We have developed a fondness for delightfully eccentric people and companies here at Gizmag, and the Confederate Motor Company is about as avant-garde as it's possible to be.
Begun 19 years ago by a trial lawyer, it's three production models so far have all been exquisitely built, and of quite unconventional design – that's them in the main pic, all hellishly expensive, limited-edition, heirloom-quality pieces.
Confederate proclaimed some time back that it had a “top secret game changing initiative” underway and it has now been confirmed that the bike will be named the X132 Hellcat. No images have been released of the complete bike, but there's no prizes for guessing it'll be as visually challenging as its predecessors.
Now we're not sure what the "game-changer" is.
It could be the price tag, which is expected to be around US$40,000 instead of the six figure sums required to get your hands on the three previous models (the F131 Hellcat, B120 Wraith, and P120 Fighter Combat). The lower price is expected to see the bike produced in far greater volumes than the 30 per year currently coming off the production line and makes the bike more accessible to enthusiasts.
It could be the motor. The motor the Hellcat will use is the first product of a long-term collaboration with S&S Cycle announced earlier this year.
It could also be the engine mounting system. The motorcycle power plant mounting system was announced as an effort to “supply highly differentiated motorcycles” and we're looking forward to seeing how those massive engine mounting work and what they contain.
The engine goes into production in July, and first deliveries of the Hellcat will begin October 31, 2010 – at the first annual Confederate Halloween party.
Motorcycle manufacturers have been attempting to smooth out engine vibrations for well over 100 years now, and if the mounting system is indeed that revolutionary, it'll be interesting to see how it works. Check out the photos carefully and you'll see there's a lot of space consumed by the new mounts. Perhaps its a variation on Norton's infamous isolastic suspension which demanded almost as much attention as the rest of the bike. The wildest and most technologically intriguing guess from Gizmag's motorcycle fraternity is a piezo vibration cancellation system which works in a similar manner to noise-canceling headphones.
Initially, Confederate will produce and sell its highly differentiated motorcycles to the public through a factory direct plan, with additional plans to develop a dealer network and S&S authorized service network in the second half of 2010. Plans include further S&S powered Confederate machinery and additional technology-sharing between the two companies.
Confederate's new C3, X132 Hellcat is targeted at “the American motoring purist and aficionado” and will be “priced within reach of the top 10% of Harley Davidson buyers”, a nice way of saying it will carry an astronomical price tag.
The press release claims the C3 will be “the lightest, fastest, toughest, smoothest, most exquisite Hellcat, ever” - which might leave a few existing Hellcat owners peeved given they've paid more than twice as much for their earlier models. We're looking forward to this one.