Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Three Wheel

The three-wheel, 225 mpg plug-in hybrid XR-3 kit car

March 21, 2007 Robert Q. Riley’s radical high-efficiency designs, concepts and kits have been public for a long time, and have often been viewed as non-mainstream and largely irrelevant by an American population with a highly distorted view of the real cost of cheap petrol. Now his fuel-efficient designs seem suddenly relevant – we desperately need new transportation alternatives that conserve energy and protect the planet’s ecosystem, Riley’s latest creation, the XR-3 plug-in hybrid, is a sleek two-passenger, three-wheel sports car that is expected to return 225 miles per gallon. Designed to be assembled by someone with average mechanical abilities and no prior experience, the all-wheel drive vehicle will be available as a kit or plans for complete do-it-yourself construction. The XR-3 Hybrid is currently under development and is scheduled to debut in June 2007.  Read More

Can-Am Spyder roadster: three wheeled motorcycle

BRP has unveiled its first "on-road" vehicle, the 2008 Can-Am Spyder roadster. This three-wheel vehicle, with two wheels in the front and one in the rear, offers a completely new and stunning look. Powered by a proven 990cc V Twin engine designed and manufactured by BRP-Rotax, Spyder roadster, with its unique Y-architecture, can be described as part motorcycle and part convertible sports car. Later this year twelve selected American states and four Canadian provinces will offer Can-Am Spyder roadsters through BRP's existing dealer network, followed by France and Spain in early 2008. BRP will then expand its Can-Am Spyder offer to more North American states, Canadian provinces, Europe and other countries, and expects to be present worldwide within three to four years.  Read More

The plug-in hybrid carving three-wheeler from Venture

February 17, 2007 UPDATED IMAGES Venture Vehicles has formally announced in Los Angeles, the development of a revolutionary (not to mention very cool), 3-wheel, tilting, plug-in Hybrid vehicle under the working name VentureOne. It’s a two-passenger Hybrid vehicle that will get 100 mpg, accelerate from 0-60 in 6 seconds, will have a top speed of over 100 mph, while being priced at under US$20,000. In addition to the low-emission, flex-fuel Hybrid model, a zero-emission all-electric version is also being developed that will have an all-electric range of nearly 200 miles. A key feature of the VentureOne is the patented Dynamic Vehicle Control tilting technology from Dutch-based Carver Engineering that allows the body of the vehicle to actually tilt when going through turns while all three wheels maintain firm contact with the road. Carver already sells petrol-engined versions of the machine, and the Phiaro 3-wheeler is also closely based on the Carver. But a plug-in hybrid with a 200 mile electric range and sportscar performance is very enticing. Production is not scheduled until late 2008 and Venture Vehicles will initially offer two propulsion packages for the VentureOne: the hybrid E50 and Q100, and all-electric Venture EV model. The US$23,000 all-electric model will top the range while the E50 hybrid will sell for US$18,000 and the Q100 hybrid is expected to be priced under US$20,000.  Read More

A three wheeler from Audi

January 25, 2007 This interesting three wheeler is apparently work from within the Audi Design Centre, but we can’t comment any more than that because we don’t know any more. The images surfaced this week when Stefan Sielaff was appointed head of design for AUDI AG, with the three-wheeler model in the foreground. Sielaff reports to Walter de'Silva, who is responsible for design in the entire Audi brand group including SEAT and Lamborghini.  Read More

That's the Vespa MP3 in the main shot - all the others are images of Vectrix' three wheele...

December 17, 2006 While the established players in the scooter game have shown concept machinery in the fuel cell, electric and hybrid genres, there’s one European company that has been quietly going about the business of designing and building a viable electric maxi-scooter with performance roughly equivalent to a 400cc conventional internal combustion engined mount – Vectrix. The Vectrix maxi-scooter is 100% emission free, has a top speed of 62 mph and runs for up to 68 miles on a single 2-hour charge from a standard electricity socket. Combined with low running costs, minimal maintenance, ease of operation, and generous storage, the Vectrix maxi-scooter is the world’s first practical zero-emission two-wheel vehicle. The scooter will be available within months and the great news is that Vectrix recently purchased the EV rights to the innovative Vespa three wheeled carving scooter and a prototype was displayed at last month’s Milan motorcycle show. The variable front suspension provides stability at low speeds and excellent handling at higher speeds. The 3-wheel scooter is extremely versatile and will be popular with local businesses and with consumers with limited riding experience as well as being ideal as a delivery vehicle and council/police mount.  Read More

The Brudeli 625L Leanster - image by Rune Baashus

November 9, 2006 We’ve been drooling over the concept of three wheelers that tilt and carve for several years now, but in the main, they rarely see production. Machines such as Heikki Naulapaa's Magnet, Tommy Forsgren's Hermes, Dimitrios Scoutas' Skipee, Mercedes-Benz F 300 Life-Jet concept and Elisha Wetherhorn's electric RIDER have not yet seen production, though they all hold remarkable promise. The only guaranteed production carving concept of recent times is Vespa's three wheeled scooter, which is powered by a 250cc motor and isn't exactly as sporty as we'd hoped. Accordingly, we’re very thrilled to write about the coming of the Norwegian-designed Brudeli 625L, which delivers the thrill of a motorcycle with the control of a four-wheeled vehicle. The 625L uses a 625 cc KTM single cylinder motor, and will enter production in 2007, at which point you’ll be able to buy one and register it for use on the street for EUR 20,000 (US$25,000). It is intended both for on-road and off-road use, so it’s sort of like a three wheeled supermotard. Very exciting prospects for consumers indeed, and an opportunity for potential international distributors to get in on the ground floor.  Read More

ZAP electric commercial three-wheel XEBRA

September 25, 2006 Automotive pioneer ZAP will later today roll out a new, all-electric vehicle designed to address the need for gas-free alternatives with multi-purpose city driving, from industrial fleets to commuting. Called the XEBRA PK, the three-wheeled ZAP seats two with a multi-purpose platform behind the passenger compartment that serves as a hauler, dump truck or flatbed. Selling for less than US$10,000, the XEBRA PK will debut before California regulators participating in the 2006 Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Technology Symposium in Sacramento, September 25-27. ZAP Chairman Starr cited a study that showed more than a third of new car buyers in California would buy an electric vehicle if that vehicle were priced close to a gasoline vehicle and offered similar functionality. The 2000 Green Car Institute study titled "The Current and Future Market for Electric Vehicles" used the same research methodologies employed by the auto industry to identify markets for gas vehicles.  Read More

Vespa's very sporty three wheeled scooter

May 18, 2006 Piaggio launched the first Vespa model in 1946, creating an iconic presence in the personal transport revolution that evolved in the following decades. Sixty years on, the Italian company has come up with another revolutionary product: the PIAGGIO MP3, a three-wheeler with two independent tilting front wheels that operate in a “carving” motion. The PIAGGIO MP3 provides safety, road grip and stability levels that no two-wheeler can match, with lean angles of 40 degrees or more possible from novice riders. Available in 125 and 250 forms initially, we’re licking our lips at the prospect of the 500 version. Extensive image library.  Read More

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

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