The five best microcars in France are fun little cars with goggle-eyed headlights, bulging fenders and even convertible tops. Microcars fall into the smallest auto classification, and they are much smaller than city cars. Known as “cycle cars” until the 1940s, microcars are sometimes called “bubble cars” due to their round or egg-shaped appearances.
According to Nick Kurczewski, a contributing writer for “Edmund’s Inside Line,” these new “haute-couture city cars are meant to appear to young, hip urban dwellers.” While small in size, these economical cars are big in charm, as the popular Mini and Smart Fortwo have shown.
Aixam-Mega is the leading European manufacturer of microcars, or “quadricycles” as they are officially known. For years, elderly country dwellers have provided Aixam with the majority of its business. But, the company is now marketing their microcars to young and trendy city dwellers.
Micro motoring is very popular in France, where most of the world’s microcars are manufactured. These fun little cars are seen everywhere from the streets of Paris to the French countryside. Here are five of the best-loved microcars in France:
- Aixam-Mega Scouty R. The Scouty R, manufactured by Aixam-Mega, is known as the flare-fendered “wild child” of the microcars. Classified as a VSP (“vehicule sans permis” or “vehicle without a permit”), the Scouty R has strict limits on length, curb weight, horsepower and speed. In France, adults and teenagers (at least sixteen years of age) can drive this car without a license. The age limit is even younger in Italy (fourteen years old).
- Aixam-Mega Truck. The Aixam-Mega Truck has been described as economical, practical, compact and robust. The boxy little vehicle is small and not particularly attractive, but it can do a full day’s work. Available in petrol, diesel or electric engines, this micro truck is energy efficient, too, and meets all European emission standards.
- Secma “Fun Cars.” Number Three on the list is actually a four-in-one. Secma prides itself on making microcars that are fun as well as frugal. In fact, all of their microcars have “fun” in the name: Fun Quad, Fun Buggy, Fun Extr’m and Fun Runner. The Quad and Buggy are durable, all-terrain vehicles. The Extr’m is a sports car with a Lamborghini engine. A two-seat car with the engine mounted behind the passenger compartment, this little car can be driven with a motorcycle license. And, the Fun Runner has a Peugot-built, four-cylinder engine. With its narrow-track rear end, the car is considered a trike, subject only to motorcycle laws and licensing.
- Chatenet Speedino. Other French manufacturers are now in the microcar business, too. Chatenet has a model named the Speedino. This tiny roadster adds sparkle and shine to the car manufacturer’s regular lineup, with its uptight styling and stuffy image. The company hopes to attract slick urbanites with this little microcar model.
- Acrea Zest. The Acrea Zest is a pared-down, no frills microcar. According to the manufacturer, the car is “a little countrified roadster dedicated to jaunting.” It was designed to be a summer vacation car, meant for leisurely drives in the country or along the beach. It is not intended for the daily work commute.
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