Moller International has announced that it’s nearing completion of its fourth M200-series flying car prototype and plans to start production of an initial run of 40 cars as early as next year. The first cars will be based on the M200G Jetson ground effect vehicle that’s designed to operate at just 10 feet off the ground and is capable of vertical takeoff and landings.

Operators won’t need a pilot’s license as the vehicle is controlled by Moller’s own fly by wire computer technology – the operator only needs to choose which direction to send it in. The saucer shaped vehicle can hold up to two adults and is powered by eight rotary engines. Its maximum speed is rated at 100mph and there are models that run on petrol, liquefied petroleum gas and even diesel.

Moller is also planning a kit version of the car for launch in 2010 which will be sold alongside the M200G via an international auction.

Though it’s not the high-speed flying car we expected, it could well be the first step towards mass production of these kinds of vehicles.

The company’s founder, Dr. Paul Moller, is calling it the “ultimate off-road vehicle” because “you can speed over rocks, swampland, fences, or log infested waterways with ease because you’re not limited by the surface.”

Depending on the price of the engines, the M200G could be as cheap as $90,000. Okay, well not cheap, but certainly affordable for this type of cutting edge technology.