Blazing Saddle: Meet the Single-Seat Blaze EV Classic

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It may be toylike, but the Blaze EV Classic is no toy. There’s definitely a Lotus/Caterham Seven (or, perhaps more accurately, Mitsuoka Zero1 crossed with a Datsun Type 11) vibe here, too, but this little single-seater is a much less performance-oriented machine. Plus, the little Blaze can be registered in Japan as a moped. The differential is optional! How delightfully goofy this thing is.

If the idea of a neighborhood electric vehicle has you thinking about golf carts and snowbirds, this retrofuturistic roadster is the antidote. Effectively an electric cyclecar, it sidesteps Japan’s expensive car inspection and registration system. With a tiny footprint—it’s less than eight feet long!—and minimal bodywork, it also appears to make the most of its 3-kWh battery pack: The 0.6 kW motor delivers approximately 31 miles of range and can take this little thing up to 31 mph. Bizarrely, it has drums at the front and discs in the back, but when the whole thing only weighs 441 pounds, it’s surely fine.

Nor is the Blaze outrageously expensive. It’s about $8,500 at today’s exchange rates, to start, and available in four basic colors. A lot of money for its limited capabilities, perhaps, considering how much motorcycle that could buy.

But its goofy fun factor is off the charts. It’s a Power Wheels for adults, with enough juice to actually run some errands (and attract a lot of attention). Add in green cred and it’s the right thing for a particular type of urban iconoclast.

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