Suzuki is an ambitious company. Motorcycles and automobiles aren’t enough for it anymore—now Suzuki wants to fly.
To this end, Suzuki and SkyDrive recently announced a new partnership. Their goal is nothing less than to create a flying car.
Also known as eVTOLs (an incredibly clumsy acronym for “electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles”), flying cars have so far been the stuff of science fiction. But now Suzuki and SkyDrive aim to make them reality in the next few years.
SkyDrive describes itself as the leading manufacturer of flying cars in Japan. The company is currently working to develop a compact two-seated eVTOL and has its eyes on full-scale commercial production.
Suzuki will provide SkyDrive with technological research and development, manufacturing and mass production capacity, and reach to international markets, specifically India. Together, the two partners hope to have a functioning air taxi by the 2025 World Expo in Osaka.
The legal framework for flying cars in Japan is already in place. In April 2022, SkyDrive agreed on the certification requirements for flying cars with Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, part of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism.
But despite having cleared the legal hurdles, three years to complete a functional flying car seems like a tall order. Especially so because SkyDrive has so far only produced prototypes—although one of them did successfully fly in 2020.
As to motorcycles, riders won’t have to worry. Suzuki isn’t planning to abandon two-wheelers in favor of four-propellers.
But should the flying car concept take off, it could become the fourth branch of Suzuki’s vehicle business, joining motorcycles, automobiles, and boat motors. We’ll just have to wait three years to see whether the idea soars or crashes.