This Volkswagen Flying Car Could Carry Four Passengers And Pilot Itself

German automaker Volkswagen's East Asia subsidiary, VW Group China (VGC), has a healthy vision of the future of urban air mobility. It recently unveiled the brand's first-ever eVTOL or electric vertical take-off and landing drone prototype, the V.MO. The concept is typically an all-electric flying car that could transport four passengers (with enough room for luggage) above the typical morning rush below.

VGC has nicknamed its flying car prototype the "Flying Tiger" for its black and gold livery, said Product Manager & Product Owner Zhou Jin. The company is speeding up its software development and local R&D to make commercially available flying cars a reality in the next couple of years. "Vertical mobility is likely to be a major part of the future of urban and intercity transportation in China's megacities," added Jin. "eVTOL air vehicles will be able to transport passengers faster, more efficiently, and with greater flexibility than existing ground-based solutions over short and medium distances."

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The V.MO has an X-wing configuration with eight rotors (to generate lift) and two propellers (horizontal flight). In addition, the aircraft measures 36.75 feet (11.2 meters) long and has a span width of 34.8 feet (10.6 meters). VGC gave zero details on the drone's motor and battery specs, but the company said it could soar through the skies for about 124 miles (200 km) before the battery runs out of juice.

VGC will begin the initial flight tests later in 2022, and the company aims to conduct more advanced flight tests by the summer of 2023. In its final iteration, VW Group China promises a four-seater cabin and autonomous flying capabilities. Yes, the V.MO could fly autonomously, which means passengers wouldn't need a pilot's license to operate the craft.

But then again, VGC claims the V.MO will initially launch as a premium alternative to Chinese high-net-worth individuals for VIPs or air shuttle services. At the same time, future versions for elite urbanites will be available soon, and we reckon commercial versions are also in the pipelines to serve the flying needs of the masses.

We always find it exciting when a significant automaker explores the boundaries of future transportation. French automaker Renault flirted with the Air4 prototype in 2021 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its 4L hatchback. Other startups like Klein Vision have been working on its AirCar prototype since 2017. The AirCar is a real flying car that you can drive and fly at your behest, and it recently got a Certificate of Airworthiness from the Slovak Transport Authority to conduct further test flights.