This clever lit­tle car from Rus­sia has what it takes to pro­tect its oc­cu­pants like a rally car.

One door, four seats, a low price and able to roll down a moun­tain rally style

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - • al­wyn.viljoen@wit­ AL­WYN VILJOEN

RUS­SIAN de­signer Maly­shev Alexan­der de­scribes his Mir­row Provo­ca­tor as a short, but not a small car.

“Its height and width could be com­pa­ra­ble with a large SUV. In­side, the Mir­row Provo­ca­tor feels like a mini-van, but the driver’s po­si­tion be­hind the wheel and the front pas­sen­ger’s po­si­tion are close to the Mercedes E-class,” he states on the com­pany web­site.

The Provo­ca­tor is an­other mile­stone to the fu­ture we pre­dict for car de­sign; namely, that our few de­scen­dants who will still want to own their own cars in fu­ture, will de­mand some­thing unique.

Such be­spoke de­sign can best be de­liv­ered by shap­ing the de­sired ve­hi­cle around a roll cage, as race car builders have been do­ing for decades.

Alexan­der states the Provo­ca­tor uses a rally-style roll cage to keep pas­sen­gers safe from all an­gles.

The prob­lem with roll cages is the heavy side bars go where the doors are, which is why race car driv­ers em­u­late pole dancers when they get in and out of their cars.

Alexan­der solved this prob­lem by hav­ing only one door for his Provo­ca­tor, at the rear, with a nar­row cen­tral giv­ing ac­cess to the seats.

Emer­gency hatches along the side of the Provo­ca­tor al­low es­cape if the sin­gle rear door is dam­aged or blocked.

The en­gine is mounted in line with the wide cen­tral aisle, which makes it less likely to crush the front pas­sen­ger’s legs in a se­ri­ous im­pact. The fuel tank for the ver­sions with the clas­sic en­gine and bat­ter­ies for hy­brid or elec­tric ver­sions are lo­cated on each side of the aisle, un­der the floor, which is the most safe lo­ca­tion and pro­vides ex­cel­lent sta­bil­ity on the road for the car.

With air bags proven to be as likely to kill and maim as they are to pre­vent in­jury, Alexan­der only of­fers three-point in­er­tia seat belts as stan­dard, but the air bags can be or­dered as an op­tion.

Alexan­der pre­dicts a re­tail price of up to €4 500 for the ba­sic Provo­ca­tor, which is about R78 392 — or the price of a de­cent moun­tain bike, with no date yet for con­struc­tion to start.


The Mir­row Provo­ca­tor con­cept from Rus­sia stands taller than most peo­ple, but is as short as a Smart, with one rear door giv­ing ac­cess to the seats along a nar­row cen­tral aisle.

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