Monday, 5 November 2012

The Smallest Car You've Ever Seen

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How do you relaunch a classic car brand? For a lot of companies, it means the traditional steps: redesigning it with sleeker lines, putting better parts under the hood, and updating it with 21st century amenities, such as GPS, seat heaters and satellite radio.

For the makers of the Peel mini-car, the Guinness World Record holder for the smallest street-legal car in the world, its all about thinking small and efficient. Fortunately, there's plenty of desire for the cute little vehicles.

2 comment(s):

Michael said...

British broadcaster Andy Kershaw recently did a wonderful radio show on these cars called 'Cheaper Than Walking'. Sadly you can no longer listen to the whole show on the BBC but you can enjoy a short clip:

Gareth said...

Top Gear did a great piece on the P50 a few years back.

Actually I've driven one and they are bloody awful to drive. Quite apart from the noise and the smell the ride is terrible, body roll is scary and the handling frankly awful.

You can see from the front view that the geometry is way out there, but those tiny wheels probably don't help. Even by the standard of the bubble cars of the day it was very nasty. Probably why it never took off.

A few years back a friend of mine built something along similar lines using Peugeot Speedfight parts. It worked much better (as it should with more modern components) and even handled an engine of twice the capacity without any problems. Quite why anybody would want to pay $10K for a new Peel is totally beyong me. Little trikes based on modern scooter parts are way cheaper and much better than the original P50.