Aston Martin, the luxury sports car marque indelibly associated with James Bond 007, is moving into the business of building flying cars.
The company calls its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) flying car the "Volante Vision Concept." With room for three adults, Volante Vision is described as a near future study that previews a flying autonomous hybrid-electric vehicle for urban and inter-city air travel, providing fast, efficient and congestion-free travel.
Aston Martin believes air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation, and Volante Vision Concept (VVC) is the company's exploration into personal air mobility. It said its concept VTOL aircraft demonstrates its forward-looking design ingenuity. Volante is the Italian word for flying.
The flying car is being developed in partnership with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, Ltd (CAeS); Cranfield University in Oxfordshire, England, and Rolls-Royce, which will develop the flying car's electric motors. CAeS is involved in rapid prototyping of new aerospace concepts, and modifications to existing aerospace platforms.
Aston Martin President and CEO Dr. Andy Palmer said that growing urbanization and overpopulation is at the heart of the concept's design. "We need to look at alternative solutions to reduce congestion, cut pollution and improve mobility," said Palmer.
Palmer noted the Volante Vision Concept will enable people to travel further in their hourly commutes, meaning people will be able to live further away from where they work.
Aston Martin said it doesn't have a firm price for the flying car, but the figure is expected to be some $9.2 million per vehicle. It unveiled the Volante Vision Concept at the recent 2018 Farnborough Air Show and teased the flying car might make an appearance in an upcoming James Bond movie.
Aston Martin is currently conducting customer research and analyzing feedback. Should the concept get the green light, production should start by the mid-2020s.
Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman said we are at "the beginning of a new generation of urban transportation." He noted that vertical mobility is no longer a fantasy and that Aston Martin has a unique chance to create a luxury concept aircraft that will represent the ultimate fusion of art and technology.
Aston Martin promises the Volante Vision Concept is very much a vehicle that can be fun and engaging to drive or is it fly?