Sci-Fi styled ‘Flake’ concept car uses active body panels (+video)

Sci-Fi styled ‘Flake’ concept car uses active body panels (+video)

Active aerodynamics are starting to find use in top end performance-focused production vehicles, but even the latest electro-hydraulic flaps already look outdated compared to this recently revealed concept car.

Created by budding automotive designer Da Feng, the ‘Flake’ concept draws inspiration from some strange sources including the characters from the movie Cars and the ash from Feng’s cigarettes. Despite its bizarre influences, the Flake concept began three years ago at Coventry University and has now taken shape. Well, some sort of shape anyway.

Pictured is the third version of the Flake, which uses 250 active body panels, all of them controlled by mini solenoids pulling on carbon nano-tube wires. Lost already? So are we but the end result is a unique body that can lay flat to decrease drag at speed, hinge upward to slow the vehicle open up to aid cornering and increase downforce. Apparently the active body panels will also be able to collect solar power.

Just as radical are the “D-Wheels” which are constructed of 12 individual legs that extend upwards and contract downwards to fit the driving surface. Both wheels and the body structure can act as part of the suspension, giving the Flake off-road ability as well.

It all sounds too crazy and more science fiction than reality but Feng did speak to an ex-Williams Formula 1 engineer who said the idea is possible. But don’t expect to see a Flake cruising to the shops anytime soon.

Check out a video of the Flake below.

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