The Vanderhall Carmel is an American, hand-built autocycle. We’re told this new 2020 model now has “a host of upscale amenities”, one of which now includes DOORS.
Unfortunately, being an autocycle means the amenity of a fourth wheel is out of the question, but heck, three will most definitely suffice. Just ask Morgan. In any case, this thing looks like a load of fun.
It is hand-built in America, using an aluminium monocoque chassis shared with the company’s 2016 ‘Venice’ autocycle. Drive is sent to the front two wheels using the motive force of a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-pot from General Motors. The aluminium-block motor pumps out 194bhp and is said to be ‘lightweight’; Vanderhall quotes a 75/25 weight distribution front to back.
That turbo four-pot is matched up to a sequential six-speed auto gearbox with paddleshifters, and Vanderhall has fitted equal-length half shafts to “create a positive on-centre steering response”. Weeeeeeee!
Brakes are actually pretty decent – high-performance four-piston calipers slot onto big brakes – there’s cruise control, Bluetooth, a heater (a heater!), and heated seats, all as standard.
Doors. It now has two, that open backwards because that’s just cooler if we’re all honest with ourselves. Three trim levels are available – GT, Standard, and Blackjack. The top-spec GT gets something called a ‘cap sunshade’, a windscreen shorter “and sportier” than lesser Carmel models, tan leather, stainless-steel traction plates, boost and transmission gauges and a polished three-inch exhaust. Wheels come in rather large 19in variety, gloss black, and you can choose maroon as shown here, or a white body colour.
The Standard car gets slightly less – synthetic upholstery, a taller windshield, a lower price – while the Blackjack gets a custom black body wrap, and 18in wheels.
Prices? $34,950 for the Blackjack, $39,950 for the Standard, and $43,950 for the top-spec GT car. With the Morgan 3-Wheeler already in your heart, is there space for one more?