In an obvious bid to remind the world just how good they are at everything automotive, the Japanese have clinched Guiness's coveted "Lowest Roadworthy Car in the World" trophy. And just to rub it in, the amazingly-low rider was constructed by a high school class.

Students and teachers at the Okayama Sanyo High School in Asakuchi, Japan, call their little project the Mirai, which in Japanese means future. From the ground to the highest point on the car (not including driver), the single-seater measures 45.2 centimeters, or 17.7 inches. That's almost 6 centimeters lower than the previous record holder, the Flatmobile.

But while the battery-powered Mirai looks like a car some of us would be willing to drive, the Flatmobile was a jet-powered, 100-mph, Batmobile replica built by Britain's Perrywinkle Customs.

Harada Kazunari, Principal at Okayama Sanyo High School, says, "It can be frightening to drive MIRAI 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."

Video evidence of the car's ability to hang with traffic as well as negotiate parking deck ramps is posted below.

Show full PR text
Lowest Roadworthy Car Races into the New
Guinness World Records 2013 Book

September 26, 2012 (New York) - Introducing "Mirai", featured in the new Guinness World Records 2013 book for being the Lowest Roadworthy Car. "Mirai", which means 'future' in Japanese, measures 17.79 in (45.2 cm) from the ground to highest part of the car. It was created by students and teachers of The Automobile Engineering Course at Okayama Sanyo High School in Asakuchi, Japan.

The record-breaking vehicle took over a year to create. Several months were spent planning and designing, with the production taking a further 6 months. Twelve students, aged 15 to 18, and nine teachers were involved.

Harada Kazunari, Principal at Okayama Sanyo High School, said: "It can be frightening to drive MIRAI 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."

The world renowned and celebrated annual, Guinness World Records 2013, contains the most comprehensive collection of superlatives from around the globe and beyond. To create this year's book, the Guinness World Records team traveled to the far corners of the Earth searching for the tallest, smallest, fastest, heaviest and more, packing in more 4,000 new records. A "must-have" for both knowledge-seekers and aspiring record-breakers of all ages, Guinness World Records 2013 is out now.

About Guinness World Records:
Guinness World Records (GWR) is the global authority on record-breaking achievements. First published in 1955, the annual Guinness World Records™ book has become one of the biggest-selling copyright titles of all time, selling 120 million copies to date in 22 languages and in more than 100 countries. The internationally renowned brand is now also available across a number of platforms – GWR's global television shows are watched by 250 million viewers annually; digital media and online record-processing services attract more than 50 million visitors a year; and the live events team annually entertains and inspires 1.5 million people around the world. GWR receives more than 1,000 applications each week and has a specialized team of multi-language record managers and adjudicators who travel the globe to verify official record attempts. GWR also has a commercial division (Guinness World Records Corporate) that offers accessible record-breaking business solutions to other organizations and brands.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think this is the car from the arcade game powerdrift.
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wouldn't take much to run that thing over, literally, a truck could probably roll right over that thing without any effort at all.
      William Miller
      • 2 Years Ago
      not really a practical car..
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'll admit that picture made me laugh lol
      • 2 Years Ago
      those crazy japanese
      Rob Gomes
      • 2 Years Ago
      My guess is the real motivation for electric over a petrol engine is packaging that helped it break the record. Electric motors are extraordinarily compact, and not having to deal with all the additional heat shielding and exhaust routing gives a lot of advantages in terms of packaging.
      • 2 Years Ago
      wouldnt be legal her in the us
        • 2 Years Ago
        This wouldn't be legal anywhere in the world. It's simply a record attempt.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Cool to look at but utterly useless and outrageously dangerous. Even if it did somehow enter production and became legal on the American continent, I wouldn't buy one. There's pickups and SUVs (and yes, donks), which would either have first contact with your head, or drive over you entirely. Insurance would be astronomical because everyone who actually enters a roadway with one would surely be killed by a texter driving something even as small as a Lotus Elise.
      Andy Drake
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Flatmobile is still cooler. This kind of just seems like a pointless exercise. Who cares if you have the lowest car? In less than a year no one will remember nor care to. Actually make it a month.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andy Drake
        Almost every record attempt is pointless. How is the lowest car going to help automotive industry in real life? None. How is fastest land speed record going to help? None. How is solving the rubik cube in 5 second going to help this world? None again. Exactly. Get over it already.
          • 2 Years Ago
          It's not breaking the records that's important, it's what you learn along the way. Building the lowest car could help engineers learn better ways to lower a cars center of gravity. Going for the fastest land speed record can easily teach a lot about thermal dynamics, weight saving techniques, forced induction and / or NA power gains, all kinds of stuff that really can apply to a daily driver. Think of it as the most fun way possible to discover new ways of achieving engineering goals.
      • 2 Years Ago
      just thought i'd say that after reading this article last night I dreamed I had a very small, very light rwd drive car just like this. I was so excited. People laughed but I was able to keep up with Lamborghini's because it was so light! Then I woke up to the sound of my roommate vomiting violently... the night kinda took a different turn from there.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder what the record is for the lowest car if you include the (non midget, non beheaded) driver in the measurement. As in, he/she would probably have to be almost lying down, even more than they do in an F1 car. But this is very cool, bonus points for being built by a highschool! It beats the retro, flamethrowing jet powered Flatmobile for lowness, but it isn't quite as awesome.
      • 2 Years Ago
    • Load More Comments