Would you shell out six figures for a flying motorcycle instead of a luxury supercar? One Japanese startup is certainly banking on it.
A.L.I. Technologies has just launched a new fully-fledged hoverbike designed to convince well-heeled motorists to eschew pricey four-wheelers in favor of the new “icon of air mobility.” The limited edition, which goes by the name of XTurismo, went on sale earlier this week for the sky-high sum of ¥77.7 million (approximately $680,000 at the current exchange rate). Evidently, it’s still priced like a supercar.
With a striking black and red paint job, the hoverbike spans 12 feet from tip to tail and is about 8 feet wide by 5 feet high. Although it is much larger and heavier than a traditional motorcycle—661 pounds, to be exact—it still retains a similar silhouette save for the giant propellers and landing skids.
As for grunt, the hybrid powertrain comprises a conventional internal combustion engine and four battery-powered motors. This allows the XTurismo to fly for up to 40 minutes at speeds of up to 62 mph, as reported by Reuters. The hoverbike can also carry up to 220 pounds—more than enough for one rider.
At first blush, the XTurismo handles as it should, albeit a little slower than that touted top speed. A.L.I. Technologies carried out a short test flight on October 26 at the Fuji Speedway. The bike can be seen hovering a few feet above the race track in the foothills of Mount Fuji (see video above).
The Tokyo-based drone company, which is backed by soccer star Keisuke Honda as well as industry giants Mitsubishi Electric and Kyocera, hopes the XTurismo will be adopted in a wide range of fields. It may even one day help alleviate heavy traffic in cities like Tokyo, which is home to some 13.5 million residents. Although, that would require a change in legislation; current laws prohibit hoverbikes from flying over Japan’s busy roads.
“Until now, the choice has been to move on the ground or at scale in the sky,” chief executive Daisuke Katano told Reuters. “We hope to offer a new method of movement.”