At its heart, the Nucleon had a nuclear-powered weapon that the owner could easily replace when needed. In addition, it can be rolled into any washing station and reloaded, thus “eliminating the service center as it is known today.” Sound good?
Of course, such an idea would only be possible if the size and weight of such rectors – as well as the shielding required to protect the occupants from radiation damage – could be reduced to fit a conventional car. But that didn’t stop Ford from trying. Nucleon’s entire concept was driven by “an unwillingness to accept that something can’t happen just because it hasn’t.”
The main point was the secret. The power capsule that held it would be suspended between the rear booms, making it resemble a twin-engine fighter jet from the 1940s. The energy produced by the nuclear power was converted into electricity, which was used to power the wheels. Not only did the core change based on the driver’s needs, but the coup de grâce was that the car could travel nearly 5,000 kilometers (perhaps more) on a single charge.
The old-school concept of a drivetrain with mechanical components (ie, transmission, differential, driveshafts, axles, CV joints, etc.) can be replaced with electronic electronic converters that were in some form of an electronic package.