Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010

Terrafugia Transition

The Terrafugia Transition could redefine the convertible. And door-to-door travel. Designed by a team of MIT aeronautics engineers, including Terrafugia co-founders Carl Dietrich and his wife Anna Mracek Dietrich, the Transition is a street-legal, airworthy, airbag-and-parachute-equipped flying car that at $200,000 is priced less than a Lamborghini. The first models will be delivered next year. True, with its wings retracted like football goalposts, the Transition, whose 100-horsepower engine gets it 35 m.p.g. on terra firma, isn't going to be a match for an Italian sports car. But extend the vehicle's gull wings — and you are requested to do this at an airport — and the rear-propeller-powered Transition can fly two passengers about 500 miles at a cruising speed of 105 m.p.h. After you land, you will not be heading to the rental counter.