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‘Cheaper than walking‘ was the slogan for the Peel P50 back in 1960s, when it was and today it still is the world’s smallest car ever to go into production.
The quest for a more fuel efficient vehicle has led companies to produce smaller and smaller car models, such as the Toyota iQ, the Tata Nano and Volkswagen up! However, all these cars look like giants compared next to the Peel P50. Measuring just 137 cm in length and 104 cm in width, you won’t have trouble finding a parking space for this car, or better yet – bringing it into the office with you, as BBC’s Jeremy Clarkson famously did in an episode of Top Gear.
The P50 was originally produced by the Peel Engineering company on the British Isle of Man from 1962 to 1965. Each car was handmade and only 50 of them have ever seen the light of day. It is a three wheeled car with only one door, one seat, one headlight and one windscreen wiper. It was marketed as a car that could carry one person and a shopping bag, and it could barely hold that much, weighing just less than 60 kg. The engine is in the cabin alongside the driver, with a three speed manual transmission and no reverse gear. Its top speed goes up to 61 km/h and it was priced at $315. Though lacking in some areas like safety, speed and manoeuvrability, owners have claimed consumption of 2.8l/100 km which makes the Peel P50 a credible replacement for walking.
Good news for the lovers of micro-cars. The model has been resurrected by the new Peel Engineering company in 2010 together with its slightly bigger brother – the Peel Trident, which has two seats and a pod-like futuristic sunroof.
The new P50 will be slightly modernised, with both gas and electric version, and it will come with a price tag of $16.000 – not quite cheaper than walking even by today’s standards. In comparison, the original P50 would have cost $2.200 in today’s money. The car will be in limited production, so if you want something eccentric that you can drive to your office as well as inside it, you can make your reservation on the company’s website www.peelengineering.co.uk