January 24, 2012 08:18 ET

Hiriko: The Very First Folding Car is Launched

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Jan. 24, 2012) - The world's very first car that folds into itself to save parking space is set to be launched this week. The Hiriko folding electric car is a prototype that has been developed by the partnership of the Basque businesses, the Spanish government, and the MIT Media Lab, a US research firm. The tiny bubble car is reportedly tipped to go into production in Spain next year and car warranty will definitely be needed to cover the latest technology.

The new vehicle, which has been dubbed as a 'capsule-like city car' is to be unveiled in Brussels by Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission and it is reported that it is powered by four in-wheel motors. Each wheel is said to be independently driven and steers by 'robot' in-wheel electric motors to increase manoeuvrability. The conventional steering wheel has been replaced by a 'joystick' which tugs on the driver's fingers when ordered by a navigation system.

The manufacturers claim that the car only uses two-thirds of the footprint of a Smart car and the aim of the project is to free up the many miles of car parking space that inhabits cities. Around 20 vehicles will be deployed on a trial basis from autumn this year in several European and American cities including Boston, in Massachusetts, Malmo in Sweden, and Bilbao in Spain.

According to The Telegraph article, the driver as well as the passenger enters and leaves the Hiriko through one single door at the front of the car. What is more, each car will cost €12,500 to build and Madrid has funded the project with a £13 million grant.

Despite its small size, the car will host thousands of electrical and mechanical parts which will need protecting in case something goes wrong. For quality car warranty cover, look no further than the experts at Warrantywise.


Warranty Wise Insurance Services (trading as Warrantywise) are a multi-million pound, UK leading warranty company.

Warrantywise is a family business with a strong capital base, the senior partners are Fellows of the Motor Industry and have operated used car warranties for over 20 years.

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