Forget building a toy car. Why not build the real thing with the OSVehicle?
One company has decided to create a fully-working car that you could build in less than an hour. Assuming, of course, you had the patience, inclination and enough money to buy the kit. Say hello to Tabby.
Tabby has been dubbed an ‘Ikea car’ because it can be assembled by hand in a garage like one giant, expensive Meccano kit. Except unlike an Ikea flat pack, you can drive Tabby and all of the blueprints needed to build it are available free online, which is known as open source.
Part of being an open-source project means everyone has access to ‘Tabby’, which is OSVehicle’s first creation, and can contribute to its design. If somebody comes up with a part that improves the ride quality, for instance, fellow Tabby builders can benefit from its implementation by using the blueprint to build it for themselves.
The standard Tabby kit is mainly for educational and business purposes, but a combination of the IHE (Integrated Hybrid Engine) and the ‘Urban Tabby’ kit means you could, in theory, drive it on the road, thanks to the addition of bodywork that makes it road legal.
Tabby can be equipped with a three different engines: 10kWh Economic, 12kWh Base and 15kWh Performance. Each one uses a 125cc ‘endothermic engine’ and an electric engine to provide speeds up to 56mph. OSVehicle says the fuel consumption is “very low”, in part thanks to Stop/Start technology.
OSVehicle – short for open-source vehicle – was founded by Francisco Liu, a man with a vision to “change the way vehicles are created”. The idea is that, rather than rely on a car manufacturer to build a car, you can download the necessary blueprints free of charge and build it yourself.
The Tabby chassis can be pre-ordered in a two or four-seat flavour for €1,990 (£1,652) and €2090 (£1,735), respectively. The kit excludes the electric engine (€1,520) and battery pack (€698). You will also need to buy seats (€80) and wheels (€338). An option to add an engine will be available in spring 2014.
All you have to do is buy all the bits, download the blueprints (instructions) from the website and off you go.
Flat-pack cars have been around the while in the form of kit cars, Caterhams and equivalents but building them requires a relatively high level of mechanical understanding, garage space and deep pockets.
Scroll on down to see Tabby being built in 41 minutes.
OSVehicle Tabby assembly video