Due to a variety of reasons, from physical size to emotional maturity, children aren’t allowed to drive full-sized automobiles until reaching an appropriate age. To tide them over, companies build little ride-on kids cars—everything from cheap Power Wheels to $70,000 miniature Bugattis. Of course, this doesn’t stop adults from enjoying what are essentially tiny electric cars too. An Englishman named James is one such enthusiast, who has gone so far as to build one that’s actually road legal over in England.
James recently handed the miniature car—ok, it’s not technically a Power Wheels but a souped-up RiiRoo Super Sport XL—over to Car Throttle, who was more than willing to put the car through its paces on British roads. It’s fully equipped with all the basics you’d expect in a road car: real pneumatic tires, headlights, indicators, and brake lights are all present and accounted for. Doors? Got ’em. Turbo button? Check. Seat belts? Sorta.
However, with zero suspension and a top speed of just 22 miles an hour, it’s not exactly what you’d call a good daily, but it fits in surprisingly well on the high street of the local village. In slow-moving traffic, it’s able to get out of its own way fast enough not to disturb other motorists, who seem remarkably patient with Alex’s antics around town as he cheerily drives along, waving to pedestrians.
It’s quite astounding that such a tiny, slow vehicle could become road legal in the UK, especially given the total lack of safety features to protect the driver from simply being run over by a taller vehicle in an accident. While neither Alex nor James have expanded on how the vehicle came to be road registered, it was likely by passing the UK’s Basic Individual Vehicle Inspection. This allows kit cars, left-hand drive vehicles, and other oddities to be made road legal, without the need for destructive testing required of series production models. How the car skirted around needing basic items like seatbelts and headrests remains a mystery, however.
Why bother with this at all? Well, consider that evidently some businesses in England have no problem with you driving your road legal mini car right through the front door to do a bit of drive-thru shopping:
The car started life as a RiiRoo Super Sport XL, with a 24V 180W motor, air-filled tires, and rear disc brakes. James set about upgrading the car in earnest, fitting a 48V 650W brushless motor for some extra thrust, and adding extra batteries to suit. Total range on a full charge is 4 miles or roughly 45 minutes of running—long enough to pop down the shops, but short enough to stop you contemplating a jaunt on the motorway. As far as in-car entertainment goes, there’s even a stereo to pump some tunes as you cruise along. James goes into great detail on the modifications on his Youtube channel; the project playlist is a great place for those wishing to start their own Power Wheels mods.
While the car is officially road legal, it doesn’t stop James running into trouble here and there. Headlight height regulations and a bunch of other finer details will likely make it difficult to achieve a similar feat in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean someone isn’t going to try. With that said, your Power Wheels build doesn’t need to be daily driveable to be a whole lot of fun. Just consider wearing a helmet when you start approaching 70 mph.
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