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 (formerly named Vandenbrink) 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 dimensions are 3.4 m (11 ft) long by 1.3 m (4.3 ft) wide by 1.4 m (4.6 ft) high, giving it a low slim profile, similar to a motorcycle. It weighs only 640 kg (1,400 lb), about half the weight of a medium size car or three to four times the weight of most motorcycles. 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. The DVC technology has been developed by Carver Engineering and is currently also offered to third parties. Thanks to this DVC technology its cornering behaviour is said to feel natural and pleasant. This technology has also purportedly been licensed for use in Venture Vehicles of California's VentureOne.
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 is currently being assembled in Germany by ACÜ and was officially launched at the Geneva Motor Show on 7 March 2007.
May 2009: Rumours on the Fly the Road Club Forum that the company's assets had been seized by the Dutch Treasury were played down by Carver representatives.
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