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The revolutionary Israeli streetcar is moving into production. And how does she travel? - Walla! vehicle


Highlights: The City Transformer, or CT-2 is a car 2.49 meters long and 1.4 meters wide. With the push of a button, it is able to narrow itself to only one meter by putting the wheels further inside. The only part is an option for upward opening doors that will be offered as an option in the future. The serial model will offer a slightly more sculpted body design and larger windows, especially at the back. But its innovation, which gave it its name, comes from the unique wheel system.

Ten years after it was founded and raised 20 million dollars, City Transformer, which is able to narrow itself down in preparation for parking and getting stuck in traffic, is moving forward, in preparation for production next year. first impression

City Transporter CT-2/Matan Sharon

The dilemma arose precisely at the end of the drive, after I shrunk the City Transformer and hit a reverse parking spot that I thought would be very nice, until the boom with the sidewalk.

Where do you get out of this unusual car - from the left door as usual, or rather from the right?

There are indeed two seats, but one behind the other, and the driver is surrounded by doors on both sides.

I left on the right.

Don't start off on the left foot.

Ten years ago when it was unveiled the car looked like just another unconventional city car show concept.

But the vehicle developed by Dr. Assaf Formosa, CEO of the company, and Prof. Johan Tomforde, managed to reach 2024, with a road license from the German authorities for a light vehicle (quadrocycle), in preparation for the launch of a serial version this coming June, and with an agreement for serial production from the second half of 2025 , at the Italian Cecomp factory, which already produces another interesting quadrocycle, the microlino.

Iron Swords War has canceled an international launch for the serial model that was planned for October, and will take place in June in Turin.

But we managed to get our hands on one of the two prototypes that arrived for a short demonstration drive in Tel Aviv.

Walla drives the new generation of urban cars:

first Israeli test for the Microlino

first Israeli test for the German version of the Citroen AMI

In the narrow mode and in the wide mode

City Transformer CT-2/Ronen Topelberg

City Transformer CT-2/Ronen Topelberg

The City Transformer competes for the holy grail of the automotive industry today: a city car, the missing urban link between scooters and mini cars.

Something that would be small enough to be considered one of the solutions to the parking crisis, reminiscent enough of a car that even die-hard drivers and those who refuse public transportation would adopt it, electric enough to not emit pollution from the exhaust.

And it won't be too expensive either.

We have already seen companies operating in this niche such as the French Ligia, which remains a vehicle for 15-year-olds and the elderly in rural areas, and has yet to make a successful transition to electricity.

Renault was also there with the electric Twizy, which turned out to be too expensive.

In recent years, the Swiss microlino appeared with a retro design of the BMW Izetta, and another major manufacturer tried its luck in the field, Citroen with the AMI, including in the Opel (Rox) and Fiat (Tupolino) versions, and it seems that the twizy is a great success, with a plan to produce 45 thousand units this year at the factory in Morocco.

It is easy to crown the City Transformer as the most revolutionary Israeli car since Susita, which did not advance the automotive industry in this regard, but it really tries to differentiate itself from other micro cars in technology.

Its design is not as cute as that of the microlino and the Emmy, but very versatile.

The only part is an option for upward opening doors that will be offered as an option in the future.

The serial model will offer a slightly more sculpted body design and larger windows, especially at the back.

But its innovation, which gave it its name, comes from the unique wheel system.

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Future version with doors opening upwards/Ronen Topelberg

At its core, the City Transformer, or CT-2, is a car 2.49 meters long and 1.4 meters wide.

But with the push of a button on the steering wheel, it is able to narrow itself to only one meter, by putting the wheels further inside the body.

This way, on the one hand, it can be used for parking at the width of a scooter, and on the other hand, be wider and more stable for driving.

"In Europe, 85% of trips are made in the city and 85% of those are only with a driver," Dr. Formosa points out the data in the presentations to investors. To allow the movement of such vehicles."

The list of investors meanwhile includes mainly local companies from the automotive sector, starting with the Manor family's Lubinsky car importer, the Afifi family, Edi Systems, the real estate company Zemach Hamerman and three foreign investors, from Singapore, Spain and the USA. 20 million The dollars raised so far have been used for development and licensing. Plans to issue or raise $50 million have risen and fallen amid the cooling of the capital markets, and have been replaced by a more modest raising of $20 million, hoping to attract strategic investors as well, and provide the company with the necessary funding until serial production begins

. It also integrates Israeli suppliers in the vehicle: Ride Vision will provide it with an accident warning system, blind spot monitoring and distance keeping, and negotiations are underway with Morel to supply speakers for the sound system.

The German company Bosch provides some of the electronic systems, and will also provide a dedicated navigation system, which will take advantage of the vehicle's unique dimensions to offer it routes that will include driving through passages that a normal car cannot pass through.

The passenger sits behind the driver.

It is also possible to fold its seat, to create a respectable trunk/Ronen Toppelberg

CEO Dr. Assaf Formosa/Ronan Topelberg

Chief Operating Officer Udi Meridor/Ronen Topelberg

Designer Eyal Kramer/Ronen Toppelberg

The price in Europe after taxes will be 19 thousand euros, relatively cheap for a small tram - Fiat 500e starts at 27 thousand euros, and the larger Citroen e-C3 will currently start at 23.4 thousand euros.

On the other hand, it is twice the price of a new Citroen Emi.

"The Emmy is an interesting competitor, but it is far from our performance and capabilities," Formosa said.

And in numbers: the Citroen has a maximum speed of 45 km/h, the CT of 90 km/h.

The Citroen has a range of 75 km, the CT 180 km, and 120 km with air conditioning, which the French does not have.

The Israeli will also try to offer the highest level of safety in the category, close to that of a Mini car. "Our competitors are built from a chassis tubes, we are from a classic chassis of steel and aluminum, with the use of plastic as well," says Udi Meridor, co-founder, VP of operations and strategy.

"The driver will have an airbag, there will be ABS, and there will be an accident warning system."

The seating of passenger and driver behind each other, like the Brno Twizy, reminds a bit of a scooter and is designed to help the narrow dimensions.

"The serial model that we will represent will have a narrower driver's seat, so that the passenger can place his legs around it and get more space. There will also be a central monitor that serves as a dashboard, and a place to place the smartphone as an entertainment system," explains Eyal Kramer, another co-founder and the company's design director.

There will also be a cargo version, without a back seat.

The performance is agile for a congested urban environment, the ride comfort is tough/Ronen Toppelberg

time to drive

Getting into the driver's seat is comfortable, although the legroom is less comfortable, especially around the crowded pedals, a matter that should be taken care of in the production car.

There is even a reverse camera, and driving is like a normal automatic car.

Shift to D, release the electronic parking brake, and press the gas.

The prototype is limited to the 40 km/h zone, but in city driving it doesn't really matter. After a few seconds I press the dedicated button on the steering wheel, only to hear the hydraulic system kick in and extend the car into the more stable position. Here all four wheels move Together, and also the "wheel houses" above them. In the serial model, each axle will move on its own, which will streamline and quieten the process. Still, it is interesting to follow the process from the side mirrors, which have been adjusted to provide the driver with a watchful view of the wheels. The serial model will be able to autonomously recognize when to extend the wheels When starting to drive and when to reduce them when you reach a parking lot, but the driver's ability to control himself will be preserved.

Visibility out is very good and maneuverability is great, although we would have expected a turning radius smaller than 8.3 meters. With a pair of engines with a power of 20 hp there is no problem to move the 590 kilograms (the weight is limited to 450 kg not including the battery to remain in the quadricycle category - A.E.). The manufacturer's data speaks of 5 seconds from 0 to 50 km/h, when in the narrow configuration the speed will be limited to the 40 km/h. For the crowded city it is more than enough, and with the possibility of suburban driving. In Israel, these tools are prohibited for driving on intercity roads anyway.

Driving comfort is not successful, one of the issues that the change in the wheel folding system will take care of, with the addition of a suspension move.

But a short car will never be really comfortable.

But with responsive steering and go-kart behavior this would be a fun city car.

An original urban solution, and thinking outside the box/Ronen Topelberg

Bottom line, the City Transformer is a car that meets a real need, armed with original solutions.

It will indeed raise the price tag in Israel to about NIS 100,000, like a gasoline mini car with 5 seats, but the parking capacity of a scooter under the wheels, a category whose prices are no longer very far from this level.

And above all, a significantly higher level of safety than two- and two-wheeled vehicles, no wonder that Ihud Hatzla signed an agreement to purchase 1,000 such cars for its medics.

It still has a lot of work to do to change the mindset of regulators, investors and potential buyers.

But if anyone can do it, it's this convertible car.

City Transformer CT-2 |



two electric wheels, 20 hp Gearbox

: auto, direct transmission. Rear wheel drive (maybe double in the future)


16 kWh, 4.5 hours AC charging

Performance (manufacturer):

0-50 in 5 seconds , 40 km/h maximum speed in the narrow mode, 90 km/h in the wide.

180 km range, 120 km with air conditioning.



2.5 meters


1-1.40 meters


1.8 meters

Belly space:

13.5 cm


300 liters when the rear seat is folded


750 kg including battery and passengers, 450 kg without battery and passengers


Distance warning system, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring. ABS and stability control. Airbag for the driver.

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Source: walla

All tech articles on 2024-02-22

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