- Aug 2nd 2006 at 5:34PM
Hydrogen-powered Z.CAR with speed-adjusted wheelbase
Sure, the forthcoming Smart car can give you great gas mileage and a small footprint, but it's so, well, uninspired. "Uninspired," however, is the last word you would use to describe Iraqi-born architect's Zaha Hadid's Z.Car. The car was commissioned more as a piece of functional art by a London art dealer and a model has spent some time on display at the Guggenheim museum in New York.
The three-wheeled, two-seater features an adjustable suspension that allows the driver to change the angle of the cabin to suit different driving situations. For city duty, the Z.Car will sit at a more upright angle allowing better visibility and enabling the coupe to fit into those notorious "compact" spaces. When traveling at a faster clip the cabin tilts back 10 degrees, decreasing drag and increasing high-speed stability.
The concept relies on hydrogen to provide the required forward momentum, but seeing that a hydrogen infrastructure is far in the future, the carbon-composite concept will likely be equipped with a more traditional means of motivation.
Supposedly, a functional prototype manufactured by a British company exists and the developers maintain that the Z.Car could be available for purchase within a year for somewhere around $65k.