Melbourne-based Vanderhall is radically shifting the world of roadsters with multiple three-wheeled models. Unlike some of the competition, however, they’re not going entirely electric. At least one of their roadsters is a bona-fide three-wheeled performance machine — The Vanderhall Carmel GT.
Gasoline power and tuned performance
The Vanderhall Carmel GT may remind you of other three-wheeled electric vehicles, but this machine is powered by a 1.5L 4-cylinder turbo engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine outputs 194hp and 203lb-ft of torque, making it more powerful than a lot of compact hatchbacks on the market today.
The engine is a DOHC design with an inline-4 configuration and variable valve timing. It’s also turbocharged, working with 4 direct-injected cylinders. This makes it a fast accelerator and more than capable of keeping pace and even passing other cars on the road.
On the road, the Carmel GT offers superlative handling and tuned suspension inspired by the world of Formula 1. The Carmel GT comes with an inboard suspension system, which is the main reason the car can lie so low to the ground. The control arms are made with forged aluminum for added strength, and that low profile makes you feel glued to the road even as you navigate the trickiest roads in the world.
Sleek exterior and room for two
The Carmel GT comes in two different exterior colors, Pearl White and Ruby Metallic. The wider body gives room for a two-person cabin, and helps this car gain the real-car dimension that it needs, even with only three wheels, to drive on the road as a regular car.
The list of standard features is beyond impressive, starting with the above-mentioned 1.5L 4-cylinder turbo engine, with a 3” sport exhaust at the other end of the system. Next is the automatic transmission with paddle shifters that allow you a stronger degree of control when driving, and especially when navigating tricky terrain. It even has cruise control, boost and shift gauge and a 2-year limited warranty.
Driver and passenger are treated to heated seats and beautiful interior detailing such as tan leather upholstery, a wooden steering wheel with gloss black detailing in the center. There’s a Bluetooth-enabled sound system, and it even rides on gorgeous gloss-black 19” alloy wheels.
Classic looks with real modernity
What you get, at the end of the day, is a compact, performance car with to-die-for exterior looks. The outside is a serious head-turner, and is sure to send everyone’s eyes green with envy. The striking looks may evoke those feelings of old-world automotive charm, but the technology within the vehicle speaks to a 21st-century design for the modern driver.
The top of the Carmel GT sits just 50 inches from the ground. It’s only 68.9 inches wide and weighs just 1,595lbs (723kg). That’s about half the weight of a Prius, and even lighter than the smallest compact cars like the Mitsubishi Mirage.
Vanderhall has three models in production, the Carmel GT, the Venice and the electric Edison. They even have an SUV-style model in the works, the Navarro. The Carmel GT starts at $46,145, or $49,295 for the upgraded Carmel GTS. Check out the range and join the 3-wheeled gas-powered revolution.