If artist and designer Jameson Klug has his way, his “City” concept might be coming to a city near you. Klug’s City starts life as a fun and exciting motorcycle, before transforming into the highly responsible and space-efficient, rickshaw-style vehicle above.
Is this a case of having your cake and eating it too? Find out more, after the jump.
As you can see above, the City combines car and motorcycle traits in a single vehicle — when you want to have more than a motorcycle you basically shove the bike into the rear end of the car, and off you go! Klug says he designed the City for developing nations, with an eye towards affordability and flexibility – but all concept artists say that. What makes THIS concept fun and exciting is obvious: it’s an excuse to buy a motorcycle.
Full disclosure: I am an avid 2-wheel enthusiasts, and have owned a number of bikes over the years. At one point, I was proudly the owner of three motorcycles and zero cars, and while it was the case that I rarely bought any gasoline, the simple truth is that I loved riding, and I enjoyed those days immensely.
I still ride, of course. In the right location, a motorcycle commute can save a typical driver thousands of dollars in a short period of time. Typically, bikes depreciate less than cars, can be less expensive to maintain, and offer more miles (and smiles!) per gallon than the greenest of hybrids… but, eventually, you have to buy groceries. For sure, you can catch a ride with a friend or rent a truck if you have to, but if you need to move anything larger than backback, your bike will not get the job done.
Consider that, and take a look into the gaping maw of Klug’s City, below.
…more than enough room for a shrubbery, a small desk, a new computer, and just about anything else single life can throw at you!
With the City’s modular design, a single rider can enjoy the flexibility of a motorcycle with many of the benefits of a small car for longer trips and to carry cargo. Klug sees it similarly, explaining that his City concept “allows the car shell to attach when needed, to provide for extra cargo capacity, protection from the weather, or to carry two additional passengers. The driver still sits on the motorcycle even as he attaches it to the car, and utilizes its controls to save complexity.”
There is precious little in the way of explaining exactly how the bike’s controls will manipulate the pod’s steering, but that’s easy enough to gloss over at this early stage of work. Some details Klug has worked out include the use of rotation-molded plastics over “a biodegradable honeycomb soy” core (!?). Sounds great, as does the “star-rotor engine”, but the fanciful explanation of how that works would be more at home in a “Star Trek” episode than here. Instead of picking it apart, however, I’d rather focus on the positives: this is a neat concept, with expert execution. Hopefully some sharp VC angel will get a hold of Mr. Klug and put the best parts of his proposal into full production.
Images by: Jameson Klug