"A tireless car that levitates using anti-gravity tech and is propelled via jet engines. As it doesn't touch the ground, it is capable of being driven over water."
Hovercars (エアカー Eakā, lit. "Aircar") are one of Earth's more common vehicles. Throughout the series, hovercars are a common sight in city traffic alongside regular cars, and they are very fast compared to their wheeled counterparts.
The first hovercar seen in the series is Ox-King's hovercar. Ox-King gave his hovercar to Bulma, Goku and Oolong as a replacement to their previous car, destroyed by Goku trying out the Kamehameha. Followed by Yamcha and Puar in their own hovercar called "Silverstar 4", the Dragon Team used Ox-King's hovercar to travel all the way from the Mushroom Forest to an area just outside of Pilaf's Castle where the car was destroyed by Shu in a Pilaf Machine. Hovercars are regularly used by the police, as seen in "Look Out for Launch" and Dragon Ball Z: Super Android 13!
Hasky owns a burgundy hovercar that she uses to fly after stealing Goku's Dragon Balls. The Red Ribbon Army Headquarters is protected by soldiers driving hovercars. In Dragon Ball: The Path to Power, a black hovercar serves as the head of Staff Officer Black's Battle Jacket.
In Dragon Ball Z filler episodes, it is shown that Ox-King has a red hovercar and that Krillin owns both a hovercar and a normal car. Chi-Chi uses Ox-King's red hovercar when she goes to Kame House with her father in order to ask Master Roshi about her son Gohan (who was training under Piccolo at Break Wasteland). The hovercar used by Capsule Corporation comes with emergency food, as seen in the Frieza Saga, when Bulma was traveling with Captain Ginyu (who was in a Namekian Frog's body at the time). When Yajirobe is not at the Korin Tower, he is using his hovercar to deliver Senzu Beans to the Dragon Team.
Future Android 17 uses a red hovercar to kill humans in Purple City. While this happens, Future Bulma is driving a blue hovercar which Future Trunks leaves upon hearing that the androids are in Purple City on the radio. Hovercars can ascend to very high heights, as seen when Goku and Piccolo are forced to take driving lessons or when Men-Men takes Mr. Satan and Android 18 to Mei Queen Castle. Shortly after Kid Buu's defeat, Yamcha gets a new hovercar, which is red in color.
In Dragon Ball GT, Vegeta is seen driving a hovercar home after taking his daughter Bulla shopping. Though the hovercar was damaged when they are attacked by Gohan possessed by Baby, Bulla uses it to go home so that Vegeta could fight Gohan. Krillin and his family have a yellow hovercar that is damaged when Android 17 attacks them. Later during the Super 17 Saga, Bulma and Bulla are seen traveling in a race hovercar.
Video Game Appearances
Hovercars are used by the Red Ribbon Army in Dragon Ball 3: Gokuden, Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure, and Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans. Ox-King's hovercar and Yamcha's Silverstar 4 appear in Dragon Ball: Origins.
Many overturned hovercars can be seen in the background of the West City stage in Dragon Ball FighterZ.
"Combines anti-gravity tech with a mean jet engine for aerial travel. Highly energy efficient due to its gravity-reversing design scheme."
— Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Hovercar Event Item description
In Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, Hovercars are among the many vehicles used by the inhabitants of Earth. Notable non-playable characters such as Launch, Eighter, and the Female Researcher utilize their own personal hovercars to get around. During Episode 2 of the Cell Saga, shortly after he starts training with Piccolo and Gohan to confront the Androids, Goku is tasked by Chi-Chi to get a driver's license and forces Piccolo to tag-along just like in the anime (though Piccolo wears his Demon Clothes during the test). Yuzukar acts as Goku's instructor while, Cynthia is Piccolo's. The driver's test introduces the game's hovercar racing game mechanics due to Goku and Piccolo's competitiveness. Though Goku ultimately beats Piccolo in the race, they start powering up and end up causing a lot of damage to the point they are told they will get their driver's licenses if they never comeback. Chi-Chi is happy Goku got his license, only for him to reveal they have to pay for the damages.
While Chi-Chi agrees to pay for the damages, she tasks Goku with getting their family a hovercar since they can afford to buy one and he goes to Bulma for help due to her wealth of resources, as well as her expertise when it comes to mechanics & technology. Bulma agrees to build him one and even tells him to leave its maintenance up to her, though he will have to acquire the materials to build it. This unlocks Bulma's R&D which allows Goku to have Bulma build him a hovercar or Bipedal Robo Walker. Once all the necessary parts are constructed, Bulma will build the Hovercar which can be customized through R&D. While mostly optional and a seemingly redundant way to travel when compared to Flight or the Flying Nimbus, owning one allows Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, and Future Trunks to be able to complete in hovercar races for prizes and it doesn't draw as much attention from enemies. Additionally, the hovercar has a radio that allows them to change the BGM while driving and the in-game camera can even switch to a first person driver's seat view. Also during -Trunks- The Warrior of Hope, three years after Future Gohan's death, Future Bulma suggests it is fine time for Future Trunks had a hovercar of his own and offers to build him one provided he acquire the necessary materials to make each part like with Goku in the main game. Like in main series, the Hovercar used by the playable Z Fighters is stored inside its Capsule when its not in use. Also a support character will ride in the passenger seat while the playable main character drives. Additionally, like the Bipedal Robo Walker, the Hovercar has a Mineral Radar that can detect minerals and other materials that can be used to upgrade the Hovercar, though using it drains the battery. Additionally, its item description and Z Encyclopedia entry both mention that Hovercars utilize anti-gravity tech and are propelled by jet engines.
"A hovercar used for training purposes at a driving school. It is more durable than other hovercars, as it is designed to cave in on impact to reduce the shock felt by those inside the vehicle."
— Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Driving School Hovercar Z Encyclopedia entry
In addition to normal Hovercars, there is variant used by the driving school called Driving School Hovercar which appears when Goku and Piccolo take their driver's tests. This variant is more durable than normal models, as they are designed to cave on impact to reduce shock felt by its occupants, making it perfect for new drivers. However their durability apparently has its limits as a powered-up Goku and Piccolo end up damaging them when they started to race more seriously. It should also be noted that Bulma points out that someone as powerful as Goku would break a normal Hovercar, so she designs the ones by the Z Fighters to be just as durable as the Driving School variant.
- In the manga, Ox-King's hovercar is stated to run on Planium (プラニウム Puraniumu), which is a reference to Ultraman Joneus.
- Jaco the Galactic Patrolman chapter 11, "The Galactic Patrolman: Mission Accomplished!"
- Dragon Ball Z episode 5, "Gohan's Rage"
- Dragon Ball Z episode 8, "Gohan Goes Bananas!"
- Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks, 1993
- Dragon Ball Z episode 125, "Goku's Ordeal"
- Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly, 1994
- Dragon Ball Z episode 288, "He's Always Late"
- Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, 2020