If you've ever wanted to get elbow-deep in grease and build yourself a car from the ground up, but you haven't a clue as to how to begin, then has the Italian OSVehicle project got good news for you. Their debut vehicle, the Tabby, can be constructed in under an hour by a couple of DIY-ers with a workbench and some tools. Step one: stop greasing up your elbows — that was meant as hyperbole.
The OSVehicle project was started last year in the hopes of getting cheap, street-legal cars into the hands of those in need of a set of wheels but who lack the funds to snap up a brand new Tesla. The Tabby's newest iteration since then, the Urban Tabby, is just that. This customizable, open-source vehicle can come with two to four seats and your choice of engine: internal combustion, electric, or hybrid.
The only parts that you won't get with your Urban Tabby kit are the body panels. Admittedly, without these you're left with something closely resembling a family-sized Mario Kart. To get your hands on the body panels, OSVehicle wants you to have them locally made. They'll give you all the specs and design files that you'll need to make and personalize these yourself for free on their website. The idea isn't to sell you an unfinished product, but rather to encourage local infrastructure.
You see, fun as will be to build your own car, you're probably not actually OSVehicle's target audience. Isolated communities with a need to deliver goods to distant markets, many of them in Africa, could build their own infrastructure around a cheap, available vehicle like the Tabby. As OSVehicle puts it:
"African makers can buy the kits, engineer it locally thanks to the access to the sources, perhaps sell the vehicles within the local community and hopefully learning over time how to build it with local resources. That would be awesome."
Depending on how big a chassis you go for, the engine you choose, and its settings, the Urban Tabby will have a top speed of anywhere between 43 and 93 MPH. As for costs, the exact final price will vary a bit, and hasn't quite been set since the Urban Tabby is still undergoing final design tweaks before its release. You can probably bet on a final price between $5,350 and $8,000 for a road-ready Urban Tabby of your own, assembly not included.