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General Motors Picks U.K. For EN-V City Car Euro Manufacture

 
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2010 GM EN-V Concept

2010 GM EN-V Concept

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Small cars are becoming big business. The smart fortwo, Scion iQ, Gordon Murray's upcoming T.25, the Renault Twizy... more and more carmakers are developing tiny vehicles to provide our city transportation of the future.

General Motors has jumped on the bandwagon too. GM showed the cleverly named EN-V bubble car to show goers in Shanghai in 2010, and GM has picked Great Britain as the place to build it for the European market.

So what is the EN-V? If even three wheels are too much for you then you'll love it, as it works like a scaled-up Segway (who worked with GM on the project), using gyroscopes to keep itself upright on two wheels whilst the driver - who can sit in either seat - controls it. The EN-V even has the option to drive itself, so if you're feeling lazy after a hard day at work you simply set it for home and let the car do the rest.

Using electric motors and designed solely for use in the city, the EN-V isn't fast with a top speed of little over 24 miles per hour and won't take you far either with a range of just under 25 miles, but in tight cities and heavy traffic that might be all you need. Even so, GM is developing a second-generation model that doubles the speed and range - if you're feeling brave!

Small numbers are being built in the U.S. for evaluation, but the U.K. has been picked for European manufacture under GM's Euro brands, Opel and Vauxhall, and the European arm of Chevrolet.

As a regarded center for automotive technology, Britain was a natural choice. "It is expert in high-technology precision engineering and lightweight carbon fibre which is what we need" said Thomas Brown, build and test supervisor at GM's Michigan Technical Center.

Like Gordon Murray's T.25 and T.27 city cars, the EN-V is designed to be as cheap to run as possible, and GM expects it to cost only a fifth that of a conventional car to buy and run.

If you live in the city, you'll soon be spoilt for choice for your choice of wheels.

[IOL Motoring]

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