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Three-Wheel All AC Powered N-Generation Forklift

May 3, 2006 It seems there’s a strong move towards electrical power in forklift trucks and Mitsubishi gave this further momentum yesterday when it announced the introduction of its FB16NT-FB20NT series of 100 percent (AC) powered, three-wheel electric forklift trucks. The "all" AC powered N-Generation forklifts feature increased range of maneuverability an advanced Integrated Presence System and extended service intervals. Offering three models with capacities ranging from 3,000 to 4,500 lbs, the N-Generation offers a control system with modifiable performance settings controlling top travel speed, lifting speed, regenerative braking and auto regenerative braking. Torque and speed are controlled separately, allowing for optimum driving performance. The three-wheel design and hydrostatic steering provides increased maneuverability allowing operators to navigate areas with tight aisle spacing. In addition, the innovative AC drive system implements the latest in heat dissipation technology, assuring maximum performance while reducing battery consumption.  Read More

The TRIX human-powered carving trike

April 22, 2006 UPDATED WITH NEW PICS The first prize at the 10th International Bicycle Design Competition in Tapei is a rip-snorter. A brief look through our powered three-wheeler portfolio shows we love trikes and the carving concept of steering in particular. The TRIX uses rack and pinion steering to offer a carving-like experience to human-powered trikes, removing the utilitarian feel of the flat turning arc of a rigid frame and replacing it with pure fun without removing the intrinsic cargo-carrying benefit of the three-wheeler. The steering also means a tighter turning circle and significantly improved manoeuvrability as it can slalom between obstacles and lean into curves like a motorcycle. As it is ideally suited to negotiate narrow, or congested streets, TRIX is ideal for city centre life and can be adapted to transport goods or become a space-age rickshaw with a single, front-seated passenger.  Read More

The SUB G1 - 135hp 1000cc V-twin three-wheeler

March 18, 2006 ADDITIONAL IMAGES For those who have looked enviously at three wheeled prototypes such as the Volkswagen’s GX3, Heikki Naulapaa's Aprilia Magnet, Tommy Forsgren's Hermes, Elisha Wetherhorn's Rider, Mercedes-Benz Life-Jet , Peugeot’s 20CUP, Toyota’s I-Swing, Dimitrios Scoutas' Skipee and the Phiaro Eternity, here’s one you can buy and use on the road. Powered by 1000cc of liquid-cooled DOHC, eight-valve, V-twin Suzuki motorcycle engine producing 135hp (98.6 kW) and 105 Nm of torque driving through a six-speed sequential gearbox, the SUB G1 three-wheeler weighs just 330kg, giving it Formula car power-to-weight, handling and aerodynamics. Set up by ex-GM automotive designers Niki Smart, Jay Brett and Nick Mynott, SUB is a small company in southern California that caters to clients who want individual specialised vehicles. Initial production preparations for the SUB G1 are underway and will be limited to a maximum of 25 units, with a minimum of 15 to start production. Cost of each vehicle will be US$80,000 with a US$25,000 security deposit.  Read More

VW's 3-wheel sportcar

January 6, 2006 Volkswagen dropped a bombshell of significant magnitude in the automotive market overnight by showing a new three wheeled vehicle concept machine which it has billed as a crossover between sports car and motorcycle. That the mighty Volkswagen company should consider such a vehicle is surprising, but in an unprecedented move for any major manufacturer and a concept machine, the company has specified a price, indicating that the extreme performance and economy of the three wheeler could be delivered to market for under US$17,000 and inviting consumer response to the concept. Considering that the three wheel, two seater will deliver supercar performance while offering access to the carpool lane and delivering 46 mpg (5.2 l/100 km), we suspect the public response might be positive. We’ve reported on a number of three-wheel concepts recently, including the Aprilia Magnet , Mercedes-Benz Life-Jet , the Peugeot’s 20CUP, Toyota’s I-Swing and the Phiaro Eternity.  Read More


In summarizing the opportunities for different technologies, there are some that we just can’t figure out. Why for example, are three wheelers so spectacularly unsuccessful in the marketplace when they make so much sense? There have been one or two notable three-wheeled motorized conveyances in history that have achieved success on some level – the Morgan and Reliant and maybe the Asian three wheeler known as the TUK-TUK but nothing of genuine mass appeal. The advantages of a three-wheeler are so great (light weight, stability, high power-weight, great fuel economy, narrow road footprint, protection to occupants), that we expect far more commercial success from the layout, particularly as the last five years has seen a raft of stunning concepts float across our pages, but none of them has yet proven successful. Check out this stunning array of three wheelers – Magnet, Hermes, Life-Jet, Rider, Skipee, the 20CUP and most recently, Toyota’s I-Swing. Now there’s another exciting three wheeler to have reached proof-of-concept stage – The Phiaro P67b ETERNITY has three weheels, two seats (arranged in tandem), a 50kW 660cc motor and it banks into corners like a motorcycle. It was designed in close collaboration with Dutch manufacturer Carver.  Read More

Toyota's i-swing personal mobility concept

October 25, 2005 Toyota debuted its i-swing mobility concept at the Tokyo Show today, arousing massive public interest. Toyota's i-swing is a new personal mobility vehicle in the same vein as the personal mobility models (such as the PM , i-unit and I-foot ) Toyota has exhibited previously but one that takes the concept several steps further, with the capability of operating in a similar manner to the Segway in two wheeled mode at walking pace on a footpath so it takes up little space, or transform to a three-wheeled mode for road speeds. In addition to the joystick control, the i-swing can be controlled by body weight movements with a feeling reportedly like turning as if on snow skis. The i-swing concept proposes using Artificial Intelligence to enable it to learn the habits and preferences of users.  Read More

The trioBike: ingenious triple play inner urban transport

September 6, 2005 Designed in Denmark, the trioBike is an affordable and flexible inner urban transport solution for a business, family or individual. The trioBike has three basic configurations – as a standard pushbike, as a human-powered transport vehicle with space for an 80 kilogram cache of goods or two children plus support system, or as a lightweight shopping trolley/pushchair. trioBike is designed to transform without the need for tools, has zero running costs (including free parking) and is obviously a pollution-free transport solution.  Read More

Peugeot's exciting new three wheeler - the 20CUP

August 29, 2005 Expressing Peugeot’s new alignment with sport, the 20Cup is an innovative concept, both fun and dynamic: suggesting an elegant synthesis between two worlds – that of the motor car by its front aspect and that of the motorcycle by its single rear wheel. This sporty, three-wheel roadster, shown in two examples, differentiated only by colour, promises real driving pleasure through the strong sensations it evokes. Confirming its presence in high-level motor sport, Peugeot recently announced its new commitment to competition via the LMES Championship.  Read More

The RIDER: an electric commuter trike

July 13, 2005 We’ve seen more than a few three wheelers that tilt and carve at Gizmag: machines such as Finnish designer Heikki Naulapaa's Magnet, Swedish designer Tommy Forsgren's Hermes, Australian designer Dimitrios Scoutas' Skipee and the Mercedes-Benz F 300 Life-Jet all exude motorcycle-like sports appeal. But Isreali designer Elisha Wetherhorn's carving machine is more akin to an electric bicycle. The Rider is an electric commuter concept trike that “carves” around corners, can run for four hours at 15 km/h and folds up so it can be used to go the “final mile” when used as an adjunct to traditional automotive or commuter transport. The Rider weighs just 14 kilograms, incorporates regenerative braking and a front-wheel electric motor and the 24 volt battery can be removed for ease-of-charging.  Read More

Aprilia Magnet: Hybrid three-wheeler with supercar performance

January 22, 2005 Take a Formula One driving position, three wheels, a high-power 550cc v-twin engine designed for motocross, put an additional electric motor into each wheel, and an ingenious tilt system. Finnish student Heikki Naulapaa designed this vehicle as the main project in his design degree at the Royal College of the Arts in London. It landed him a dream job in the design department at Aprilia and maybe, just maybe, the adventurous company might build this excitement machine. With specs like that and a low aerodynamic profile, the hybrid would match any 1000cc superbike in performance and blow a Ferrari into the weeds.  Read More

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