Have you ever been wondering which is the slowest car in the world? If that is the case, you should follow along because we are going to cover all of the models that can be considered to be the slowest car in the world. Because you probably don’t want the slowest car in the world for yourself, right?
Driving slowly is not anyone’s priority these days. We live in a world where everything is fast-paced. Everyone wants to travel fast and without interruptions. People get extremely frustrated when driving slow cars. But this wasn’t always been the case. Cars haven’t always been fast.
But as technology has advanced, we became a bit spoiled and got addicted to the speed of travel. Also, the commodity that their modern cars offer along with the performance. Most people look at the slow cars with underestimation. But this doesn’t mean that slow cars are bad in reality.
Maybe they are just not designed with performance in mind and they do not have the racing DNA in them. That’s why you shouldn’t underestimate these vehicles and look at them with respect. That’s what we car guys do and respect all of the cars that are out there. It doesn’t matter if they are fast or slow.
In this article, we are going to cover the topic of the slowest car in the world. First, we will take a note of the car’s speed throughout history. Then we will take a look at the slowest cars that are out there right now. Lastly, we will cover which of them should be the choice if you are on the market for one of these cars. So, follow along.
Car Speeds Throughout The History – Slowest Car In The World
Cars were not always fast as we know them today. The first idea about a car as a concept came even back in 1678. This is the time when Ferdinand Verbiest designed a car that used steam to drive itself.
Then as the years went by the ideas have advanced and many new inventors joined the bandwagon of designing the first automobile. There were ideas about steam cars, electric cars. But it was Karl Benz who hit the jackpot and designed the first patent of an internal combustion vehicle named the Benz Patent Motorwagen in 1885.
This vehicle incorporated the first internal combustion engine and the vehicle was able to move under its own power. This car included a single-piston design and was able to rev up to 400 rpm which was extremely high for its time. The top speed of the car that Benz made was 10 mph and this car could be considered to be the slowest car in the world.
But as time progressed, in the early 20th century the mass production took place. And this idea of production took the cars to a whole new level.
All this was possible by Henry Ford who saw the opportunity in the market and decided to offer the first mass-produced vehicle named the Ford T.
The Ford T offered quite more than the original car that Benz made and the T incorporated a straight 4 engine which produced an astonishing 20hp. Yes, that’s right 20hp. The Ford T was also quick on the road with 40 mph top speed.
Then as the years went by and manufacturing processes have improved, cars quickly evolved and became what we know them today. But what were the improvements that made the vehicles so fast? Let’s find out.
Improvements That Made The Vehicles So Fast – Slowest Car In The World
Cars have greatly improved from their early inception until this day and as the days go by they are getting more and more advanced, almost turning into giant robots with all this tech that is thrown inside them. Today’s cars even have autopilots. And until we came here, we traveled quite a lot and experienced a lot. But what improvements were key in making cars so quick? Let’s find out.
The first thing that will come to your mind when you hear performance is probably the engine. And that is about right. The engines have greatly improved compared to the early days.
But not only in performance but also in efficiency and ecology. We all want huge power and torque numbers but we still have to bear in mind at what cost come these improvements. The price we pay is enormous and as the years go by the more and more pollution is created. Thus, damaging the environment.
But that’s why cars have evolved into what they are today with modern fuel injection systems that make sure that no fuel is burned in vain. Also, the engines have evolved into a powerhouse of precision in machinery. In modern engines, there are tight tolerances and everything has to be in check.
Boosting the horse numbers by a big margin and making them deliver quite a lot of power for what you pay for. If in the past a Ford Flathead V8 was producing 120hp, modern Ford V8 Coyote that is installed on the Mustang is making more than 400hp, which is incomparable.
Not to mention other performance upgrades that you could use to make your car faster like installing a supercharger, turbocharger, aftermarket camshaft, and more. That’s quite a lot, to be honest. In a century we have evolved from the slowest car in the world into the fastest car in the world. But what are the other upgrades that made modern cars so fast? Let’s see.
The suspension has also improved greatly since the early days and suspensions have evolved in what we are witnessing right now.
The suspension is one of the key aspects that make the car drivable and fast. Modern suspensions are packing a lot of technology and precision. With sensors that are reading the road surface that you are driving upon and many driving aids that we cannot imagine our lives without.
Also, there are independent suspensions that each wheel adapts on the road. Unlike the past where we had a solid axle that didn’t adapt to the road quite well and vehicles were not that drivable.
Not to forget the suspension upgrades like coilover shocks and sway bar links for reduced body roll. All these upgrades made the cars quick as well. Not only the engine upgrades made the vehicles so good. But there is also another aspect when it comes to performance and that we are going to cover next.
The aerodynamic upgrades are also another key aspect. The aerodynamics made the car extremely quick compared to the early models.
For example, when the Ford-T was introduced back in the day, aerodynamics was a field that nobody even bothered with. This was the case because the cars were not that quick. The engines that were inside them didn’t produce a considerable amount of power that needed aerodynamics.
But as the years went by and the forties hit, the need for aerodynamic improvements was obvious. The sharp lines were replaced with more modern sleek designs that made the cars more appealing and also boosted their popularity.
Even though car design was not that focused on aerodynamics until the 70s, this is the point where the emissions hit and the gas prices skyrocketed (especially so when you’re comparing is diesel cheaper than gas). During these years we started to witness the advancement in the aerodynamic field.
These advancements and improvements in the overall design made the cars a lot quicker than they used to before. But also, more fuel-efficient as well.
Because modern cars were gliding through the air compared to older designs that were not that aerodynamically friendly. This aided greatly the speed of the vehicles and the handling as well.
But there are still slow cars even by today’s standards. These cars that we are going to cover in the next chapter can be considered to be one of the slowest car in the world by modern standards. And which are they? Let’s see.
Slowest Car In The World? Which Are These Models?
As we mentioned above, despite the improvements in engine technology. The suspension design and also the aerodynamic aspect. There are still cars that can be considered to be the slowest car in the world even by today’s standards. But which are these cars and are they available to purchase? Let’s see and find out more about these models and more in the following chapters where we will cover a couple of models that have hit the headlines when it comes to their slowness.
The Peel P50 is arguably one of the slowest cars in the world that you can actually purchase. Originally produced from 1962 up to 1965, the P50 is a single-seater vehicle manufactured in the UK.
That’s why in 2011 the production of the P50 was restarted and the production of the new model has commenced.
The new P50 is equipped with a powerful 3.35hp four-stroke engine that has a displacement of only 49cc. But that is the petrol variant. On the market, there is also an electric version that is producing 3.08hp and has a battery of 2.3kW.
In the transmission department, the P50 is equipped with a CVT transmission.
When it comes to the size of the car, we can say that it is the most practical car in the world. It weighs 56 kilos or 123lb. It has a wheelbase of 50 inches and a total length of 53 inches. Enough to fit one adult passenger.
The top speed of the P50 is rated to be somewhere around 30 mph. Which is plenty considering the horsepower rating and the size of the P50.
The P50 is completely legal and you can purchase one for around 15,000 British pounds, which is rather expensive. But the upside is that this vehicle is street legal in the US and you can register one if you desire to. The safety of the vehicle is questionable and you probably don’t want to end with this car in traffic. But enough on the P50, now let’s move to other interesting models.
The Isetta was born in 1955 and it was produced by BMW until 1962 with more than 160,000 units. Unlike the P50, the Isetta was a popular model that was driven by a lot of happy customers.
The Isetta had implemented the same microcar design as the P50 with three wheels and it had almost the same layout. Besides it being a bit chunkier and you wouldn’t feel claustrophobic while you were driving it.
The Isetta Could only accommodate one passenger only, or maybe even two if both of you are small.
The Isetta also incorporated a more powerful engine than the P50 that was bigger in size. But unlike the small displacement engine of the P50, the engine of the Isetta had 300cc of displacement.
This powerhouse has made somewhere around 13hp and 13.5lb-ft in torque. When considering the size of the Isetta these power numbers are quite strong. Allowing the Isetta to launch to up to 53mph. Which is still considered slow by today’s standards and the Isetta can be considered as one of the slowest car in the world.
The Isetta was equipped with a 4-speed manual transmission that aided greatly the performance of the model, especially while driving on the highway. But enough about the Isetta, now let’s cover something more fun and that is the Peel Trident.
The Peel Trident is another ingenious design by the company that made the P50 from the Isle of Man. And this car is still produced until this day.
But unlike its brother the P50, this car has a whole glass roof. This glass roof makes you enjoy your Trident to the absolute fullest. The Trident is also bulkier than the P50 and incorporates a monocoque design that is made out of glass fiber.
This unibody design makes the Trident a lot sturdier compared to the P50, and the glass roof makes it quite more aerodynamic and fun to drive.
All this coolness is aided by the powerful 49cc engine that is producing a whopping 4.2 hp. In the transmission department, the Trident is packed with a 3-speed manual that helps the trident to go up to 28mph. When considering the size of the car and its handling characteristics is quite enough. But the Trident is still one of the slowest car in the world.
The body is quite heavier than the P50 and the Trident weighs 150kg. But enough for the Trident, now let’s move to another slowest car in the world. And that is the Reliant Robin.
The Reliant Robin is also another legendary vehicle. If you watched Mr. Bean, you probably remember the three-wheeler car that Bean always pushed away from the road. And this is that car for those who are not familiar with the Reliant Robin.
The Reliant Robin was introduced to the market way back in 1973 and was in production until 2002. And that tells you a lot about its popularity in the UK.
Although an object for mockery, the Reliant Robin was quite good. And if they made it into a 4 wheeled variant it would have been much better.
The downside of its three-wheel layout was that the Robin was quite an unstable vehicle at higher speeds, especially when catching corners with it. It could easily end up in a ditch beside the road.
It was not that quick and that saved many people’s lives probably. Not the slowest car in the world. But one of the slowest for sure. It somehow achieved to go up to 85 mph and that was achieved in 14 seconds. All this by the powerful 800cc engine.
Maybe the speed was not something that the Robin was proud of. But its fuel economy was excellent. Achieving astonishing 70 mpg. That’s why it was hugely popular among the people who wanted a good reliable car that could give a decent fuel mileage. But enough about the Robin. Let’s move to something slower because the Robin is obviously too quick for this list. But we have included it anyway. It would have been a shame not to mention it.
Now let’s cover something more modern and something that you could get as a new car on the market. The Twizy is a microcar made by Renault.
The Twizy debuted back in 2012 and is still in production in 2021. Renault Twizy covers the same market which the other cars in our list cover. Renault Twizy is generally considered to be a quadricycle with a cabin. What is fancy about the Twizy is that it has scissor doors which makes it look extra appealing.
The Twizy is powered by an electric motor and also includes a 6.1 kWh lithium-ion battery. The range of the Twizy is estimated to be somewhere between 50 to 56 miles. Which is rather good compared to its size and its purpose.
The Twizy is the slowest car in the world right now, with a top speed of only 28 mph. The good side is that you will probably won’t drive the Twizy on the highway. So, you don’t have to worry about its power output that lot. The Twizy costs around 7000 euros new.
Smart ForTwo CDI
The Smart ForTwo CDI is another car that came at our slowest car in the world list. We included this model because most of you are quite familiar with it. Everyone knows about the Smart, but did you know that it also has a diesel variant? You probably didn’t. And this diesel is one of the slowest vehicles that you will ever come across or maybe not. Because the CDI was made only for the European market.
Nevertheless, the ForTwo CDI was equipped with a rather slow engine. The engine was a turbocharged diesel that produced 45hp. This power number is quite decent when it comes to the Smart. But in order to reach the 60 mph mark, it needed 20 seconds. Which is disappointing if you try to drive this car on the highway. In the worst-case scenario, you will be fined for slow driving.
And we slowly came to the end of our slowest car in the world list. Now let’s see which of these cars is the way to go.
Which One Should You Get – Slowest Car In The World
If you are on the market for the slowest car in the world and you want to go for something fancy and modern but still affordable, I would go for the Smart ForTwo.
If you want to go for something more classic that looks still amazing up to this day then the Reliant Robin will be the perfect purchase. Especially if you live in Britain. These Robins have huge traction among them and there are whole communities around these cars and you can go to car meets and have a lot of fun with your Robin.
Facts about the Peel P50 – The Slowest Car in the World
- The Peel P50 holds the Guinness World Record for being the slowest car ever built.
- Peel Engineering built 50 P50s between 1962 and 1965 on the Isle of Man.
- The P50 was designed as a microcar with only three wheels, one door, one windshield wiper, and one headlight.
- It was powered by a small, single-cylinder engine with 4.2 horsepower and no reverse gear.
- The car weighs only 130 lbs and has a top speed of approximately 28 mph.
- The P50 holds the record for being the smallest car ever built and was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010.
- Despite its impractical nature and sluggishness, a 1964 Peel P50 was sold at an auction in 2013 for over $120,000.
- The P50 was reintroduced in 2010 as an EV or traditional gas engine, with upgrades to meet modern safety standards.
- The P50 can be ordered as a kit or customized on the p50cars.com website with multiple options, including faster models.
- The Trident is a larger version of the P50 with three models, offering two seats and a top speed of up to 55 mph.
Conclusion – Slowest Car In The World
In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to the topic of the slowest car in the world. First, we started from the past and we saw the evolution of speed throughout the many years since the first inception of the internal combustion engine.
Then we have seen the major improvements that made this evolution possible and what innovations have brought up the race for speed. As we mentioned, these were the engine and suspension improvements and also the aerodynamics.
Lastly, we have covered our list of the slowest car in the world and we made our choices when it comes to this question. It’s up to you if you find some of these cars interesting to learn more about them and study them more in detail.