For 2017, maker Vanderhall, based in Utah, US, has come out with the USD29,950 (RM134,131) Vanderhall Venice, a “base model” version of its Laguna three-wheeler. Resembling a Morgan, somewhat, with a nose that looks like it was lifted off a Caterham, the Venice sports the same 200 hp 1.4-litre GM-sourced four-cylinder turbo engine found in the more up-market Laguna.

Three-wheelers are something of an oddity in the motoring world. First marketed commercially to take advantage of cheaper insurance in 1950s UK, three-wheelers have survived into the new century in one form or another, usually touting fuel efficiency or, in the case of the Vanderhall Venice, lightweight performance without the bulk of a full-size automobile, or the higher level of skill required to pilot a motorcycle.

Mated to a six-speed auto gearbox, the Venice – named after the famous beach in California – sports fewer options than the Laguna. For example, only one V-Tex seat colour is offered, as opposed to the two colours in the Laguna, and four leather choices in the Laguna Sport Premium.

Also missing the standard fitment of air-conditioning, with only a heater available. The Laguna’s hand-laid carbon-fibre body is also gone, replaced with a fibre-composite body that brings the Venice in at 623 kg dry.

The same aluminium rolling chassis from the Laguna is used, though, allowing the Venice to sprint to 100 km/h in less than five seconds, with a top speed of 210 km/h. Despite its lower specification, the performance orientation of the Venice is clear, with ABS as standard, and stopping the three-wheeler in under 33-metres from 100 km/h.

Rolling on 18-inch wheels, the Venice has only 75-litres of luggage, so packing lightly for a weekend away will be necessary. A hidden Bluetooth enabled 600 watt sound system is fitted as standard, as is a wooden steering wheel, both preserving the “timeless” looks of the three-wheeler.

Designed primarily as a fun run-about, the Vanderhall Venice comes with three colour options – Metallic Black, Pearl White and Metallic Grey. Priced at USD29,950 (RM134,131), the Venice joins the base Laguna at USD49,950 (RM223,701) and the Laguna Sport Premium at USD58,850 (RM263,559), while the Laguna Bespoke, previously starting at USD77,000 (RM344,844) is no longer offered.