Jacknife

The Concept

The Jacknife is a futuristic-looking car that can alter its shape depending on where it’s being driven. When parked, it can take less than a third of a parking spot. When it’s being driven at high speed on the Autobahn, it can open up and stretch its wheels out for optimal stability.

 

The Background

I got the Jacknife idea a few weeks back when I was in Toronto working with a designer on a front wheel drive trike concept. This specific idea popped into my head, so I decided to explore the whole idea of a car that can fold itself up like a Jacknife to optimize space. I saw something similar from MIT a few years back and the idea has probably been around for a long time.

 

How It Works

The Jacknife has a pivot point in its frame, which makes it possible to fold the car so that its wheelbase gets shorter by around 50%. This would enable the Jacknife to fit in tight city parking spots. It also means you would technically be able to drive your car while (almost) standing up if you feel like it, and you can get a better and higher view of the surroundings whilst riding at low speeds in a dense urban setting.

This might sound weird, but imagine you’re driving at 20kph in an urban setting and your car is driving itself. It could be fun to ride it while simply resting on an inclined plane, reading a book or looking at the scenery (with your safety belt on, of course!). If you prefer, the car can decrease its folding angle and your adjustable seat will adapt to your ergonomic position.

Speaking of which, the seat of the Jacknife will be made of 20 adjustable cushioned sections with memory foam and ventilation tubes to heat or cool your seat. These adaptive sections will make it possible for the seat to take the shape of a normal seating position or a flat one if you want to take a nap like in the NightCar concept.

When driving on the highway or at higher speeds, the car will gradually rotate its frame to take a conventional flat position. The car will be powered by a 200hp Hydrogen Fuel Cell connected to a liquid-cooled electric motor. This power pack will be located in between the rear wheels and the cabin.

The cabin will have enough room to accommodate two adults and their luggage. The vehicle will have the controls to be manually driven, and it will also be able to drive itself when needed.

 

The Designer

I would like to thank Adolfo Esquivel for the great renderings of the Firesound. Adolfo earned an Industrial Design degree from Colombia and completed a postgraduate study on Events Design at the UQAM of Montreal. He currently works as a freelance industrial designer, and he is based in Montreal. Adolfo also created the design of the Exocycle urban bike and the Otöcon border patrol drone.