Artikcar by Ben Wilson


British designer Ben Wilson has designed a pedal-powered vehicle inspired by a child's toy car.

Called Artikcar, the vehicle is made of steel tubing and has an illuminated profile.

Wilson will present the design as part of two parades in Manchester and Edinburgh, organised by arts company Walk the Plank.

More about Ben Wilson on Dezeen: Monowheel.

Here's some more information from Wilson:


Walk the Plank’s illuminated Art Car Parades - full of mechanical mischief - will take over Manchester’s streets This Thursday 26th and in Edinburgh this Saturday the 28th November.

Ben Wilson was one of three artists to be awarded commissioning money to create a mobile work of art, which will join the existing troupe of vehicles.

ARTIKCAR is inspired by a child’s wooden toy car. The Pedal Powered vehicle is made from steel tubing, it steers by leaning and uses an innovative technology to illuminate the car.

If you’re near by please come and see the parades:

Illuminated Art Car Parade, Manchester City Centre, Thursday 26th November, cars on display from 3pm, parade from 6.30pm (Cathedral Gardens). FREE TO ALL

Edinburgh’s Homecoming Illuminated Art Car Parade, Edinburgh City Centre, Saturday 28th November, cars on display from 2pm, parade from 5.30pm (The Mount). FREE TO ALL

The illuminated Art Car Parades have been created and produced by outdoor arts specialists Walk the Plank.

Supported by Art Council England and will be presented in association with Manchester City Council and Edinburgh’s Homecoming celebrations.

Posted on Tuesday November 24th 2009 at 2:27 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • wow – does the neon roof keep the rain out?

  • Michael

    First bump with a wall ruins the fun :(

  • Finners

    This is absolutely excellent!
    So often when cycling I’m frustrated by the lack of respect shown to cyclists. I really like the idea of giving a cyclist a car shape. Very cheeky. Although of course it takes away two of the ebst aspects of cycling, ease of parking and being able to skim up the outside of traffic to the front!

  • DN3

    where would you put the groceries??

    • Charlie W

      Sometimes you take two ideas, and you combine them, and you get something magical.

      This is, more or less, the inverse of that. It’s much worse than a car, and much worse than a bike. Not really any faster than a bike (you can do 25 mph on a bike, if you go for it, and you can cruise at 16-18 mph all day) and not comfortable like a car either.

      You’ll need a parking space, and you’ll get stuck in traffic, so all of the car disadvantages there. It looks horribly dangerous, offering no crash resistance, although drivers will probably treat you like a car, if they see you in one of these.

      Visibility is poor: you sit in a low position, your view is blocked to the rear, and yet I see no mirrors. There are no windscreen wipers, and what do you do when you get condensation on the inside?

      The second version is even worse, offering what looks like massive frontal area. Might it actually tip over in a high wind?

      Dreadful, dreadful, dreadful. Waste of everyone’s time and almost sort of insulting to those people who make fully faired recumbent bikes that can do 70 mph. And the makers of sun-powered car prototypes. Take it down, please.

  • modular

    haha, uber cool!

  • this remember me a funny bike park by adrien rovero (ex ecal, switzerland)

  • m

    bit it’s quite a cliché, don’t you think?

  • Okay, that’s just hilarious. LOVE!

  • mcmlxix

    I am a cyclist, not a motorist, and my preference is against recumbents as I like to be higher up so as to see better. Also, one of the benefits of the standard bicycle in an urban area is being able to better navigate congestion and the higher availability of tighter parking/locking options.

    This project renders both moot, and with the larger footprint, I’d expect some sort of trade off, like a rack behind the seat for transporting, yes, groceries.

    But something tells me that this project is not so much about transporting groceries or getting to work. I think it’s more about looking cool. Unfortunately the neon wrap-around reminds me too much of the “It” as seen on South Park for this to retain it’s cool.

    • christocc

      There’s no apostrophe in its, unless you mean to use the contraction of “it is.” So much for retaining your cool.

  • great… i made my own toy car…
    my bubble car…

  • Meh. This is a recumbent with a silly frame to slow it down.
    Sure it’s pretty, but it is still low to the ground, hard to see and all the things that make motorists grumpy with cyclists.

  • Sean

    would love to see the wheels lit up also

  • naylor

    RE> This is a recumbent with a silly frame to slow it down.
    RE> This project renders both moot, and with the larger footprint, I’d expect some sort of trade off, like a rack behind the seat for transporting, yes, groceries.

    a mobile work of art

  • Looks fun!

  • mook

    Naylor – it’s not a mobile work of art, the first words of the article are:

    “British designer Ben Wilson has designed….”

    No matter how artistic the intent of the work and designer, it’s still a practical object for use in a city, so he should have considered the practical elements as mentioned by others.

    I like the work though in a purely visual way. Wouldn’t like to use it much though.

  • Joe in MS

    It’s attractive and kind of cool. I’m not a big fan of recumbents but that feature may contribute to its low-slung sportiness even though it would reduce its visibility in traffic. I really like the neon outline and I’m sure it will be a nice entry in the parade.

    Frankly (and this isn’t a criticism of this design but of the greed of the manufacturers of such), 4-wheeled bicycle-type cars (see for example would probably be wildly popular and an ecological boon in urban or residential areas if they were (a) more practically-equipped with a parcel basket for shopping, and (b) priced more in line with what they actually are — basically two bicycles stuck together. As Henry Ford once said, “It doesn’t matter how good of a car you build, if it can’t be sold for a price the public is willing to pay for it.”

  • sis

    super cool

  • Hey Ben,

    I love your new design – so recumbents will finally be even more visible than those fancy cars. How do you like the seat? ;)

  • J*

    lacks 4 of these:


    I like it (despite the bad reviews I agree with ie: loss of the pushbike assets) but I don’t get it for the “handles”: they seem to be underneath the seat? how does it feel after a little ride?