The first factory-produced vehicle designed for mobility for the disabled rolled off the assembly line this week.
“I know what an important difference this vehicle will make to my own life,” Buoniconti said. “More importantly, the MV-1 will literally transform daily life for wheelchair users and those who care for them, by making it easier to live a freer, more independent life.”
Known as the MV-1, VPGs new mobility vehicle is assembled at the same plant where AM General once produced the HUMMER H2. To accommodate easy wheelchair access, MV-1s side door features a 56-inch high by 36-inch wide opening via a deployable power ramp with a 1,200 pound capacity that quickly and conveniently stores beneath the floor inside the vehicle.
With production of the MV-1 consumers with disabilities no longer have to order a standard production vehicle and then send it to be retrofitted for mobility.
From the outside, MV-1 features a Honda-like front end design and looks like a modern English livery vehicle. Inside there is standard seating for up to five adults including the commercial-style driver’s seat. A wheelchair easily rolls in via the ramp and locks in place in the front passenger seat area. No word yet on a model that will allow the disabled to drive MV-1 for total independence.
Powering MV-1 is a Ford-sourced 4.6-liter V-8 engine and electronic four-speed automatic transmission in rear-wheel drive. Electronic stability control and traction control are included as are four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and drivers airbag. VPG does not specify power or EPA ratings for the MV-1 but lists fuel range as 350 miles with the 24 gal. tank. (Do your own math.) MV-1 rides on a body-on-frame chassis engineered by Roush.
There are two packages offered on MV-1. The base unit features a 24 gallon fuel tank and manual ramp with a CNG engine available along with a power ramp. The Deluxe model includes the power ramp and offers a drivers convenience package. Pricing is said to be around $40,000.
VPG will offer MV-1 as both consumer and fleet models making it available for taxi, paratransit and personal use.