Thursday, January 12, 2012

Top 5 Really Slow Vehicles

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport? Koenigsegg Agera R? No siree bob... it's not the world’s fastest cars we celebrate today…but the slowest.

Slowest Early Car: 1769 Cugnot Steamer
“Car” is a debatable term, but whatever it was, Nicolas Cugnot’s experimental steam-powered cannon hauler was the world’s first self-propelled vehicle. Top speed – a mighty 6km/h. Being both slower and harder to operate than a horse-drawn vehicle, not to mention the fact that it was prone to exploding (also something not often associated with horses), the Cugnot Steamer never quite caught on..

Slowest Production Car Ever: 1950 VW Type 2
The very first Kombi – yes that hippy dream machine – might’ve been a groundbreaking piece of pragmatic automotive design, but it was wa-hayy too light in the trousers. A 24bhp engine trying to propel a one tonne car translated in to 0-100km/h time of 75 seconds. Smoke enough doob though and 75 seconds can pass by in the blink of any eye. Peace.

Slowest Porsche: 2010 Porsche GT3
Created by Austrian artist Hannes Langeder using little more than aluminium foil, sticky tape and bits of bicycle, this pedal-powered Porsche GT3 replica is, apparently, “an artistic comment questioning whether a sports car exists as a driving thrill or a symbol of wealth”. Heavy. Much like the answer to "Does a pencil exist to write on paper or absent-mindedly chew upon while thinking"... the answer is "Probably both Hannes. What's your point?"

Slowest Car You Can Buy In SA right now: Chery QQ3
Bakkies and mini-busses aside, the Slowest Car in SA title goes to the little 800cc Chery QQ3. Designed to look like a cartoon character, it manages an equally amusing 0-100km/h time of 20 seconds.

Slowest Moving Vehicle, Full stop: Space Shuttle Transporter
When fully loaded, this mighty wheeled wonder carried the now-defunct Shuttle from its hangar to the launch pad at 1km/h. With a fuel consumption of 296 litres of diesel per kilometre, it was probably the thirstiest vehicle in the world too. "Brake Jim, Braaaaake!!! Phew that was close. We nearly hit that guy."

As appeared in the December 2011 issue of the Kulula in-flight magazine

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