Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

24 Feb, 2012

Car Specially Designed, Built for Wheelchair Accessibility Launched


MILWAUKEE, Feb. 22, 2012  /PRNewswire/ — MV-1, claimed to be the first vehicle designed from the ground up for wheelchair accessibility is being launched at the 2012 Greater Milwaukee Auto Show from Feb. 25, 2012 – March 4, 2012.

“Aptly named the MV-1 for the ‘first Mobility Vehicle,’ the car is designed specifically for the more than 14 million Americans who must use wheelchairs, walkers or other mobility devices,” explains Anders Hjertstedt, product specialist for Concours Motors. “A routine activity such as traveling presents a significant obstacle in their daily lives; this is why we’re excited to show everyone there’s an option out there that can improve their quality of life.”

What’s special about the MV-1?

Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law to ensure equal rights for people with disabilities more than 20 years ago, there are still very limited transportation options available to individuals with mobility issues.  In fact, the MV-1 is the first purpose-built vehicle to fully meet or exceed ADA vehicle guidelines and all Federal safety and crash test requirements.

Traditionally wheelchair accessible vehicles have been converted vans or other aftermarket products and are generally more costly, do not carry a factory warranty, and have not passed the Federal safety and crash test requirements. Instead, the MV-1 is a vehicle that has been engineered, designed and built from the ground up to accommodate wheelchair accessibility and overall ease of entry and exit, as well as safety.

What does the MV-1 have to offer?

The MV-1 features a fully-deployable side ramp with a 1,200-pound weight capacity. This dynamic ramp system, which is available in a manual or automated option, deploys from within the vehicle floor. Combined with a spacious 36-inch entryway and an interior of more than 190 cubic feet, the passenger is allowed easy entry and exit while maintaining a generous amount of interior space. The vehicle can seat up to six people comfortably — including wheelchairs and motorized scooters.

Manufactured by the Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG) and assembled at a former GM Hummer plant in Indiana, the car has an appealing powertrain — a 4.6-liter Ford V-8, with a four-speed automatic transmission, one of the most durable engine and transmission combinations made. It is also available with either compressed natural gas (CNG) or conventional gasoline fueling systems.

The MV-1 Base model starts just under $40,000 and includes standard features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), and Q-Straint® Wheelchair Restraint Track System. It’s available in five colors — arctic white, jet black, sterling silver, cherry red and midnight blue. All colors come standard with gray leatherette interior. Additional details regarding MV-1 specifications and available options can be found on www.vpgautos.com.