MIT has been working on their clever little foldable, stackable City Car concept for nearly half a decade now, and they've finally made a real one. It's destined for Europe in 2013, but not for individuals: to drive one, you'll have to be willing to share.
Since "City Car" is a bit awkward, MIT has decided to call the vehicle "Hiriko," which you would recognize as meaning "from the city" if you spoke Basque. At an unveiling ceremony in Brussels this week, MIT talked about how its plan is to deploy a squad of 20 Hirikos in Spain, where they'll be part of an urban car-sharing program: if you're a member, you'll be able to use one for a few hours at a time whenever you need to.
Hiriko is ideal for urban sharing because of its clever design. It's electric, of course, and gets 60 miles on a charge, but there's no centralized motor: instead, the wheels each contain their own integrated motors, brakes, and suspension. The car doesn't have doors, but the entire front windshield folds up, saving even more room. And when you're done driving, the back wheels shift towards the front wheels, collapsing the cargo compartment and decreasing the size of the car so much that you can stack three of them into a regularly-sized parking spot.
Depending on how well this sharing system works out, other cities may get in the game, including San Francisco, Berlin, Barcelona, Malmö and Hong Kong. Eventually, you may be able to buy your very own Hiriko for about $12,500, but it's gonna be a while before you can claim one of these cute little cars for your very own.
Check out a video of Hiriko's unveil below.