Japan is a country of efficiency. Its population is hardworking and minute-squeezing, its housing is no larger than it needs to be, and its cars are polar bear friendly and miniature. Because of this, it’s no surprise that those bright minds over there have created this, a suitcase car.
Specifically, it was Mazda who came up with the idea of fitting a one-seater car inside something you’d usually fit your toothbrush and a few pairs of trousers into. It was the early ’90s when the Japanese marque gave themselves the challenge of making a very small car. But this car was never meant for the public. It was actually a contest within the business between departments to create the most innovative and out of the box idea for a “moving machine”.
Mazda certainly had a thing for creating, or rather, recreating whacky ideas. The Rotary engine, while not born in the hands of the automaker, was defined by it when it made its name in the RX-7. And the iconic MX5 Miata rebuilt the idea of what we expected from a small sports car. In fact, you could even argue that Mazda had a huge hand in changing motoring history by helping to introduce more efficient engines into the market.
Once Mazda’s employees were given this challenge, they ran to the local supermarket and bought a large Samsonite suitcase. Next, they sourced themselves a Pocket Bike, and before long had a folding mechanism that would allow the bike and all of its 33.6CCs within the zips.
It created 1.7 horsepower from its two-stroke engine, and when the rear wheels were attached to the outside of the case and the front wheel folded downwards so it touches the floor, of which would take a mere minute, it could be ridden. It had a top speed of 30km/h.
Unfortunately, the original prototype was accidentally destroyed only months after it was first built, and only one example is still around to this day. According to Mazda, it still works perfectly.