Since Nicholas Negroponte first came up with his landmark teething ring visualization of the coming together of communication, computing and content, the term convergence has become the uber buzzword. Now there’s convergence going on in the personal transport industry, with the car and the motorcycle morphing as car makers attempt to downsize their vehicles to make them better suited to the world’s increasingly crowded roads. This article begins with Nissan’s tandem two-seat, half width tilting car, the Landglider, and examines all the other work being done around the world as narrow track vehicles seriously begin to make their case.
The term convergence normally refers to the merging of consumer electronics, entertainment and media, but if recent trends are anything to go by, it could equally apply to the melding of the car and the motorcycle. BMW’s enclosed C3 motorcycle is now emerging as a road safety pin-up vehicle and at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month both Volkswagen and Renault exhibited tandem half-width cars that looked for all the world like four-wheeled motorcycles. Now comes news that Nissan is to unveil an electric tandem four-wheeled “Land Glider” concept at Tokyo Motor Show, and the wording of the press statements looks like Nissan is very confident the vehicle will reach showrooms.