BodyBoard - the lie-down electric go-kart
By Mike Hanlon
February 14, 2005
February 15, 2005 The BodyBoard rider lies head first in a harness, getting a speed sensation blast just centimeters above the tarmac. Propulsion comes via the powerful electric engines inside each wheel that are powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The BodyBoard also has the lowest centre of gravity possible - it's below the axle line. Along with the bird's eye view and four powerful inside-the-wheel electric motors with linear power delivery are big fat sticky racing tyres, offering G-forces not possible in anything this side of a Formula One car.
The Peugeot design Competition has only been in existence for three years, yet it has become a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration for the next generation of automotive designers, let alone the current generation. One that really caught our eye amongst the finalists was the bodyboard design from Gerjan Storm.
It may not have scored a Top 3 finish, but it looks like a load of fun - the size of a small racing car but with far better weight distribution and a much lower centre of gravity, the Bodyboard is a street luge with Formula One traction. Cornering speeds and the G-forces one would experience in an electric go-kart of this form would be extreme motorsport.
The rider/driver lies head first in a harness, with the low-head-forward position giving the rider a speed sensation blast just centimeters above the tarmac.
Storm describes his BodyBoard as a crossover between a motorbike racer, quad, kart and sports car. Its advantages are though that it offers much easier controllable handling (sliding on 4 wheels) than a motorbike, a lower centre of gravity than a quad, more sensation of speed than a kart and more sense of freedom than a sports car.
Should you manage to get this baby upside down, the rider would be at least partially protected by the wheels, though with a harness strapping the rider in, we'd prefer to see a shell or roll-protection of some type covering the rider's back.
The BodyBoard has been designed to slide and drift across the tarmac like it's sister across the waves, according to Storm.
Propulsion comes via the electro engines inside each wheel powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, as fuel cells can be built in any shape and located anywhere in the vehicle, they have been fitted around the rider - offering perhaps the lowest centre-of-gravity possible.
We sincerely hope that Peugeot gives consideration to building a prototype of this concept vehicle.
If you like the idea of the BodyBoard, you'll also like the following stories: Naro tilting car concept
Aprilia Magnet: Hybrid three-wheeler with supercar performance http://www.gizmag.com.au/go/3629/