According to sci-fi movies and shows from decades ago, we should all be traveling around in our flying cars by now. That prediction turned out to be slightly optimistic, but thanks to Dutch company PAL-V, we now have “the first certified commercial flying car ever.”
Admittedly, the Liberty doesn’t exactly bring to mind the flying DeLorean from Back to the Future 2. The three wheels and foldable rotor makes it look more like a gyrocopter than most people's idea of a flying car, but it’s still equally at home on the road as it is in the sky.
As you might imagine, these vehicles don’t come cheap - the Liberty Sport base model costs $400,000 before taxes. If you want luxuries such as flying lessons, power heating, detailing, and an electronic flight instrument display, you’ll have to hand over $600,000 for the Pioneer Edition.
The 197bhp Liberty can hit 100 mph on the road and gets 31 miles to the gallon, giving it an impressive range of 817 miles on a full tank. In the air, it’ll reach 112 mph and has a maximum altitude of almost 11,500 feet, though the range drops to 310 miles while airborne.
Switching from drive to flight mode and vice versa take about five to ten minutes. And you’ll need a license to fly it, along with enough takeoff space – you can’t just hop out in the middle of a busy street, setup the flight mode, and fly over congested traffic, which would be handy.
Only 90 Pioneer Editions are being built for its initial construction run, so if you want one you’d better get your order in fast. The company’s asking for a non-returnable deposit of $25,000 for the more expensive Liberty, or $10,000 for the Sport version, with delivery set for the end of next year. Alternatively, a $2500 returnable escrow deposit will put you on the waiting list.