The red Citroen had been parked by some family friends visiting a property on Inverleith Terrace – close to the Botanic Gardens. After dinner, they had opted to take a taxi home, leaving the car parked on the street.
Residents were woken by a loud noise at 12:30am on Wednesday.
"It sounded like a big explosion, then a few smaller pops, I thought they were gunfire," said one resident. "I looked out of the window and there were flames and huge plumes of smoke coming up from the car."
The car, which was entirely burnt out, had been propelled several metres along the road by the explosion, coming to rest against the garden wall of the next door house.
"We have no idea what caused it," said the resident. "We don't know whether it was arson, or some kind of accident – if another vehicle somehow hit it and drove away. It is very strange."
She added: "The police say they are not treating it as suspicious, but it is very unusual, parked cars don't usually burst into flames."
"The fire was extinguished by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and cause is currently unexplained. Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances.”