Forbidden Fruit: Norster 600R
By Seyth Miersma
September 02, 2010
A Chinese guy and a Finnish guy walk out of a bar, and into a fabrication shop…
While we’re not exactly sure as to the origin story behind the Norster 600R—a motorcycle-engined, Finnish-designed, Chinese-built, and EU-certified Frogeye Sprite knockoff—we are fairly sure that driving one would be a small slice of car-geek heaven. This is one oddball little roadster that takes dead-aim at the, no doubt lucrative, bearded-and-flat-cap-wearing-old-guy market. Let’s hope there’s a place for pipe tobacco onboard.
Seriously though—the Norster is just awesome. The roadster is powered by a Chery-sourced, 580cc, two-cylinder motor that pushes out 20 horsepower and 36.8 pound-feet of torque. Small output numbers without a doubt, but considering that the car weighs only 1150 pounds, we have a feeling that the charm might still out weigh the lack of pace.
The motor is mid-mounted, as well, giving the Norster some real low-speed handling potential—especially over the tiny back roads of Blighty where this sort of car is usually appreciated the most. Coil-over suspension, disc brakes all around, and rack-and-pinion steering all purport to up the enthusiast game as well.
Norster’s own website says that “European Union homologation is pending”, and we’ve no idea what the cost may be. We do know that this charming, chuckable, and most-likely-dangerous roadster has got virtually zero chance at ever seeing US shores. At least legally.