The pickup continues to be a popular vehicle for many buyers, and for good reason – it is truly one of the most versatile vehicle designs ever made. But the student of architecture Wojciech Jurkowski has reinvented the design with his RENAULT SUBTIL futuristic pickup, turning it into an SUV grade luxury vehicle that will definitely turn heads and still get the job done.
The design calls for a drivetrain consisting of four independent electric motors located within the wheels, saving the remainder of the space for passengers and cargo. The independent drivetrain allows for a new style of body design, permitting it to transform from a four-person car to a pickup mode on demand. The roof can also be opened, providing for an open-air driving experience. The design can even carry two snowmobiles, multiple bicycles, or other larger gear, so theextreme sports fans would be at home in this futuristic pickup just as easily as the average handyman would find it convenient.
I love the advantages that the simplification of the drivetrain allows for vehicle design. The cars of the future may indeed take on all the practicality of a Swiss Army Knife, reconfiguring itself for the task at hand. Of course, not everyone would need this kind of futuristic pickup, but for your typical multi-need driver this could be almost perfect.
The RENAULT SUBTIL would also make a great touring vehicle, and it could change from the “travel mode” used in getting there to a spacious and airy (thanks to an automatic folding roof) “tour mode” once on site. This kind of adaptability could even make the family vehicle an all-around workhorse while looking great doing it. In all, the RENAULT SUBTIL futuristic pickup can handle five different configurations.
I get excited when I see new designs such as this futuristic pickup because we are starting to see what the paring of new technology with new material sciences can offer the average consumer. In turn, this changes not only our expectations of what is available (such as new motorcycle styles) but also our interpretation of how it can be used. I think we’ll find new vehicle categories that transcend today’s choices, and with a design like this, we may have a new multi-tasking vehicle category before we know it.
Sure, almost all of us have seen those hobby drones that you can now buy inexpensively and fly with very little training. You may have even seen how Amazon is putting them to work on NerdBeach. But have you ever wanted to ride in one, as in to have your own personal drone that you can fly? Workhorse Group may be able to help you with that wish, and you just mind find that it is a practical ride that beats today’s typical commuting problems.
A Personal Drone With Joystick Control
The hybrid octocopter sports, as its name suggests, eight rotors driven by carefully modulated electric motors. The Surefly Personal Helicopter uses today’s technology to create a vehicle that, according to the manufacturer, is safer, cheaper, and easier to fly than today’s helicopters. And having a little experience with rotorcraft, I can certainly say that they have a lot of room for improvement from the training requirements. The Surefly has taken the standard aviation controls and simplified them to the use of a joystick, so it is closer to flying a hobbyist drone than a helicopter, which is what I would precisely want from my own drone.
The Surefly gets its power from an onboard gasoline engine, which allows the nimble craft to have a 70-mile range with a two-passenger seating capacity and a payload of 400 pounds. And just in case the engine quits on you, battery cells on the aircraft allow operational control without the generator running. The personal drone is even equipped with a ballistic parachute, just in case you want another margin of safety. And with the rotors folded up, the Surefly takes up about the same space as your typical pickup.
The expected street (air?) price for the Workhorse Group Surefly Personal Helicopter is estimated to be around $200k, but you can reserve one today with a refundable deposit as low as $1000. You still have some time, since full vehicle certification is slated for 2019, but if you want a closer look it should be on display at the next CES this January.
Three-wheeled motorcycles are not exactly a new concept, and trikes even have a large following. But Yamaha is bringing out a new three-wheeled motorcycle unlike any that I have seen before. That head-turning new cycle is called the Yamaha NIKEN.
The NIKEN utilizes Leaning Multi-Wheel (LMW) technology to smooth out your ride as you zoom along the planet over its variety of surfaces and textures. The LMW technology is also designed to help with cornering by keeping the bike stable in those hard turns.
The multi-wheeled bike is powered like a standard motorcycle, and it employs a liquid cooled 4-stroke DOHC four-valve engine. The extra mass up front will no doubt take more power to push through the wind, but unlike other three-wheelers, the upfront mechanics appear to be more lightweight by design that a typical full faring setup. But it still manages to employ 15″ tires and an inverted high-performance front end suspension.
One thing is certain, and that is the NIKEN looks great just sitting on the pavement, ready to ride. I wouldn’t mind taking it for a test drive myself, although I might need to try a few times just to get used to that new and interesting mechanical setup. But yes, it does look good.
The Ford GT supercar is not your average daily driver. And the information you are going to need from an instrument cluster is going to change depending on how you are driving the wonderful beast. So how does Ford approach this issue? They built a digital instrument cluster that can change as needed, affording you a quick streamlined information view that is in line with such factors as driving environment and speed at which the car is going.
The GT’s display is about 10 inches across, and displays information based on the current driving mode. This is controlled by a steering wheel mounted control knob, and the driver can select such things as Normal, Wet, Sport, Track, and the exciting sounding V-Max modes. As each mode is selected, the car adjusts accordingly, changing such things as ride height, traction control settings, transmission shift points, and even rear spoiler position.
The display adapts as needed – for example, in Normal mode, the vehicle’s current speed is front and center. In Track mode, the speed is off to the side and the current gear along with engine speed take the prominent positions. And when you are in V-Max, a.k.a. maximum velocity mode, speed again comes to the forefront with supporting information flanking it. The display isn’t customizable, but Ford engineers have put a lot of thought and design into what is displayed for each given mode.
Coming Soon To Other Vehicles
The good news is that Ford is planning to bring the digital instrument cluster to their other vehicles as well. This means that you don’t have to have a Ford GT to appreciate the effort that went into the digital instruments. But to be honest, I don’t know if the instrument cluster is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the beautiful Fort GT Supercar. In fact, I know it isn’t, but it’s still nice to see that Ford is trying to provide the driver with the pertinent information so that they concentrate on job number 1 – driving the Ford GT.
This camper goes where few tow behind campers can go – on the water! The inventor, Daniel Straub, wanted to create the ultimate recreational vehicle. From what we’ve seen, his creation, dubbed cleverly enough the Sealander, just might succeed. You can cross the lake to that private place only accessible by boat and stay a few days. Works for me.