Ever wanted to whirl around the city in a metallic gnat’s head while consuming zero gasoline? Then your weird dreams have come true, via the Hiriko smart car that folds like an envelope to squeeze into impossible parking spots.
Hiriko is being promoted by Basque auto society AFYPAIDA in collaboration with MIT’s Changing Places Group and DENOKINN. It’s billed as the world’s first “self-folding vehicle,” even though America’s monster-truck rallies have possessed this technology for some time. Let’s just say it’s the world’ssmallest bendable car.
A trio of these puppies can cram into an average-sized parking space. The “hood” portion swings upward, collapsing the distance between the front and back wheels (sadly, without this sound effect) and allowing the driver to dismount from the vehicle like he’s striding forth from a door. Conversely, climbing into the folded-up Hiriko makes it seem like a person’s getting swallowed by a Transformer. It’s a style that may take some getting used to among old-school drivers.
Though you may struggle to fit an IKEA table inside its cabin, the Hiriko makes up for its shrimpy comportment with a killer turning radius. That’s because each wheel has its own electric power system – the whole vehicle is electrically driven, in fact – allowing it to twist and turn like a frenzied bug, whipping into parking spaces and cutting off larger vehicles at lightning speed.