MDI Air Car Breaks Cover At NYIAS

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

We reported earlier that Indian automaker Tata had entered an agreement to license compressed-air technology from French firm MDI. But we hadn't seen a prototype… until now. The MDI Air Car was discovered by Autoblog Green at the New York Auto Shows X-Prize display, confirming the goofiness of the concept. Think Manx dune buggy meets golf cart meets tree frog. No word yet as to how the vehicle (one hesitates to use the term "car" so loosely) will conform the 100mpg performance required for participation in the X-Prize. Although we typically embrace the use of revolutionary technologies, this one just seems way too far removed from reality… unless you want a carbon-neutral trip to the 19th hole.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Shaker Shaker on Mar 22, 2008
    Stein X Leikanger : Something’s under that cover: And it ain't a "tree-frog"... FWIW, the main "problem" with mass-production hybrids/EV's is the high cost and limited availability of raw materials for the primary storage medium: Batteries. One could say that the "Air Car" solves this problem quite well. Of course, if it's a green golf cart driving around inside a gated community, emitting an exhaust note akin to a Bronx Cheer, few will sign on.
  • Cjdumm Cjdumm on Mar 22, 2008

    How dare they call this a 'debut'? These things 'debuted' maybe 50 years traveling carnivals and county fairs! They're still there, going around and around in circles under the funny round awnings (always turning left, in honor of NASCAR), with happy toddlers strapped in as display models. 100 MPG seems a little optimistic. I'd probably guess their mileage at about 4-5 laps per carnival ticket. Seriously, could they have done any MORE to prevent people from taking this 'car' seriously? Engineering aside, they've set themselves back five years with this prototype.

  • MARSCHNER MARSCHNER on Apr 21, 2008

    If you are interested to invest in the MDI company, my wife and I are willing to sell some of our shares of MDI. We support financially MDI since 1992 and hold then so 1 % of the capital. After 16 years we decide to realise a part of our investment ! Our selling price will be less (market oblige) as the last transfers made by M Nègre himself (he held 2/3 of the capital). If you have a serious interest please write us : martinmarschner(at)