j-car by Wen Chieh, New Zealand

2005: Germany.

Scale Model on Display at Michelin Challenge Design™


Wen Chieh has been living in New Zealand for more than seven years. He is currently in his third year, majoring in Transport Design at Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand.

His life-long dream always has been to become an automotive designer. He was told by his tutor, Bryn Chapple, about Michelin Challenge Design. After some research into the German automotive culture, social conditions, as well as Germany’s transportation problems today, he developed his idea to split the car into two as a way to reduce traffic problems in Germany.


The two smaller cars (halves) are joined using heavy-duty clamps. When joined, the small wheels retract, one end of the combined car exposes a spoiler and the rear lights change color to become taillights and the surplus rear vision mirrors retract. This is for functional reasons and a safety consideration and makes it easier for other drivers to recognize which end of the car they are looking at. The rear seats rotate and the surplus steering wheel folds away. Now you have a 4-wheel steering, 4-wheel drive, 4 person family touring car, powered by two 1-liter hybrid engines. This is the ultimate vehicle combination for small modern families. They can choose between 2 mini cars for separate short local trips, or one family vehicle when they travel together.