The flying car is the most “OOH LOOK THE FUTURE” thing in the world. Making a film and want to make it clear it’s set in the future? Stick a flying car in there and everyone goes “OOH LOOK THE FUTURE”. It’s ace, right, because it’s a car, yeah, but it flies. The flying car. Ooh, the future.
But not the distant future, not any more.
The flying car is more like the just-beyond-immediate future, as the road-legal Terrafugia Transition launches next month. There’s a twist, kind of: rather than being a car that happens to fly, the Transition is more like a small plane that converts into a road-legal vehicle by folding the wings away, and as such you’ll need a pilot’s licence to fly it. It’s arguably not so much a flying car as a driveable aeroplane, but let’s be honest, that sounds way less exciting.
The other twist: while the prototypes and 3D visualisations the company has brought out over the past few years (this has been, as you might expect, a long-gestating project) have all looked sleek with boss-ass colour schemes like the top image, the reality is the sliiiiiiightly dumpier, sliiiightly bubble-like thing above. However, Terrafugia is owned by the Geely Holding Group, who also own Lotus and Volvo, so are no strangers to rad-looking cars.
The idea is that private pilots could keep the plane in their garage at home. It’s perfect if, say, you live a few miles from a small airfield, work a few miles from another small airfield, and are sick of either driving for ages and ages or paying a fortune to store your small (but still wide) commuter plane in the airfield’s hangars. And who amongst us does that not apply to, really? Three percent?
There are no price details for the Transition at present, and one suspects it might be a case of “if you have to ask…”, but Terrafugia’s website offers the opportunity to reserve one. Well, it sort of does - the link seems to be a bit broken. When it works again, we might as well all apply, right? They might turn around and go “Oh, guys, it’s eighty quid,” and everyone who didn’t put their name down will feel like such an idiot.