Soon, we will be seeing Suzuki scooting across the skies in Japan. Nope. There will not be flying Swift or Jimny or Vitara but thanks to a technology and production agreement with Japanese personal air transport maker, SkyDrive, Suzuki is indeed taking to the skies.
Last March, the Japanese marque signed an agreement with SkyDrive regarding the flying car business and technology collaboration. In September of the same year, Suzuki invested in SkyDrive Series C round. Fast forward to October 2023, the two entities concluded a cooperation agreement on manufacturing flying cars dubbed SkyDrive SD-05.
Suzuki and SkyDrive also revealed that they will produce up to 100 “flying cars” per year at Suzuki’s plant in Iwata City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Production of the eVTOLs is expected to start in spring 2024 with the SD-05 scheduled to debut in 2025.
At the recently concluded Japan Mobility Show in Tokyo, Suzuki showed off a 1/5 scale model of its flying car. The SD-05 is vastly different from the SkyDrive SD-03 demoed in 2020. Where the SD-03 is a single-seater flying vehicle with a quadrotor setup, the SkyDrive SD-05 is a multi-rotor electric VTOL that can accommodate up to 3 people, including the pilot.
With 12 rotors, it has three times more rotors than the SD-03, and it is paired with an unknown battery system that would allow a maximum cruising speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) with a range of around 15 kilometers (about 9 miles). It has a maximum takeoff weight of around 1,400 kilograms (3,086 lbs).
The aircraft is pretty imposing – thanks to the 12 rotors encircling it. It measures approximately 13 meters by 13 meters by 3 meters (43 x 43 x 10 feet).
If you are keen, you may learn more about the new SkyDrive SD-05 at the SkyDrive website.
Images: Suzuki [JP].