Westfalia-Automotive has created a towbar-mounted bicycle rack that, in a matter of seconds, converts into an extra boot by attaching a cleverly-designed waterproof lid. Portilo – the bike rack – is built to hold two bicycles in stands, rather than hang them from the frame (which is becoming increasingly difficult these days, given the variation in frame sizes between brands). The PortiloBox fits the Portilo easily with no tools needed to secure it. It’s only small but, if you just need that little bit of extra space, it’s ideal.

It's been around for a while but, for those of you who haven't seen it before, the manufacturer says the Portilo is suitable for every car type. It measures 58 W x 22 H x 69 D cm (22.8 x 8.6 x 27.1 inch) when folded, making it easy to store in the car boot, basement or garage.

It can carry a 60kg payload – everything from road bikes to heavy duty mountain bikes to electrically-assisted bikes (wheelbase up to 1230mm, bicycle frames up to 80mm diameter and tire widths up to 50mm ) (48in., 3.1in., 2.0in respectively).

The rack and all bicycles can be locked individually - with only one key. It comes ready to use (no assembly required) and attaches in seconds: simply mount and clamp tight with minimal effort.

The swivel-down mechanism makes it easy to access the boot, even with bikes mounted on the rack. And an expansion rail for transporting a third bicycle is easily retrofitted, as is the additional brake light should your bikes cover your vehicle’s brake lights.

More storage space

The PortiloBox quickly turns the Portilo into a spare boot behind your car which, when mounted in the slipstream of your vehicle, reduces fuel consumption and CO2-emissions, compared with some roof-mounted alternatives.

It can manage a 45kg payload (100lb) and offers 200 liters (7 cu ft) additional storage space for luggage, plants, shopping, sports equipment, etc. For bulkier items, the lid can be removed and, because it sits on the bike rack frame, the PortiloBox can be folded down for access to car’s boot. Wheels on the PortiloBox's base make it easy to transport to and from your vehicle.

The PortiloBox can be locked to the rack and the lid secured with the one key for added peace of mind. “Today’s focus is on smaller cars with less energy costs, but this is absorbed by the storage space. That’s why we offer the PortiloBox as a flexible transport solution to the customer, which allows them to accomplish an additional storage space within seconds but without tools”, says Jens Waldau, CEO of Westfalia-Automotive.

Recommended retail price: EUR€349,00 (USD$513 approx.) at time of publishing.

Watch the video on the Westfalia website to see how the Portilo is different to the standard bike carrier, and you'll better understand the somewhat hefty price tag.

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