Anyone who has ever attempted to find a parking spot in San Francisco during peak hours can tell you that a small car is your friend. And it doesn’t get much friendlier than the new Hiriko Fold, a car which slaughters any potential parking woes.
Unfolded the entire vehicle is only 2.5 meters long. However, the parking genius comes in the Fold’s ability to compress to a length that can accommodate three vehicles in a standard parking spot.
The Fold is able to compress itself thanks to a front chassis that pivots to become vertical. Entry and exit of the vehicle takes place through a large front panel door which allows the driver and passenger to step out of the vehicle’s “face”. Each wheel can be controlled independently, allowing for a staggering turning radius and seamless parallel parking in tight spaces.
As a tiny car fanatic, I was initially ecstatic to see the shrinkable shape of the Fold. However, the more I inspect the vehicle the more concerned I become. The Fold is also 100 percent electric with a range of 120 kilometers. That is just over the distance it would take to go from Palo Alto to San Francisco and back. Additionally, I am extremely interested to see how the car performs in a head on collision, especially considering that the only exit route is through the front.
The Hiriko Fold is currently being tested in Spain and will be available in Europe in 2012 at a EUR 12,500 ($15,660) price tag.
The vehicles are currently being considered for ride-sharing similar to the bicycle program currently available in Spain and elsewhere in Europe.
Clip HIRIKO from HIRIKO Driving Mobility on Vimeo.