WOW-POW = World Of Wonderful POWer: Behind The Wheel Of The AIRpod

Monday, June 29, 2009

Behind The Wheel Of The AIRpod

The MDI AIRpod is a concept vehicle designed to run solely on compressed air as means of transportation, though no production models had been released. As the AIRpod nears actual production, MDI has begun inviting journalists to take a whirl in a prototype model. The first thing you might notice is that the AIRpod doesn’t much appear to look like a car. You enter through the front of the pod via a hatch that opens up-and-over the vehicle. As I mentioned earlier, you steer with a joystick rather than steering. The concept originally also used the joystick for propulsion, but the system proved awkward so instead there are small pedals for acceleration and stopping. Though there is seating for four full-sized adults, three of them have to enter through a rear hatch and sit on a rear-facing bench seat. You also probably noticed that instead of the typical four-wheel layout, the AIRpod is set up more like a tricycle. Everything is designed to conserve weight, and the AIRpod manages to tip the scales at just 485 pounds. The MDI makes a whooping 6 horsepower and 11 ft-lbs of torque. With one person in the AIRpod, the top speed hovers somewhere around 30 mph (production cars should go as fast as 50 mph, according to MDI) and also has a range of between 90 and 125 miles.
Much More at Gas 2.0