It's has been a while since we heard any news about the inflatable car from XP Vehicles but it seems they are still out there and still planning to take the auto industry by storm. Freshly featured on the cover of Product Design & Development (PDD), the concept vehicle that doesn't employ airbags, but rather is the airbag, is given credence in the two page spread. After reading the article, though, we're left with a nagging question: "Is this thing just a lot of hot air?"

While PDD proclaims that the "prototype benefits from a perfect economical storm" and mentions "...motors are built into the rear wheel of most XP prototypes", there doesn't actually seem to be a prototype in existence aside from computer renderings. Also troubling is the claim that it can both achieve a range of 125 miles with four passengers (after which an auxiliary power unit kicks in and extends that range to 300 miles) and contains its batteries in shelves that consumers can remove, throw over their shoulders and carry up to their apartments to plug in and charge. Considering the weight involved in batteries capable of taking you that far, it's a proposition that seems unlikely.

We don't want to be complete negative Nancies about the project though. Perhaps the day will soon come when they will post a video of a door from their mini utility vehicle (MUV) undergoing their proposed toughness testing with an AK-47. Hit the break to let us know from whose future face egg will be dripping and a short clip from XP Vehicles extolling their vehicles' virtues.

[Source: Product Design & Development]

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