One of the most talked-about cars at the LA Auto Show this week is Honda’s Personal Neo Urban Transport or P-NUT. It is a “microcar” with three seats, including a driver’s seat in the middle of the car and two rear seats flanking it. Since it is one of those “concept cars” that may or may not translate into an actual showroom car, the engine and other details are open, but a modular engine bay could hold a number of different engine types.
As gas prices increase, the allure of such microcars will increase. For getting around town in most situations, you really don’t need a four-door sedan with a trunk or way-back. A family might need one bigger “grocery-getter” for shopping and long-range trips, but cars like the P-NUT might be an option for a second car for you or your spouse to commute to work in.
However, the title of the P-NUT gives something away. It’s designed as an urban car, not a cross-country cruiser. That’s going to make moving the P-NUT problematic if someone moves a long distance or is a snowbird using it as their second car. That should increase the demand for car transport companies, as people won’t want to drive it across country on their own.
I’m not an expert on the mechanics of car transport, but these microcars may create their own sets of problems for transporters. Loads involving the same types of cars tend to be faster than a mixed load, and trying to haul microcars and big vans and SUVs at the same time could be problematic.
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