Monday 24th April 2006
A tiny ecological car was launched in Britain after three years of research financed by the EU. The three-wheeled vehicle ran on natural gas and consumed 2.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (94 miles per gallon). Known as the CLEVER (Compact Low Emission Vehicle for Urban Transport), the car was easy to park and could transport a driver and one passenger, seated in the back. Whilst the Clever vehicle was intended to use a low emission engine burning compresses natural gas, the research prototype at the University of Bath uses a 13 kW 176cc single cylinder engine taken from BMW C1 scooter. Belt drives were used to transmit power to the two rear wheels. Rear suspension was by way of independent trailing arms, adjustable Öhlins spring/damper units and an anti-roll bar. The front wheel was suspended by a leading four bar linkage with a single Öhlins spring/damper unit and used a hub-centric steering system. A single track-rod transmitted steering inputs to the front wheel from the output arm of a worm-gear steering box, the driver’s steer inputs were transmitted to the steering box via a modified wheel and column sourced from a BMW car.