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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 September 2005, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
Drives like bike, comfort of car
The Naro car
The Naro could be in production by 2008 and sell for 5,200
A new concept in commuter vehicle is being developed in south Wales, which claims to marry the dynamics of a motorbike with the comfort of a car.

The Naro car, a one metre-wide enclosed four-wheel two-seater where the passenger sits behind the driver, aims to do more than 100 miles per gallon.

It leans into corners, and has many safety features from car design.

Hugh Kemp, of the Naro Car company, said it answered concerns about congestion, parking and pollution.

The company hopes to start production by 2008. It predicts 1,500 vehicles will be produced each year and will be sold for about 5,200 each.

Mr Kemp, a former product director of Lotus cars, worked on the project while at Prodrive, and has now licensed the design for development at a base in Abercynon.

The company has received funding from the Welsh Development Agency to research and carry out a technical feasibility study.

Radical Design

Mr Kemp said the Naro represented a radical change in design, involved novel technology and was aimed at a niche market.

"We are still in the research stage at the moment and will test the technology on a 'mule' vehicle later this year," he said.

"Our aim is to manufacture the commuter vehicle in Wales and license the platform for development as a single passenger taxi cab and a city delivery vehicle."

He said experts at Cardiff University Centre for Automotive Industrial Research predicted the UK market for the 'sub' car sector will grow to 20,000 vehicles a year by 2012.

Andrew Davies
Minister Andrew Davies says the car is an exciting concept

"We are confident there will be a market demand for cars like Naro, particularly in our cities and the concept has been driven by the increasing problems of congestion, the scarcity of parking spaces and concerns about pollution levels.

Welsh Economic Development and Transport Minister Andrew Davies said he was hopeful for the future of the company.

"The Naro car is an exciting concept involving novel technology and we are delighted this revolutionary new vehicle is not only being developed in Wales but that manufacturing may follow," he said.

"It is also pleasing to see entrepreneurs coming to Wales specifically to develop their ideas and products here.

"The research and development element brings added value to the economy and we have the skills, expertise and support mechanisms to help develop projects like these."


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