In 1893, the first gasoline-powered car was created in America. Two years later, it won the first American car race. Speed has been important to drivers since the early days of pioneers like Chevrolet and Ford. Whether you're an enthusiast, racer, or average joe, chances are you enjoy the thrill of putting the pedal to the metal. Who doesn't like a little acceleration (within the legal limit) on an uncrowded highway? Speed and horsepower have been meticulously tested to the point that our engineers have specific metrics and materials for ensuring that cars in America and across the world can reach optimal top speeds.
Our obsession with speed is proven by the simple fact that vehicles go a lot faster than we need them to in any part of the world. Chances are you don't need to be doing 120 picking up your kid from school. There isn't the space to do 80 MPH during your commute home from work at times. We live in a world where speed is king. In fact, we constantly rank and compare vehicles according to speed. We praise supercars. Have you ever wondered what automobile was on the very bottom of the list of fastest or best cars?
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The Peel P50: King of the Slowest Cars
The slowest production car in existence is a coupe manufactured by Peel Engineering. It is called the Peel P50. Peel offers both a gas and electric version of the vehicle. Not only is it the world's slowest car, but it is also the smallest car in the world (smaller than a Smart Car or Fiat), according to Guinness World Records. What a catch, right? It beats out anything Honda, Nissan, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, or any other manufacturer has put out for the smallest ride by a large margin.
The electric motor (featured in mopeds) only allows the P50 to reach a max speed of a sluggish 28 MPH, beating Usain Bolt's fastest running speed by a measly .5 mph -- this thing could use some turbo. The electric car is also only a 3-wheeler, and the original P50 weighed 130 pounds (just slightly heavier than your average supermodel). The new model incorporated a CVT engine as opposed to the original's three-speed manual transmission and gearbox.
So, what makes the P50 king of the microcars? Not only does it boast the smallest-sized frame in the world, but it also gets great fuel economy! The gas version gets an amazing 118 mpg, and the EV can do 35 mpg. Talk about fuel efficiency. You may never own the fastest car in the world but, you can easily own the slowest, and park that bad boy right in your living room!
Slow cars have never been very popular, but it's hard to deny the practicality of the P50 as a city car. Say goodbye to any parking woes. The P50 will never run with sports cars (or most regular daily drivers), but it is definitely a contender in the Hall of Fame for small cars and slowest cars. The P50 may never make it to your wish list when looking for a new car, but it is still the undisputed king of slow. Take that, Prius.
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This post was originally published on April 12, 2021.