back to article French yoof offered Halo-esque electric buggy

Strange things can often be found off the beaten track at car exhibitions, and the dustier corners of the Pavillon Vert at this year's Geneva Motor Show proved no exception. Courb's C-Zen Courb's C-Zen: pour les enfants terrible The C-Zen - 'C'est Zéro Emission Nocive', or 'No Harmful Emissions' – from French company Courb …


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  1. Randolf McKinley
    Thumb Up

    How's my Driving?

    Text "arrêt" to 0773243...

  2. Ash
    Thumb Down

    What's wrong with the bus?

    And what happened to TEACHING teens not to drink and drive? Or to always wear a seatbelt?

    Sweet baby jeebus, let them do something stupid once in a while. At least if they keep doing it, it'll reduce the amount of stupid left in the gene pool once things go wrong for them.

  3. Jamie Kephalas

    For the safety of...

    "Does this still work when the thing's going flat out on the freeway, we wonder? For the safety of other drivers, we hope not."

    ...other road users, we hope it's not allowed on the "freeway".

  4. 4a$$Monkey
    Thumb Up

    Optional extras

    How much for the rocket launcher or mini gun turret options?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see

    Why would you be taking it on a freeway in the first place, if it's limited to 60?

  6. Jimmy Floyd


    Just a thought: until (quite) a few years ago an engine under 100cc didn't count as a motor vehicle and therefore lots of 97.5cc karts of the kind raced by a certain Lewis Hamilton Esq. in his early years could have happily been driven on British public rods.

    Those days have long-since passed but I wonder - what does an electric vehicle need to do to be classified as a motor vehicle and be registered with the DVLA these days? Is there a loop-hole there, or would this French designed buggy find itself in Sedgeway territory.

  7. Luis Ogando
    Paris Hilton

    Mixed Feelings

    Hmm.. Not sure about this. Normally my comments support electric vehicles, but this looks a little too gimmicky for it's own good. The price is a bit high, too. I'm not sure many parents would be happy shelling out ten grand on a run-around for their 16 year old offspring when a slightly less lethal (to others) moped/scooter/hairdrier is a fraction of the cost.

    And all those 'added extras' are waiting to be by-passed within a week of release (my mate's already fixed the annoying chime his Toyota makes when you don't wear a seatbelt and he only had it a day!).

    Stopped-by-text sounds good. Until your phone's nicked and you can't even drive to the police station because the thief's texted that bizarre 'My Car' number you've got stored!!

    Nah, this looks too much like an expensive toy to be viable and doesn't seem that practical (removable windows..?? Come on!). Looks good, but not much use.

    Paris, because, well, looks good, but not much use...

  8. Hollerith

    first leccy car I've wanted

    Looks fun and I could well see me pootling around London in this. What a shame they aren't doing to do a UK-side version. Are not our yoof as wild and crazy as the French?

  9. Andraž Levstik


    I want one... it's nice... perfect for people to hack into something great... but at the same time the cost is a tad high imho... Especially looking at the range...

  10. DJ

    Just what we need

    It's not enough to drive on French roads where the local population don't know what indicators are or how to use roundabouts, or the electric cars where you don't need a license. And now 16yrlds without a license can drive on the roads as well.. My next vehicle will be a main battle tank!

  11. Richard Drinkwater
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    It's a quad in the UK too

    UK (and I believe EU) law states that provided the vehicle has less than 20hp and weighs under 550kg it can be classed as a quadricycle. This is why the G-wizz gets around many safety regulations. DVLA states that you don't even need to worry about the horsepower which is nice of them.

  12. GrahamT

    San permis

    If this is anything like the other san-permis on the road, they will be driven (at about 20mph) by old fogeys who never bothered to learn how to drive, or middle aged men who have lost their license after a bit too much vin rouge with their lunches. 16 yo Yoofs wouldn't be seen dead in a san-permis - souped up moped, yes. (also no license required.)

    The current diesel and petrol cars, I thought, are limited to 50kph, so how do they get away with 95kph? Maybe these come under that other weird French law that lets car drivers ride a 15bhp 125cc motorbike without taking a test or displaying an "L" plate.

    By the way, the French don't have "Freeways" They have free motorways/autoroutes or toll autoroutes, and you are allowed to drive faster (130kph) on the paying ones than the free ones (110kph)

  13. caffeine addict

    ten grand...?!?

    Add UK taxes and rip-off loading and you'd not get one over here for less than about 13 grand. Four grand for a quad bike suddenly looks sane again...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    M12 LRV

    I can't believe some sad bastard has bought the number plate M12 LRV - this of course being the Warthog in Halo.

  15. Mike Moyle Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    @ Ash

    "Sweet baby jeebus, let them do something stupid once in a while. At least if they keep doing it, it'll reduce the amount of stupid left in the gene pool once things go wrong for them."

    Don't worry... they WILL do something stupid once they realize that "night-vision camera" + "heads-up display" = "driving without headlights".

    Its first midnight "rendezvous" with anything larger than -- I expect -- a MiniCooper ought to skim the algae off of the gene pool pretty well.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @Richard Drinkwater

    "UK (and I believe EU) law states that provided the vehicle has less than 20hp and weighs under 550kg it can be classed as a quadricycle. This is why the G-wizz gets around many safety regulations. DVLA states that you don't even need to worry about the horsepower which is nice of them."

    With all due respect that's bollocks. The DVLA state no such thing. The maximum power outputs for a quadricyle are: 4KW (wowee!) for a "light quadricycle" which can be driven by a 16 year old on a moped licence and 15KW for a heavy quadricycle (which can't). Either way you can't have a quadricycle with a power output of over 15KW. More than 15KW and you're into PLG territory.

    Other relevant bits of the rules are:

    Light quadricycle: a maximum design speed of not more than 45km/h, an unladen weight of not more than 350kg and not be capable of carrying a goods payload of more than 200kg.

    Heavy quadricycle: No limit on design speed, an unladen weight of not more than 400kg (550kg for a goods vehicle) and a maximum goods payload of 1000kg.

    The weight of the batteries is not included in the unladen weight. Which is why that ugly pile of crap qualifies.

  17. Gilbert Wham


    Looks more like a Puma to me...

  18. Walking Turtle
    Thumb Up

    Dunno if I want THIS one...

    But anything remotely like it at a price that I can shell out handy and painless - YES.

    I already drive an electric. It's an open-chair design with realllly nice joystick controls and built-in regenerative braking. It's rigged to haul a next-to-largest size storage tub full o' ghibli on the rear deck of the battery box. It tows both a conventional two-wheel aluminum dolly and a converted steel-frame golfing-bag caddy cart as a trailer to boot.

    It'll pull fair-size tree stumps if it's the right kind of trees. :)

    It does 6 MPH on level ground. Good for forty-fifty miles or so full tilt on a series-connected pair of conventional 12-volt RV-sized LeClanche batteries. A tiny wingding camping-grade mini-generator'll extend the range considerably (at the cost of some tiny amount of gasoline or preferably propane per mile).

    It's unique in my town and (oddly enuf) seems to command some proper respect from others who are still putting Big Thunder into Heavy Iron on our aging 'Merkin back roads. It hauls groceries, odd-shaped chunks of Just Anything I Need, and especially those heavy cylinders of oxygen from the supply house five miles off. Just fit the trailer and bungee the cargo to suit.

    A little better road speed'd be nice, is all. I am still shopping as well as figgering the soup-um-up on what I already own and love. At thirteen grand fully loaded, the factory-made c-Zen thingie is very impressive to me own sensibilities. It is quite the foward-looking retail product as I see it. I'd LOVE to fit all the auxiliary kit to my own wee rig!

    By the time I am at last grown in my overgrown hobby /cum/ enterprise (custom boro glass work) all the way to the ability to pay cash for such a thing, though, what I buy'll likely just need new batts and a little technoTLC such as only us Funny-Hatted Things can provide. Heaven hasten the day! Meantime, it's Fearsome Awersome Black Turtle. To others, she's only a heavy duty electric wheelchair made for the quadriplegic market - but she has heart. Things such as that should not rust on the back porch, let alone go to the metals pile at the town dump.

    Even once all upgraded to something like the C-Zen, though, there will be forseeable limitations. For example, I could no longer drive my electric vehicle directly into the interior of the super or the bookstore. I'll still want good old Black Turtle for that move. Open tops are more fun anyhow.

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