$300,000 flying car wows crowds at auto show, one step closer to take-off

DETROIT, Mich. — A quirky flying car costing over $286,000 is getting closer to take-off after wowing crowds at the Detroit Auto Show.

California company Alef Aeronautics’ UFO-like Model A vehicle made its real-world debut after receiving legal approval in June to fly from the federal government. Now, the firm is causing excitement in the motor industry thanks to its show-stopping appearance at one of the most influential events in the American car industry.

Alef Aeronautics claims the Model A would be able to drive on roads — but take flight to avoid traffic jams. The award of a limited FAA Special Airworthiness Certification for the electric vehicle allows them to move towards test flights and production.

“It’s still not the final consumer version. But at this point, it’s pretty close,” Alef founder and CEO Jim Dukhovny tells Robb Report.

Artist visualization of the Alef Model A flying car in flight.
Artist visualization of the Alef Model A in flight. (Credit: SWNS)

Dukhovny adds that the company plans to start production of the first car by “the end of 2025.” The company reports that their flying car is 100 percent electric, drivable on public roads, and has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. After taking off vertically, it can fly above obstacles “until a desired destination is reached,” the company reports.

The Model A would carry one or two occupants, with the driver and cabin stabilized by a unique gimbaled rotating cabin design. The 17-foot-long vehicle would have a range of 200 miles on the ground and achieve a 110-mile flight distance. It is designed to fit in any parking space or garage.

Artist visualization of the Alef Model A flying car. (Credit: SWNS)

“We’re excited to receive this certification from the FAA. It allows us to move closer to bringing people an environmentally friendly and faster commute, saving individuals and companies hours each week. This is a one small step for planes, one giant step for cars,” Dukhovny said earlier in 2023.

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South West News Service writer Dean Murray contributed to this report.

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  1. I, for one, am glad to see the FAA authorize flight tests on this vehicle. Science Fiction promised me flying cars by 1988, it is now 2023 and we are still earthbound. Hopefully this gains traction.

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