A hovercar is a vehicle that resembles in basic shape or form a common automobile, but has the power to hover and fly, usually through technology that is either not yet available or is simply fantastic. The typical hovercar would be depicted as having the body of a common automobile, although probably more sleek and streamlined, but floating off the ground, perhaps kept aloft by a band of glowing lights along the bottom.
As we enter the 2nd decade of the 21st century, our consciousness is, of course, drenched with irony. The hovercar is often used as an ironic icon of the future. Although there are many science-fiction works of varying quality that depict the hovercar as a serious part of the future, it is often used as an ironic nod to the retrofuture. The hovercar is an extension of the culture and technology of the 1950s: something that dad comes zooming home in after a hard day at the office, even if in this case his office is on Mars or an underwater bubble city. The hovercar is the technology envisioned in The Jetsons' future, figuratively and literally. And, like much such technology, the hovercar has remained an impossibility, while technological and cultural developments that the people who envisioned hovercars could never imagine has become commonplace.
Despite this cultural critique, and the fact that hovercars seem technologically unlikely to happen, it sure would be cool to have one, wouldn't it?