The parent company of Volvo and Lotus, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, will soon fulfil the fantasy of sci-fi enthusiasts on seeing real-life flying cars on the open road (and in the air).
The company has finalised its latest acquisition to snap up next-gen transportation startup, Terrafugia, which is best known for its futuristic flying car designs like the Transition and the TF-X. With the new corporate support from Geely, Terrafugia is ready to set new targets for the crafts to be ready for flight.
According to Terrafugia, it will aim to offer consumers a shot at personal street-to-sky transport by releasing the Transition to the market in 2019, following up with the accessible TF-X rig by 2023.
The two vehicles promise to offer drivers (or flyers) different experiences to get in the air. The Transition, which has been in development since 2009, has retractable wings and requires a full runway to take off.
The company also mentions that the final production version of the craft will have a cruising speed of 100mph, with about 400 miles of flight range. You can also reserve one now if you’d want to be one of the first to try these out, but you’d have to be willing to wait two years and come up with over US$10,000. Carl Dietrich, Founder of Terrafugia says that the final cost will probably be around US$279,000 back in 2013, however, the down payment isn’t that much.
The TF-X on the other hand, is a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) craft that is closer to the flying taxi designs from Uber and does not require a runway to get airborne. Apart from that, it retains the ability to drive on the roads, making it a true flying car.
Terrafugia also notes that the TF-X will run on an all-electric system, with an estimated cruising speed of 200mph and range of 500 miles, which might cost as much as a high-end luxury car.