Oh Hell Yeah

An imaginary flying car that doesn’t actually exist (Image: Terrafugia)

Have you heard the good news? The flying car is almost here! At least that’s what so many news sites have been telling me this month. Take, for instance, this recent article from Auto Week about Terrafugia—a company that’s been promising to deliver a flying car for over a decade now—headlined, “Your Flying Car Is Ready to Order.” Let’s break this down, line by line:

Terrafugia, a U.S. flying-car developer owned by Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, has begun taking orders for its first product.

Oh hell yeah.

Deliveries of the Transition, a two-seat aircraft that can switch between driving and flying modes in less than one minute, are to begin in 2019, Terrafugia said.

Oh wow, that’s great news!

Initially the Transition will be sold only in the U.S. The company has yet to disclose pricing.

Hmmm. So, I can order one... but you’re not going to tell me how much it costs? That doesn’t seem like such a great deal.

The Transition, with foldable wings, flies at 161km/h powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine. It is powered by a hybrid-electric powertrain when on the ground.

Oh. But can we buy it yet? Like with a price tag and stuff?

Terrafugia plans to display the concept of its second product capable of vertical takeoff and landing this month and has said this model will reach market by 2025.

Wait, why are you talking about some model for seven years from now? What about the one that’s supposed to be available next year?

Terrafugia, headquartered in Woburn, Mass., was founded in 2006 by a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates. It was acquired by Geely last year.

Yeah, we know. We’ve been waiting for Terrafugia’s flying car since 2008.

Terrafugia is one of several companies pursuing flying-car technology. At the Geneva auto show in March, Audi and Airbus demonstrated a mobility concept based on an ultralight, two-seater passenger cabin that can be attached to a car or a drone. Volocopter, a German startup backed by Intel and Daimler, has also built a dronelike electric helicopter to ferry travellers across city skies. The company is seeking to offer its first commercial trips in the next three to five years.

Oh. OK. So what you’re saying is that flying cars are maybe one year away, but still probably two years away. Nevermind then. Terrafugia seems to be really good at making concept videos. But delivering an actual product seems to be a challenge. Can I take my “hell yeah” back now?

[Auto Week]

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