When this rolling concept debuted in 1972, it was a little, quirky city car. But far from becoming a curiosity for websites like mine, a few years later it was transformed into a battery-electric hybrid city car. Jason Torchinsky over at Jalopnik has a great article on the car, which you should read, but I have a crazy idea…
This car was ingenious: 13.5-horsepower motor at front, with a nickel-zinc battery system at the back. Top speed? 72 km/h (45 mph), with a range of 80 km (50 miles).
These days, it'd be completely outclassed by any modern city car. But with autonomous cars on the way, an enterprising company should buy the design rights for a pretty little city car like this and put it into production. And why not? License the autonomous tech, and they could be sold to cities for tourists, or pressed into service to cart the elderly from place to place.
Even better, rent them out to people who can't drive: impaired driving charge? Order an X1/23. Broken car? X1/23. If it's unlikely to crash, the paper-thin doors can probably stay, too.