Wandering about the rugged Arizona wilderness which surrounds the Phoenix Valley area, I am sure that many of us have observed an angry bird or mountain lion, feathers raised or fur standing on end, and thought “If my car could do that then I could brake and turn in a much more efficient manner”…well, maybe not, but one person did think this, UK based independent designer Da Feng.
The concept car, called The Flake, is covered in hinged carbon-fiber pieces, each one being connected by carbon nanotubes to tiny solenoids that can make them stand up or lay flat, like an angry cat puffing up its fur. The flakes can act like air brakes, or help in turns by puffing up an opposite side.
“When traveling at speed, the car will contract to its closed position to help control airflow, and when under braking or turning, the flakes will spring open to dynamically adjust downforce,” Feng said. “The open flakes will also allow the car to lean into the corner for better handling.”
The “wheels” also take their inspiration from nature as they are not actually wheels at all, but rather 12 leg like structures arranged in a circle. As they turn on a wheel hub, the “legs” extend and contract in response to the road surface and vehicle speed.
Much like his previous outlandish designs, Da Feng recognizes that this concept is not about to make its way into mass production at any point in the near future, but rather was intended to spark ideas and conversation concerning the possibilities in the future of the industry.
“I know there’s a lot of optimism in the idea,” he said. “It isn’t meant to be a practical solution, rather, an inspiration for others.”
Phoenix Valley auto enthusiasts should plan on attending the Phoenix Arizona International Auto Show to learn about the most recent concepts and innovations in the auto industry, including edge pushing designs and concepts from around the world, taking place at the Phoenix Arizona Convention center over Thanksgiving weekend.