The Honda City + Motocompo is the greatest car and commuter combination ever made – I don’t care what Tesla fans have to say about it.
Despite the fanfare, Tesla isn’t the first carmaker to sell a car with a personal mobility vehicle in the boot. Honda pulled the same trick almost 40 years earlier.
Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock for a week — Tesla made a truck. It’s called the CyberTruck and it probably looks a lot like the car that you drew when you were in preschool. And, if the numbers are anything to go by, plenty of people have been waiting for someone with the audacity to make something that looks so unapologetically futuristic. In less than a week, more than 250,000 people have plonked down $100USD to reserve their spot at the front of the Cybertruck queue.
If you want to buy a present for your Cybertruck, you can option it with an electric ATV called the Cyberquad. The Yamaha Raptor based Cyberquad can only be purchased in conjunction with the Cybertruck.
The Cyberquad got me thinking; ‘haven’t I seen this somewhere before!?’.
Enter, the Honda City & Honda Motocompo.
Produced between 1981 and 1983, the Honda Motocompo was introduced as a ‘boot bike’ that was designed to fit neatly inside the boot of the diminutive Honda City.
The concept was simple: you drive your tiny Honda City hatchback through the urban jungle of Tokyo or Osaka and when the traffic gets too much or the free parking runs out, you park up, pull your Motocompo out of the boot and ride it for the final part of your journey.
The design was brilliant. When folded up, the Motocompo is roughly the same size as a medium sized suitcase and fits effortlessly into the Honda City’s petite boot. The Motocompo was a clever attempt by Honda to navigate increasing concerns around urban congestion.
Here's what it looks like unfolded vs. folded:
The Honda Motocompo is powered by a 2.5hp 49cc engine with a maximum top speed of 50km/h. While it may not sound like a lot, the miniature bike was never designed to be an alternative to a car or full-sized motorbike. Instead, the Motocompo was created to navigate the final part of your inner-city commute with minimal physical exertion.
Honda marketed the City + Motocompo combination aggressively between 1981 and 1983, even getting British band Madness to write the promotional song, and feature in a rather questionable advertisement that showed off the practicality of the bike and car combo.
The first-generation Honda City’s luggage compartment was specifically designed with the Motocompo in mind. Like a delicious Nigiri roll, the Motocompo was the salmon to the Honda City’s rice — the perfect combination.
Sadly, Honda have not sold a car + minibike combo since the Honda City & Motocompo went out of production in 1983. And, while I’m not terribly excited about the prospect of the Tesla & ATV combo deal, maybe this will be the push that Honda needs to get back into producing a car + personal mobility combo that can navigate the congested streets of Australia’s capital cities.