The Carver is a tilting three wheeled vehicle using an automatic balancing technology to balance the passenger compartment under all conditions (turns cool). Its first commercial product, the Carver One, seats two people, and is manufactured and distributed by Carver Europe in the Netherlands.
It looks to be halfway between a motorcycle and a car, and, like many microcars, the Carver has three wheels and the controls of a normal car. The three wheel Carver One is said to have the comfort, controls and stability of a normal car while showing the dynamic cornering behaviour of a motorcycle. The Carver can be driven by anyone with a normal car driver’s license in the European Union, though other countries outside of the EU may not allow this. In most countries the taxation follows the motorcycle guidelines.
The Carver was reviewed by BBC’s Top Gear programme in 2003. Jeremy Clarkson said: “I have to say, absolutely hand on heart, that I’ve never had so much fun in a car, really and truthfully, and I don’t think I’d ever tire of it.”
The Carver One can tilt up to 45 degrees while turning. This is not based on how far the wheel is rotated, but on how much cornering force is applied to it.
The Carver has a 660 cc 4-cylinder 16-valve engine with a turbo intercooler giving a power output of 65 bhp (48 kW) at 7,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 100 N·m (74 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm. An option is available to upgrade the ECU to give 85 bhp (63 kW) output. The transmission is a 5-speed manual with reverse, and all wheels are equipped with ventilated disk brakes. The front wheel is slightly larger than the rear wheels (at 17″ to 15″).
The Carver One, as standard, has a top speed of 185 km/h (115 mph). The acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 8.2 seconds (0-60 mph in 8 seconds), is slow compared to most motorcycles and average for a passenger car (a Toyota Camry has a similar acceleration).
The unique property of the Carver One is its automatic balancing “Dynamic Vehicle Control” system, which is said to allow full stability under almost all circumstances. Thanks to this DVC technology its cornering behaviour is said to feel natural and pleasant.