The VW Nils Concept; Spacious, Yes, But Can It Fly?

The VW Nils is one of the high points of the IAA 2011 – but there was one issue unaddressed by concept art and initial press releases. The first images didn’t really give an impression of internal comfort. Auto Motor Und Sport conducted a practical test to see whether it would be cozy or claustrophobic.

The Nils is supposed to be an answer to a number of mobility needs, including how to maneuver through the massive sea of cars clogging city streets and still preserve air quality in the inner city (hint: avoid combustion engines entirely).

The first part of the test conducted was simply climbing into the car. Given the height of the Nils, the easiest method of entry proved to be inserting the rear first and allowing the rest to follow naturally.

Once the gullwing door closes, the driver is in a glass bubble of surprisingly large proportions. The 120” long vehicle is actually longer than a Smartcar, which has space for two. Visibility around and above the free-standing wheels is good, due to the aforementioned glass bubble really not having too many solid bits intersecting it. The seat itself is a comfortable bucket seat, with an electric display to the right of the driver and the steering wheel directly front and center. The Nils even has enough headroom, for anyone shorter than 6’4” (which probably describes most of you).

The Nils even has a trunk in the rear part of the cabin, big enough to fit a couple of bags, but most likely not roomy enough to take a passenger (unless the passenger is really, really tiny, and that implies a host of other issues – best to put only inanimate objects back there).

The one let-down of the Nils is that despite its super-sleek exterior, it is not capable of flight. It will, however, drive comfortably, quietly, and as quickly as possible through city traffic.

Source | Gallery: Auto Motor Und Sport.

Charis Michelsen

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.