Yes, before you say anything, it hasn’t exactly been a rocking news weekend. But some of you must be looking for ways to save space after Obamacare forces you to move into one of those micro-apartments which are all the rage these days. And if you’re going to have to figure out how to pack all of your inside stuff into 800 square feet, you’ll clearly need to do something about how much space you’re taking up in the parking area. Have no fear.
Those clever folks in South Korea have just the answer. It’s a car called the Armadillo… most likely because it’s hardly bigger than one. But just being small while it’s driving around town isn’t good enough. This is the car that folds in half after you park it. And for the cherry on the sundae, you can operate it from your SmartPhone. Let’s just go to the video.
“We see cars as a complicated machine. But it is now time to start thinking new. Cars will be handy and convenient in the future. In other words, it will be more of a consumer electronic product,” said Suh In-Soo, a professor at the Graduate School for Green Transportation at KAIST who led the project.
The Armadillo-T, named after its design for its rear looks like a South American armadillo shell, shrinks from 110 inches to 70 inches. The rear shell kicks upward covering over the front, taking up only one-third of a typical Korean parking space. The micro car has a maximum speed of 37 mph and can travel 62 miles off a 10-minute fast charge.
“At first, I thought it was a toy. But the best part about it is that it’s environmentally efficient and could save a lot of space,” said Lee Chanhee, a student at a recent Korea Automotive Industry Exhibition of the Armadillo-T near Seoul.
Out of curiosity, why is it that the trend towards really extreme, small cars has never caught on in the United States? Not just out in the country… I mean in the big cities. There have been really small cars available for some time now, particularly some Brit models, Smartcars and the like. And even up here I’ve seen them around town once in a great while. But they just don’t seem to show up in any numbers. I’m sure they’re horrible for cold weather, snow, ice and such, but in warmer cities down South, have they ever taken off?
I haven’t seen them. Maybe it’s just our traditional attraction to metal and muscle.