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XPeng will soon sell you your own six-wheeled aircraft carrier

Bring your flying VTOL wherever you want

Yes, that 6x6-looking truck is indeed an aircraft carrier for the road. IMAGE FROM XPENG

When Tesla first revealed the design concept for its Cybertruck, someone at the XPeng headquarters in China must have seen it and gone: “Hold my beer.” At least we imagine that is what might have happened, or how else do you come up with the idea of a six-wheeled land aircraft carrier?

Yes, you read that right. The Chinese carmaker has unveiled the crazy concept via its XPeng AeroHT affiliate, and is apparently serious about sending it into mass production.

There are various ways to beat traffic these days. Using public transport is one. Cycling is another. Now, using your own six-wheeled aircraft carrier can be added to the mix.

The setup consists of a 6×6 hybrid-electric ground unit that is basically an oversized pickup truck with space for five passengers.

We'd feel bad for whoever would be left to drive the carrier back home. IMAGES FROM XPENG

On the back of it sits a fully electric personal aircraft with space for two passengers, whereby the ground unit de facto acts like a power bank for the flying machine and can recharge it multiple times.

We’re not entirely sure how this is supposed to work in practice, but maybe in the future you can drive this thing from your house to work, and when you see that EDSA is gridlocked again, you pull over, hop into your personal dronecopter and simply fly to the office.

It all still sounds a little futuristic, but XPeng actually tested its flying car a while ago, so combining such a machine with a carrier vehicle is seemingly something that could indeed find its way into real-life showrooms in the near future.

XPeng already thought about safety measures. PHOTO FROM XPENG

The model shown in the aircraft carrier concept seems to only have four rotors, and would likely be fitted with the company’s emergency parachute system that can be triggered at altitudes as low as 50m and have you gently floating down to earth.

Obviously, there are some questions to be answered here, not least of which how you’re going to regulate local airspace when suddenly everyone can just buy his or her own two-seater drone.

If you thought kamote riders and e-trikes were big issues, wait until these puppies fill the Metro Manila sky. The MMDA is going to have a meltdown. But at least the YouTube footage should be brilliant!

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.