Cars for 16-year-old teenagers: 9 BHP & 45 km/h top speed

There is only a theory test to pass to get a drivers licence.

BHPian Indian2003 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

These cars are taking off in Norway. The Casalini, Ligier and the Microcar. The Casalini is Italian and the other 2 are French.

They have 4 disc brakes. The maximum speed is 45 km/hour.

These moped cars can be driven by kids of at least 16 years of age. They need to take a safety course and 12 hours of training at a driving school. There is only a theory test to pass to get a drivers licence.

I see many of these outside schools and obviously very popular.

Prices start at 18,000 euros and there is a comfort pack with aircon, brake booster and servo steering as optional extras. The engine is common on all 3 brands. They use the Lombardini 492 cc common rail diesel with 9 HP.

How I wish I had these possibilities when I was 16.

Here's what BHPian ron178 had to say on the matter:

I believe they're homologated as quadricycles?

While a good idea for teenagers to learn to drive on private property, I would not be comfortable driving these on a high-traffic public road. They don't have to go through most of the types of approval cars do and hence can skip over most regulations.

Euro NCAP crash-tested these in 2014 and 2016 under (relatively) very simple full-width 50km/h front full-width and side deformable barrier tests (while also noting their limited top speed but claiming the tests could represent crashes with other vehicles), and the results were not pretty. They didn't even directly cap the star rating to indicate poorly protected body regions, but most results were abysmal nevertheless.

I wouldn't normally expect a high level of passive safety from these because they're obviously built to tight weight and cost restrictions, but some of them showed some shocking failures of even basic safety systems like seatbelts.

I'm not sure if the models were the same, but here's a Microcar model that scored one star:

The seatbelt's lower anchorage broke.

Not surprisingly, the passenger compartment became unstable, and though the test vehicle was equipped with an optional driver airbag, the head recorded unstable contact on the airbag and the chest contacted the steering wheel.

A Ligier model scored a straight-up zero:

It didn't have an airbag, but more concerningly, the seatbelt's upper anchorage released from the vehicle structure, the seat failed, the driver submarined, and the passenger compartment became unstable.

Marginally better at two stars was the Renault Twizy, but the test vehicle didn't have the optional, um, doors (which obviously gave it a huge disadvantage inside impact).

I do happen to think the tests were kind of stupid, they even tested a golf cart, but they did serve a purpose - to make sure consumers were aware of what they were getting into.

As much as I respect the work NCAPs do, I personally think this test was plain stupid.

For collecting experimental data, it's fine. But I really don't think it made a difference from the point of view of consumer information. I think most people who would drive a golf cart on a public road, let alone at 50km/h, would know how dangerous it is.

The "safer than a motorbike" holds true, though. But it's important to note that these do not offer the same level of crash protection as cars.

They look very interesting, though, and I find the fact that manufacturers are making them more and more car-like quite whimsical. I do understand why someone would want to buy one of these, and I personally quite like a lot about them, but I think it's just important to know what you're getting into.

I don't mean to scare anyone with this post, as long as you're aware of the limitations it's really fine.

Is the new Citroën Ami as popular as the other two? I find that one comically adorable.

Here's what BHPian IshaanIan had to say on the matter:

I have been dreaming about when someone will launch a product like the Twizzy here in India. Considering people are ready to pay a lac for an Activa these days, I am sure there would be loads of people out there ready to shell out some good money for a well-engineered mini car like the Twizzy (do quadricycles really have to look like the Bajaj Qute?). Also, is that the same Ligier that used to compete in Formula 1?

Here's what BHPian WorkingGuru had to say on the matter:

ANYDAY better than riding a bike/moped.

Was wondering if anyone with a budget for these is not likely to go for a 3-4yr old used entry-level car..? But then used car markets are presently bonkers the world over, so this is likely a good time to launch these.

Small cars sizes have historically proven (in the past 1½ decade that I've noticed) to have only 1 advantage & selling point, i.e. city traffic mobility. It'll be interesting to see how the brand promotions will be.

Here, crash safety is only relevant to how much the insurance will cost, especially for a young new driver.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

A helmet will save your life