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Flying car to debut at New York auto show

Flying car to debut at New York auto show

Flying car to debut at New York auto show

Terrafugia’s prototype of its Transition flying car leaves a garage in Massachusetts. The street-legal airplane carried out a successful first flight in March. Image courtesy of Terrafugia

The New York International Auto Show will be kicking off tomorrow in the Big Apple. And the much talked-about flying car, the Transition, pioneered by US company Terrafugia, will be making a guest appearance at the show, alongside a vast slew of other vehicle innovations.

We've been hearing a lot about flying cars this week. For a start, Dutch company PAL-V announced on Monday that its two-seat hybrid car and gyroplane, the PAL-V One, had been on a maiden flight.

The three-wheeled half-plane half-car apparently has a patented 'tilting system' so people will be able to drive the vehicle to their nearest airfield in the future and take to the skies. The company said the car/craft would have a flight-certified aircraft engine that runs on gas and would be able to reach speeds of 180km/h on both land and when flying. PAL-V is now on the lookout for investors to take the concept vehicle to the commercial arena.

PAL-V One two-seat hybrid car and gyroplane pictured taking off. Image courtesy of Pal-v.com

PAL-V One two-seat hybrid car and gyroplane takes off. Image courtesy of Pal-v.com

Then we heard about Terrafugia, a company based in Woburn, Massachusetts, in the US that has been working away on another flying car prototype called the Transition. Pilots and engineers from MIT founded Terrafugia. The company said a prototype of the street-legal airplane had carried out a successful first flight at Plattsburgh International Airport in New York on 23 March.

The Transition is a two-seat personal aircraft that, if produced, will apparently be capable of driving on roads and motorways. Plus you'll be able to park it in a car garage. It will fly using unleaded automotive fuel, the company said.

So, if you're lucky enough to be in and around New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center over the next week or so, you'll be able to check out the Transition for yourself.

Cadillac Ciel Concept, which was first unveiled last August. Image courtesy of YouTube video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXCIkcxlWa8

Cadillac Ciel Concept, which was first unveiled last August. Image courtesy of YouTube

But what other vehicle innovations will be making their debuts at the show, which will run until 15 April? In all, around 1,000 new vehicles will be at the show to enchant auto fans.

For one, the 2013 BMW M6 Convertible will be on show, as will the 2013 Cadillac SRX. The Bentley Continental GT V8 will also be showcased over the coming days.

Concept cars that will grace the New York auto show will include the likes of the Kia GT, the Chevrolet Code 130R and the Cadillac Ciel.

Green-vehicle innovations


Ford green vehicle innovations on display at Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium last October, including the Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid
Ford green vehicle innovations on display at Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium last October, including the Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid (second from front)

And what about the clean-tech space? The Ford Focus Electric and the Ford Escape Hybrid will be on show. Last October, I got the chance to test-drive a Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid at Ford Motor Group's Lommel Proving Ground in northern Belgium. The vehicle was impressively smooth to drive.

As for Chevrolet, it will be showcasing the Volt, as well as the Tahoe and the Malibu Eco. The Cadillac Escalade will be also be making an appearance, as will the BMW ActiveHybrid.



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