Carver One: Three-Wheeled Automobile


The Carver One's hybrid car-motorcycle design has been well-reported, but what's it like to actually drive one? I recently had the chance to test out the tilting three-wheeler and initially thought they should add roller coaster to the list of vehicles it mimics. Needless to say, I was a bit cautious driving around rainy, unfamiliar Paris streets but not the least of the Carver's assets is smooth handling in the trickiest of situations.

Its compact design and fuel-efficiency makes the automobile great for a crowded, polluted urban driving environment without sacrificing comfort or control. Featuring a conventional steering wheel, accelerator pedal, brake and clutch (it has a five-speed manual transmission), everything in the cockpit-like setting is easily within reach and easily manipulated. The "Dynamic Vehicle Control" (DVC) system uses electronic and hydraulic systems to bank the vehicle through turns making it very maneuverable in tight quarters, although sometimes it seemed a bit preemptive.

At 11.2 feet long, 4.3 feet wide and 4.6 feet high, the Carver One has a slim, aggressive profile that can also be easily parked. And, with a top speed of 115 mph (0-60 in 8.2 seconds), it gets you to your destination quickly. Although I was quite comfortable sitting in the driver's seat, the back seat (optional) is predictably a bit cramped.


The Dutch ride is already for sale in Europe for around $44,000 but because of differences in rules and regulations its release has been delayed numerous times in the U.S. They're looking at availability there in late 2009 or early 2010.