A sister company to Young Driver – the under-17s driving school – Young Driver Motor Cars will start production of the Firefly Sport model this month. The 2.1 metre-long car, which can accommodate children aged 4- to 10-years-old (and even adult drivers) will use only UK-sourced components for series-build cars – including their batteries and electric motors – making the Firefly Sport the country’s first all-British EV, the manufacturer claims.
Pooling expertise from around the UK’s motor industry, YDMC’s Firefly Sport is built on an aluminium chassis with all-round independent suspension and rack and pinion steering, offering young drivers an authentic taste of how a road car looks, handles and performs.
Firefly Sport uses two, class-leading, cleverly packaged and recyclable 12-volt batteries from a Bromsgrove-based supplier, powering twin 24-volt electric motors which are manufactured in Bournemouth. Maximum speeds will vary depending on the gearbox specified, but will range from 25mph, down to 7mph for the youngest drivers. However, Firefly Sport also has a remote cut-off facility with a 200-metre range, as well as an automatic cut-off if it senses obstacles in its path, making it ultra-safe for first-time drivers.
Inside the open-topped two-seater (a roof is optional for all-weather use) drivers are presented with a digital instrument pack that can be personalised on start-up with the user’s name and photograph. There are three instruments – a speedometer, clock and range indicator – as well as a reversing camera and pilot lights for indicators, headlights/tail lights etc.
“Firefly Sport is a fully-fledged, scaled-down motor car,” says Ian Mulingani, YDMC’s managing director. “From its launch this month it will allow 4- to 10-year-olds the chance to get behind the wheel and have an authentic motoring experience, thanks to this model’s sophisticated design and componentry, which fundamentally mirror the way a road car behaves, but at fully manageable speeds.
“Being electric and looking like a junior supercar, it also aligns with the type of vehicle that children see themselves driving when they pass their test. And it’s precisely this kind of engagement we need at our Young Driver training centres to start them on a journey towards improved road safety – and ultimately, preventing unnecessary road deaths.
Firefly Sport will be available for 4- to 10-year-old drivers at 45 of Young Driver’s training centres across the UK (£20 for a 15-minute test drive). Alternatively it can also be purchased outright by families who have sufficient space for children to drive the car on private land. Pricing will be announced at the British Motor Show on August 18th, and the car can be specified in a wide range of colours, with plenty of options to choose from.
Young drivers wishing to book an early test drive in Firefly Sport should go to: www.youngdriver.com