Indian car manufacturer TATA has just unveiled their new model to be known as the Nano. The 600cc microcar has gained the auto world spotlight since TATA released the details that the starting price will be the equivalent of US$2500. TATA intends to sell the car in India to middle class Indians who previously could not afford a new car. Environmentalist do-gooders have caned the car, complaining that India’s roads are already overcrowded and this car is going to make things worse. Check out the launch video above to see what 2500 bucks can get you.
The Flying Feather was the brainchild of Yutaka Katayama in the late 1940s’ He Ryuichi Tomiya, Ryuichi Tomiya designers at Datsun in Japan went to work on a small vehicle that used mainly motorcycle parts and very basic, but netherless a functional and reliable means of transport. They came up with this interesting little vehcile. Unfortunatly it didn’t really get into full production but some 150 or so vehicles were produced in various stages in the mid 1950′ by Suminoe Manufacturing, which was an affiliate fo Nissan. The vehicle was probably a bit to basic, which people were not quiet ready for in Japan. Similar style vehicles became popular a few years later This lovely example of the Flying Feather is on display at the Toyota Automotive Museum in Nagoya, Japan.
After the second world war there was a great need for small cheap transportation and there was a boom in what we now call microcars. The Isetta was one of the most successful being originally designed in Italy but being built in several European countries and even Brazil the vehicle was infact licensed to the car manufactures from Iso SpA. in Italy which was more familiar with making fridges and scooters. BMW made the car its own and did some innovative design changes and today it is the classic Isetta including making it more reliable. The thing that made the car so popular you only needed a motor bike license, because under the skin that’s really all the vehicle was. Transeum took this photograph of this lovely example of the Isetta at the amazing BMW museum in Munich, Germany.
For Transeum’s first truck story we thought we would feature the Aixam Mega Truck because it is not only practical it is so cute! These trucks come from Lyon in France, we took this shot at the Paris Motor Show and really wanted to bring it home. The vehicle has been designed to be a low environmental impact utility vehicle which has been built for short hauls around cities. It has an aluminum chassis and most of its body parts are made up of polycarbonate panels and parts. There are two choices for power plant, either a diesel or a very environmentally friendly zero emission electric engine. The basic truck is just under three metres long, and one and a half metres wide and has a payload of 425 kg for the electric and 460 for the diesel. Being so light it is an ideal vehicle to use in cities and as the body is so safe it is very pedestrian friendly, a lot of councils, and even hospitals and resorts across Europe are switching to these vehicles for street sweeping and other city duties. And just as a final point to this vehicles environmental credentials- the truck is 100% recyclable once its life is over.
The tiny Toyota Crayon is a short range transport system which is being ran by Toyota in Toyota City which is just outside Nagoya in Japan. These cute little vehicles are electric and are used as share cars throughout the city. This ingenious trial uses a fleet of the Crayon cars which can be hired for short trips through Toyota City. There are stations all over the city where the vehicles can be left and charged for the next user. Toyota is also experimenting with high technology like self driving systems on these vehicles; people can take a ride on one of these IMTS (Intelligent Multi Mode Transit System) Crayon vehicles on a special test track at Toyota’s huge showroom, Toyota MegaWeb at Odaiba on Tokyo’s waterfront.