Honest... the Hiriko Fold is a shrinking car that makes parking easy. Consider the following
scenario, please. Pete the Pitiful Parker is cruising though town in a Fold. His vehicle's
proportions are 2.63 metres long, by 1.75 metres wide, and 1.54 metres tall. Being a busy
area most of the traditionally sized parking spaces have been filled with Ford Mondeos,
delivery vans, and skips. Not a problem. Pete simply presses a button and his car's length
shrinks to only 2.0 metres via an electrically operated hinge. This also increases its height
to 2.0 metres, although the width stays the same. As such, he can park in a very small spot.
But that is only part of the story. The Hiriko Fold has four-wheel drive and four-wheel
steering. That enables Pete the Pitiful Parker to spin on the spot and move sideways. This
helps manoeuvrability too. Furthermore, the Fold is powered by four electric motors (one
for each wheel), has a range of up to 75 miles, and a top speed of 31mph. Access to this
two-seater is through its windscreen which operates in a manner reminiscent of a Bubble
Car. As well as lacking traditional doors this shrinking vehicle lacks peddles. As such, Pete
pushes its steering wheel forward to accelerate and pulls back to brake. Bit like yokes, then.
The Hiriko Fold has been created by a consortium of companies – most of whom Pete
would like to buy shares in. As such Guardian has developed the glass, Maser – Mic the
electronics, Forging Products the aluminium chassis, TMA the front door, SAPA Placencia
the steering wheel, and BRW the wheels. The Fold is currently on trial in European cities
and expected to enter full-scale production in 2013. Prices will be about £10,000 – honestly.
By Stephen Turvil
Fri, 21 Sep 2012