Toyota Patents Strange Drill-Like Car Attachment
Toyota is always up to strange and interesting things when it comes to patents. In 2013 alone the automaker secured more than a thousand patents, and in the past we have seen some for flying vehicles and cloaking devices.
Now we have this.
What is it? Well, it kind of looks like a drill that would be attached to the back of a sedan. Fortunately, it’s nothing of the sort—we imagine nobody wants to get impaled should they accidentally rear-end a Toyota.
The device is instead telescopic, with an actuator that can deploy it for the purpose of reducing drag. Historically, improving a vehicle’s drag, and thus its aerodynamic efficiency and its fuel economy, has always been hardest at the rear.
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But this aero device would help make the overall body of the car more streamlined and help a car like the Camry—the model used in the patent—glide through the air with less effort.
Still, even if it would prove to be perfectly safe in the event of a rear collision, it’s unlikely the device will ever see the light of day; if not because of the added weight, which would almost surely counter the fuel economy benefits, then because nobody would like the style.
Then again, some people might enjoy driving a vehicle that looks as though it could reverse into a mountain and bore a tunnel. You can bet the guys behind The Fast and the Furious franchise would find a way to work that into an over-the-top escape sequence.
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