I think we’ve all been sleeping on Volkswagen Commercial’s Norway division, because while everyone else has been out there wasting time engineering, designing, and building full-size cars and vans, VW Norway has been doing the real important work, developing an office chair with five wheels and and EV motor and turn signals, and the whole thing can hit 12 mph. Fucking finally, right? Here I am scooting around on my foot-powered office chair like some sort of filthy white-collar animal! No more!
Here’s a video about the design and building of this important new VW product:
VW really brought it for this build, as you can see. Take the lighting system, integrated into the armrests. There appears to be both DRLs that match the look of VW’s current design language as well as actual projector-style headlamps set within, along with turn signals, taillights, and the “party light” multicolor LED mode they showed in the video.
There’s a seat heater, and backup cameras, and proximity sensors and a tow hitch – hold on, I’m just going to copy and paste the full feature list here:
The chair has, among other things, the following standard equipment:
- Electric motor (12 km range)
- Comfortable seat with embroidered Volkswagen logo
- Seat heater and touch display
- Beautiful exterior in metallic paint
- Rear view camera and 360 degree sensor
- Loudspeakers and entertainment system with songs that give you the feeling of going on a trip
- Two-wheel drive (fortunately, we offer vans with four-wheel drive)
- 4” rims in solid aluminum and pedals with steering
- LED lights, flashing lights and work party lights
- Horn and USB charger
- Removable, rechargeable battery
- Storage space of 0.005 m3 and trailer hitch
The range is about seven and a half miles, which should be not only good enough for getting around even pretty vast offices, but possibly even enough for some people’s commute.
I wonder what the thinking is with the tow hitch? I guess you could tow a little trailer to move office equipment like your telex machine or punch-card readers or whatever they’re using nowadays, or perhaps you could bring snacks to all the workers, perhaps a large vat of chowder, to everyone.
It’s a fun, goofy idea, well-executed, so that’s great, VW Commercial Norway. The only problem is that if you really extrapolate the use and full enjoyment of this chair, there’s really no end result that doesn’t look like this:
Also, while I get this is basically a joke, I’d like to propose something: what if it wasn’t? What VW had perhaps unwittingly built here is something that I very much believe in: the small, minimal energy-demand low-speed, low-range little car. I believe in it because I have one that I have used extensively, my ridiculous little Changli EV.
I’ve used this little 1.1 horsepower thing for all sorts of transportation needs for years, and I’ve found that a shocking amount of what I do I can accomplish with the Changli. And that VW chair is essentially a sleeker, body-less version of the Changli. Expand the battery size a bit and throw a body on that thing that can seat, say, two or three, and boom, VW has a viable EV city car that can be sold for cheap. Something like the new Citroën Ami.
Think about it, VW! Sometimes things that start as jokes can turn into something much, much more. Like, you know, car websites.
Facrissake Torch, ya sold us. HOW MUCH??!!!
I wonder if the office buzzkill waited until they were done to show them the 15-year-old iReal from Toyota? I think it was briefly featured on old top gear years ago as well.
Oh how I wish I could post a Dr. Evil gif…https://thumbs.gfycat.com/BasicUglyBlueandgoldmackaw-max-1mb.gif
I’m curious how this would get marketed, Electric Chair has a certain ring to it.
maybe ‘Wheel Chair’?
I unironically love this thing. It’s the combination of looking (and probably being) wildly unstable and being able to hit 12mph, which is going to feel like Warp Factor Buttclench.
When do we get a racing league for these?
Since it’s mentionned : How does the Changli fare ?
Are the electrical woes solved ?
To all of the haters of this chair, “you would like it too, if you had robot ears.”
Why reverse cameras? Cant you just spin 180 degrees and be facing in reverse? A nice wheeled igloo cooler would be a good tow vehicle.
Good to see VW getting back to its roots with an air-cooled, rear-engined, RWD platform where the driver’s legs are exposed to frontal collisions.
So they took a Rascal scooter, made it less stable, added lights and a backup camera, and called it a day?
Now, if these chairs get included in new VWs as some kind of side-launched ejection seats, I’m all in. Like the Batpod launching out of the crumpled wreck of the Tumbler, these motorized chairs would be awesome, especially for anyone with mobility issues. Pull up to the grocery store in your ID. Buzz, push a button, and the seat disengages from the car and slides out the side, without you ever having to stand up. Then you just scoot into the store. After shopping, go back to your car and push a button on your chair. The door opens and you ride up into the Buzz and the chair locks back into place. The chair could even be charged by the car itself as you’re driving. And if you encounter another person in the store riding around on their chair, you obviously have to joust with rolls of aluminum foil.
You must really want to accelerate the reality of the aforementioned Wall-E dystopia
The Changi-Li looks angry. The angled headlights, the off kilter bull bar. Bring it VW!
“Loudspeakers and entertainment system with songs that give you the feeling of going on a trip”
So Autobahn by Kraftwerk, then. I would give Gary Numan a nod, but I can’t lock all the doors and be stable for days in chairs.
I was just going to say, someone needs to grayscale that shot of the Changli and slap a Parental Advisory Explicit Content sticker on it. It’d be the Autopian’s first platinum* album.
*platinum referring to the catalytic converters we had to steal to finance it
I just love it when engineers are allowed to simply be themselves.
So how is the Chang-Li motor upgrade going?
We’ve been waiting six months for Chang-Li news – the suspense is killing me!