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Aixam-Mega is a French automobile manufacturer based in Aix-les-Bains, Savoie. It was founded in 1983 to make microcars following the acquisition of Arola. On April 11, 2013, US based Polaris Industries announced that it had acquired Aixam-Mega.
|Owner||Polaris Industries (44%) Groupe PSA (56%)|
The company can trace its history back to the establishment of Arola in 1975, which was acquired by Aixam in 1983 out of administration. In 1984 Aixam launched the new 325D, followed by the 400D in 1985.
In 1992 they started making a range of standard sized cars under the Mega brand, but by 2002 this brand was just being applied to a diesel and electric range of microvans and light utility vehicles.
The company currently produces the Aixam A.7XX series (powered by Kubota diesel engines), a microcar comparable with the Smart. A notable difference is that some of the smaller models are restricted to 45 kilometres per hour (28 mph) and can be driven without a driving licence in some European countries (including Belgium, Estonia, France, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and Slovenia).
In Britain they are classified as a category L7e quadricycle (quad bike) because of their weight and power output. This requires a category B1 licence to legally drive them. In January 2013, the law changed such that special restricted low power versions of the car (Aixam 400) can now be driven by full AM licence holders in the UK.
On January 28th, 2018, Groupe PSA acquired a 56% stake in Aixam promising to build profit for the company and improve its range. This could allow Aixam to come back into wider European markets. Groupe PSA vowed to keep production running until 2022 when newer Aixam models would be produced at PSA Sochaux Plant
The Aixam 400, 500 and 500.5 are very basic vehicles mechanically by today's standards. There were a variety of engines offered over the years. The diesel is fitted with a Kubota Z402 two-cylinder 400 cc industrial engine rated at 4 kW (5 bhp; 5 PS). The petrol versions used a Lombardini 505 cc twin-cylinder of approx 19.5 bhp (15 kW; 20 PS), later petrol cars were fitted with fuel-injection.
Steering is by rack and pinion and has a comparatively low ratio. MacPherson strut suspension is used at the front and semi-trailing arms at the rear. Brakes are by disc and single-piston calipers at the front, with drums at the rear also serving for handbrake function, via cables.
Transmission is by a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) made and supplied by CVTech-IBC. The reversing gearbox and combined differential unit of 8:1 forward ratio, is supplied by the Italian company COMEX, which also supplies many of the other running-gear, steering, suspension and braking system components. The gearbox is designed for small town runabout or delivery van of less than 8 bhp (6 kW; 8 PS) and limited to 30 mph (48 km/h).
- Aixam Crossline/A-series (berlina quadricycle): crossline (diesel or gasoline, top speed 45 or 93 km/h), A-721 (diesel, 45 km/h), A-741 (diesel, 95 km/h), A-751 (diesel, 78 km/h).
- Aixam Scouty/Scouty-R (convertible) diesel or gasoline, top speed 45 or 93 km/h (58 mph).
- Aixam Crossline (SUV-style) (diesel or gasoline), top speed 45 or 93 km/h (58 mph).
- Aixam City Gasol, top speed 45 km/h (28 mph) limited 97 km/h (60 mph) unlocked
- Aixam Mega e-City (electric), top speed 64 km/h (40 mph) - in collaboration with NICE, 14,745 €.
- Mega Moskito Micro Pick-up
- Mega MultiTruck (diesel or electric)
- Aixam MAC
- Aixam Berlines
- Aixam Minivan
- Aixam Pick-up
- Aixam Microcar
- Mega Club/Ranch - Citroën AX-based beach cars and offroad vehicles
- Mega Concept
- Méga Monte Carlo
- Mega Track (sports car) - 1992
- Aixam 300, 400, 500
- "History". Aixam. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Voiture sans permis Aixam Impulsion". Aixam.com. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- "The little car you can drive in France without a licence". BBC. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
- "Quad Bikes - Direct.gov - Motoring". UK Government. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
- "Vehicles you can ride or drive and minimum ages". UK Government (direct.gov). Retrieved 22 February 2012.
- Driving licence categories: Mopeds: Category AM "You can drive 2-wheeled or 3-wheeled vehicles... This category also includes light quad bikes with..." at gov.uk, accessed 12 April 2018
- "NICE Electric Car Company resumes trading as London sales arm of AIXAM-MEGA". Car News Portal. 16 March 2009. Archived from the original on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "No Internal Combustion Engine". NICE Car Company. Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- Aixam Mega e-City in Electromaps (redirects to similar page on electrocoches.eu), accessed 12 April 2018.