Currently, it serves as a luxurious plaything for the super-rich, but its ambitions extend to lunar exploration and even robot battles.
The hypercar industry, with its multimillion-dollar offerings, is thriving. The world’s ultra-wealthy can choose from a myriad of outrageously expensive, high-performance options like the Rimac Nevera or the Mercedes-AMG Project One. Some of these vehicles are so extreme that they aren’t even street-legal.
The World’s Coolest $3 Million Mecha, Destined for the Moon
But what if you’re a tech-savvy multibillionaire more inclined toward anime than motorsports? In that case, the Tsubame Archax might be the perfect choice. It’s essentially a dream come true for Gundam fans: a $3 million, 15-foot-tall mecha that closely resembles the real thing, albeit missing a few iconic features like jet boosters, laser swords, and neural interfaces found in Gundam’s various and often contradictory storylines.
Guessing the machine’s origin isn’t a challenge – it’s proudly displayed at the Japan Mobility Show. During my visit to the event, I had the opportunity to closely examine this $3 million marvel and engage in a conversation with the team responsible for its creation. Archax, the inaugural offering from Yokohama-based Tsubame, is the outcome of four years of dedicated research and development.
Impressive Demonstrations and Transformer-Like Transformation
The result is nothing short of impressive. Within the vast Tokyo Big Sight exhibition hall, where numerous supercars and concept vehicles are on display, Archax stands as a towering figure. Periodically, Tsubame’s staff conducts a straightforward demonstration, during which the mecha extends its arms, greets the audience, and seamlessly transitions between Robot mode and Vehicle mode.
Indeed, the Archax shares some traits with Transformers. Similar to the Autobots, it possesses the capability to transition, but it doesn’t resemble a VW Beetle or Kenworth K100. Instead, it smoothly transforms between two variations of a similar concept.
The Archax is equipped with four legs, although it doesn’t use them for walking in the conventional sense. Each leg features a Yokohama industrial tire, similar to those used on forklifts, and is powered by an electric motor. In Vehicle mode, the Archax’s four legs are positioned apart, lowering its center of gravity and allowing it to reach a maximum speed of approximately 6 mph.
However, to impress your friends or astonish your neighbors, you can transform it into Robot mode, where it reaches its full height of 15 feet. The transformation, while not as complex as Optimus Prime’s standards, is still a remarkable spectacle. Multiple electric motors within the chassis come to life to raise the 3.5-ton machine to its full height, a process that takes around 15 seconds.
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