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Carver

Vandenbrink first started to look at Man Wide Vehicles (MWV) in 1989 when Chris van den Brink put together a team of designers. In 1994 Chris van den Brink and Harry Kroonen invented the basic concept of Dynamic Vehicle Control  (DVC) where by input to a car type steering wheel would result in optimal 'motorcycle-type' tilt of the vehicle’s chassis. Over the next couple of years two Carver Prototypes will built with constant improvements to the hydraulic tilting system and in 1997 the vehicle became approved by the Dutch Government Road Authority to be driven on public roads.  Manufactured in Holland, the Carver is a “Tilting 3-wheeler” which unlike ordinary vehicles tilts the same as a motorcycle when cornering The DVC system varies depending upon the speed of the vehicle.  Turning whilst going slow will keep the Carver almost upright but with increased speed the Carver will tilt further in the same way a motorcycle does. In the second picture you can also see how the Carver behaves on gravel/sand performing like a speedway motorcycle where the front wheel counter steers.  The tilting system also means that a car just 1.30 m wide can  reach cornering speeds of Porsches and  Ferrari's.

This is because the Carver  can tilt up to 45 degrees to each side.  Furthermore within 1 second the Carver can tilt from full left to full right. The vehicle is powered by a 660cc 4-cylinder engine that also features a turbo intercooler.  This combined with a light weight steel chassis  with a 2 seater (monocoque design) body that is covered by  composite panels gives the Carver a top speed of around 120mph (190kmh). The Vandenbrink has passed EU homologation test which means that Carvers were allowed all through the EU which saw the company trade as Carver Europe.

Due to the price of a Carver (around 45,000 -  €50,000) sales of the vehicle were not as great as hoped for and in July 2009 the company filed for bankruptcy and ceased producing vehicles.  The technology behind the Carver’s innovative  leaning technology, “Advanced Technology Licensing Company” is still in business so whilst no more Carvers may be built. the technology behind it may one day end in future vehicle.

In 2010 the technology was licensed by Persu Ventures in the USA and manufacture is expected to start in 2012.  Whilst the original Carver can fetch up to 65 mpg a new hybrid version called the “Persu Hybrid” is being designed with a body that produces lower drag coefficient.  Combined with an electric motor it is expected to fetch around 100 mpg (achieved by 75+ mpg on fuel and an electric range of around 20 miles)..

 

The 2002 Vandenbrink Carver. (This photo was taken just after my test drive during a visit to the Netherlands in 2003)

The Carver in “maintenance mode” showing the full tilt possible whilst driving around corners

The Persu Hybrid

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