Microcar Engine Classification and Emissions
The growth of the microcar segment of the automobile industry in recent years reflects a history of research and development by the major auto manufacturers, as well as consumer demand. As cities become more crowded in response to population growth, the marketability of microcar models is increasing. Limitations posed by standard automobile price tags, as well as hidden costs for regulatory compliance, gas, insurance and parking mean consumers are interested in more affordable vehicles.
Prototype turned consumer product, the Microcar is sold by some of the lead automobile companies to meet targeted market demand. For instance, Japan Honda’s 133.3 inch long, N Box microcar models come equipped with naturally aspirated engines are not currently sold in the United States. The UK company, Microcar continues its success in release of new 2014 models of its microcar series of gas powered, Lombardini four stroke engine vehicles.
Early microcars first sold to the mass automobile consumer market such as the original Mini Cooper launched by the Cooper Car Company in the 1940s, integrated 500cc JAP motorcycle engines. Other microcar series like the Isetta microcar sold to the consumer market in the 1950s foreshadowed the future in microcar racing.
Microcar Engine Classification
Popular gas engines used in microcar custom production like the Kawasaki ZX12, Kawasaki ZX9, Suzuki Hayabusa, and Yamaha R1 can be found in limited release microcars around the world. Super7Cars currently sold in the UK and Canada are powered by Hayabusa stock turbo and intercooler engines in configurations up to 340hp. In the United States, independent microcar builders use Harley Davidson motorcycle engines to create custom rally cars for racing.
The Aprilia Magnet is a 550cc version of the company’s supermotard engine compatible with electric wheel motors on their hybrid V-twin which allows for shut-off of gas power for total electric performance. The microcar classification is generally assigned to vehicles with 500cc or less engines, with some custom designs powered by 500cc to 1000cc engines.
In recent years, part of the trend in electric microcars has been driven by zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) requirements enacted into national laws post the Kyoto Accord. The popular German automobile, Smartcar, is one of many ZEV drive cars on the market. Smart’s ZEV vehicles are sold with a 14 kilowatt-hour (50 MJ), 135 kilometres (84 miles) New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) lithium-ion battery designed by Tesla Motors. Microcars based on ‘Golf car’ and three-wheeled utility designs usually come with two cylinder engines not meeting regulatory standards, and are available to consumers exclusively for special use.
For more information about microcar engine sizes and suitability, contact an automobile or motorcycle manufacturer or licensed distributor.