Parajet Automotive has begun taking pre-orders for its innovative Skycar – a fully road-legal four-wheeled vehicle that is, thanks to the wonders of ram-air wing technology, able to take off and fly at heights of up to 15,000ft.
According to its English inventor, Giles Cardozo, the Skycar requires less than 200m to take off and is "easier and safer to fly than any other aircraft as it has no pitch control, making it impossible to stall or dive". Just in case things do go horribly wrong in the air, though, the vehicle is supplied with an emergency ballistic reserve parachute.
In flight the Skycar is capable of a top speed of 100mph with a range of 200 miles. Back on terra firma the Skycar is powered by a Yamaha R1 engine producing 140bhp with a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 140mph. Independent double wishbone suspension makes the Skycar ideal for tackling rough terrain in too. Styling is unabashedly Mad Max.
Cardozo's company, Parajet Automotive, which is operated out of his barn in Wiltshire has a history of pushing the paramotor boundaries – in 2007 survival expert Bear Grylls successfully used a Cardozo-designed paramotor to climb higher than Mount Everest, reaching an altitude of 29,494ft in the face of the Nepalese behemoth.
More recently Cardozo took his fledgling Skycar project and put it through its paces on a 8000-mile round trip from the UK to Africa and back. The success of that mission has enabled Cardozo to claim that his innovative vehicle is 'Expedition Tested'.
So, how much will one set you back then? Well, if you really have to ask then you probably can't afford it. According to Parajet Automotive's website the cost for each individual Skycar is £50,000 with £10,000 payable up front as a deposit. The first units are expected to roll off the production line in late 2010.