NMIT students develop world's smallest, lightest car

NMIT students develop  world's smallest, lightest car

A group of four students from the Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology (NMIT) have developed the world’s smallest and lightest car.

The new vehicle boasts of a mileage of 40 km per litre and measures a mere 72 inches long and 47 inches wide (from wheel-to-wheel). It is being advertised as an urban vehicle capable of seating “one adult and a shopping bag.”

Developed by 8th semester students of mechanical engineering, Ayman Ataz, Anjum Naveed, Sachin Pinto and Prajwal K L, the vehicle was developed under the guidance of Dr S Kiran Aithal, a professor in NMIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. So far, the team has spent an estimated Rs 28,000 on the prototype, but explained that they saved costs where they could. “Much of the body was built using materials sold by scrap dealers,” Aithal explained.

In all, six inherently different systems were adapted to create the vehicle, which contains an autorickshaw engine and tyres, the gear suspension from a Maruti 800, a gear shifter from a Maruti Alto, and the front suspension from a Kinetic Honda scooter. “The car is designed in such a manner that it can be turned in narrow streets without much effort,” Aithal said and added that it weighs only about 130 kilograms.

“The end result is that this is a vehicle which can be used on congested roads without much difficulty,” said Ayman Ataz, one of the students involved in the project.

The car which has been witness to two months of development will be demonstrated at a techno fest across various places of the country.

Record-breaker?

Its makers hope that it will enter the record books as the world’s smallest car. The current record holder is the 1963 PEEL P50, which is 50 inches wide and does not have a reverse gear. The P50 had a single door on the port side and boasted such luxuries as a single windscreen wiper and only one headlight. Only 50 were built, out of which 27 remain in existence.

Ataz explained that their vehicle trumps the P50 in mechanical reliability. “The fact that we used an autorickshaw engine gives our car the added advantage of having a reverse gear — which the P50 does not have,” he said.

The developers added that they had started out by trying to create a fuel-efficient small car, and only discovered later that it is the smallest car in the world by track distance.

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