You know, the cars we all love to laugh at.
There’s always so much discussion about speed. Which supercars are the fastest? Which one(s) set a new Nurburgring record or a new world speed record? But what about cars at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. You know, the ones that are as slow as snails. Well, we figured it was about time they deserved at least some attention. Remember, just because a vehicle is slow doesn’t mean it doesn’t have character. Some of these slow pokes are actually kind of quirky. While they might be better suited for the golf course, they also do a great job of turning heads.
They all have funky offbeat exterior styling that definitely isn’t for everyone, especially those in the US. As, yep you guessed it, all but one of these vehicles aren't even sold in the US. Bet you want one now!
Not only is the Peel P50 the world’s smallest car it’s also one of the slowest. This three-wheeled microcar was first built from 1962 until 1965 by the Peel Engineering Company, headquartered on the Isle of Man. But it wasn’t until 2010 when it was officially listed as the smallest production car ever made by Guinness World Records following its revival by Peel Engineering Ltd.
Today, power comes from a 49 cc four-stroke engine with a grand total of 3.35 hp. There’s also an all-electric version with 3.08 hp. Zero to 60 mph? Uh, that’s not even possible because its top speed is only 30 mph.
The French-built Aixam coupe is classified as a light ‘quadricycle’ two-seater. In France and in the UK you don't require a driver’s license to drive one. It’s that slow. The only requirement is to be at least 16 years old and to have passed the regular moped test. Powered by a 400 cc two-cylinder diesel engine, total output is – wait for it – 5.6 hp. Top speed, like the Peel P50, is also electrically restricted to 30 mph. Perhaps walking or just riding a bicycle is better.
There must be something with the French and ‘quadricycles.’ Mee the Renault Twizy, an electric two-seater city car with a grand total of 17 hp. With a total range up to 62 miles, it has only around 5 hp and a top speed of 28 mph. It’s so basic and bare bones that drivers need to actually use plug-in electric blankets to keep warm during the winter months. We couldn’t make that part up even if we tried. Fortunately, the Twizy is dirty cheap, costing less than 7,000 euros. Again, riding a bicycle is cheaper and, hey, you even get some exercise.
No, it’s not Missing In Action (yet), but the MIA electric car is already discontinued. Built from 2011 until 2013 in France (go figure), production ultimately ended because of financial problems. Turns out not even the French wanted to buy this three-door hatchback/van. It did, however, manage to achieve a full charge in three hours and offered a driving range up to 80 miles. And it was sloooooowwww. Try 0-60 mph in 30 seconds. In fact, the MIA is likely the slowest four-wheeled (so-called) car in the world. Funnily enough, we actually kind of dig its exterior design. Too bad there’s no revival plan.
You know it, you love it. The one and only Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car, is also one of the slowest. Are you surprised? Don’t be. This Indian-built microcar was in production until earlier this year after a 10-year run. Tato figured India needed an inexpensive piece of basic transportation for a growing middle class, but the Nano didn’t turn out to be quite as successful as hoped. Tata said the decision to cease production after just one generation was due to poor market demand. It came powered by a 0.624-liter two-cylinder engine with 37 hp and 38 lb-ft of torque. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Not so much. Zero to 60 mph required 29.4 seconds, but hey, at least it could (barely) beat the MIA electric car in a drag race.
Go to India and not only will you find Tata Nanos, but lots and lots of Hindustan Ambassadors. Built from 1958 until 2014, the Indian-built Hindustan Ambassador was actually based on the equally old Morris Oxford Series III cars from the UK, but consider it an Indian classic. Of the many engines offered over the years, one of the slowest was a 2.0-liter diesel with only 52 hp and 78 lb-ft of torque. You will only manage a 0-60 mph time in 28 seconds.
We all know Chevrolet as a brand that builds tough as nails trucks and SUVs as well as fast sports cars like the Corvette and Camaro. Well, it also had its famous bow tie badge slapped on this, the CMV. It’s really a badge-engineered version of the Suzuki Carry built by now-defunct brand Daewoo. And chances are you never heard of the CMV because it was specifically built for the Tunisian and Central American markets. You’re not missing out. Try a 0-60 mph time of 27 seconds without any payload. That slow time is explained by its tiny 0.8-liter three-cylinder engine with a mere 37 hp.
A close cousin of the CMV, the Maruti Suzuki Omni was a very popular delivery van in India and requires 28 seconds to hit 60 mph. It also has the same tiny three-cylinder engine as the CMV. Despite its lack of power and speed, the Omni, like the CMV, is a tough little van and small business owners relied on them to get the job done. If you were to travel to India, South America, and other parts of Asia, chances are you’ll still find plenty of these on the road.
Once upon a time, Daimler’s Smart car division figured its tiny city cars were the future. They have sold decently in Europe but never caught in North America, which isn’t at all surprising. Today, Smart is attempting to re-position itself as a brand with an all-electric lineup, but there was a time when it sold a diesel. The Fortwo CDI received its power from a turbocharged diesel engine with 45 hp, but it’d still take you 19.5 seconds to reach 60 mph. Hey, at least with today’s all-electric Smart cars instant torque is available.
Meet one of Europe’s slowest cars. Although its gasoline engine produces 76 hp, it still requires 17.7 seconds to hit 60 mph. It typically served as a small business delivery van. And that’s it. There’s nothing more to say about this Fiat that’s interesting. Oh wait, never mind. Get this: there is a natural gas-powered version too. Yep, we knew you were just dying to be made aware of that.