It would be a huge understatement to say that the 12 vehicles remaining in the Automotive X PRIZE are pretty unusual. One of the things that was particularly fun for those of us recently attending the Finals Stage in Michigan, in fact, was observing all the different forms and configurations that the different teams’ automobiles have taken. One standout (and they’re all standouts really) has been the TW4XP, representing the team of the same name. The vehicle is a sneak-peek of the next generation of Twike, a production electric three-wheeler built and sold by some of the team members back home in Germany. One of the things that makes regular Twikes special is the fact that they have pedals, so you can extend their range by giving the battery a break and pedaling on the easy stuff. While other X PRIZE contenders such as the Aptera may be sexier than the TW4XP, it represents an already-available vehicle that could help you work off those unwanted extra pounds.
“It was our goal in the beginning to be in the finals, and to show that our vehicle is able to fulfill all the requirements,” team leader and Twike CEO Martin Möscheid told us. “The others that are in the finals, they are very good, but... it can happen that one wire is loose, or you have a short, or you lose a small bolt or something, and you are out. I believe we still have a good chance to be in first place.”
TW4XP is still in the running for the X PRIZE after the first two grueling days of the four day Finals Stage, which will be completed on Tuesday. Even if it doesn’t win the X PRIZE, the look and some of the race-designed features of the TW4XP will find their way into the next generation of Twikes. Möscheid informed us that the newly-developed suspension and drive train, for example, will end up in his production vehicles... and yes, they will still have pedals.
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