We love concept vehicles here at Inhabitat – not because we hope that they will be manufactured at some point, but because we’re impressed by the innovative thinking behind them. Take the 888 by Oskar Johansen, which looks like any other slick two-seater – until you dig a little deeper. It turns out this solar-electric super-car is capable of a unique feat of imaginative engineering: it can shrink!

peugeot 888, 888, oskar johansen, norway, design challenge, 2008, shrinking car, shrinking vehicle, small vehicle, shrinking hybrid

The 888 is able to transition between two modes: suburban mode and city mode. While in the city, the vehicle is lifted by a hydraulic tilting system which in turn decreases the length of its wheel axis. The car therefore becomes slightly taller, giving it improved visibility, and making it more maneuverable. As the vehicle leaves the city, the vehicle returns to its lower profile, giving it the speed and stability required for highway driving.

The vehicle is fully electric and features an independent electric motor on each wheel. Lithium-ion batteries supply each motor with energy, and the car also generates its own power via the photovoltaic cells covering its trunk.

The 888 is one of many entries in the Fifth Annual Peugeot Design Contest. The breath and scope of this year’s designs hasn’t ceased to impress us, and it’s definitely worth a look.

+ Peugeot 888