A BICESTER firm hopes its futuristic wheelchairs will transform the way disabled people are viewed.

Carbon Black’s sleek, high-tech design has been compared to the one used by Charles Xavier in X-Men films.

The 8.5kg chair, almost three times lighter than conventional models, is made from the same type of carbon fibre used for F1 racing cars.

It can also be dismantled in seconds.

Carbon Black customer manager Matt Neale said: “When you meet someone in a wheelchair, you subconsciously make a value judgement of that person which is, albeit unintentionally, negative because you see the chair and not the person.

“Carbon Black is changing that perception with a bespoke chair that is almost invisible on first impression.”

Prices start from £7,500 for a standard matt-black model but chairs are custom-built to spec.

According to Mr Neale, requests have included a £250,000 pink chair studded with diamante, an off-road camouflage design and a mobile wifi version with hands-free and phone charger.

One customer ordered a bright red chair to match their Ferrari, while another opted for a particular shade of green to blend with a Lamborghini.

Disabled TV presenter Sophie Morgan also had a Carbon Black wheelchair made for her.

Other optional extras include LED lights for night time.

Mr Neale, whose background is in the automotive industry, said: “The chair doesn’t look like any other wheelchair out there and users don’t look like a patient in a medical device.”

It took seven years to develop the design, including applying for patents and gaining safety accreditation but the firm believes it is the only wheelchair of its type in production.

The directors chose Oxfordshire for the showroom and manufacturing centre because of the area’s links to motorsport. They have teamed up with fellow Bicester firm High Spec Composites, which manufactures carbon fibre components for five F1 teams.

Carbon Black offers finance to buyers, who have included a bus driver, school receptionist and IT engineer.

Chairs are sold through the showroom and online at carbonblacksystem.com but there are plans to set up distribution networks in the UK plus USA, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

The firm is seeking an administrative assistant for its showroom in Caversfield, Bicester, and would welcome applications from wheelchair users.