We’ve seen some pretty crazy looking patents, but this one probably tops them all. Ford has filed a patent for a car with a motorcycle built into it that can be deployed as a separate vehicle. It’s kind of like the Batpod that shoots out of the Batmobile in Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, but with a Ford C-Max.
The patent application, filed Oct. 18, 2017 but published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, describes an electric motorcycle (Ford’s wording; it’s probably more like a scooter which, like the C-Max, sounds a lot less cool) that is connected by a rail system inside the car between the front seats. The scooter actually makes up the center console of the car, with the seat serving as an armrest or storage area.
When needed, the motorcycle can be deployed out the front of the car. The hood lifts up and actuators, either electric motors or a hydraulic system, releases the motorcycle. With the two-wheeler deployed, the rest of the car can be driven on its own, powered by either a rear-mounted engine or hub-mounted electric motors. Meanwhile, the gap in the car where the center console used to be gets closed off by a rubber seal.
While still attached, the motorcycle can be raised so that its not touching the ground while the car is in use but the patent also describes a situation where the bike’s drive wheel can be touching the ground helping to propel the car along with the rear engine, making it a hybrid vehicle in more than one sense of the term.
Ford doesn’t describe the two-wheeled vehicle in much technical detail, except to describe some amenities. The car’s infotainment system, for example, is part of the bike and can continue to serve as such when deployed, offering an on-board computer, GPS navigation, radio, and Bluetooth connectivity. Additionally, the patent describes the center console’s electrical system to heat the saddle.
It’s unlikely we’ll ever see this idea come to life, but if it does, it won’t be anywhere as awesome as this: