Skip to main content

Subaru previews flying car concept that basically looks like a giant drone

Will that Jetsons life ever be a reailty?

Subaru air mobility concept front
Subaru

The futuristic concept of flying cars has just inched another step closer to reality. Following on from Alef Aviation’s “Model A” gaining an airworthiness certificate earlier in 2023, a more well-known manufacturer has debuted its own flying vehicle concept. However, unlike the “Model A,” Subaru has eschewed traditional styling on its Air Mobility concept and instead opted for something that could best be described as looking like a large drone.

The flying vehicle was unveiled at the Japan Mobility Show in October and is apparently designed to help customers bypass gridlock traffic. It appears the vehicle will use six downward-facing propellers to take to the skies and maneuver itself.

While it doesn’t look like a car, there are some familiar parts of Subaru’s flying vehicle. The front features what appears to be headlights on either side of a Subaru badge. Tail lights adorn the back, with the word “Subaru” appearing in orange letters in the middle. There is a cockpit, though there is no word on how many the vehicle can seat. Subaru is also staying quiet on other design aspects, potential price points, and a timeline for the vehicle’s release.

Flying subaru air mobility concept rear
Subaru

Could you actually fly one?

While more automakers are looking into the concept of flying cars, many question whether they could actually fly and drive one of the vehicles. The general consensus is that the driving part would be covered by a standard driver’s license, but the flying aspect needs a little more in the way of qualifications. At a minimum, you would need a private pilot’s license to take to the skies in your vehicle. It’s more likely that some kind of special licensing will be developed as the vehicles become more common.

There’s also a chance you’ll be able to beat traffic by taking to the skies sooner than you think — and it won’t even cost you that much. Air taxis are being developed by several companies, and plans are in place to introduce them in several large cities. As they can’t land just anywhere, air taxis will likely ferry passengers between two set points in a city — such as the airport and a major building or designated air taxi port.

Although they were initially meant to make their debut a couple of years ago, there have been a few delays in implementing the air taxi. Still, regulatory approval is in place in several cities, the FAA has given the nod to a few designs, and major companies like United Airlines have placed significant pre-orders.

Editors' Recommendations

Dave McQuilling
Dave has spent pretty much his entire career as a journalist; this has included jobs at newspapers, TV stations, on the…
2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE Cabriolet: Drop-top dream car reaches U.S. shores
New Mercedes aspirational four passenger convertibles arrive soon
2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE Cabriolet in white direct frontal view parked on red ground with clouds and sky in the background.

Hot on the heels of Mercedes-Benz EQS update announcement, we now know the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE Cabriolet is scheduled to arrive at U.S. dealerships this spring with new safety technology, optimized aerodynamics, and the next-generation MBUX infotainment system. Powered by mild hybrid engines, the CLE 300 4MATIC Cabriolet and CLE 450 4MATIC Cabriolet are also larger than the previous models.
Why the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE Cabriolet matters

Not many large automakers could get away with introducing a new-generation vehicle today that's not a pickup truck, SUV, battery-electric vehicle, or plug-in hybrid. However, it is arguable that Mercedes sets the standard for four-seat medium-luxury European convertibles. BMW convertible four-seaters are a bit sportier, and Audis are less costly, but the Mercedes CLE Cabriolet fits the drop-top dream car profile nicely.
2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE Cabriolet: lets' talk about power

Read more
This is what’s new with the 2025 Subaru Forester
Rather than reinvent models every few years, Subaru focuses on improving each model incrementally.
Right side profile shot of a 2025 Subaru Forester parked on a stone drive in front of a multiple story stone mansion.

Subaru introduced the sixth-generation 2025 Forester SUV in five trim levels. The sixth variant, the Forester Wilderness, remains unchanged for 2025 because Subaru redesigned the 2024 version of the more rugged, off-road trim. Like all Subaru SUVs and most sedans, the 2025 Forester trims have full-time, symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD), four-cylinder Boxer internal combustion engines (ICEs), and continuously variable transmissions (CVTs).
Why 2025 Subaru Forester trim levels matter

Unless you already own a Subaru, and even then, discerning the changes between years is difficult. Walk on a Subaru dealership lot with new cars mixed with used models, and it's easy to mistake a 10-year-old Forester or Outback for a spanking new version. Subaru doesn't make drastic design changes. The brand's value point is based on reliability and durability, much more than attracting attention with spiffy new profiles.

Read more
50 years ago, the Audi 50 launch set the mold for decades of small cars
The Volkswagen Golf continues a legacy from another car company
A yellow Audi 50 pared on the side of a roadway with a large red concrete building in the background.

Timing might not be everything, but it worked for the Volkswagen Group in the 1970s. When the first oil crisis hit in 1973, Audi, a member of the VW Group, was about to begin production of the Audi 50, a small car that emphasized fuel economy. Introduced fifty years ago, the 1974 Audi 50's small hatchback design lives on today in the 2024 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R.
Why the Audi 50 mattered

As the image of youthful exuberance in the Audi 50 approaching the Brandenburg Gate shows in the advertisement above, Audi targeted the image of free-spirited independence and good times for the Audi 50's compact body style. Its relatively low fuel consumption and purchase price appealed to first-time buyers and anyone looking for a car that didn't suck down liters or gallons of gasoline. Audi never sold the Audi 50 in the U.S., but another car from the Volkswagen Group found a ready market in America.

Read more