Somewhere between a steroids-infused shopping cart and a smart car exists the ever-so-tiny Casple-Podadera city car. With parking spaces at a premium in most European cities, the need to condense vehicles into tighter and tighter spaces is becoming an ever increasing economic and spatial concern. So unlike other inner-city cars, the cumbersomely named Spanish transporter brings with it a unique folding characteristic.
A city car designed for two people, the Casple-Podadera has the Transformer-like ability to fold its rear wheels up and under when parking to micro-manage itself into spaces usually reserved for motorcycles. Renowned Spanish designer Francisco Podadera and Burgos business group Casple joined forces to create this dedicated electric city car with a Spanish moniker longer than its wheelbase.
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With three years of research and development under its belt, the Casple-Podadera uses existing technologies in its condensed 1.9 meter (6.2 ft) frame to make the grocery getting possible. With wheels extended to its extensive 2.3 meter (7.5 ft) length, stability and ride comfort are increased, but when it comes time to fight it out for street real estate, the car tucks its legs up under the cockpit, allowing it to back vertically into a spot no wider than a Nissan Versa.
With side-by-side seating, the vehicle reports a spacious interior despite its stubby dimensions. Like a cross between a golf cart and bush-buggy, the city car’s architecture is tall yet short, with a forward-leaning profile.
Safety is dealt with via a unique tubular framework, with key crash zones further enhanced to increase passenger safety. To keep passengers from falling out the sides, vertically hinged swing panels, or doors, are located just above the rear axle's pivot point. The doors are more designed to keep the elements out and passengers in, but should consumers prefer an open air experience then both an open and closed door version is available.
Technical characteristics based on driving simulations show the city car to possess an urban range of roughly 130 kilometers (80 miles). With a top speed of 110 km/h (66 mph) and an energy rating of 95 Wh/km (153 Wh/mile), the Casple-Podadera boasts acceleration figures of 11 seconds to the 100 km/h (62 mph) mark.
Coming in at a svelte 720 kg (1,590 lbs) weight management is kept to a minimum while body panels of RTM composite materials keep occupants secure. The internal structure is composed primarily of steel and honeycomb panels. To carry miscellaneous Spanish things about Seville, a 200-liter (52.8 gal) capacity trunk up front provides all the paella space you’ll ever need.
The first model has been designed with a dedicated electric-drive system but the platform has the ability to support both gas and hybrid configurations. This flexible architecture is designed to meet future drive-train requirements while increasing consumer options.
The Spanish team is currently working with various parties to explore manufacturing and investor options to bring the car to market.
Source: Prestige Electric CarView gallery - 10 images