Meet Mirai - the world's lowest roadworthy car

A man, looking very pleased with himself, drives a very low car as a family in a sports utility vehicle look agog beside him.
Frank's new ride was a real head turner
"It can be frightening to drive Mirai on a big street" Harada Kazunari, Okayama Sanyo High School
  • | by Kristian Dando

We’ve all seen perilously lowered modified cars hooning around our local ring roads, right? Well, a school project from Japan has made the efforts of your typical modder look positively pedestrian. 

Mirai (pictured), has just scooped the Guinness Record for being the lowest roadworthy car in the world, and measures just 17.79 inches from the ground to the highest part of the vehicle.

It was created by students and teachers at the Automobile Engineering Course at Okayama Sanyo High School in Asakuchi, Japan, and took over a year to create, which sort of puts your typical British class project – a collage, mural, or patchwork quilt, perhaps – to shame.

Mirai looks great fun, but as Harada Kazunari, principal at Okayama Sanyo High School, explains, it’s not for the faint-hearted. “It can be frightening to drive Mirai (which means 'future' in Japanese, language fans) on a big street, especially when the speed goes over 40km/h because the road is very close to the driver’s eye point.  Also, you can feel afraid that you will be run over by other cars. So, we make it a rule, when we drive Mirai on a busy street, to place a leading car to the front of Mirai, and a guarding car in the rear.”

Here’s a video of Mirai in action. You can read more about it in the Guinness World Records 2013 book.

A side view of the Mirai, with a busload of impressed onlookers

Japanese students tinkering with world's lowest car's skeleton

A shot of Mirai, riding perilously closley to a truck

A shot of Mirai, the world's lowest car