futuristic dream concepts it prototyped over the 20th century – even though none of them actually has a place in Tomorrowland. “The Chevrolet archives are full of innovation in the form of sketches, specs and renderings for ‘the car of tomorrow,’” commented in a statement Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet marketing. The five featured concepts are the Firebird III, which was revealed back in 1959 at the Motorama – it has ties to the Volt because it allows the owner to preset the interior temperature before heading to the car and driving off. Firebird IV was constructed for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, which has a pivotal role in the movie’s plot.

The Astro II shows aerodynamics are key – which is the same with the Volt, which was also in turn influenced massively by the design of the concept, which was introduced back in 1968 at the New York Auto Show. Astro III has parallels with the Volt because of its experimental low center of gravity, akin to the Volt’s battery layout. The Chevrolet Express concept from 1987 had a silent operation just like the Volt in electric mode and was also a project that hinted at future autonomous vehicles.