The micro city-car bug has bitten the two wheeler manufacturers and ever since Bajaj announced its plans to develop a small city car with Renault and Nissan, the other two and three-wheeled manufacturers have been trying hard to mark their space in the market. Piaggio, manufacturers of Vespa scooters and Ape three have also jump into the fray. Italian scooter maker Piaggio is developing a low-cost three-seat city-car that could hit the roads by late-2013.
At the EICMA show late last week, they showed a three-seat small car concept for markets such as India, Vietnam and South East Asia. Called the NT3, the concept measures no more than 2.4 metres long, making it shorter than even the 2.64 metre long Mahindra (Maini) Reva. Using a seating layout very similar to the McLaren F1 supercar, the driver and the steering wheel sit in the centre with the passengers on either side, slightly offset to the rear. A concept of the four-wheel design, with a similar theme to the Smart Fortwo, has been revealed at the Milan Motorcycle Show. The three-seat cabin features a central, front driving position and twin rear seats, just like the McLaren F1 and BMW’s 1994 concept, the Z13, also based around ‘bike running gear.
The NT3 is based around Piaggio’s three-wheel Ape, its classic three-wheel commercial pick-up and van, which is popular in southern Europe and emerging markets like India. The engine choices in the concept are 200cc or 300cc ‘bike engines, the 300cc also mated to a hybrid system.
Courtesy: Auto Car India & Economic Times