I've read that in the startup world, there's a term called "MVP", or "Minimum Viable Product". The idea is simple: what product has the highest return on investment, versus the risk? Taking it one step farther, what is the simplest (and least expensive) thing you can make in order to rapidly gain customers?
In North America, many bemoan the safety features, electronic nannies, and excessive weight of our vehicles. But would you really go back in time, to where modern mechanicals were blended into a tubular steel frame and the most simple interior imaginable?
Designed and built in Kenya, the Mobius Motors Mobius II is as simple as it gets. No air conditioning, no side windows…it's basically a Caterham Seven mixed with a Willys MB. Have you been complaining in internet comments that cars are too complex? That you longed for a simple, durable, easy-to-fix powertrain?
This is that car. Could you drive something so extremely simple?
First, it weighs 1,275 kg (2,810 lbs), has space for driver, passenger, and six (!) rear passengers. It has a load capacity of 625 kg (1,388 lbs)—more than many so-called full-sized trucks. Powering the whole affair? A simple, 1,598-cc 4-cylinder engine and 86 horsepower. Five-speed manual transmission…top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). Fuel economy? 8.3 L/100 km, about 28 U.S. mpg. Not bad!
I wish the firm success simply because most people on the continent have to deal with are vehicles originally designed for the UK, Europe, Asia, or America—not ones designed to stand up to day-to-day life in Africa. And the price for all of this? About $9,600 US–about what you'd pay for a 2007 Toyota Auris in Nairobi.