The Ford Tourneo Connect is the second car of the 34-year-old, who has muscular dystrophy – limb girdle type dystrophy. Previously drove a KIA Carnival for more than eleven years. Into the car he comes as with his first vehicle via an underfloor ramp. This was an important decision criterion for him when it came to choosing a vehicle. "I have chosen the best vehicle for myself." With his PARAVAN PR 50 wheelchair he drives directly in front of the steering wheel. For the trained mechanical engineer, it was important to have a maneuverable vehicle, with plenty of ground clearance thanks to the air suspension, from which he can drive in and out quickly and also get into any parking garage. He says a cassette lift is more cumbersome for him in everyday life than the ramp. "I have to go backwards on the ramp with my PR 50 and turn in the car." For this it needs more time and space.
"What annoyed me was the radio" he reports, looking at his old car. "Every time I made an adjustment, I had to stop." This also applied to the sun visor, which he folded down as a precaution before he even started driving, so that he was on the safe side. "That also only worked with stopping and momentum," he reports. Today, he can do all this conveniently by voice control – and without having to make an extra stop.
The same applies to the new Space Drive 2 system. "I immediately got along great with it," he reports. "It's much more direct. I feel like I'm really driving around the bend. I used to feel like you were driving around 50 corners. It's much more fluid."Boris Nicolai had hoped that the new features would be clearly noticeable, even though he already got along perfectly with his Kia. But he never thought that everything would go so smoothly.
PARAVAN technician Alexander Langer gives the final briefing on the new system
PR 50 as driver's seat and stand-up aid
For six years, Boris Nicolai has also been using a PR 50 electric wheelchair from PARAVAN as a driver's seat. For him, this is the optimal supplement to be independently mobile. "Because it brings exactly what I need in everyday life," he says, low seating position and high stand-up function, and in combination with the PARAVAN docking station, high stability in the car. "I can still stand, but I need a stand-up aid to do so," explains Boris Nicolai. "And the e-wheelchair is ideal for that, in combination with the driver's seat."
It has completed its first eleven years without an accident. "The small scratches come from others.His Kia has driven him up to the highest glaciers in Austria – for example, over the narrow "Welcome to Erlangen. With 29 hairpin bends very winding Kaunertal Glacier Road up to 2750 meters. " His Kia has driven him up to the highest glaciers in Austria – for example, over the narrow. With 29 hairpin bends very winding Kaunertal glacier road up to 2750 meters. "Something like that sticks." Otherwise, Boris Nicolai essentially uses his car to travel to work and competitions. "You can't do it without a car," he says. "Eight kilometers to work he has by car, and about ten minutes. By public transport I would be an hour and a half away and still have 1 kilometer to walk."
In his spare time Boris successfully plays para-boccia. International! He is runner-up at the European Championships and third at the World Championships – in singles, making him the first German boccia player to qualify for next year's Paralympics in Tokyo. To drive regularly to training in Saarbücken or to competitions, he also needs his car regularly.
"But now you have to push the button," says driving instructor Horst Hilsenbeck when they arrive back at the company's premises from their test drive. "Ignition off," says Boris Nicolai. Who visibly enjoyed the benefits of his new PARAVAN. "Can we leave it like this. The position of the joystick is now optimal. Is fun," he concludes.