I haven’t seen Jay Leno smile this much since he got the Tonight Show. And the thing that put that smile on his substantial visage? A 65-horsepower three-wheeled commuter vehicle, the Persu tilting trike. The aerospace-inspired contraption is actually the Carver One, a Dutch invention that didn’t quite make it off the ground. Thankfully, the technology has been licensed by Persu, who plans to sell it stateside with a new, sleeker body and a hybrid drivetrain.
Leno has an absolute blast in the trike and calls it the most fun he’s ever had in a commuter vehicle. He interviews Terry Murphy of Persu, who oddly fails to mention anything about the trike’s background. In fact, he seems to claim its many engineering feats for himself. Odd, that.
The Persu will be a re-bodied Carver One, a trike built by Dutch engineers way back in the turn of the century (early 2000s). It uses an electro-hydrolic system to tilt its body in turns, giving it a fighter jet feel. The two-seater is powered by a turbocharged 660cc Daihatsu kei car power plant that puts out about 65 horsepower.
The Carver One most famously appeared on Top Gear in 2002. After piloting the little pod, 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.”
Despite the rave reviews, Carver only sold 200 of the vehicles. Trouble is, they planned on selling 300. The shortfall was enough to bankrupt Carver. The engineers behind the Carver One, however, licensed its tech to Persu.
It’s perplexing that Murphy neglected to mention any of this during the interview, despite the clearly visible “Carver” badge on the vehicle’s nose. And the praise from Leno. Still, the trike’s a blast and the revised Persu looks even more like a jet fighter than its Carver One papa. Hopefully Persu can make the little jet work on U.S. soil.
Strangely, Terry Murphy of Persu didn’t