Flying Cars Are All The Rage At CES, And This Transformers-Style Evtol Is Leading The Way

Last year, it was an Elvis impersonator flying a one-person eVTOL on the Vegas strip. This year, the flying cars are all grounded at CES, but there are a lot more of them.

Supernal, backed by the Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor, today showed its hotly anticipated S-A2 concept at CES. The electric air taxi will have seating for a pilot and four passengers, building on the S-A1 that it showed at the show in 2020. Supernal says the vehicle will enter the market in 2028.

China-based Xpeng Aeroht is also showing a full-scale model of a supercar lookalike that converts to a flying car, and a concept of its Modular Flying Car, or Land Aircraft Carrier, that combines an electric SUV with a two-person flying eVTOL.

The Modular Flying Car, which has undergone initial flight tests, should be ready for delivery toward the end of 2025, with initial sales limited to China. “Like the ‘Transformers,’ the air module achieves vertical takeoff and landing, meeting low-altitude flight needs,” Aeroht co-founder Tan Wang told Robb Report. “The ground module can completely retract the air module into the vehicle for ground travel, resembling a land-based aircraft carrier.”

Regarding its supercar flying car, Wang was a bit more cryptic, declining to give specs on speed and range, just saying it was a product designed “for the future,” but will have an “electric power system.”

Supernal has also shied from promoting new designs until the concept and the market were both ready, according to Jaiwon Shin, president of Hyundai Motor Group and CEO of Supernal. The announcement at CES was a major one for the eVTOL sector as the S-A2 officially entered into competition with Joby, Archer, Lilium and Vertical Aerospace. The S-A2, said Shin, is a “safe, efficient vehicle design that provides a clear path to market entry.”

The V-tail aircraft is designed to cruise at 120 mph at a 1,500-foot altitude for 25- to 40-mile urban trips. It has eight tilting rotors, and like other electric aircraft, runs quietly. “It will operate as quietly as a dishwasher—65 dB in vertical takeoff and landing, and 45 dB while cruising horizontally,” said Shin.

The company partnered with Hyundai Motor Group’s automotive designers on the aesthetics, using different colors and materials to separate the passenger and pilot areas. The team used their experience from designing smart cars with similar efficient footprints. “S-A2 is a true representation of ‘auto meets aero,’” said Luc Donckerwolke, chief design officer of Hyundai Motor Group.

On the other end of the eVTOL world, the one-person Helix, with two sets of four electric rotors front and rear, will cost about $190,000. First deliveries are expected in June. CEO Ken Karklin praised the simple design. “It lacks the complexity that just about any other eVTOL has,” he told “There are no rotating wings there are no rotating motors. We have 12 control surfaces: The RPM value of eight motors and the position of four ailerons. That’s it.”

Helix is part of the growing list of one-person eVTOLs that include the Jetson, Ryse Recon, Zapata, and a half-dozen others. It’s classified by the FAA as a Part 103 Ultralight Aircraft, so there is no pilot’s license required, though it will be restricted from flying over any populated areas. Its range is also limited to just over 20 miles, with a cruising speed of 63 mph.

“We’re not trying to become an air taxi service or provide vehicles for air taxi service,” said Karklin. “That’s a commercial venture, it’s very audacious, and it’s going to be challenging (for them) because of the number of hurdles.”

The Leo Coupe is another flying car exhibiting at CES. The two-person interior looks more like a car than a conventional eVTOL, with large side windows and even a large in-floor window. It’s powered by 200 lift jets, rather than rotors and propellers, with a 200-mph target cruising speed and 250-mile range.

“The scale of our vehicle is more akin to a car than an airplane,” LEO Flight Corporation co-founder Carlos Salaff told Robb Report earlier. Salaff started his career as an automotive designer. “We set out to create a safe and compact vehicle that operates simply and feels intuitive to a culture accustomed to automobiles.” That means it should fit right in with all the other EVs at CES.


Previously published on Robb Report USA

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