Remember the motorcycle that came out of Batman’s Tumbler in The Dark Knight? The technology may soon be a reality.
While Ford Motor Co. is stopping production on its passenger cars, it appears the automaker is designing other types of vehicles. The company recently filed a patent for what it dubs a “multimodal transportation apparatus.” What is it? A passenger car equipped with a detachable motorcycle.
Specifically, the apparatus “contains a motorcycle that is equipped with, and can be driven by an electric motor and a securing apparatus to releasably fixedly secure the motorcycle to the passenger car.”
The motorcycle is affixed to the front of the car: “The motorcycle is arranged between a driver seat and a passenger seat, as seen in a direction of travel, in a secured operating state. At least a portion of a centre console serves to support at least one body part of a rider of the motorcycle in an operating state, wherein the motorcycle is detached from the passenger car.”
Both the motorcycle and the car can be operated separately. The motorcycle’s battery will be wired into the passenger car, which is a hybrid-electric vehicle.
Why would somebody want or need such a vehicle? It may be useful in cities where driving and parking is restricted. You could park outside city limits, detach the motorcycle, and ride to your destination. In addition, future regulations may ban internal combustion engines in urban areas, so hybrid vehicles with an integrated electric motorcycle could be a good solution.
Ford’s patent was published on April 26, 2018, 18 months after it was submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It’s merely a patent, so the project may never make its way into production.
There are other options that are currently available for those interested in unusual vehicles. The open-air roadster Polaris Slingshot is a three-wheeled motorcycle. It’s a cross between a convertible and sportbike. The Can-Am Spyder is another three-wheeled motorcycle that seats up to three people. For those looking for an electric option, Campagna Motors is working on an all-electric T-REX three-wheeler prototype.