Cars – they are everywhere! And ever so often, there is a bigger, more luxurious, more powerful model making its way onto our already-crowded roads. But bigger is not always better, is it? Some interesting examples of small cars too have been on the roads, across the world. Read on to see such specimens that prove “good things come in small packages”!
How often do you really fill all 5/7 seats of your car? Germany’s Carl Jurisch, a talented engineer and motorcycle racer, noted that most trips were solo, which is why he built the Motoplan in 1957. As a small one-seater with two front wheels and one rear wheel and a 173 cc 9.5 hp engine, it sat somewhere between a motorcycle and a car.
No – nobody chopped off the rear half of the car, welded one tiny windscreen, and whacked one of the two rear tyres! A Guinness Records’ holder for more than five decades now, the UK-engineered 54”x41” diminutive one-seater Peel P50 is still in production, powered by a 49 cc 3.35 hp engine.
Not the dance form, but certainly with the agility and speed of a motorcycle, the Tango by Commuter Cars of the US is just 8′ 6” long, a mere 39” wide, and just 4” off the ground. It is an all-electric car, with a claimed 160-190 km range at an average speed of 100 km/h.
Originally designed and manufactured by Iso SpA of Italy, the Isetta went on to be produced under licence by other manufacturers – including BMW – and sold in different countries. It was powered by a motorcycle-sourced 236 cc, 9.5 hp engine.
Small can be thoroughly modern, too! The Smart Fortwo, as its name suggests, seats two, is powered by a 900 cc 89 hp turbocharged engine, and is just under nine feet long and barely five feet wide. And yes – it has all the standard safety aids!