Transformable car concept makes the sportscar family friendly
Xelestine's transformable sportscar concept in wagon mode
This design concept from Delaware-based industrial design firm Xelestine might appeal to family men of a certain age considering a sporty mid-life crisis automotive purchase but wanting to enjoy some of the family-friendly benefits of a wagon or pickup truck. Intended for a front-engine vehicle, the concept centers around the rear window that can be raised to switch from a fastback to a wagon, or can be folded to create a pickup truck.
The fastback to wagon system features two side triangular panels that retract into the C-pillars in fastback mode to provide a sportscar form factor with improved aerodynamics for better fuel economy. When loading the shopping or picking up the kids from school, the panels can be raised to provide extra rear luggage space. If you still need extra room, the firm has also designed a system that sees the rear window fold forward to give an open-top, rear cargo area similar to a pickup truck.
Xelestine has filed an international patent for its designs, but isn’t looking to produce the concepts itself. Rather, it is looking to attract the interest of manufacturers to help further develop the concept.
Both the fastback/wagon and fastback/pickup systems can be seen in the animations below.
Fastback to Shooting Break
Fastback to Pickup Truck
About the Author
Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.
All articles by Darren Quick
As an amateur car stylist for most of my life (a field very close to my heart), i must say that this concept deserves a two thumbs up. The simple act of raising the fastback into a family car or estate is very practical. Especially possible with electrically blackening the glass.
A mini truck with a fragile complicated bed cover.
I designed a very similar car based on a Honda Civic in 1975
Let's just hope some manufacturer will pick this and other ideas based on shape-changing cars up soon. There are real advantages to be explored
What a concept! It just needs a cool name..like...um...Avalanche!
Bruce H. Anderson
An 80s Nissan Pulsar that you don't have to replace the hatch to convert?
Looks like a two-seater which, of course, means niche volume - not exactly what car manufacturers are going to be looking for with a family vehicle. "The perfect car for mid-life crisis" isn't the best marketing ploy either. My opinion: clever but a non-starter.
Depending on cost and fuel economy, I would definitely purchase it.
Like most people a pickup on rare occasions is exactly the vehicle I need. Now almost no rental place will let you rent a pickup for hauling. This is a nice solution. If I need too much, U-Haul, if small amounts this.
It really should make it so the back can fold down like on a regular pickup.
It should also have the ability to install back seats for when in wagon mode, or maybe they could be some how stored in the vehicle (in floor???) when in sports car or pickup mode.
Over complicated. Sounds like a maintenance nightmare. Bets on if some part or parts will leak...a lot?
Ford did a concept of this in the '60s w/o the truck bit. Saw a picture on line the other day, but am not going waste time backtracking to find it.
Richard D. McDowell
I like this, awesome, Id drive one
can see Ferrari logo on body, or Lambo.
The overall shape is reminiscent of the 1978 BMW M1. The Porsche 924/944/928 shape has been subject to quite a few similar-looking pickup conversions, for example: http://flatsixes.com/cars/porsche-928/porsche-928-gts-pickup-truck/
Sounds like a simplified niche version of a project i did for my thesis back in 2009. IMO It's missing a capable 4x8 bed and additional passenger area to even be a viable proposition.
So.. what happens to the rear seating when the car is truckified?
Looks like a solution in seach of a problem. As an estate car (station wagon) the carrying capacity would not be large enough to be worth the complexity (a small sports estate would be better- such as the Lancia Beta HPE or Reliant Scimitar GTE). And as for the 'pick up'- simply isn't large enough to bother with- if its only going to be used occasionally then a small trailer is vastly more practical- and you aren't going to be too bothered if the trailer gets bashed about a bit, or scratched by awkwardly shaped cargo.
Surely the best solution isn't to buy a sportscar at all if you need the extra space, but find a great handling small hatchback instead- there are quite a few on the market.
Does anyone remember the "Pulsar"? I like the looks of this better because it's larger. Reminds me of my 87 Accord Hatchback.
Thank you, Richard!
I found the 1967 Ford Magic Cruiser II as a predecessor.
At least one problem will be the sealing at the side and the combination with a useful tailgate opening!
And for the concept itself: Aerodynamics can be about cd 0,01 better in coupe style, combined with better looks! If you can use this configuration often, it pays, someday - for you and the environment.
Instead of a pick up option I could also better imagine a trailer.
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